Planting A Summer Hanging Basket

If you would like to try planting up your own summer hanging baskets and don’t know where to start, then follow our step by step guide from our Growers manager Linda who has the mammoth task of planting up the thousands of ready made summer baskets that are available to purchase every year here at Poplar.  (She does have the help of a small team with her to do it though!)  

Today we are planting up a 16” wire basket with moss, but any size and type of basket can be used and adjust the number of plants accordingly.

You will need:

1 x 16” Wire Hanging Basket


Multi-purpose compost for hanging basket and planted containers such as Miracle-Gro Moisture Control. 

Piece of plastic to line the basket such as an old compost bag

Summer bedding plants - we have used: 

1 x zonal upright geranium ‘Foxy’ for centre

3 x plants to create structure around the central plant: 1 x Fuchsia ‘Time After Time’ , 1 x Petunia Fanfare Blue, 1 x Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty’

3 x infill trailing plants for around the basket edge: 1 x Lobelia ‘Blue Waterfall’, 1 x Alysum White, 1 x Diascia ‘Pink Diamond’.

(Please note that we may not always have the exact named varieties of the plants listed above when you visit us, but we do have a huge selection of summer bedding plants in many other varieties that will be just perfect for creating beautiful hanging baskets.) 

Slow release fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro All Purpose Continuous Release Plant Food. 

Liquid fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro Pour & Feed


Stand the basket in something to keep it upright while you plant it up such as a suitable sized plant pot. 

Unclip one side of the chain from the basket edge and lay the chains hanging to the side of the basket.

Select some moss and pull it apart slightly to loosen it.  Begin lining your basket by pressing the moss into the bottom circle and then gradually build upwards in layers (like a birds nest) until the final layer is approximately one inch above the top of basket rim.  This is important as if the moss is too low, the weight of the compost pulls it down and there will be a gap for water to escape, which we don’t want.   Pick up the basket and fill in any areas that you can see daylight through, patching in with small pieces.  

Cut out a circle of the plastic compost bag or sheet to the diameter size of the basket.  Cut 3 x 2 inch slits from the edge of the circle towards the middle, spacing these slits evenly around the plastic - this will allow the plastic liner to sit nicely within the moss.  

Fill the basket with compost to approximately one inch from the rim.  Pat the compost down gently, but not too firmly.

Sprinkle approximately a teaspoon full of slow release fertiliser over the compost and mix gently.  

Begin planting with one of the structural plants.  We started with the Petunia Fanfare.  Make a hole approximately one inch from the edge of the basket rim.  (The one inch will allow the plant to grow flat and give it support so that it does not break before it hangs down over the edge.)  Pop the plant in and gently bring the soil around the plant.  

Repeat this process adding the Begonia spaced approximately one inch from the Petunia and then the Alyssum one inch from the Begonia.  

Plant the central Geranium, making sure that you bring the soil around the gaps between the plants.  

Turn the basket and plant the Lobellia, then the Fuchsia and finally the Diascia, keeping the spacings the same as the previous plants.  

When you have finished planting, tap the edges of basket to settle the soil in.

Note: Keep an eye on the positions of the colours of the plants as you add them to your basket..  We have put the blue Lobelia on the opposite side of the basket to the Fanfare Blue Petunia to create a balanced pleasing effect.  

Clip chain back on.

Water well.  

Keep in a frost free location such as a greenhouse until all risks of frost have passed.  Water your basket every other day and let it grow on for a couple of weeks so that the roots establish.  Important: Do not let your basket dry out. 

Your basket can be hung outside when all risks of frost have passed, which is usually mid May, but be aware of any night frosts if forecast. 


Deadhead flowers that have gone over to encourage new blooms.  

Click here to read our Summer Hanging Basket Care blog with our guide to watering and feeding your baskets

Click here to read our Summer Hanging Basket Care blog for our guide to watering and feeding your baskets