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Expert Picks: Plants for Hanging Baskets (Australian Guide)

Hanging baskets really brighten up an outdoor space such as a verandah or balcony. They add a touch of greenery as well as bright spots of colour.

It’s important to remember that hanging baskets dry out really quickly and the plants are often fully exposed to the elements.

For this reason, it’s important to choose your plants carefully so that they will be able to handle the tougher conditions and to ensure that your hanging baskets get plenty of water.

Best plants for hanging baskets in full sun

Hanging baskets that are situated in full sun should be filled with plants that enjoy these conditions. Here are a few that are perfect for this.

Petunias

Petunia hanging basket | Plant varieties

These colourful flowering annuals are just perfect for hanging baskets. They will delight you with a glorious display of colour all summer long.

Petunias are available in a range of different flower colours and you can mix and match them to suit your outdoor decor.

Strawberries

Strawberries hanging basket | Plant varieties

It may surprise you to learn that strawberries are ideal for hanging baskets that are placed in a sunny position.

In fact, as long as you make sure that you keep them well-watered, this is one of the best ways to grow your strawberries.

Growing strawberries in hanging baskets keeps the fruit off the ground so there’s less chance of the berries being eaten by slugs and snails.

Succulents

Succulent hanging basket | Plant varieties

There are many different types of succulents that are absolutely ideal for growing in hanging baskets. They appreciate it when the soil is allowed to dry out in between watering. This makes them ideal for adorning your outdoor spaces.

Popular draping succulents such as string of pearls, string of dolphins, and string of bananas are ideal because they will drape over the edges of the basket to create a brilliant display of green.

Or, for something a little different, consider the showy trailing jade (Crassula saragentosa variegta) in its variegated form.

Geraniums

Geranium hanging basket | Plant varieties

There are plenty of geraniums that will do well in a hanging basket in full sun.

Choose varieties that have a trailing habit such as Geranium ‘Big Red’. This variety has gorgeous semi-double dark red flowers.

Rock Daisy

Brachyscome angustifolia Rock Daisy | Plant varieties

If you’re looking for a native flower for your hanging basket, you can’t go past the rock daisy (Brachyscome angustifolia).

This gorgeous daisy has purple flowers with bright yellow centres and lovely soft green foliage. 

Fan Flower

Fan Flower | Plant varieties

Another native plant that is ideal for growing in a hanging basket is the fan flower (Scaevola cv.).

This plant is available with either purple or white flowers and will create a lovely display when it blooms during the warmer months.

Best plants for hanging baskets in shade

There are plenty of shade-loving plants that you can grow in a hanging basket.

Growing these in a more shady spot also means that they won’t dry out quite as quickly as those grown in full sun.

Coleus

Coleus hanging basket | Plant varieties

Coleus plants come in a huge variety of different coloured leaves and are ideal for creating a stunning display in a shaded hanging basket.

You can either fill the basket with plants of the same variety or mix up a few different ones to create a colourful display for that shady area on your verandah.

Ferns

Fern hanging basket | Plant varieties

Many different varieties of ferns are great for hanging baskets as the soft foliage trails over the edges of the basket. They also prefer to live in a more shaded spot or at least one that only gets a little morning sun.

Try varieties such as fishbone fern, water fern, hare’s foot, and maidenhair ferns. It’s important not to let ferns dry out so it’s better if you plant them in plastic pots.

Tradescantia Zebrina

Tradescantia Zebrina | Plant varieties

This lovely plant has stunning colourful foliage and is a popular ground cover when planted in the garden. It also makes the perfect specimen for a hanging basket.

Wax Plant

Hoya wax plant | Plant varieties

The wax plant (Hoya carnosa) is another popular trailing plant that does well in a hanging basket in the shade.

Not only do these plants have the most stunning fragrant flowers but their lovely fleshy green leaves can add a touch of the tropics to your outdoor area.

Fuschias

Fuschia hanging basket | Plant varieties

Nothing beats a hanging basket filled with colourful fuschias as their delicate flowers hang over the edges of the basket.

You can get them in a whole range of different flower colours and they prefer a semi-shaded position to thrive.

Impatiens

Impatiens hanging basket | Plant varieties

Impatiens can create a stunning display in a hanging basket and come in a variety of different colours. They’ll delight you with masses of flowers over a long period of time.

Just make sure that you keep them well-watered because they really don’t like to dry out.

Chenille Plant 

Chenille Plant hanging basket | Plant varieties

You’ll love the long crimson, fluffy blooms of the chenille plant (Acalypha reptans). The flowers appear amongst the dark green foliage in summer and autumn.

FAQ

Are geraniums good for hanging baskets?

Yes, geraniums are ideal for hanging baskets when you choose from the many different types of trailing varieties. Ivy geraniums are a good choice.

What is the easiest hanging basket plant to take care of?

Hanging baskets filled with either trailing geraniums or petunias are the easiest to look after. All you have to do is to keep them well-watered and they’ll grow happily.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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