Tip-top Trailing Plants for Containers


Bidens ferulifolia

Within your containers, consider planting Bidens ferulifolia commonly known as the "Tickseed" or "Apache beggar tick".

Gardeners who require trailing plants with colour for containers or hanging baskets often opt for this native of North America and Mexico. Tickseed stems are quite slender, these fine stems can be expected to trail and sprawl vigorously to around 60cm (24 inches) from a container. The healthy green leaves produced on the many-branched stems are elegantly divided and reminiscent of fern foliage.

During its extended flowering period from early summer to mid autumn, Bidens ferulifolia can be relied upon to produce masses of bright yellow five petalled flowers. Once its flowering is finished, the spent flower heads produce bristled seedpods, which stick like Velcro to your clothes or a passing animal's fur. This form of seed dispersal led to some gardeners branding the plant with the name "Burr marigold".


Consider planting Sutera cordata commonly known as the "Bacopa".

Just like Bidens, Bacopa is often selected by gardeners who require cascading colour for containers or hanging baskets. This native of South Africa can display flowers of white, blue, pink or purple depending on the cultivar selected. One of the most popular and freely available of these cultivars is Bacopa "Snow Flake", a white variety that I have seen in more than one or two bridal baskets. The almost innumerable white blooms each comprise of five round edged petals, with a yellow centre to the bloom. The vine-like stems are lushly clothed in down covered jagged green leaves.

Consistent blooming is the order of the day with Bacopa, many gardeners report of non-stop flowering from mid-spring up until early winter. If you plant Bacopa in a position with sun to partial shade, regularly water and feed it, then you too can achieve this amazing level of flowering.

Surfinia Petunias

Within your hanging baskets, consider planting Petunia X hybrida "Surfinia" commonly known as the trailing Petunia. The Petunia is originally from South America, among the plants closely related it are the tobacco plant, the tomato and our humble potato. Every second hanging basket I saw last summer boasted this colourful trailing plant, it indeed is common, but common for a good reason. The velvet trumpeting funnels of colour produced when the trailing petunia is in bloom are almost too good to be true. Colours available include white, purple red or pink, all over dark green slightly hairy leaves. It is well within the realm of even the most amateur of gardeners to grow a healthy specimen of this plant. To produce quick growth and abundant blooming choose a location in full sun and apply a liquid feed every second watering. If you are tired of the "Surfinia" petunia, another great variety for hanging baskets that may suit you is Petunia "Million Bells". I hope you have fun and lots of colour with these suggestions for plants in containers.

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Client comment

"We appreciate your efforts, are pleased with the plan, and will soon be in a position to commence landscaping. Regards."

- T Hussey, Athenry, Co. Galway
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