Over the years I have found that many people are intimidated or hesitant to make one of these Victorian hanging moss baskets. Is it because the task seems overwhelming? Is there perhaps a feeling that something that looks this cool must be difficult to do?
It’s actually pretty easy; you just have to know what to do in what order. I’ll explain below step-by-step how to create your own magical masterpiece. So here are step-by-step instructions on how to create your own magical Victorian hanging moss baskets.
First, you must have a location in mind before you get started. Why?
*The location will determine which types of plants (sun vs shade) you will use.
*Next consider how large you will want the basket to be (the larger the better!), and ensure you have a strong enough support to hang your basket. A fully planted and watered 18″ moss basket could weigh 50 pounds or more. Any size works; select the largest basket your space (and budget) will accommodate for the most dramatic effect.
Get all your supplies together: wire frame, plants, hanger, soil, moss, etc. The wire frames for this project were about 20″ across.
Very important!! Lightly moisten the moss to reduce dust!!
Begin by adding moss to the bottom of the basket.
Our plan first is to line the entire sides of the basket with moss, then begin planting and adding soil from the bottom up.
Continue to add moss up the sides of the basket.
As you add moss along the sides, be sure there are no gaps. The moss needs to form a uniform thick sheet (about 1/2″ thick when compressed with your hand) to hold in the soil. Keep checking with your fingers for gaps, and continue filling in with moss.
Once the sides are lined with moss, I like to recommend putting a saucer in the bottom the pot to collect water. With a moss lined basket it’s pretty hard to overwater your plants, and having this saucer inside the basket helps keep your plants hydrated through the summer months.
Begin planting the bottom most part of the basket.
Make a small gap in the moss. Push the root ball of your plant thru the most from the outside. The crown of the plant (where the stems join the roots) should be inside the moss layer.
These particular baskets are being used in a formal setting with a pink and purple palette, so we’re using fewer elements and more repetition for an organized, tidy look. The sides will be planted with Pink Tapien trailing Verbena (lacy leaf texture) and purple trailing Surfinia Petunias (larger rounded foliage to contrast with the verbena foliage). Plant in a ring around the bottom most part of the basket.
How many plants to use depends on the plant (and how big it grows) and the size of the basket. For these 20″ baskets I would suggest 4-6 plants per ring or tier.
Once a “ring” has been planted, add just enough soil to cover the root balls in the center of the basket. Watch for gaps in the moss where soil might be falling through. Also take care to not push the soil down too hard, or you may push the plants out of the wire frame.
Repeat the pattern until the sides of the basket are planted.
Now I like to add a centerpiece to the top of the pot, and one of the best is Gaura lindheimeri, also called Whirling Butterflies. It blooms all season long and tolerates lots of sun and heat.
Add a few more Verbena and Petunias to the top.
Hang them up and water thoroughly. I like to use a four wire hanger for baskets this large. It also helps to use a wire hanger on a swivel, so that the basket can be occasionally turned for even growth. You don’t want to be taking this down regularly to turn it – trust me!
Water the sides as well as the top. Fertilize regularly throughout the growing season.
And in just a couple weeks: