The plants grown in apartments are usually small or medium sized shrubs, originating in tropical areas of the world, where the climate is similar to that which we can find in apartments. Among the many plants, some are climbing plants, or with prostrate development; we shall cultivate them in pot, leaving them to fall down softly from the edges of the container, or we shall fix them to a guardian, which allows the plant to develop freely.
In order to make the most of the peculiar characteristics of the climbing or hanging plants, it is possible to place them in large baskets, which we will place in a raised position, hanging them from the appropriate 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, also we can enjoy the best of leaves and flowers, which will also assume a much more natural appearance.
Basket pots have a very different shape from the usual containers, usually they are portions of sphere, therefore they have a roundish bottom, not flat as it happens in the common cultivation pots. The baskets are usually even wider than a common pot, and allow the plant to develop a well widened rooting apparatus; on the sides are secured some rods, made of plastic, wire or metal, which meet over the pot, in way to hang it in an elevated position, leaving the plant inside hanging.
Usually the baskets to hang do not have drainage holes, because if it were to drain excess water from under the pot hanging high up in the house, it would certainly cause some discomfort, but it happens to find some baskets with saucer secured at the bottom of the pot.
If possible we prefer this last type of basket, otherwise we 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 pot an area of drainage for water, which will then be used over time by the plant.
In any case, since the excess of watering can not flow from the pot we can act in two ways: either we put plants in the basket that love large amounts of water, or remember to water more often, but sparingly, so that in the bottom of the basket does not create an excessive reserve of unused water, which could encourage the development of mold, fungi and rot.
There are many plants that we can grow in a basket, the first to mention are without doubt the leaf plants, which are most commonly grown in apartment, such as the epipos;epipremnum (also called potos), ivy, the philodendron: These are climbing plants, which are usually attached to large tutors covered with moss, if grown in a position from which they can fall these plants tend to produce large amounts of leaves, which we can enjoy throughout the year, without worrying about having to cut them because they stretch too much.
Also those plants with small foliage, which in nature have wallpapered development, such as the ficus pumila or the helxine, enjoy particularly the cultivation in basket; surely, the development will not be of metres, but, with the time, they will tend to cover almost completely the pot, stretching below the edge.
Often, some species of orchids are also cultivated hanging, which assume in this way a nice drooping posture, without that it is more necessary to assure a thin wooden guardian to the floral stems in order to keep them erect. This type of development is also more similar to the natural one of the orchids, which usually develop between the branches of tall trees, falling softly downwards.
Baskets hanging: And in summer?
If we have a terrace or an open space available in summer we can place in hanging baskets many of the most commonly grown flowering plants; as with balcony tubs, in hanging baskets geraniums, lobeliae, surfinia and bidens will grow to several centimeters, filling up with flowers. Generally, the baskets of surfinie and lobelia tend to become huge flowering balls, very decorative. Remember also in this case to choose baskets with saucer and consequent drain hole for the 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 avoid excessive watering, always waiting for the soil to be dry before watering again.