How to plant a hanging basket for shade

How to plant a hanging basket for shade

Follow these easy steps to create a hanging basket filled with lush, shade-loving plants.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

A well-placed container or hanging basket, filled with leafy perennials, can bring a verdant, lush feel to cool spots in the garden.

This hanging basket for shade is actually planted up in a slatted wooden basket, usually used to display orchids in greenhouses. We’ve planted it up with shade-loving perennials to create a long-lasting display. After a few years, some of the plants will need to be lifted and divided, with one half of each plant returned to the container in fresh compost. You can use the other halves to plant in the garden or give to friends.

A well-placed container or hanging basket, filled with leafy perennials, can bring a verdant, lush feel to cool spots in the garden.

This hanging basket for shade is actually planted up in a slatted wooden basket, usually used to display orchids in greenhouses. We’ve planted it up with shade-loving perennials to create a long-lasting display. After a few years, some of the plants will need to be lifted and divided, with one half of each plant returned to the container in fresh compost. You can use the other halves to plant in the garden or give to friends.

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Follow the easy steps in this guide to plant your own hanging basket for shade.

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You Will Need

  • Dwarf hosta, We used 'Blue Mouse Ears'
  • Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
  • Hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)
  • Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra)
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Orchid basket
  • Moss, From the garden
  • A liner

Step 1

Line the basket with landscape fabric or part of an old compost bag. Fix it in place using a staple gun or drawing pins and puncture holes in the base for drainage.

Adding peat-free compost to the hanging basket
Adding peat-free compost to the hanging basket

Step 2

Half-fill the basket with multi-purpose compost, then start positioning your plants. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, top up the compost and firm it in to get rid of any air pockets.

Planting Asplenium Harts tongue fern
Planting Asplenium Harts tongue fern

Step 3

Place a generous layer of garden moss on the surface of the compost. This sets off the plants nicely and helps to lock in moisture.

Adding moss as mulch
Adding moss as mulch

Step 4

Use more of the moss to fill the gaps between the wooden slats, hiding the liner. Pack it in firmly so it won’t fall out.

Stuffing in moss into the slats of a hanging basket
Stuffing in moss into the slats of a hanging basket

Step 5

Trim off the loose moss using small shears or scissors to get a tidy finish around all the sides.

Shear shearing off excess moss of a hanging basket
Shear shearing off excess moss of a hanging basket

Step 6

Give the compost a thorough soaking to settle in the plants. Water the moss too. Then be sure to water it regularly, as it will drain very readily – try to ensure the compost never dries out.

Watering the hanging basket for shade
Watering the hanging basket for shade
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Container care

Keep this hanging basket looking good by watering regularly, and feeding the plants growing within regularly throughout the growing season, with a feed like liquid seaweed.

A well-placed container or hanging basket, filled with leafy perennials, can bring a verdant, lush feel to cool spots in the garden.

This hanging basket for shade is actually planted up in a slatted wooden basket, usually used to display orchids in greenhouses. We’ve planted it up with shade-loving perennials to create a long-lasting display. After a few years, some of the plants will need to be lifted and divided, with one half of each plant returned to the container in fresh compost. You can use the other halves to plant in the garden or give to friends.

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