House plants are usually grown individually in pots, but trailing types can look great mixed together in a hanging basket. Ideal if you have limited windowsill space, colorful baskets also create an attractive “living” feature for your home. Plants will need removing and potting on every few years.
When to start: Spring.
At their best: Any time.
Time to complete: 2 hours.
You will need: Hanging basket, plastic bowl and plastic sheet, electric drill, multipurpose potting mix, horticultural grit, slow-release granular fertilizer.
Plants you could use: Lipstick vine – Aeschynanthus, Begonia rex, Small-leaved ivy – Hedera helix.
Use a piece of thick plastic to line the inside of the basket. Trim the edges to ensure that the base and sides are fully covered, but the liner is not visible over the edge.
Drill drainage holes
Take a low, wide plastic bowl and drill lots of small drainage holes in the base. This will act as your pot, while the lined hanging basket acts as a saucer to catch any excess water.
Add a layer of grit
Cover the small drainage holes with a layer of horticultural grit to keep them from blocking up. Then add a layer of potting mix with slow-release fertilizer, leaving space for the plants.
Remove the plants from their pots and arrange them around the basket. Plants such as begonias and spider plants make good focal points, and they are best planted toward the center of the basket.
Firm in with potting mix
Use small amounts of potting mix to fill in around the plants. Firm it down with your fingers and add more until the surface of the compost is level, leaving a 1 in (2 cm) gap below the rim. Hang it in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.
Hanging basket options
For indoor hanging baskets choose trailing plants that will cascade over the sides in curtains of texture and color. Flowering plants, such as lipstick vine (Aeschynanthus), give seasonal color in summer, while those with brightly colored foliage provide interest all year. Although these plants are familiar and widely sold, brought together, they create a spectacular and long-lasting display.
Water every two weeks in spring and summer. Make sure the whole surface of the potting mix is wetted. The liner will act as a saucer and catch excess moisture. After an hour, take down the basket and tip out any excess so that the potting mix doesn’t become waterlogged, which could harm your plants. Reduce watering in winter.