How to Make a Moss Hanging Basket
A moss hanging basket is a neat way to create a hanging planter that looks more natural and organic than usual hanging baskets because the pot that flowers are planted into, is itself a living organism. Unlike with traditional hanging baskets that are plastic or wood where you only have one growing surface, which means that most plants must either hang over the edges or grow upwards, with moss baskets, you can plant on all surfaces of the basket, making it a more interesting and unique way to show off the plants natural hanging and trailing qualities. Baskets made with moss liners are also more suitable for shade gardens or areas of the yard that do not receive full sun because the moss will actually continue to grow and keep its lush green colour if it is kept out of full sun.
Most hardware stores or garden shops will carry moss basket frames during the summer and spring months, and once you have a few, they can be used year after year to create new designs. Most frames are made of metal with a chain that allows them to be hung, and the basket has very large spaces in it to allow the moss to show through and help to camouflage the metal. Sphagnum moss is the most common moss used for mass baskets, and it very easy to acquire. Usually growing in fully shaded and damp areas, sphagnum moss is easily found in most forested areas or in underbrush where little light is able to reach, and moisture levels are high.
Lining the basket with moss, make sure that the green side stays outwards, and then fill the basket with soil. A good soil mixture for moss hanging baskets is one that drains well but is able to retain some moisture. Since the basket itself is full of holes and drainage through it is not a concern, a perfect soil mixture would consist of one part potting mix, and one part organic material such as compost or mulch. Every plant requires different soil mixtures, but for the most part, this will be able to accommodate most needs that your plants will have.
Since the walls of the basket are made of moss, you can cut into it and place plants around the sides and the bottom of the basket to create a truly unique design. Search for plants that can trail and hang like Petunias, Lobelias, Alyssums, Fuchsias, Begonias, and Ivy. These make for dramatic hanging lines that will cascade down from the basket and will help to create the look of a natural basket that is both interesting and functional.
Having plants all around the basket, instead of just the top surface, gives it the impression that it is a more natural and organic design that hides the mechanics of the wire basket itself. Ferns and other upright flowers can be added to the top surface of the basket to complete the design. Some baskets are made entirely of one variety of plant, such as Ivy or Begonias, and they are impressive in their simplicity. Others have a whole array of colours and textures and are also impressive in their uniqueness. Whatever the design or the available space, moss baskets are a great idea for those gardeners looking to try something new and different.