The Ultimate Guide to Buying Artificial Hanging Baskets
When you think about adding a hanging basket to your garden, business, or home, you likely imagine something in bloom, with dozens of flowers and beautiful trailing foliage. You probably don’t imagine a basket of plants that have either been dried to a crisp or melted away into a soggy mess less than three months after you put it up.
Unfortunately, that’s the reality for us not-so-green fingered folk. When it comes to hanging baskets, there’s no hoping nature will take care of itself – they rely on you for water and to change up the plants in them (or at least their location) with each significant change in season or weather.
The solution for the smart (which we’re guessing you are since you’re here) is to invest in artificial hanging baskets. Artificial hanging baskets are just coming into their own, with hundreds of variations, many of which look almost indistinguishable from the real thing. So, is an artificial hanging basket right for you, and if it is, what do you need to know before buying one? Read on to find out.
What different types of artificial hanging baskets are there?
Hundreds! Seriously, if you can dream it, it’s probably out there somewhere. We’ll cover some ideas for your artificial hanging basket below, but here are a few different types to consider:
- Foliage-only – if you want to add some hanging greenery without the look of petals, choose a foliage-only hanging basket like our Fresh Fern artificial hanging basket or our Classic Leaf artificial hanging basket.
- Flowers-only – conversely, if your desire to have a hanging basket stems from all those beautiful blooms, you may choose to try a flower-only basket.
- A mix of both – this is the most popular choice for those that want flowers, as the mix of flowers and foliage creates a nice balance.
Are artificial hanging baskets worth it?
Yes, definitely. Here are some of the benefits of investing in an artificial hanging basket:
- Low/No Maintenance – of course, this is the number one reason to invest in an artificial hanging basket. They require little-to-no maintenance, perhaps just a dusting from time to time if they’re inside or in a sheltered area. Compare this to how much maintenance a real hanging basket requires: you have to water them constantly in the summer, prune the foliage if it’s evergreen, and replace the flowers with each season unless you choose a plant that grows from a bulb each year, in which case you can only enjoy the basket in full bloom for 1-3 months of the year.
- You Don’t Have to Replace Plants – we touched on this above, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Real hanging baskets often come with plants that will only last a season and then die. That means you need to replace them or end up with a hanging basket of dirt.
- Easy to Set Up & Instant Effect – simply find somewhere to hang it, put it on the hanger, and you’re done! You don’t need to water it or do anything else. As soon as it’s hung, you can enjoy it.
- Endless Options – going for an artificial hanging basket means you can choose any style of hanging basket you like, regardless of whether a plant is really in bloom or not.
- Liven Dark Areas – unlike real hanging baskets, artificial hanging baskets don’t need to be placed in an area that has plenty of light. You can use them in your north-facing garden just as easily as you can a south-facing one.
Do artificial hanging baskets look realistic?
Yes, artificial plants have come a long way, and now most are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Only a keen gardener will be able to spot that a plant isn’t in season that’s blooming in your basket, but why does it matter? As long as it looks realistic and gives your home, garden, or business that splash of life and color you’re looking for, does it need to be real?
How durable are artificial banging baskets?
Artificial hanging baskets will survive most weather provided they are UV resistant, but it is best to bring them down in severe storms where there will be strong winds. Artificial hanging baskets with delicate silk flowers will likely have a limited shelf-life, so just make sure the product description says it’s suitable for outdoor use. If you keep them clean and reapply a UV protection spray each year, your artificial hanging basket will last for years.
Where to Hang Your Artificial Hanging Basket & Styling Ideas
There are no rules when it comes to where you hang your artificial hanging basket, so feel free to experiment and see what works for you. However, to give you some ideas and a helping hand, here are some ideas for your home or business.
- Hang on or in your porch – porches are made for hanging baskets!
- Attach to fencing – fencing can look a little artificial or bare if nothing is growing up in front of it, and so adding some hanging baskets can help draw the eye away from the fence.
- On sheds and summerhouses – sheds and summerhouses aren’t always the most beautiful of structures but adding a hanging basket or two helps soften their look.
- In conservatories – most conservatories have at least one brick wall which is, essentially, the outside of the house, and so unless you live in a particularly beautiful historic home, you’re likely looking at plain red brick when you’re in there. Adding a few hanging baskets eases the transition from inside to outside.
- Place hanging ferns over your dining table – this is a bold statement but if you’re brave enough you will wow all your dinner guests! Just make sure you hang them above eye level so no one has to duck or lean to the side to speak to the person sitting opposite.
- Brighten your front-of-house – whether you’re a restaurant, salon, accountant, or store, a few hanging baskets on the outside of your store will help brighten the appearance of your business, make you look more welcoming, and draw the eye.
