15 Beautiful Flower Hanging Baskets & Best Plant Lists

How to plant 15 beautiful hanging baskets with complete designer plant lists for each! Lots of tips on growing best hanging plants & flowers in sun & shade!

Oh, those hanging baskets overflowing with flowers and foliage of all colors and textures, they fill us with such wonder and awe.  Everyone can re-create these, by choosing the right hanging basket plants for sun or shade locations, and mixing them in an artistic way!

As a garden designer, I often meet great gardeners and growers, who share with me their best secrets to growing beautiful hanging baskets, which I can’t wait to share with YOU today! 🙂

Design tip 1: choose the right hanging basket plants for the right locations.

Before you plant a hanging basket, observe carefully if the location is full sun, part sun, or full shade. Keep in mind that the position of the sun changes seasonally. For example, the north side of a building can be in full shade during winter and in hot afternoon sun during summer. Also full sun in Seattle is very similar in intensity to part sun in Phoenix!

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beautiful hanging baskets with yellow and pink flowers

Plant list 1 ( first image above) : Purple and red Petunias, Yellow Coreopsis ( or other trailing yellow daisies ), Variegated Plectranthus.

Plant list 2 ( second image above) : Yellow and orange Nasturtium, Coreopsis ( or other trailing yellow daisies ), Calibrachoa ‘Million Bells Trailing Magenta’. ( Source: 1 | 2 )

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Design tip 2: use easy care annuals & perennials plants & flowers for hanging baskets.

Most hanging basket plants are considered annuals. Because of the intensive planting style, it’s a good idea to refresh the plantings with new plants each spring season. However, if you are in a mild winter climate zone, you can use perennials such as Fuchsia, Ivy Geranium, Sweet Alyssum etc for a year-round hanging basket!

hanging flower baskets on porch

Plant list 3 : Deep maroon Petunia, pink Variegated Geranium, Sweet Potato Vine. ( Source: 3 )

As you can see, some of the best hanging basket plants and flowers are trailing flowers and vines like Petunias and Million Bells ( Calibrachoa, the Petunia Look-Alike ). They are easy to care for , and bloom profusely. They also come in such a great varieties of colors! Just make sure you select the trailing varieties, not the mounding varieties!

how to plant beautiful hanging baskets with flowers

]f you are wondering “What’s the best flowers to put in a hanging basket?” Plant list #4 below includes some of the easiest long lasting flowers for hanging baskets which will bloom all summer!

Plant list 4 : Petunias and Calibrachoa in red and white, red Ivy Geranium, Blue Lobelia erinus, Variegated Plectranthus. ( Source: 4 )

Design tip 3: how to line hanging baskets, best soil for hanging baskets, how often to water them.

A good size hanging flower basket is usually 14″ to 16″ wide, and they can come with Coco coir liners , which are great materials to line a hanging basket. Choose good quality potting soil that contains peat moss and perlite. Add  slow-release, complete fertilizer such as this to the mix.

purple and white hanging flower basket

Plant list 5 : Petunias in blue and white, Lobelia erinus . ( Source: 5 )

Lobelia is a sun-loving non-stop bloomer with masses of tiny blue, pink, white, purple, or bi-colored flowers from spring till fall. Choose trailing Lobelia varieties such as Lobelia erinus for hanging baskets.

pink flowers in hanging planter

Plant list 6 : Light pink Petunia, Purple Verbena, Nemesia ‘Safari White’. ( Source: 6 )

Hanging flower baskets require more regular watering than most container plantings. Don’t let the soil mix dry out. Ideally, baskets in the sun need to be watered every day, baskets in the shade need to be watered once every 2 days.

Plant list 7 : Pink Geranium, Petunias in light purple, Lobelia erinus . ( Source: jpgardening.wordpress.com, site no longer available.)

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Design tip 4: best hanging basket plants and flowers to use for shade.

Back to our hanging flower baskets: what if you want to plant a colorful hanging basket in the shade?

