Technically a tender perennial, many modern petunia hybrids are now grown as annuals in all USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. Their voluminous flowers also make petunias ideal for outdoor hanging baskets, but know that some varieties do require a bit of trimming and deadheading. For a low-maintenance, heat-tolerant variety that doesn’t need deadheading, try ‘Supertunia Vista’. “It can trail up to 4 feet in a container!” says Melissa Lallo Johnson of @fancyflowerfarmer, a master gardener based in the Midwest.
In a shady or part-shade spot, ferns offer lovely trailing foliage. “I love the look of a hanging fern outdoors. The detail of the leaves as they unfurl is mesmerizing,” says Johnson. “I cut mine back in late fall and then keep them by a basement window to regenerate for the following season.”
Known for its stress-relieving essential oils, verbena is a beautiful hanging plant that comes in more than 250 different varieties. These butterfly-attracting plants demands lots of sun (8 to 10 hours per day) and a well-draining soil.
4. Blue Bacopa
Bacopa is most easily grown outdoors in containers, which allows for the consistent moisture that this flowering plant needs. For optimal growth, hang your bacopa in a place where there is a lot of afternoon shade.
5. Moss Rose
Thanks to its succulent leaves, this drought-tolerant, sun-loving plant can take the heat. Also known as moss rose purslane, Mexican rose, sun rose, and rock rose, it spills over outdoor hanging baskets beautifully and thrives in well-drained soil. Its flowers are available in white and an array vibrant warm hues to match your garden’s palette. Take note: Hang it out of reach of children and pets; it is toxic if consumed.
6. Ivy Geranium
This plant is great for hot and sunny areas. The low-maintenance blooms have gained popularity in European window boxes for their ability to repel flies in the summer.
7. Spider Plant
You may already know and love this yellow-and-green-hued houseplant inside your home, but you can grow it as an outdoor hanging plant too. This non-fussy perennial prefers bright sunlight, but avoid too much afternoon sun in hot climates as it is susceptible to sunburn. Plan to bring it indoors over winter unless you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
Yes, that summery favorite of fruit-forward desserts is also an easy plant to grow in a hanging container! Sun-loving strawberries are distantly related to the rose, so the flowers are pretty with a mild, pleasant smell. And of course you get the benefit of the fruit! Here’s more on how to grow strawberries.
9. Hanging Fuchsia
Know that fuchsias don’t bode well in hot climates, but they are great as outdoor hanging plants for summer and will attract hummingbirds. They do wonderfully along the coast or in cool areas.
Lobelia comes in incredibly intense blue colors, which are a bit of a rarity in the plant world. Place them in full sun to part shade. Technically a tender perennial, as an annual, blue lobelia can thrive in climates all over the U.S. For a trailing variety, try ‘Hot Water Blue’.
11. Begonia Boliviensis
This hanging begonia breed is most alluring thanks to its unique, angel-wing-shaped leaf. Just one of these hummingbird-friendly plants can fill a whole container, whether in sun or shade. While not cold hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones lower than 9, the tubers can be stored over winter and replanted in early spring.
Outdoors, this tropical hanging plant loves filtered light, humid air, and warm temperatures. Think a covered or screened porch. Unless you are in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 to 12, plan to bring it inside over the winter.
13. Scaevola Aemula “Blue Wonder”
Commonly known as fan flower, the drought-tolerant plant boasts beautiful blue, fan-shaped flowers that look lovely in any hanging basket. And a bonus for lazy gardeners: No deadheading is necessary as it blooms.
14. Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Don’t let the vine variety throw you off—while it does grow rather rapidly and aggressively (they can actually climb up the basket’s hangers), they’re incredibly easy to maintain and produce very colorful flowers. Take note: It’s best grown in cooler climates as an annual; avoid it in frost-free environments, where it can be an invasive perennial.
15. Oxalis Triangularis
Also known as the “purple shamrock” or “false shamrock,” Oxalis triangularis is a colorful hanging plant that can be grown outdoors or indoors. It’s known for leaves that open up during the day and close at night. Place it where it gets afternoon shade, especially in intense heat, and plan to bring it inside over winter unless you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8 or above. Take note: Be careful where you place it; if eaten, this plant can be toxic to cats and dogs.
Preferring poor soil and full sun or partial shade, consider this the best low-maintenance hanging plant, specifically its trailing varieties. While most are annuals, some nasturtiums will also grow as perennials in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. The lovely blooms are also one of our favorite edible flowers!
17. String of Pearls
We’re sold on this hanging succulent for its striking bead-like looks alone. It’s also drought-resistant. Plan to bring it inside during the cool seasons unless you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.
Commonly referred to as Million Bells or trailing petunia, the pretty-in-pink plant is a go-to flowering plant for hanging baskets thanks to its fast-growing florals and variety of colors. Plant calibrachoa outdoors in the late spring in well-drained soil and you can enjoy the foliage until fall. Bonus: No need to deadhead the blooms.
19. Sweet Alyssum
How sweet this flowering plant truly is—both heat- and drought-resistant, the white blooms can handle a handful of regions in the U.S., specifically milder environments. Its enticing scent also attracts bees and butterflies (and humans!).
This sedum clearly earns its name from its long, tail-like woven branches, which look stunning hanging from a pot or basket on our porch or patio. Plan to take in inside over winter unless you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, where it can stay outdoors year round.
Self-seeding, easy-to-grow pansies prefer cooler weather, namely in the late fall and early spring. The blooms have also gained attention for their exquisite face-like petals.
The spilling plant’s ideal growing conditions involve full sun or partial shade, cooler temperatures, and slightly acidic, well-drained soil.