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How to choose plants for hanging baskets

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Plants in hanging baskets and pots can be a delightful feature for your home. They can add colourful flowers, relaxing greenery, privacy and even fresh herbs and vegetables to eat.


Here is a guide to selecting and caring for hanging plants. Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.


What to consider when choosing hanging plants


Hanging baskets can be a tough place to live. Sun and wind can scorch your plants and dry them out, so plants in exposed positions need to be just as tough.


Your hanging planter can contain a mix of small seasonal flowering plants surrounding a larger and more permanent plant, such as a succulent or dwarf shrub. When planting multiple species in the same basket make sure that your plants are compatible. For example, if your basket will be exposed to full sun and drying winds, it's not a good idea to include plants that will wilt quickly under such conditions.


Hanging plants also need to have a suitably compact or trailing (hanging) growth pattern so that they don’t outgrow their pots and baskets.


Finally, think about whether you’re looking for a splash of seasonal colour for just a few weeks or something that will look good for years to come.


Succulents and other perennial plants


Succulents are always popular, especially those that cascade over the rim of a hanging basket. They’re low-maintenance plants. Most are perennial (long-lived). Succulents typically do well in hot, dry positions. They do need watering and feeding occasionally, especially over the warmer months.


Popular succulents for hanging baskets include: Zygocactus are tough plants that flower in various coloursZygocactus are tough plants that flower in various colours 


  • Zygocactus or Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera varieties) in shades of pink and red
  • Sedums such as donkey’s tail or burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum) and rose carpet
  • Kalanchoes
  • Pigface (Carpobrotus species)
  • String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)  
  • Chain of hearts (Ceropegia woodii)  
  • Mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera) and other Rhipsalis species
  • Trailing ice plant (Lampranthus spectabilis).


Other perennial plants include:


  • Porcelainflower or wax plant (Hoya carnosa)
  • Daisies (Argyranthemums) 

  • Bacopa (Sutera cordata)     
  • Variegated ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
  • Wood violets (various colours)
  • Mini Bougainvilleas 
  • Dichondra "Silver Falls" and "Emerald Falls" 
  • Geraniums – dwarf spreading and trailing Pelargoniums
  • Dwarf and trailing Fuchsias.


Small and reasonably hardy outdoor ferns can be great in baskets, but only in shady locations. Suitable ferns include Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), hare's foot fern (Davallia feejensis) and Blechnum gibbum "Silver Lady".  Daisies are a popular choice for flower basketsDaisies are a popular choice for flower baskets


There are also many varieties of cactus, such as monkey’s tail cactus (Hildewintera colademononis), that have hanging growth habits. These look great in hanging pots. Hang them in places where people won’t walk into them and be injured by their spines.


Seasonal flowers


When trying to decide what flowering annuals (seasonal plants) to plant in the current season you can always be guided by available seedlings at your local Bunnings.


Sometimes you can extend an annual’s flowering period by trimming dead flowers and lightly trimming back straggly stems and leaves. However, most flowering annuals will grow, flower and start to wilt within three to four months.

You can keep your hanging baskets and pots looking fresh by planting new annuals regularly – ideally at the start of each season. Here are some of my favourites: Petunias provide plenty of vibrant colours in summerPetunias provide plenty of vibrant colours in summer




  • New Guinea Impatiens

  • Calibrachoa
  • Petunias
  • Dwarf marigolds
  • Bedding Begonias
  • Portulaca
  • Dwarf Zinnias.




  • Tuberous Begonias
  • Dwarf Dahlias
  • Dwarf Chrysanthemums
  • Lobelias
  • Violas. 

String of pearls makes a visual impactString of pearls makes a visual impact




  • Pansies
  • Violas
  • Polyanthus. 




  • Dwarf Cinerarias (available in mixed colours)
  • Lobelias
  • Pansies.


Edible plants


Hanging planters need not be just ornamental. There are many herbs and fruiting plants that can be grown in suspended pots, including thyme, mint, tomatoes (dwarf trailing types) and strawberries. You can enjoy cherry tomatoes from your own hanging basketsYou can enjoy cherry tomatoes from your own hanging baskets


It’s delightful to be able to step out the door and pick a juicy strawberry or cherry tomato dangling in front of you.


How to set up your hanging baskets


Here are some things to keep in mind before setting up a hanging basket:


  • Ensure that your wall brackets or suspension hooks are strong enough to hold the weight of your hanging planters when they’re planted up and watered, and make sure that they are securely screwed into rafters or masonry so they cannot fall.

  • Choose quality hanging pots and baskets that have sturdy hangers or chains – avoid flimsy plastic hangers as they can quickly fail when exposed to UV light from the sun.

  • When selecting liners for wire baskets, look for environmentally friendly materials like felt or coir that can be composted at the end of their useful lives.

  • Always use a premium potting mix and make sure it includes a wetting agent and water-storing crystals to keep the mix from drying out too quickly.


Tips on growing hanging plants


There are several things you can do to ensure your hanging plants remain healthy. Below are some tips: 


  • When hot and/or windy weather is forecast, take your baskets or pots down and put them in a protected spot so they won’t dry out or wilt.

  • The best way to water baskets is to take them down and submerge them in a tub of water for 10 to 15 minutes, or until bubbles stop rising from the potting mix. This will ensure that they are thoroughly wet before you hang them up again.

  • Add a liquid or water-soluble fertiliser to the soaking water every couple of weeks to keep plants growing well.

  • Hanging planters may need watering every day in summer – they dry out much faster than you might expect.


More advice on choosing and growing plants


The Bunnings Workshop community team has shared several other resources on selecting different types of plants and maintaining a healthy garden. These include: 



Inspiration for your garden 

Check out the Top 10 most popular garden makeovers shared on Workshop. 


Our collection of Top 10 most popular raised garden beds and Top 10 most popular planter box projects should also spark some creative ideas for your garden.


Other great projects shared by Workshop members include:


Need more help with choosing hanging plants?


The Bunnings Workshop community is here to help if you need a hand in choosing plants for hanging baskets. Feel free to Start a new discussion and let us know your needs. 


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