Hanging Baskets for winter

The problem with winter hanging baskets is that not only are they exposed to the rain, snow and wind (bad enough for your poor plants) but also your plants have to cope with the frosts and ice from all directions.So it takes tough plants to not only survive under those conditions but also to thrive.

The range of plants suitable for hanging baskets for winter is somewhat limited. There are a number of foliage plants of course, the Ivies of various types among them but when it comes to flowers, then you look to Pansies and Violas, with, perhaps the odd Polyanthus and Bellis Perennis thrown into the mix.

Thompson and Morgan have had a cascading Pansy in their catalogue for some time. It is called ‘Pansy Cascading Balconita‘ and is reputed to trail up to 24 inches.

Pansy Cascading Balconita

This makes it ideal for hanging baskets. It would also make a good plant in the front of borders, giving much needed colour during the bleak months.

Anyway, back to Cascading Pansy ‘Balconita‘. T & M are now offering these at half price – £4.98 for 8 plants (16 plants for £7.99) instead of £9.99 (£16.99) so if you are thinking of using Pansies in hanging baskets during winter, now is the time to order them. The offer only has a week to run so you need to do it soon. The plants will come as plug plants, so you will not need to plant them in your baskets immediately, however do not encourage them to grow too much, it is much easier to place small plants in baskets then large ones. Remember, the same rule applies as with all planting. Don’t damage the roots by touching them.

I have been evaluating my summer hanging baskets. You will remember that I planted them up with Fuschias and Geraniums as well as the usual hanging basket pplants. Well the Geraniums have done very well. They look like the pictures you see on advertisments of German Villas. However, the Fuschias have not done quite as well. I think both these are due to the exceptional drought and heat we have had this year. Although I have watered my hanging baskets, I obviously have not done so as often as I should. It is worth remembering that Fuschias will take more looking after than normal. (Of course, if we have a very wet or col summer, Geraniums may well not do so well and Fuschias may do better.) You just have either to guess what it will be like (!) or play the odds and plant some of each – or be safe and use the normal pplants such as Loberlia.

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