A wire basket – the larger the better;
A bucket – to support the basket while you plant it up;
A bag or two of loose coir – coconut husks;
A bag of dedicated hanging basket potting mix;
A drip tray about the same diameter as the base of the basket;
A selection of plants.
Place the basket firmly on top of the bucket then tease the coir apart and line the basket. Press firmly into place leaving 2cm projecting above the rim. Water all plants so their rootballs are damp and ready for planting.
Place the drip tray in the base: this will act as a water reservoir during the growing season, helping to stop the basket drying out.
Add potting mix to a depth of about 5cm. Firm down. If you are planning on having a large plant like a fuchsia as the mainstay of the basket, place it in the center now and work around it.
Select an odd number, three or five, cascading plants and plant as explained below so they are equidistant around the perimeter of the basket. Wrap the foliage of each plant in a piece of paper or in a corner cut from a plastic bag and feed from the inside out through holes made in the coir just above the level of the potting mix. By working this way the roots are not damaged and plants do not experience any set back. Remove the covering from the leafy portion of the plants. Add more potting compost and firm down around roots. A second and even third row of plants can be added, positioned so they alternate with the row below.
Alternate cascading plants with bushy plants around the perimeter of the basket. Firm the final a layer of potting mix around the roots and shape it so it is about 2,5cm below the rim and slopes slightly towards the center for more efficient watering (If a fuchsia, small conifer or similar plant has not been used in the center, select plants with a more upright growth habit). Water gently until thoroughly wet then leave in a shady sheltered place for a few days before hanging in its permanent position.