Hanging plants in baskets
The plants grown in the apartment are generally small or medium-sized shrubs, originating from tropical areas of the world, where the climate is similar to what we can find in the apartment. Among the many plants some are climbing, or with a prostrate development; we cultivate them in pots letting them fall back loosely from the edges of the container, or we fix them to a guardian, which allows the plant to develop freely. In order to take full advantage of the peculiar characteristics of climbing or hanging plants it is possible to plant them in large baskets, which we will position in an elevated position, hanging them on the special tie-rods that support them from above. In this way we will have much more space to allow our plant to grow down almost for the entire height of the apartment; furthermore it will be possible to enjoy the best of leaves and flowers, which will moreover take on a much more natural habit.
The pots in a basket have a very different shape from the usual containers, generally they are portions of sphere, therefore they have a roundish bottom, not flat like in common cultivation jars. Baskets are generally even wider than a common vase, and allow the plant to develop a well-enlarged root system; at the sides tie rods are made, made of plastic, wire or metal, which meet above the vase, so that it can be hung in an elevated position, leaving the plant hanging inside.
Usually the baskets to hang do not have drainage holes, also because if the excess water were drained from under the vase hanging high up in the house, it would certainly cause some discomfort; however it happens to find some baskets with a saucer at the bottom of the vase. If possible we prefer this last type of basket, otherwise let us always remember to fill at least one fifth of the depth of the basket with incoherent materials, such as lapillus, pebbles, pumice stone, perlite: in this way we will have inside the vessel a drainage area for the water, which will then be used by the plant over time. In any case, since the excess of watering cannot flow out of the pot, we can act in two ways: either we plant in the basket plants that love large amounts of water, or we remember to water more often, but sparingly, so that the bottom of the basket does not create an excessive reserve of unused water, which could favor the development of mold, fungus and rot.
There are many plants that we can grow in one basket; the first to mention are undoubtedly the leafy plants, which are more commonly grown in the apartment, such as the epipremnum (also called potos), ivy, the philodendron: these are climbing plants, which are generally fixed to large guardians covered with moss; if grown in a position from which these plants can fall they tend to produce large quantities of leaves, which we can enjoy throughout the year, without worrying about having to cut them because they get too long. Particularly in the basket cultivation are also those plants with minute foliage, which in nature have covered growth, such as ficus pumila or le helxine; surely the development will not be meters, but with time they will tend to cover almost completely the vase, lengthening below the edge. Also some species of orchids are often hung up hanging, thus assuming a nice hanging behavior, without having to secure a thin wooden guardian to the floral stems to keep them erect. This type of development is also more similar to the natural one of orchids, which generally develop between the branches of tall trees, falling loosely downwards.
Hanging baskets: And in the summer?
If we have a terrace or outdoor space available in summer we can place many of the most commonly cultivated flowering plants in the hanging baskets; as with balcony trays, in hanging baskets geraniums, lobelias, surfinias and bidens will grow for several centimeters, filling with flowers. Generally the baskets of surfinie and lobelie tend to become enormous flowery balls, definitely very decorative. We also remember to choose baskets with saucers and consequent drain for water. If we do not find baskets with saucers, remember to place a good layer of clay or perlite on the bottom of the container, and to avoid excessive watering, always waiting for the soil to be dry before watering again.