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The 3 Best Hanging Basket Plants To Grow For Big Flower Power!

Looking for the best hanging basket plants to grow for big, beautiful blooms that last all summer long? We have you covered today with three perfect choices!

Hanging baskets are one of the best ways to add instant color and beauty anywhere. They can brighten up a drab front porch, or bring life to bland decks and patios.

Even better, they’re perfect for providing a big splash of color when hanging from fence and light posts, pergolas and arbors, or anywhere in your landscape you can find to anchor a hook!

A Love Affair With Hanging Baskets

To say that we love using hanging baskets all over the farm would be a bit of an understatement. In fact, our son once made us draw him a map so he could find them all when tasked with watering while we were away on a weekend trip.

calibrachoa - million bells
Our million bells hanging basket plants on our driveway posts. Million bells is simply our favorite go-to hanging basket for beauty and longevity.

As we drew it up, we chuckled a bit realizing that we had no less than 17 growing in various spots. But if that wasn’t bad enough, imagine our surprise when we returned to find that he had “updated” the map to include three we forgot about!

Nonetheless, growing all of our baskets has certainly provided us with a lot of experience over the years. Especially when it comes to selecting the best plants that really provide big, stunning, eye-catching color. And, in addition, ones that hold up well from start to finish, whether in full sun, or partial shade.

3 Perfect Choices

Although we love to trial a wide selection of hanging basket varieties each year around the farm, there are always 3 must-have varieties we use every year without fail.

Listen Below To Our Podcast On How To Keep Your Hanging Baskets Looking Great All Summer Long!

We do so because they truly are the best hanging basket plants around. And not just for huge blooms, thick foliage and bright colors, but because these plants stay strong and beautiful from late spring all the way to fall.

With that in mind, here is a look at our 3 favorite, must have varieties for hanging basket plants.

The 3 Best Hanging Basket Plants To Grow

#1 Million Bells – (Calibrachoa) – The 3 Best Hanging Basket Plants

It’s with good reason that Calibrachoa is better known as the Million Bells plant. Quite simply, it’s because this incredible flowering plant produces what seems to be millions upon millions of bell-shaped blooms. And they just keep coming on all summer long!

We first fell in love with Calibrachoa about 5 years ago after bringing a few back from a Farmers Market in West Virginia. That first year, we grew them in full sun on the sign posts that line our driveway.

For us, that area can be quite hard on hanging baskets. Not only are the posts out in full sun, but the plants are often wind whipped as well with little to protect them.

best hanging basket plants
Talk about big flower power – million bells has it all. The plants are slow growers too, so they don’t outgrow the baskets before the season’s end.

But to our surprise, the plants were absolutely stunning from spring until fall, and held up like no other plant we have ever grown. And have continued to do so on the posts ever since.

Million bells can be found in a massive array of colors. From yellow, orange, red, purple and blue – to nearly every other color under the rainbow. And with a slightly trailing growth, it lends itself perfectly to hanging baskets.

Even better, the plant continues to bloom and bloom without the need for deadheading. And with a slower than normal root growth pattern, plants can last all summer long if planted in a large enough basket.

The list of attributes go on and on for million bells. Not only able to handle full sun, it also blooms just as beautiful in partial and semi-sunny areas too. One thing is for sure, it is our number one must have plant every year!

#2 Wax Begonia – The 3 Best Hanging Basket Plants

As it turns out, the wax begonia has become hot again – especially as a hanging basket plant! This old-school plant is making a big comeback as a hanging basket plant with big flower power.

Available in an entire slew of colors that range from bright red to salmon, pink, white and more, the begonia is a long-lasting, big blooming annual that can fill your baskets with color.

best hanging basket plant
One of our favorites this year – our hanging begonia basket.

The begonia’s waxy foliage provides an interesting backdrop to its massive canopy of everlasting bloom. Making them even more attractive, they hold up well in high heat and high sun, or in cooler, partial shady areas too.

The one pictured above hangs each year in partial shade under our pavilion. But we also keep two out in full-sun that bloom just as big and bright without the need for full light.

If you haven’t tried begonias in awhile – make this the year you do in hanging baskets. Best of all, they are easy to find annuals that can save you big by planting your own baskets! Also see : How To Grow Hanging Baskets From Seed

Ornamental Peppers ( Sangria – Chili-Chili) – The 3 Best Hanging Basket Plants

Looking for something really unique? And ultra-beautiful and durable too? Then ornamental peppers just might be the perfect hanging basket plant for you!

With their bright green foliage and brilliant “blooms” of colorful peppers, ornamental hanging basket are always a conversation piece.

For our baskets, we use two different varieties, Sangria and Chili-Chili, for two really unique looks. The sangria peppers fill the plant with bright purple peppers that turn a fiery red in late fall. And the chili-chili fill out with yellow, orange and red peppers that are instant head turners for sure.

chili chili ornamental peppers hanging baskets
Chili chili peppers are an excellent choice for hanging baskets. With their compact growth and massive coverage of colorful peppers, they light up any space in a big way.

And are ornamental peppers ever durable! They can handle hot, full sun without worry, and don’t slump over from excessive heat like many annuals do in mid-day heat. Even better, they last deep into fall withe their gorgeous looks. (See: Growing Ornamental Peppers)

In fact, they are always the last summer plants to remain out for us in late October. And do they ever make a great addition to fall displays with their late season red color.

There you have it – our top 3 hanging basket plants to grow for big, full season blooming color! Here is to enjoying this spring, summer and fall with the love of blooming flowers everywhere. Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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