Hanging baskets continue to be a tremendously popular way to decorate your home, garden or business. The displays that can be created are beautiful and can enhance any area with flowers such as begonia, impatiens, geraniums, petunia or pansies.
Hanging baskets are either sold commercially at garden centres and specialist garden nurseries or made up by gardeners for their own use. In the UK, over 20M hanging baskets are made each year and many houses, commercial and public buildings have hanging basket brackets in place for this purpose.
For the gardener, the range of hanging basket frames, brackets and accessories has grown over the years and there’s a choice of traditional wrought iron work or more contemporary white washed metal or easy to fill plastic hanging baskets.
Anyone who has made up hanging baskets will know that the choice of liner is important to ensure a good fit in the frame and to allow the right level of drainage and retention for the plants.
The range and different options for liners can be confusing so here are 5 of the most popular hanging basket liners and some of the benefits associated with each.
Moss is the most traditional way to line a hanging basket and creates a very pleasant appearance. The moss is naturally moist and retains water well which is a clear benefit. Moss can be hard to handle and is sometimes difficult for the amateur gardener to use and get the right results. Moss is a natural product and can be environmental questions regarding the sourcing so it is best to choose a product where the moss has been grown rather than harvested from the wild.
Coco hanging basket liners
Coco fibre is an extremely popular choice for manufacturing hanging basket liners and is typically mixed with latex to help bind the product together and retain a moulded shape. The fibre is flexible and drains very well so helps get a good result with plants. Perhaps a downside of coco fibre is that it is very popular with birds for nesting material which means liners tend not to last more than one season before needing replacement. Coco fibre liners are most commonly used with wrought iron or metal hanging basket frames to create a traditional effect on homes or buildings such as pubs or hotels. The fact coco liners can be moulded and shaped means these are often used for larger hay racks and wall troughs where they can display large numbers of plants.
Jute / Sisa hanging basket liners
The hanging basket liners use different quantities of jute or sisa material to create the product. These are sold flat in a green or brown natural colour and are often cut to shape for 12″,14″ or 16″ baskets and fold into the rounded basket easily before planting. They retain water well and have a good appearance. Compared to coco fibre these liners are less attractive to the birds.
Paper pulp fibre hanging basket liners
Paper fibre can be moulded very effectively to create a hanging basket liner. These liners are cheap to manufacture which makes them a cost effective option for gardeners. They are normally dyed a subtle green colour and can be fitted to regular hanging or wall baskets. The nature of these liners means they only last one season and the regular watering of the flowers breaks down the fibre over time so they are not long lasting.
Synthetic hanging basket liners
There are a number of synthetic liners made from plastic based materials and fleece. These liners are very cost effective and durable. For traditional wrought iron baskets these do not create the same effect as coco fibre liners but are very useful for side planted baskets where they can be easily handled and cut to accommodate more plants. These liners are very robust and can carry a lot of compost without the risk of them splitting or bursting following watering.
In summary, for any gardener the choice of hanging basket liner is important and will depend on the budget, the frame being used and whether side planting is going to be used. The products available in garden centres and online are typically good quality so it’s hard to go too far wrong. The best way to decide is to experiment with a different type each year until you are happy with the effect and the results when the flowers have fully grown on. With the opportunity to grow numerous hanging baskets in both the summer and winter seasons it should not take long until you find the ideal hanging basket liner to work with.