Shade-Loving Outdoor Plant For A Flower Hanging Basket

Do you have a shady area of your backyard, porch, or garden that could use some color?  If you do, then I have a DIY hanging basket project for you!  It’s SO easy that anyone, even those of you that don’t think you can garden, will have success! Don’t buy the premade ones in the store…just read on!

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.

DIY Shade-Loving Outdoor Plant for Flower Hanging Basket

Impatiens Hanging Basket

Supplies needed for hanging flower basket
Supplies Needed For A Hanging Flower Basket


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 plants.

Layout of hanging flower basket
Layout Of The Hanging Flower Basket

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.

Water storing crystals from miracle-gro
Water Storing Crystals From Miracle-Gro

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.

Planting Steps

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.

One-third of soil to hanging basket
One-Third Of The Soil To The Hanging Basket

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.

Holes cut in hanging basket liner
Holes Cut In The Hanging Basket Liner

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.

Cut roots of plant before planting
Cut Roots Of The Plant Before Planting

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.

Additional slits cut in hanging basket liner
Additional Slits Cut In The Liner Of The Hanging Basket

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.

Finished flower hanging basket
Finished Flower Hanging Basket

6.  Hang up the basket and THEN water it!  This will avoid trying to hang an extremely heavy basket.

Flower basket hung up
Flower Basket Hung Up

After a few weeks the impatiens will spill over the sides of the basket and fill in the gaps around it.

Flower hanging basket after few weeks of growing
Flower Hanging Basket After A Few Weeks Of Growing

In another week or so, the basket will be covered in flowers (talk about pop of color!).

Flower hanging basket after month of growing
Flower Hanging Basket After A Month Of Growing

If you have a shady area and need a pop of summer color, give this hanging basket and impatiens a try.  You won’t be disappointed!

Happy gardening!   Nikole

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