Hanging baskets are a simple way to add a vertical dimension to your container garden. To qualify as hanging basket material, a plant needs to have a spreading, weeping, trailing or downward growth habit — upright growers need not apply. Because hanging baskets are normally installed at head height, plants that grow straight up aren't very visible; plus, it's nice to soften the edge of the basket with the foliage, since most are made with plastic and lack aesthetic interest on their own.
However, many of the plants commonly used in hanging baskets are not the easiest to grow. Fuchsia, for example can be highly temperamental. Here are a few options that you can't go wrong with, along with ideas on how to combine them for a bit of botanical flair.
Bacopa is a common hanging basket plant with soft trailing foliage and white flowers that bloom all summer long. Try grouping it with one of the trailing Lantana varieties, such as the multi-hued 'Confetti', for months of effortless color.
Nasturtium is an old-fashioned annual vine with unique circular leaves, bright orange, yellow or red flowers and stems that curl up at the end when spilling from a basket. Try combining its deep green foliage with the soft, silver-white foliage of one of the spreading Artemisia varieties, like 'Silver Mound'.
Rosemary comes in several trailing forms (such as the cultivar 'Prostratus') that are a good choice for hanging baskets in hot locations. For an herbal medley, plant a trio of rosemary plugs around the perimeter of the basket and pop an Oregano plant into the middle — its grey-green foliage will mingle nicely with the deep green of the rosemary.