There are actually some very beautiful and showy shade-loving plants to choose from, such as Impatiens, Begonia, plus Ferns, Ivy, or Creeping Jenny for added green leaves, etc. Check out the following four examples!

colorful hanging basket in the shade

Plant list 8 ( great for shade ) : Begonia × tuberhybrida Tuberous Begonias in orange and yellow, Yellow Coreopsis ( or other trailing yellow daisies ), Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny. ( Source: 8)

In addition to mixing colors and textures, another designer trick is to think about a mixed planter made up of thriller, filler, and spiller. For example, thrillers are the plants in the mix with the biggest flowers and most dramatic look, fillers are smaller plants that makes the planter look full, and spillers are trailing plants that spill over the mixed container. Baskets 9 & 10 below are really great examples.

tropical hanging planter with shade plants

Plant list 9 ( great for shade ): Caladium ‘Celebration’ and Caladium ‘Rose Glow’, Asarina scandens ‘Snow White’ , Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny ( Source: 9 )

beautiful colorful hanging basket with shade loving plants

Plant list 10 ( great for shade ) : Begonia × tuberhybrida / Tuberous Begonias in orange and yellow, Tradescantia zebrina / ‎Wandering jew plant, Sweet Potato Vine, Lobelia erinus, Variegated Plectranthus . ( Source: 10 )

Plant list 11 ( great for shade ) : Dragon Wing Begonia, Asparagus Fern (with lacy green leaves!) ( Source: 11 )

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Design tip 5: how to create artistic and colorful mixed pots of hanging plants.

Plants like violas and petunias come in many colors. Just by mixing these different varieties of the same plants, you can create a very colorful hanging planter!

very colorful hanging planter with pansies and violas

Plant list 12 : Mixed color Violas, great for cool climate like early spring. ( Source: 12 )

Purple and pink Petunias in hanging basket

Plant list 13 : Purple and pink Petunias, Coreopsis ( or other trailing yellow daisies ), Lobelia erinus, Red Verbena. ( Source: 13 )

A hanging basket can also become an attractive wall basket ! These wall brackets for hanging plants can offer a great  way to dress up an empty wall!

wall basket with flowers

Plant list 14 ( great for shade ) : Begonia × tuberhybrida / Tuberous Begonias in orange and yellow, Fuschia, Lysimachia ‘Goldilocks’ / Creeping Jenny.

Plant list 15 : Red and pink Petunias, Coreopsis ( or other trailing yellow daisies ), blue Lobelia erinus. ( Source )

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Happy planting!


  1. Can I use plastic planters. I have plenty and on SS limited funds.and do they stay wet longer.your AWSOME thanks Jeanne

  2. Years ago there were some green plastic bags – about 18 to 24 inches long that you could hang, filled with dirt and planted with all types of beautiful hanging plants. Do you know where I could find some of these bags? I haven’t seen these types of flower hangers forever.

  3. I noticed that many of your sun loving baskets have petunias. I love them, but by the end of the season I’m constantly battling bug infestation or shriveled leaves. How do you keep the plants healthy?

    • hi Johanna, i think petunias love water and in hot weather, they can become stressed if the soil dries out, which then lead to bugs such as aphids, 🙂

  4. I am looking for perennials for a hanging basket. Can you recommend any? I am in zone 8b. Washington state.

  5. I love the viola basket, #12. How many would you recommend for a single basket? In addition, I recently had 2 petunia hanging baskets that were not very full/bountiful on top. They looked like they were losing their “hair on the top of their head” so to speak…. aka thinning on top😉 how would I prevent this with the violas or any other container planting(s) in the future? TIA.

    • hi Bonnie! i would put 6 violas per medium size basket. the trick to really full basket is to use really good potting soil with fertilizers, and water very frequently, especially n hot and dry areas!

  6. Did you notice the link you posted for the slow-release fertilizer takes you to Amazon to Osmocote Plus. Some of the reviews say the product contains little plastic balls that are left in the soil after all the fertilizer has been released. If true, not a good thing. The ad does not mention what the “empty shell” is made of.

  7. I cannot keep petunias or the bells alive. I really don’t think I water every other day!!! These examples are gorgeous!!!! I love sweet potato vines!!!

  8. I have always wanted to put some hanging baskets up in front of the house. They are so beautiful and decorative.

  9. These are stunning! I honestly would love to have flowers like these outside the house. but I’m awful with keeping plants alive!! Flowers always seem to brighten up places and make you feel a bit better about life I find.

  10. Wonderful! We have a few hooks on the front porch for hanging baskets, but the last ones we had didn’t last through the winter. I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to put more out there. These ones are so colorful!

  11. I love hanging baskets of flowers, they really brighten up the house. These tips are really helpful as I’m not the best gardener!

  12. I love love these! I think the Sweet Potato Vine and Yellow Coreopsis are my favorites because I haven’t seen them before. I am looking for a new plant to hanging down a shelve and I might have to give some of these a try!

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