10 Best Trailing Plants for Hanging Baskets and Pots

Best Trailing Plants for Hanging Baskets
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If you’re looking to add a touch of natural beauty to your space, let me guide you through the enchanting world of trailing plants. My journey in gardening has led me to discover some fantastic, low-maintenance options perfect for hanging baskets in both indoor and outdoor settings. I’ve carefully selected my top 10 favorites, including the elegant English Ivy and the vibrant Fuchsia, for their ease of care and stunning appearance.

These plants are not just my personal favorites; they’re also ideal choices for anyone wanting to create a lush, green environment with minimal effort. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, these trailing beauties are sure to enhance your space with their natural charm. So, let’s get started.

Key Considerations for Thriving Hanging Baskets

To grow thriving trailing plants in hanging baskets, follow these best practices that are key to ensuring healthy, vibrant plants:

  • Basket Selection: Choose baskets with adequate drainage holes. Larger baskets are preferable for easier watering and greater plant capacity. Consider self-watering baskets for convenience​​.
  • Plant Choice: Match the plants to the amount of sunlight the basket will receive, choosing between sun or shade-tolerant varieties. Opt for plants that don’t exceed 8 inches in height and include some that will trail over the basket edge​​.
  • Soil Quality: Use a high-quality, lightweight potting mix. Soilless mixes containing sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite are ideal. Replace potting soil annually for plant health​​.
  • Watering: Water when the soil is about an inch dry. Frequency varies with weather conditions and plant size. Avoid watering on a set schedule and instead water as needed​​.
  • Fertilizing: Start with controlled-release plant food and switch to water-soluble plant food every one to two weeks later in the summer for sustained plant health​​.
  • Pruning: Prune trailing plants by one-third to one-half to encourage new growth and flowering. Trim any untidy parts without removing more than a quarter of the plant volume​​.

Best Trailing Plants for Hanging Baskets and Pots

Below are the top 10 trailing plants for hanging baskets, ideal for low-maintenance care in indoor and outdoor spaces with full sun exposure. Perfect for adding vibrant greenery and color to any setting.

1. Petunias – The Vibrant Choice


Petunias are a classic choice for hanging baskets. Known for their vibrant colors and long-lasting blooms, they create a stunning display. They are ideal for sunny spots, thriving in full sun. With varieties like Wave and Surfinia, petunias offer the longest trailing growth, making them perfect for an eye-catching outdoor display.

Petunias Care Tips:

  • Ensure ample sunlight.
  • Regular watering is crucial, but avoid waterlogging.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms.

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2. Fuchsia – Elegance in Hanging Baskets


Fuchsias are renowned for their elegant, teardrop-shaped flowers. They are a versatile choice, doing well in both shaded and sunny spots. Their unique blooms add an exotic touch to any setting. For hanging baskets, the trailing variety is best, offering a graceful cascade of flowers.

Fuchsias Care Tips:

  • Prefer partial shade to protect blooms.
  • Keep soil consistently moist.
  • Use a high-potash fertilizer for better flowering.

3. Ivy (Hedera) – The Evergreen Beauty

Ivy (Hedera)

When it comes to evergreen trailing plants, Ivy is a top contender. Its lush, green foliage provides a year-round appeal. Ivies are exceptionally low-maintenance, making them ideal for busy gardeners. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings, adapting well to various light conditions.

Ivy Care Tips:

  • Thrives in both full sun and shade.
  • Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Prune regularly to maintain shape.

4. Lobelia – The Dainty Cascade


Lobelia is perfect for adding a touch of delicacy to your hanging baskets. With its small, vibrant flowers and trailing habit, it creates a dense mat of color. Lobelia is particularly striking in baskets designed for full sun but also does well in partial shade.

Lobelia Care Tips:

  • Ensure good sunlight exposure.
  • Keep soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Use a balanced fertilizer every few weeks.

Also Read: Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants for Living Room

5. Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas) – The Foliage Star

Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)

For those who prefer foliage over flowers, Sweet Potato Vine is an excellent choice. Its heart-shaped leaves in shades of green, purple, or variegated patterns provide a stunning contrast in hanging baskets. This plant is known for its vigorous growth and can be paired with flowering plants for a mixed display.

Sweet Potato Vine Care Tips:

  • Grows well in both sun and partial shade.
  • Water regularly to keep soil moist.
  • Trim to control growth and encourage bushiness.

Must Read: Vegetables You Can Grow Indoors in the Winter

6. Bacopa – The White Wonder


Bacopa is a must-have for those seeking the best trailing plants for hanging baskets in pots. Known for its delicate, small white flowers, Bacopa trails beautifully, creating a waterfall effect. It’s particularly suited for baskets due to its compact and lush growth habit.

Bacopa Care Tips:

  • Prefers full to partial sun exposure.
  • Keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Regular feeding with a liquid fertilizer will boost flowering.

7. Million Bells (Calibrachoa) – The Mini Petunia

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

Resembling a mini version of Petunias, Million Bells or Calibrachoa is a popular choice for its prolific and vibrant flowers. Ideal for hanging baskets full sun, these plants offer a stunning display with minimal care, making them a favorite among gardeners.

Million Bells Care Tips:

  • Thrives in full sun but tolerates partial shade.
  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Fertilize every two weeks with a high-quality liquid fertilizer.

8. Trailing Geraniums – The Classic Perennial

Trailing Geraniums

Trailing Geraniums are excellent for the best trailing plants for hanging baskets outdoor. They offer a traditional look with their vibrant flowers and trailing habit. These hardy perennials are perfect for adding a splash of color to any outdoor space.

Trailing Geraniums Care Tips:

  • Require a sunny position to flower profusely.
  • Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Deadhead regularly to encourage more blooms.

9. Nasturtium – The Edible Trail


For those interested in low-maintenance outdoor hanging plants, Nasturtiums are a fantastic choice. They are not only beautiful with their bright, trumpet-shaped flowers but also edible, adding a peppery taste to salads. Their trailing vines are perfect for a rustic, natural look.

Nasturtiums Care Tips:

  • Grow best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  • Water moderately, as they prefer drier conditions.
  • Fertilizing is not necessary; overly rich soil can reduce flowering.

10. English Ivy (Hedera helix) – The Versatile Evergreen

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Another excellent evergreen trailing plant for hanging baskets is English Ivy. Its dense foliage and adaptability make it perfect for both indoor and outdoor settings. It’s particularly good for creating a backdrop of green in mixed baskets.

English Ivy Care Tips:

  • Adapts to both full sun and shade.
  • Keep soil moist, especially in dry conditions.
  • Prune regularly to maintain the desired shape and size.

Also Read: How to Plant Prickly Pear Cactus Seeds and Cuttings


Adding these trailing plants to your repertoire will surely elevate your hanging basket displays. Each plant offers something unique, whether it’s the edible flowers of Nasturtium or the traditional charm of Trailing Geraniums.

Remember, the key to a stunning hanging basket lies in understanding and catering to the needs of your chosen plants. Enjoy the process of creating these floating gardens and the beauty they bring to your space!

Please share your opinions, findings, and feedback in the comments section below.

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