What’s better for fall color than a pansy? How about a trailing pansy that naturally rambles and scampers over the edges of hanging baskets? Cool Wave pansy does just that, opening classic pansy blooms in a rainbow of shades. Look for hanging baskets planted with Cool Wave spreading pansies, or whip up your own. Choose baskets in single colors to complement your home’s exterior. Or get in on nature’s autumn act by hanging baskets overflowing with pansies that contrast with the fall color of nearby trees.
For tropical plant versatility, it’s tough to beat pothos. This vining plant grows equally well in a hanging basket, on a totem or trailing along a table. Leaves have pretty green and gold or white marbling that increases with bright light. Plants tolerate low light levels, too.
Look for new Skyfall mums to create the perfect porch-size garden mum orb. Traditional garden mums don’t always make the prettiest hanging baskets because their stems don’t naturally trail and can be brittle, breaking easily. Not so with Skyfall mums. These trailing mums adapt beautifully to hanging baskets, cascading naturally. The petite daisy blooms beckon butterflies to the frost-tolerant plants. Look for flower colors of yellow, white, pink, purple and red. Plants are garden hardy in Zones 6A to 11. Plant at least six weeks before frost to help ensure winter survival.
Mismatched stripes work together here with classic navy balancing out the bolder red and light blue color scheme in the bed skirt and bolster pillows. Plants reside in woven hanging baskets to add visual interest and texture.
Cool Wave Spreading pansies strut their stuff beautifully in hanging baskets, where stems cascade 18 to 24 inches. Water is one secret to success with fall-planted pansies. Water well at planting time, and be sure to water plants thoroughly before cold snaps. If cold is strong enough to freeze soil around pansy rootballs, roots cannot absorb water until soil thaws.
Hanging baskets and other containers are perfect for Viola Anytime® Dove. The semi-trailing plants also add a splash of white to the landscape for gardeners in USDA zones 5 and warmer, often blooming into the winter.
Tall, upright snapdragon takes a tumble in this beautiful trailing form. Candy Showers snapdragon is a trailing type that creates a stunning hanging basket or eye-catching spiller plant in a container. Or use it to fill a planting bed with season long color. Flowers open in shades of purple, yellow, red, orange and rose on plants that grow 12 to 24 inches long. This snapdragon tolerates summer heat and sun, but also stages a strong show in shade.
Try ‘Candy Fountain’ (I. Fredette, hybridizer) in a shallow container or hanging basket. This trailing African violet produces double, rose-pink flowers on long runners and has more than one crown. Be careful not to overwater these plants. An African violet’s soil should be moist, but never soggy.
Bring on the blooms with Mistral Yellow begonia. This sunny beauty is a type of Begonia boliviensis, which pumps out flowers all summer long. Showcase Mistral Yellow in a hanging basket or tall container. Plants form tubers that overwinter easily in the pot. Slip the pot into a non-freezing, cool, dark location for winter. Barely water once a month. Tubers start sprouting in spring, signaling it’s time to move the plant into bright light.
When leaves bring the color, the show never stops. These gorgeous foliage plants fill shady pots or planting beds with season-long good looks. One way to create an eye-catching display is to plant pots with one type of shade-loving annual. Cluster the pots together to create a striking garden tableau. This shade garden features (clockwise from bottom center): glowing gold millet grass (Milium effusum), Kong Red coleus, a hanging basket of Emerald Falls dichondra, Chocolate Mint coleus and Kong Rose coleus. These plants all grow best in full shade to part sun.
Dichondra 'Silver Falls' accents bright 'Blue A Fuse' petunias and 'Breathless White' Euphorbia in a hanging basket. Dichondra is a great "spiller', or trailing plant, for window boxes and other containers, too. A herbaceous perennial in zones 10 to 12, it can overwinter as a houseplant if you're careful not to overwater.
Plantings for a retreat can also include things that serve up a taste explosion, like this hanging basket cherry tomato (Tomato ‘Terenzo’ F1). Plant breeders are developing more and more edible plants for containers, including strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry. You can easily raise tomato, pepper, English peas or greens in pots. With all of these crops, eating sun-ripened produce becomes part of your retreat experience. As you shop for edible plants to grow in containers, look for plant tags with words like "snacking," "patio," "pot" or other size indicators (mini, dwarf, Tom Thumb, Wee Be Little). If you look up plant names online, most descriptions should include specific tips about best pot size for growing.
Popular in Japan, ‘Little Angel’ burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis var. microcephala ‘Little Angel’) is a new plant to Western gardens. It’s a terrific groundcover that’s rabbit resistant. Oval, rosy-red flowers appear in mid- to late summer. Red flowers contrast prettily with variegated white-edged green leaves. Burnet adapts to boggy or moist soil, and also does well in containers—it makes a striking hanging basket. Plants grow 8 to 10 inches tall by 10 to 12 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
This pretty pair of bloomers bridges the part shade to sun gap with non-stop flowers. Lobelia Sky Blue Erinus opens blossoms in soft blue, offering an eye-catching contrast to Sunsatia Lemon nemesia and its lemon yellow flowers. Both plants tend to stop flowering when night temps stay above 70 F. If this occurs, give plants a light trim to promote fresh, branching growth when temps cool off. Both plants grow 6 to 10 inches tall and spread at least 12 to 16 inches. Choose these bloomers to fill the spiller role in containers or make a handsome hanging basket.
New to the begonia market, Megawatt begonia delivers big color on big plants (20 to 28 inches tall). It’s a natural for hanging baskets, forming lush, flower-covered balls that look good from spring to fall. This beauty waltzes from summer heat and drought to autumn chill without missing a blooming beat. Look for Megawatt begonias with bronze-tinted leaves for a striking complement to fall’s natural color palette. Flowers colors include pink (shown), rose and red.
Flowering maples (Abutilon spp.) were so popular in Victorian parlors, they were known as parlor maples (they’re not maples, however). The plants are coming back in style and they’re great for hanging baskets or other containers that show off their dangling, bell-shaped flowers. Most gardeners keep their plants outside in warm weather and overwinter them indoors. They need a bright exposure in your home and should be allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Prune lightly to keep them compact, but don’t remove too many stems, or the plants won’t set buds. ‘Yellow Finch’ has crinkly, yellow flowers and prefers full shade. When grown outdoors, this annual is hardy in zones 9-11.
Blue is a coveted hue in most gardens, and lobelia delivers with season-long blooms. Waterfall Blue unfurls light blue blossoms, while other lobelia varieties open flowers in shades of purple, white, pale blue and bicolor blends. This pretty annual shines in hanging baskets or containers, where its trailing stems cascade to form waterfalls of blue. Grow it in part shade to full sun. In hotter regions, definitely give plants shade during the hottest part of the day. Trim plants to encourage a fresh flush of flowers, especially if summer heat causes them to look straggly. Lobelia flowers beckon butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants grow 8 to 12 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches wide.