Tips for hanging baskets and window boxes


RJ with seccateurs Hello again! I hope your gardens are coming along nicely and you had a chance to tick off some of those April gardening jobs.

Here's some advice I'd give to those of you trying to create stunning hanging baskets and window boxes.

1) Don't be mean with your plants! A mistake is to put too few plants into the boxes or baskets, because though they'll eventually create a good display, you're waiting for two or three months for the plants to fill in the gaps.

Tip: Almost overfill the box, basket or container with plants and not only will it look better faster, it will go on looking good for longer.

2) It's important to keep the plants in hanging baskets and window boxes well-fed. The amazing displays you see at the Chelsea or Hampton Court flower shows are crammed with plants for quick impact, but it's through regular feeding that the displays are able to maintain their long-lasting impact.

Tip: Feed your displays twice a week using a high-potash fertiliser.

3) Many bedding plants need to be dead-headed. Remove the spent flowers from plants that have finished flowering. This prevents the plants from going to seed and the plant will put its energy into producing new flowers.

Tip: Not only does dead-heading neaten up the plants and keep your display looking good, it allows you to double the number of flowers the plants produce.

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  1. Lynne Bach May 30, 2008 at 4:58 am -  Reply

    A friend of mine has being telling me about a feed for my plants that he uses, can you tell me more ?

  2. Iris ashworth June 1, 2008 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    have recently purchased the trailing begonias that you were showing on tv , you advised that three in a basket would make a splended show. Have just been reading your advise column and you say to over fill baskets with plants to get the best show now I am a little confused as to what to do. my baskets have been prepared for three weeks now -is it too late to add more plants now or should I wait for the results and hope that yhere will be a great showy basket of begonias.

  3. Iris ashworth June 1, 2008 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Feeling confused, purchased trailing begonias from your show on tv, you suggested putting three trailing begonias to a basket and displayed a picture of a wonderful basket of begonias.
    having read your advise you now say to over fill baskets with plants to get a good show, my baskets have been made up for three weeks now with three plants to a basket is it too late to add more plants.

  4. Sue Lipscombe June 1, 2008 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    My garden is overrun with slugs . I am not a huge gardener but it is definitely ”growing”on me.I bought some new plants and almost the next day they have been eaten – very upsetting. Please can you help with the best thing to get rid of the little slimers – dont mind if its organic or not – desperation is setting in !!
    Thanks Sue

  5. julie welch February 21, 2009 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    Hello, I have just received my TSV from a week or so ago the 4 bare root Newbiscus, it says that they can be planted in containers of at least 18 inches, how many of the bare roots would I put into 1 container?
    julie Welch

  6. Roswitha Bonthrone February 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm -  Reply

    Hello Richard,
    I just could not resist the temptation of ordering the TSV of Peony Trees. I have already bought a pale pink one about 6 years ago and in May/June when the flowers open I am as excited as I was the first year when only two flowers unfolded. They are huge and every year I have taken the camerea into the garden, it is always the highlight of the garden in any year! It is a pity the spectacle only lasts about a week though. The red peony tree has never flowered yet but this could perhaps be partly due to the fact that it is in a more shadowy spot. This year however, it already displays one big bud.
    Well done to bring the peony to QVC. The flowers have not multiplied as mentioned on your show. Maybe because I have never fed them or done anything to them, but last year I had 5 flowerheads. Wish I could send you one of my photographs. Best wishes, Roswitha

  7. Mr Raymond Davis May 26, 2009 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    can i take a cutting from my strawberry if so what do i do
    and can i replant them better as i have got the moss you sell and i would like to do the 60/40 with it i know nothing about gardening so this is my first learning.
    Thanking you Ray
    PS its in a hanging basket.

  8. Denise Parkin January 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Richard
    Last year I finally treated myself to the Babylon bowls, but I found it very difficult to keep them watered enough here in Mallorca. I seem to rememeber that you had a special watering system last year for the Babylon bowls. Are you going to have this item again this year?

  9. deb lewis May 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard, have recently downsized to a flat overlooking a marina on the north east coastline. The balcony faces north and has the cold north east sea winds. Nothing is growing! i have almost given up and contemplated filling pots with pebbles, shells and painted driftwood as an alternative. Is their anything you could recommend ? Thanks Deb. x

  10. Katherine Bradford July 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard I bought the Apricot Trailing Begonias and looked forward to having lovely apricot/gold hanging plants –unfortunatelythey are bright RED and no sign of them trailing. did anyone else receive red instead of the Apricot. I am really disappointed. Mrs katherine Bradford

  11. Pat Waites April 30, 2011 at 9:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard.
    I saw that you had somethings that you put into hanging baskets to retain the water, they just swelled up when wet?? can you please tell me the name and number of them as I need to order some, have used your products and am really pleased with them.
    Pat Waites.

  12. gerald brown May 23, 2011 at 9:01 am -  Reply

    Hi richard i purchard the tsv the whetman pinks i waited for frost to go put keeped watered and then put them out into hanging baskets and waited for the start of the wounderfull disply to come but out of the 20 plants i put in only 4 has lasted the rest have died they were in a shelted position so why did this happen

  13. Karen Riddiough March 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Is there any chance you could get together a group of plants to start a hanging basket? For a first time ,to have a collection of plants specifically designed for a hanging basket, would take out all the angst. Its possibly to late for this year but maybe next year?
    All the plants I have purchased from QVC have been greatly admired.

  14. Sue Mistry April 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    I have purchased the apricot begonias and also the easyfill hanging baskets. Please advise how many plants we should plant per basket i.e. how many around the sides and how many on the top.

  15. Anna Brabson March 11, 2014 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Help Richard I have large containers in the garden and due to operations and things have grown nothing for a couple of years would really like a good show of colour and some trailing plants but not all plants do well up here much colder before I toddle off to garden centre and get it wrong would you advise me of types and regime oh the only thing planted last year was your large geraniums in window boxes fantastic what a display and the envy of the neighbours
    Thanks Anna

  16. BARRIE eilbeck July 13, 2014 at 11:08 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard got some Richard everson climates they seam to get to budding then wilt and die and go brown leaves and steams I feed with flower power

  17. Jane at Window Boxes London November 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Good tips on window boxes and hanging planters. If I can add up, I’d say that putting pebbles or small rocks in the soil improves drainage and helps distribute water evenly. And I agree that window box plants should be fed all the time. When I first started growing flowers on my windowsill, I didn’t know this and felt bad once the blooming season was over and all of the blossoms were gone.

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