Ease of care and the use of vertical garden space prompted the creation of this charming hanging basket. However, suspended containers can be more at the mercy of arid summer temperatures and drying winds than their bedded neighbours. Planting the basket with succulents was the inspired solution here.
A thoughtful combination of choice tender and winter-hardy succulents fill this container. Plant material was not only inserted into the top of the moss-lined wire basket, but into the sides of the basket as well, filling out the arrangement and giving it cohesive, 360-degree appeal.
- For succulents, I recommend mixing two-thirds commercial potting mix with one-third chicken grit or turface (a baked clay soil conditioner similar to crushed terracotta).
- Before filling the moss baskets with the container mix, line the inside with plastic, landscape fabric or a double layer of burlap to ensure the potting mix won't fall out through the moss. The extra lining will also help the soil retain moisture. If you use a plastic liner, slice a few drainage holes into it.
- Although the thick, fleshy foliage of succulents gives them some tolerance to drought, it's important to regularly monitor the moisture of the medium. I prefer to keep most succulents on the dry side, but when they are watered, they must receive a thorough drink. Let the potting mix dry out between dousings.
- Ensure supports can hold the weight of the planter when it's moist.
- In the fall, dismantle the basket and plant the hardy succulents into the garden. Tip and leaf cuttings of the echeveria are easily rooted and overwintered indoors.
1. Painted echeveria (Echeveria nodulosa)
2. Pearl of Nuremberg echeveria (E. ‘Perle
3. October Daphne sedum (Sedum sieboldii ‘Mediovariegatum')