- Make break areas and outside areas more welcoming – if you have an outside area, such as a courtyard or garden, adding some artificial hanging baskets will make the space more welcoming, whether it’s a break area for employees, the back door of your kitchen, or a beer garden for your customers. If you’ve got plenty of head height but not a lot of floor space, this can be a great alternative to planted artificial plants.
- Hang from a high ceiling – this is ideal for salons, creative offices, and of course, restaurants and bars.
How to Choose Your Artificial Hanging Basket
When it comes to buying artificial plants, a little extra thought before you buy will ensure what you buy makes your space feel opulent and/or natural, instead of cheap and fake. Here are our top tips to help you make the right purchase:
- Choose quality over price – we all love a good bargain, but make sure you’re not compromising on quality to get a good deal. It may seem like a good idea to grab a basket when you see one at the local home ware store, but they will probably lack the quality you can find buying from a specialist retailer.
- Make sure it has UV resistance – unless you’re going to hang it inside. Most artificial hanging baskets will have this since hanging baskets are traditionally hung outside, but it’s always best to check. UV resistance will ensure the plants in your basket don’t fade over time.
- Choose foliage-only or foliage and flowers for a natural look – if you want your hanging basket to have a natural look, choose a foliage-only hanging basket or one with a good mix of flowers and trailing foliage. Hanging baskets that are overflowing with flowers are usually obviously artificial (since plants need leaves to photosynthesis), though can be a beautiful choice when chosen intentionally.
- Limit your basket to about 3 colors – similarly to our point above, limiting your basket to around three main colors will ensure your hanging basket looks balanced and not too busy. For example, you may choose a hanging basket with ivy and pansies, in which case you may choose green, purple, and yellow as your main colors.
- Consider the shape and size – hanging baskets aren’t always around, you can also find those in pots, in a conical basket, or in a topiary ball-style, so don’t be afraid to try something a little different. The traditional hanging basket is generally found in three sizes: 12, 14, and 16 inches in diameter, so if you’re working with limited space, don’t forget to measure where you intend to hang them and ensure you aren’t going to have to duck around them whenever you walk past.
What are the best plants and flowers for artificial hanging baskets?
There really are no rules, so choose whatever best matches the feel you want for your home or business. If you live in a quintessential English country cottage, artificial fern hanging baskets or artificial lavender with ivy may be the best choice to match the architecture of your home. However, if you live in a home built within the past century, hanging baskets with pansies or azaleas may be your preferred choice. It’s totally up to you. Here are some of the most popular plants and flowers to consider for your artificial hanging basket:
- Pansies – these work particularly well because the real plant flowers throughout the winter, so people won’t look twice at your hanging basket full of flowers in January (unless, perhaps, they’re covered in snow). They also come in a huge range of colors so you have plenty of choice.
- Azaleas – Azeleas are typically star-shaped flowers in shades of purple to white, most commonly found in fuchsia and soft pink.
- Ivy – this is one of the most popular choices for foliage because it drapes down from the hanging basket and provides volume in the basket. You’ll find Ivy in artificial hanging baskets in bright green, dark green, and with silvery hues.
- Lavender – small lavender plants are a great choice for artificial hanging baskets, especially when used with smaller plants or trailing plants like Ivy.
- Primrose – Primroses are the flower everyone recognizes even if they don’t know the name. Primroses have the flower shape you’d draw if asked to draw a flower, and come in a huge range of colors: yellow, navy, purple, blue, white, orange, red, and everything in between. If you’re looking for something bright and colorful and don’t like the look of pansies, primroses may be the answer.
- Ferns – Ferns are the ideal addition as foliage thanks to their unique leaf shape, especially if you don’t want to use trailing plants or want to evoke a more grounded, natural feel.
- Lobelia – Lobelia is often used for live hanging baskets, and so it’s become just as popular for artificial hanging baskets. This plant has hundreds of delicate flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white. It will cascade out of the hanging basket so if you’re looking for a flower-only basket, look for one full of lobelia.
- Petunias – Petunias (specifically petunia surfing) are another classic choice for hanging baskets, and works well as a flower-only hanging basket. Another flower available in almost every shade of purple, pink, and white imaginable, you’re sure to find an artificial petunia hanging basket to suit.
Can I make my own artificial hanging basket?
Yes, if you can’t find a pre-made artificial hanging basket you like, you could put your own together. Purchase a hanging basket and some artificial plants of your choice (we’ve got plenty of options, so browse here) and then plant them in your basket using soil or something light like the clay pebbles used for drainage beneath sports pitches and for aqua-phonics systems (they can be very affordable, so shop around) and arrange them to your liking. Just make sure you poke holes in any inner lining if you plan to use it outside and choose UV-resistant plants.
Artificial hanging baskets are a great investment that will instantly brighten any space and continue offering their benefits for years to come. To shop for your artificial hanging basket or to browse our range of high-quality artificial plants for indoors and outdoors, click here.