Elevate your flowers off the ground with a simple shepherd's hook.

How to Install a Shepherd's Hook for Plants

by Jenny Harrington

Add vertical appeal to your landscape by installing shepherd's hooks and hanging baskets around the yard. The graceful lines of a tall shepherd's hook draw the eye upward, while a dangling basket of colorful flowers provides an attractive focal point that can break up the monotony of your garden. Shepherd's hooks come in a variety of heights to fit into any design. Some hooks may also feature multiple hanging hooks so you can display more than one basket of flowers in a single location.

Choose a location that receives the amount of sunlight necessary for the types of plants you are growing in the hanging basket, but has firm soil so the shepherd's hook can remain firmly anchored. Most flowering plants require full, all-day sunlight, or full morning sun with afternoon shade.

Push the pointed stake end of the shepherd's hook into the ground. Most hooks have a bracket above the stake end that sits horizontally on top of the soil when the bottom is completely pushed in. Step on the bracket to help push the stake end into the soil, if necessary, supporting the hook so its post remains perfectly vertical.

Insert an 8- to 12-inch garden stake into the hole in the bracket. Push this stake into the ground until it sits flush to the top of the bracket to further anchor the shepherd's hook. Hammer the stake in with a rubber mallet, if necessary. Some hook designs have a secondary stake attached instead of a bracket. You can usually push the secondary stake into the ground with your foot.

Fill the hanging basket with a well-drained standard potting mixture to within 2 inches of the rim. Water the mixture until the excess drains out the bottom of the basket and the soil feels evenly moist throughout.

Plant your transplants in the basket, spacing them at about half the distance recommended on the plant labels and setting them at the same depth at which they were growing previously. If you use multiple plant varieties, position them so the taller types are near the center of the basket and the lower growing or trailing varieties are set around the rim of the basket.

Hang the basket on the hook using its attached chain. Seat the chain firmly in the upturned portion of the hook so it doesn't slip off. Water the basket when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry. Most hanging baskets require daily watering.

Items you will need

  • Garden stake
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hanging basket
  • Potting mix
  • Transplants


  • The shepherd's hook may require further staking in windy areas, locations with loose soil, or if the hook is particularly tall. Install a 12-inch metal stake next to the main shepherd's hook support. Attach the support post to the stake with a hose clamp to anchor it more securely.


  • Hanging baskets are heavy once filled with soil and plants. Install your shepherd's hook away from play areas so a child doesn't inadvertently knock the heavy basket down and cause injury.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

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