Space planning in high density living is a key factor in making sure your home works for you and the same concept can be applied to your urban garden or balcony.
Lucky for us we have so many options, being wall planters, balustrade planters the traditional pot or the lovely hanging planter/basket all being fantastic choices. Unfortunately though we don’t see hanging planters and baskets used enough.
The use of hanging planters as a decorative means is lovely, as they are perfect for colourful annuals and cascading succulents. There are some great plant options that look brilliant especially when placed above eye level, so today I'm sharing our favourites, so you too can enjoy the understated simplicity of cascading plants hanging from your balcony, patio and alfresco areas.
Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera - A humid loving and low light succulent with its origins in Brazil. The more humid the better, so it's perfect for the north east coast of Australia. They don’t require replanting often as they thrive in a cramped, competitive environment. Keep them root-bound in well- draining, sandy soil. They bloom during late winter to early spring with spectacular flowers in colours of pink, fuchsia, purple and apricot.
Donkey's Tail Sedum Morganianum - A Fantastic trailing plant with blueish-green clusters of rain-drop leaves. Native to Mexico and growing in long, hanging bunches. This succulent is easy to care for, requires less water than traditional house plant and adds interest to any environment. The leaves are susceptible to dropping off when handled, so they won’t do well in areas of high wind or clustered against other plants.
Rabbits Foot Fern Davallia fejeensis - Its name comes from the furry rhizomes (which are petable) that grow out of the pot and downward like creeping rabbit's feet. The lacy green foliage makes a spectacular display when cascading from a hanging planter. A low maintenance houseplant that does well in bright, indirect light or outdoors in a sheltered environment.
Golden Pathos Epipremnum aureum - With marbled green and yellow heart-shaped leaves hanging elegantly, able to adapt and enhance to almost any environment, whether its trailing off a bookshelf, or acting as a privacy screen in a window this is one plant perfect for an indoor hanging planter. Takes low or bright light and doesn't mind the occasional water-logging or neglect. The variegated foliage can provide a colourful accent to your home.
Fuchsia Fuchsia Spp. - If you intend to use a fuchsia use good soil and give it a spot with shade as they’re not great sun worshippers. Fuchsias flower for a long time, usually October through to March and will flower abundantly with spectacular flowers that look like ballerinas. They prefer to be on the damp side, so keeping them well watered is essential.
Tahitian Bridal Veil Gibasis geniculata - Delicate and dainty trailing plant with attractive foliage ideally suited to hanging baskets, can be grown indoors in a sunny position and outdoors under shelter. Prefer humid conditions, watering when the soil feels dry to the touch. Soak the plant well in a bucket of warm water rather than adding small amounts of moisture ever so often.
Petunia Petunia x hybrida - Lovely annuals and great for a north facing environment, as they require full sun and will bloom from spring into autumn. They are low growing and can either grow bushy or spread on the ground. Pinching some off after the first bloom will encourage more dense growth and flowers. They are available in a vast array of colours and just "wow" when mixed amongst other colours.
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata - Popular for patios with their lush and arching foliage giving it a graceful look. They prefer slightly humid conditions and a well-lit, protected position, so get these growing conditions right and you'll have a lovely fern all year round. They can also be grown indoors making them quite a versatile plant.
Silver Falls Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls' - An exotic ground cover that works well in hanging baskets, with small silver-grey kidney shaped leaves The wonderful silver foliage of the silver falls is a useful colour contrast in the garden. Drought hardy with foliage that can trail down over the sides of the planter. Will require trimming back to assist keeping the plant dense and full. Great for areas subjected to direct sun.
Nasturtium Tropaeolum polyphyllum - A hardy and delightful perennial, from South and Central America, with edible flowers prefect for a bright salad and well suited to borders and hanging baskets. Tolerates wide range of soils (not too fertile) and dry conditions. Great for either full sun or part shade. Colours, as well as being edible, are what make these wonderful flowers very popular. They come in Yellow, Orange, Red, Cream, and variations of all these colours including a beautiful Ruby.
No matter what the style, size or aspect of you balcony, patio or garden hanging baskets and planters offer endless ways to give it a boost. The only limit is your imagination.