Draping plants and hanging baskets

Description:  Let's talk about plants that are good for draping over walls, rocks, fences, and from hanging baskets.
Author: Tom Barrett
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some plants can be described as vertical, upright, bushy, tall, and imposing. In this blog, the topic is plants that hug, drape, cascade, flow, trail, and spread. We're talking about plants suitable for draping over walls, climbing up fences, and hanging from baskets. Sometimes there is a place in the landscape that needs just this type of plant. The plants you choose will make a difference as to whether they survive or not.

draping plants

Here are a few draping plants often seen growing in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Dianthus Caryophyllus (or carnation)
  • Myrtle
  • Some types of sedums or succulents
  • Ivy
  • Veronica
  • Rock cress
  • Alyssum
  • Pachysandra
  • Heather

You may have also seen some of these used as groundcover as they create a lush, thick covering.

Creeping plants, although beautiful and nicely cover a large area, are often invasive. Ivy and pachysandra are vigorous growers and will take over. You will need to trim them back about twice a year to keep them under control. If you've never considered growing these plants in an area where they can drape over a rock wall, you should try them -- they make a nice addition to the landscape.

When selecting a plant for draping, make sure it can deal with the conditions of that specific location. Often draping a plant on a rock will expose the plant to more heat. On a fence, it will be more susceptible to wind damage. Think about the water needs of the plant and can it get enough water? Will the plant be able to stick to the surface of what it is draping? Some plants, like succulents, love doing this and will thrive all the more if they can set root in multiple places. (See our blog about growing sedums.)

As a guide, many plants that are typically used in container gardening are also candidates for draping.

Edible draping plants? Well, try tomatoes, zucchini, or nasturtiums for a start! You may need to add some additional support for heavier vegetables, but it's a unique idea to create an edible hanging plant arrangement...don't you think?

It's fun to get creative with draping plants. And they look so graceful cascading off a rock wall or majestically climbing up a fence or pergola.

Draping plants and hanging baskets need to be maintained. For help with managing your garden, hanging baskets, and all your outdoor maintenance needs, Environmental Construction provides a Full-service Garden Stewardship Program. Just give us a call and we will do the rest.

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