Container Design Tips for Small Hanging Baskets (Video, 2:51)

Container Design Tips for Small Hanging Baskets

by Pamela Crawford

Pamela Crawford, container gardening guru, has planted more hanging baskets than most gardening experts. However, her experience has primarily included planting large, flower-ball baskets, like the side-planted baskets from These large baskets have their sides covered by plants. This video covers container design tips for small hanging baskets with decorative sides, which are designed to show once the basket is planted.

Here are some of her tips:

1. Use Centerpieces for Mixed Plantings

Plant the tallest plant in the middle and smaller ones around it. What could be easier! We call the big plant the centerpiece.

2. Characteristics of Good Centerpieces

_ A centerpiece can be any type of plant as long as it remains taller than the surrounding plants for the life of the arrangement. See pages 16-17 for photos of blue ribbon centerpieces.

_ Choose a plant that is full, or combine several tall, skinny plants together so the centerpiece doesn’t look too skinny.

_ Be sure the centerpiece likes the same growing conditions (light, temperature, water) as the smaller plants that go around it.

3. Combine different textures of plants, like spiky, mounding, and trailing.

Spiky plants have long, narrow, upright leaves. Pop one in the middle of a pot, and surround it with both mounding and trailing plants, and you have instant success!

This grass is called rush, or Juncus grass. I have had many great successes with it.

Some other easy spiky plants include bromeliads, many other grasses, phormium (flax), dracaenas, and ti plants. Salvia are also considered spiky because their flowers are tall and narrow, like a spike.

Mounding plants grow in a neat, mound-like shape, like the New Guinea impatiens.

Some other mounding plants include begonias, ornamental cabbages, caladiums, crotons, impatiens, pansies, upright torenia, and violas.

Trailing plants trail down the sides of the container, like the creeping Jenny (left).

Some other easy trailing plants include ivy, scaevola, trailing torenia, and vinca vine.


Pamela Crawford designs gardens in Palm Beach County, Florida. This video is appropriate  throughout Pamela’s service area, including Boca Raton landscapes, town of Palm Beach landscapes, Palm Beach Gardens landscapes, Jupiter landscapes, and Wellington landscapes.

This article is taken from Easy Container Gardens, Copyright ©2008, Color Garden, Inc.

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Published by Color Garden, Inc.,