Flowering plants hanging on the patio, deck or front porch add a nice touch to the home while keeping the plants out of the hands of toddlers. These container gardens add vertical interest, offer a bit of privacy, provide some shade and save floor space for recreation. Hanging plants in full sun typically require frequent watering because water evaporates quickly from the soil.
1. Bring On the Butterflies
If you and your family enjoy watching butterflies, consider growing false heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) and garden verbena (Verbena x hybrida) in hanging planters. False heather is a perennial that is grown as an annual outside of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Once established, its lavender blossoms flower freely. False heather tolerates some drought and stands strong in high heat. Garden verbena acts as an annual outside USDA zones 9 through 10. It flowers profusely from spring into early fall and is available in various colors. Garden verbena endures heat and drought but not overhead watering.
2. Smell the Flowers
Sweet alyssum “Inlbusnopr” (Lobularia “Inlbusnopr”) also sold under the trade name of “Snow Princess” is dense with tiny white, sweet-smelling flowers. Perennial pansy “XP Purple Face,” from the Sorbet collection, also will scent your hanging garden space. “Inlbusnopr” is an annual outside USDA zones 10 through 11, and its flowers bloom mid-spring into early fall. This vigorous plant tolerates high heat and prefers consistently moist soil. “XP Purple Face” is one of many perennial pansies good for hanging baskets in full sun in USDA zones 4 through 9. This evergreen variety offers edible purple flowers from early spring into mid-fall.
3. For Forgetful Waterers
Certain plants thrive, even if you forget to water them occasionally, because they flourish in dry soil and tolerate drought. Purslane “Rio Series” (Portulaca oleracea “Rio Series”) is a perennial that grows as an annual outside of USDA zones 8 through 11 and delivers flowers from midspring until frost. Considered an invasive plant in some areas, it requires the sharp drainage provided by sandy soil. Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) is a succulent annual that blossoms from June until frost. Both plants display flowers in various colors, including orange, pink and white, depending on the plant you choose.
4. For Bird Lovers
Bird lovers will enjoy hanging baskets filled with plants such as clematis “Bijou” (Clematis “Bijou”), from the Flora Collection, and million bells “Sunbelkist” (Calibrachoa “Sunbelkist”), also known as “Million Bells Terra Cotta.” “Bijou” profusely blooms in blue-mauve all summer, and it exhibits a superior tolerance to heat. This perennial grows in USDA zones 4 through 9 and requires consistently moist soil. “Sunbelkist” is a perennial that grows as an annual outside of USDA zones 9 through 11. This drought-tolerant specimen prolifically bears a variety of flower colors, including yellow, apricot and red -- all on the same plant.