Planting an easy-care hanging basket of succulents: step-by-step with Abbie Jury and Chris Sorensen

If you are an admirer of other people’s hanging baskets but lack the resolve to feed weekly and water up to three times a day in the height of summer, you may enjoy constructing one from easy-care succulents.

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1) You can use solid plastic hanging baskets or you can chose to use wire baskets with a coconut fibre lining which allow you to plant all around the basket surface. You can even tie two hanging baskets together to create a round ball. It doesn’t matter whether your pieces of succulent plants have roots or not but if they are just cuttings, it can help to cut them a day or two early and let them dry

2) Cut slits or holes at random intervals all over the basket lining. Turn the basket upside down for planting.

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3) Poke the stems of the succulents through the holes. If you have rosettes without stems, bend flexible wire to make hoops around 8cm long and use these to skewer the rosettes into place. Smaller rosettes are not as heavy so are less likely to fall out.

4) Supporting the plants with your hand, turn the basket up the right way and gently hold it in a suitable sized bucket. Fill the basket with a free draining potting mix containing slow release fertiliser. Succulents can survive in poor, dry conditions but they will grow better with food and water. However be mean, rather than generous if you are adding the fertiliser yourself.

5) Plant the top of the basket with some trailing types of succulents so they can hang over the side. You may wish to include one or two flowering plants such as impatiens to add seasonal colour.

6) This basket was planted about three months ago and already looks well furnished and healthy.

Finally, as a modern postscript from 2017 (because I see people are still looking at this post), I give you the succulent display to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the new glasshouse at RHS Wisley Gardens in the UK. Not exactly a hanging basket but showing a similar basic technique.

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