Do you have a shady area of your backyard, porch, or garden that could use some color? If you do, then I have a hanging basket project for you! In our current backyard, we have a nice patio area right out our back door. It stays cool even in the hot summer days due to its shady location. Problem is…it’s boring and doesn’t really fit into the rest of the backyard with the sun-loving colorful flowers. I’ve seen some beautiful hanging baskets on Pinterest, but nothing that really caters to a shady area, so I decided to try impatiens (one of the few shade loving flowers). The results were colorful, easy to plant, and fun! Now I have a colorful patio to match the backyard. If you have one of those shady areas that need some fun, please take a peek below and give it a try.
Impatiens Hanging Basket
What You’ll Need:
- 17 Impatien Plants (More color details below)
- Hanging Basket with Liner (I use a 14″ basket with a coconut fiber liner)
- Potting Soil
- Water Storing Crystals (Optional – See note below)
Color Details & Layout
For this flower arrangement, I wanted a mix of colors and there were a lot to choose from at the garden center. In the end I chose 4 White, 4 Lavender, 4 Fuchsia, and 5 Salmon plants (17 plants total), but you can choose any combination of colors and quantities as long as they add up to 17.
Water Storing Crystals
4-5 years ago I had planted a number of small pots with flowers. They looked beautiful when I planted them (think of all those cute Pinterest pics of groups of tiny pots), but soon withered and then eventually died in the summer sun. No matter how much I watered them and I was watering them every morning and evening (which was exhausting!), they never seemed to retain enough to survive.
Fast forward to the next year and I was determined to figure how to make it work. After some research I came across these Water Storing Crystals from Miracle Gro. You sprinkle some in your soil when planting and when you water the plant they expand, sucking up extra water needed for these flowers to survive. Since I had nothing to lose other than more dead plants I bought a bag and gave it a try. Wow, what a difference!! All of the plants not only survived, but thrived happily and I was able to water them on the regular schedule with all of the other backyard plants (no special treatment). This bag, pictured here, is the same one I bought years ago. I still use them whenever I have hanging baskets or small little pots that may need extra help retaining water.
One Big Note: I only use them with flowers! Since my goal is to be as natural and chemical free with all of the food we plant and eat from the backyard, I do not add these to any of the pots or beds that the veggies, herbs, or fruit are in.
1. Add 1/3 of the potting soil to the basket. If you are using the Water Storing Crystals, sprinkle some in the soil now.
2. Cut 1.5-2″ wide holes in the side of the liner. These will be used for the outer ring of plants. You will need 8 holes total, so space them out as evenly as possible. Mine are not as even as I’d like, but that’s because I’m accounting for the metal spokes on the basket.
3. Pull the impatiens out of the plastic packaging and cut either up the sides (shown below) or bottom off to encourage growth in their new pot.
4. As you start pushing the roots of each plant through a hole you may need to cut slits in the sides of the hole (shown below). I ended up cutting slits in all the holes to make everything fit. I find that the smaller hole with some slits rather than a big hole works better. The smaller hole looks better overall while accommodating the larger root ball during planting.
5. Once you have finished planting all of the outer ring, add some soil to keep them in place and then add the remaining plants. Fill in the rest of the basket and the gaps with soil.
6. Hang up the basket and THEN water it! This will avoid trying to hang an extremely heavy basket.
After a few weeks the impatiens will spill over the sides of the basket and fill in the gaps around it.
In another week or so, the basket will be covered in flowers (talk about pop of color!).