Best Flowers for Hanging Baskets

flowers in hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are a great way to add a pop of color to your home.

Since hanging baskets limit a plants’ room to grow due to its size, not all plants will grow well in hanging baskets. For this reason, it’s important to be mindful of the plants you choose to plant in your hanging basket.

At Homestead Gardens, we grow hundreds of hanging baskets every spring for customers in Lancaster, PA, and the surrounding areas. Through the years, we’ve discovered a few types of plants that tend to grow especially well in a hanging basket.

Here’s our list of some of the best plants to grow in your hanging basket.

4 great plants that grow great in hanging baskets

While many of annuals and perennials can be grown in hanging baskets successfully, this list contains plants that we have found to be popular for their ease of care and beauty when planted in hanging baskets.


Since many hanging baskets are hung in shady areas like under a tree or under a porch, ferns are a popular choice for a hanging basket. Ferns like the shade and look great in shady spots of your home, especially if you grow them to be large and bushy.


Petunias can be great for hanging baskets as they tend to mound and pour out over the sides of the basket. The cascading effect, along with their plentiful blooms, makes for a beautiful addition to your home!


Begonias are a great easy care plant, making them a great choice for hanging baskets. Some varieties, such as Dragon Wing begonias and BIG begonias will grow great in shade or full sun, so you have more options when choosing where to place your hanging basket.


Impatiens are shade-loving plants, so they grow great in hanging baskets in shady spots. Depending on the area, some Impatiens have been prone to Downy Mildew disease, so make sure this isn’t a common occurrence in your area.

How many plants do you put in a hanging basket?

Another thing to consider is the size of the hanging basket. If you have a 10” (in diameter from the top) hanging basket, then you won’t be able to fit nearly as many plants in as you would a 13”+ hanging basket. 

Below is a helpful guide to how many plants to put in your hanging basket:

  • 10” hanging basket: 1-3 plants
  • 11” hanging basket: 1-5 plants
  • 12” hanging basket: 1-6 plants
  • 13”+: fill in the areas that you can.

When to buy hanging flower baskets

If you opt to purchase your hanging basket already planted, you’ll want to purchase your hanging basket as early as you can, without risking it dying due to the cold. 

The advantage of having a hanging basket is that you can take the plant inside if you see it’s going to frost one night in early spring. 

After the chances of frost are gone, hanging baskets are great to be outside. The earlier you get your hanging basket purchased or planted, the more of its beauty you’ll be able to enjoy.

Best hanging basket flowers to attract hummingbirds

Hummingbirds love flowers that provide them with the sweet nectar they crave. There are certainly some flowers that provide more nectar than others. Here’s a list of some popular flowers that hummingbirds love — you can plant these in your hanging baskets to attract these birds:

  • Fuschia: this shade loving plant is great for adding a pop of color to those darker areas of your lawn. Hummingbirds love the nectar these plants provide. These plants also have a unique flower type, which is attractive to both hummingbirds and humans alike!
  • Geraniums: geraniums grow great in hanging baskets and also help attract hummingbirds with their large clusters of striking flowers. Whether you are growing red, pink, white, or orange geraniums, they are great at attracting hummingbirds!
  • Mini petunias (Calibroachia): these plants provide hundreds of mini blooms to make up an impressive display of flowers. Hummingbirds enjoy feasting off the nectar on mini petunias.

4 good hanging basket plants for shade

Here are some great options for plants to grow in a hanging basket you plan on placing in a shady spot of your yard:

  1. Fuschia: as previously mentioned, these plants have a unique flower design and love the shade (too much exposure to the sun will require more watering to avoid wilting down)
  2. Succulents: These guys take little maintenance and give your hanging basket a desert feel.
  3. Begonias: talk about easy care! Begonias are great for providing a full, drooping affect to your hanging basket. Begonias are actually going to grow great in both full shade or full sun
  4. Ferns: Ferns are some of the most popular shade loving plants. Add a splash of green to your porch with a basket of ferns. Ferns will grow to be very large and invasive, so make sure you keep that in mind when planting anything else in a hanging basket with a fern — typically people will plant them by themselves.

Good hanging basket plants for sun

There are also plenty of flowers and plants that are great for planting in the sun in your hanging basket. Here is a list of some popular sun-loving flowers for hanging baskets:

  • Verbena: These will droop and spread to give your baskets a full look!
  • Geraniums: Classic and timeless — geraniums offer a great color with beautiful, green leafs.
  • Lantana: these plants are great for hanging baskets, as they tend to mound and spread to really create a stunning display.
  • Herbs: start your herb garden in a hanging basket! This has the added benefit of adding mobility to your hanging basket.
  • Vegetables: While not all vegetables grow great in a hanging basket, some popular ones that can be grown are strawberries and grape tomatoes.

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