Window boxes and hanging baskets allow you to add color to otherwise drab areas of your landscape. Properly designing these outdoor accessories requires the right combination of plants. Most baskets and boxes contain a mix of medium, short, and trailing plants that work together to create multiple layers of texture and interest. The taller plants are often the most noticeable, while the trailing plants are pulled from the more utilitarian ranks of ground covers and vines. Here are some of our favorites.
Trailing Plants for Hanging Baskets
Hanging baskets look great with plants that create thick canopies. The most popular trailing plants for hanging baskets produce an abundance of vibrant blooms. They can turn hanging planters into huge, colorful clusters of flowers suspended in mid-air.
Hanging baskets are difficult to maintain for more than a single season, so in many areas, gardeners prefer annuals so they don’t have to worry about their flower baskets in the winter.
|Annual Varieties Well-Suited to Hanging Baskets|
|Common Name||Scientific Name|
|Cascadia Hybrid Snapdragon||Antirrhinum pendula|
|Bonfire Begonia||Begonia boliviensis|
|MiniFamous Calibrachoa||Calibrachoa spp.|
|Cora Cascade Vinca||Catharanthus roseus|
|Spreading Sunpatiens Impatient||Impatiens x hybrida|
|Blue Mountain Nierembergia||Nierembergia hippomanica|
|Avalanche, Wave, and Tidal Wave Petunia||Petunia x hybrida|
|Boutique Blue Bacopa||Sutera cordata|
|Whirlybird Nasturtium||Tropaeolum majus|
|Sweet Potato Vine||Ipomoea batatas|
Trailing Plants for Window Boxes
Whether you mount them under windows or hang them from deck railings, flower boxes look great with vines spilling over the sides. Many gardeners choose trailing plants with flowers, but others prefer vibrant green leaves.
Any plants that do well in hanging baskets will thrive in window boxes, but may need to be replanted each year. Because they can hold significantly more growing medium than hanging baskets, window boxes can also support much larger, perennial plants to create container gardens that return year after year. When choosing plants for perennial window boxes, make sure that you group species with similar watering needs that do well in your USDA Hardiness Zone.
|Perennial Varieties Well-Suited to Window Boxes|
|Common Name||Scientific Name||USDA Hardiness|
|Alyssum||Alyssum spp.||Zones 3 to 8|
|Hardy Iceplant||Delosperma floribunda||Zones 5 to 8|
|Clove Drops||Diantdus caryophyllus||Zones 5 to 9|
|Ornamental Strawberries||Fragaria x ananassa||Zones 4 to 8|
|Coral Bells||Heucherella spp.||Zones 4 to 9|
|Lantana||Latana spp.||Zones 8 to 10|
|Periwinkle||Vinca minor||Zones 4 to 9|
|English Ivy||Hedera helix||Zones 5 to 9|
Vines for Containers
Don’t forget plants that grow up instead of hanging down! Some vines can be grown in planters and trained up a trellis or allowed to fall to the ground. Vines with shorter stems tend to do best, but longer vines can be clipped to the container’s rim once they reach a desired length to create a draped effect. Vines grow aggressively, so be sure to provide plenty of water and fertilizer during their incredible growth spurts.
|Vines Well-Suited to Containers|
|Common Name||Scientific Name|
|Glory Vine||Eccremocarpus scaber|
|Morning Glory||Ipomoea purpurea|
|Creeping Gloxinia||Lophospermum spp.|
|Runner Beans||Phaseolus spp.|
|Black-eyed Susan Vine||Thunbergia alata|