How To Create Beautiful Hanging Baskets {On A Budget}


As I shared over the weekend, I'm a sucker for a pretty hanging basket. The problem is, they get expensive.  And other than one year when one of my favorite local nurseries had a Groupon available, my sweet penny-pinchin'-hubby just isn't going to shell out $45 for one hanging basket. (We have two big hanging baskets on our deck, so those two alone would cost $90 ~ eek!)


While I'm not anywhere near figuring out just how to make a perfect hanging basket (as evidenced by a few baskets on our front porch that aren't looking too hot right now. . . ) the ones we made out back this year are doing so well, and I'm convinced you can do this too.  Here's what we did . . .



(Here's one of the baskets we found at Bennett's that was just beautiful, but with a $45 price tag ~ goodness!)

1. Find a great nursery that knows what they're talking about. Here in the North Alabama area, we like Reseda's and Bennett's, because the workers all love plants, and are helpful with novice gardeners like us.


2. Once you've found a hanging basket you like, ask exactly which flowers are in it. Even though I like to think I know a thing or two about flowers, I really don't know much, and most folks who work at better nurseries have a ton of plant knowledge. A good nursery will help you find matching plants in smaller pots so you can do it yourself.


3. Buy those plants! Because the nursery is starting their hanging baskets so early in the season, the baskets probably don't need quite as many plants as you may need if you're starting later. (Although, you don't want too many plants or they won't have enough room to do well!) We used five plants (there are actually ten shown below because we made two baskets.) The basket we liked included the yellow in the middle for height, and four more trailing flowers around the edges of the basket to come down once they grow.

4. Don't forget the containers. The containers for hanging baskets can get expensive, so we re-used wire baskets from previous years, and replaced them with new coco fiber. (Ours are similar to these found on Amazon.)  The coco fiber gets pretty pricey too, so if you can get it to last two seasons, you'll definitely save some money ~ I noticed these on Amazon are almost half what we paid at the nursery . . . I'll do better next year!


5. Start planting. We used Miracle Gro Potting Soil. . .


And Soil Moist (this stuff is like the little crystals that you find in ~ it helps keep the soil moist especially in the heat of summer, but you'll still need a lot of water!)  We've had this container for 8 years, so even though it cost us $10 initially to purchase, it's been well worth it!


6. Plant your tallest plant in the middle, and plants that you want to spill over the edges around it.

Then, water faithfully and wait 3 weeks . . . or better yet, six weeks (here's ours after just three weeks ~ I was amazed!)

My husband and I are guessing that we spent about $20 per hanging basket by the time you figure in the cost of the dirt, plants, and new coco fiber every few years.  While they're not the most penny pinched deal ever,  it's something we love and completely worth splurging on because we enjoy them so much! You can also check out a peek of my hubby's (brilliant!) watering system over here ~ one of these days I'll put together a post of how he designed it but the pictures might help.

Do you have any tips on starting pots at home? I'd love to hear them . . . I've been so happy with these baskets this year, and am always looking for new ideas!


This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday – thanks for the opportunity to link up! I'd love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)


See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!



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  1. Debra Waites DeBord says:

    It looks beautiful! $45 for a hanging basket! Yikes! I just wanted a couple of ferns for the patio for my hanging basket and didn't want to spend $10 each for them. I looked for potted ivy and even the little one was $5. This was at Wally world too. So I just went and cut some ivy at my mom's and put it in water to root. I have had good luck with ivy in the past, hope so this time too. I got a couple of plants from my boys on Mother's day, so those will be sitting on the patio.

    • It’s crazy to me that those baskets are so expensive! I love ferns too, and Reseda carries HUGE ones (seriously bigger than my children!) for $15 so we splurge on those but I keep saying one of these days I’m going to try to keep them over the winter in our garage – just need my hubby to build me a greenhouse!

      Love that your boys gave you plants for Mother’s Day … so much fun! The ivy should be beautiful – hope it does well! 🙂

  2. Mary Toth says:

    do like wise just put nice ,Plastic ones ,don't have to water and care for them lol, and they look good just don't smell good lol

  3. Debra Waites DeBord says:

    I thought about doing that Mary! The silk ones do okay too outside . I might still do that if my ivy doesn't take! LOL

  4. I was able to do mine last year fairly cheap. I bought the baskets from the Dollar Tree. Miracle Grow potting soil had a coupon so I bought that and Walmart had the plants on sale for $0.88. They worked out nicely we just had to be diligent about watering.

  5. Shawn Shamali says:

    Please, please, please put together a post on the watering system. I've been trying to get my garden going the last two years with limited success. Most of my problem being water issues. I would love to see how the drippers work, I think that is exactly what I need! Thanks for all you do.

    • I promise I will as soon as we move Shawn – we’ll have to install a new one so I can make sure to give all the right information! It was TOTALLY worth it for us ~ but it may be June before I get it together. (I’ll ask my husband if he thinks he can put anything together before then, but I don’t know if we’ll have the pictures to make it make sense… maybe he can write it down though somehow – I’ll see what he says!)

  6. thanks for the ideas I need to put some plants on my patio have a great day

  7. Have you ever tried burlap instead of the fiber? I saw that idea on Pinterest and didn't know if it worked!?

    • I just asked my husband (who’s the smart gardener around here) and we both think it would work (we’re going to try it because that makes so much sense!) Last summer he also tried one where he bought a bag of peat moss and wet it and clumped it together and filled a basket with that to create a basket. He used fishing line to make the outline of the basket (because the wire on the basket was too spread out), and then filled it that way. It was a bit of work, but was super inexpensive!

      However, we’re going to try out the burlap idea because that’s so clever – if we get it to work I’ll be sure to let you know!

  8. On Pinterest I saw an idea where you take a small disposable diaper and stick it under the soil. It holds in the moisture.

  9. Love that idea Vicki – that's exactly what's in those soil moist crystals so it definitely would work! 🙂

  10. Momoffive Powers says:

    I have also bought my baskets from the Boy Scouts for 9.98 and then taken them apart to build the big pretty ones, just a thought if you buy the ones in plastic at Walmart and seperate they have many of those long hanging flowers type

  11. I bought my hanging baskets and coco fiber at the dollar store for a total of $4.00.. the plants i got a lowes and were expensive probably $40.00. The way i plant my baskets is called the thriller, Chiller and Spiller the Thriller is the tall plant you put in the middle the chiller is the plants that go around that that just kind of sit there and look pretty and the Spiller are the ones that will spill over the side and grow down I stuck with variations of my favorite color which are purple so somewhere magenta and summer purple and somewhere lavender and I used a variety of sizes and I just love the way they turned out. oh, and I water every single day no matter what if it rains I water if it snows I water if it’s hot I water I water water water every day!

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