How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners like Disney - wire hanging baskets over lake
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How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Like Disney Using Coconut Coir Liners: 11 Tricks for Amazing Flower Baskets

Tips & Tricks to Create Magnificent Hanging Baskets Like Disney At Home

If you have ever been to Disney, you may have noticed hanging flower baskets that are basically big, gorgeous orbs of flowers with no visible baskets in sight.  Full and lush, such bountiful blooms are similar to the stunning flowers that grace balconies in Bavaria.  Either way, the look may seem impossible to achieve at home unless you are a professional gardener.  Believe it or not, there are simple pro tricks to help you recreate such stunning hanging flower baskets in your own yard.  One of which is that underneath those mammoth flowers, there is often a coconut coir fiber liner supporting them.  This is just one of the secrets to creating eye-catching flower displays like those on display in theme parks.  If you’d like to learn more professional tricks to create beautiful flower baskets like those at the “most magical place on earth,” keep reading…

Come along with me as I try tricks the pros use to recreate spectacular hanging flower baskets like those at Disney…

**Find out why every home & garden needs the magic of an arbor entry here…

Key-West-Style-Tropical-Arbor-Every garden needs an arbor for cascading flowers like this bougainvillea

**”Lightscape” your home & garden with the best colorful landscape lighting ideas here…

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Best colorful landscape lighting ideas to illuminate your property at night…

**Discover how to turn an old, worn wreath into an island-inspred tropical wreath here…

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Give an old wreath a tropical island makeover…

Grow a bromeliad with orchids in a hanging moss ball, aka Kokedama, here
Grow a bromeliad with orchids in a hanging moss ball aka Kokedama here…

**Note: This post contains affiliate links for which a small commission may be earned if you decide to make a purchase through a link.

Tricks to Create Hanging Flower Baskets Like Disney

Trick #1: Why Hanging Flower Baskets? Maximum Visual Impact

Bring Your Floral Creations Eye-Level for Instant Impact

Why plant all your floral masterpieces in the ground when you can hang them where everyone can see and appreciate them?  There are few better ways to make a visual statement that to have your floral creations at eye-level.  You and your guests should not have to always look down to see your awesome floral displays.

Add Color & Seasonal Style on a Dime

Floral hanging baskets are a relatively inexpensive way to add “eye candy” to your home and garden due to the sheer variety of plants, colors and textures.  And don’t forget to change your basket arrangements for different seasons.

**TIP! Many “trailing” plants actually do better in baskets than growing in the ground.  Keep reading to find out which ones…
How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners - Like Disney_baskets overlook lake
Close-up of newly planted baskets using coconut coir liners.  Don’t worry, the flowers will fill in with time.  For contrast, Petunias on the left are spaced closer together than in the basket on the right.  Additional “filler” plants can be added later if desired.  Also, note that while the root of the Petunia on the far right is not quite pushed through in this pic, making the slot seem larger, 3 inches by 3 inches is large enough to insert your plant, which will quickly fill in.

Trick #2: Hanging Wire Baskets

In order to achieve the large hanging orb of flowers effect, there are two basic things you will need– a wire basket (with a hanger) and a coco fiber liner.  Alternatively, you may use a sphagnum moss “shell” that is sufficiently supported.  Then, simply follow the directions below to insert your plants around your basket for a gorgeous globe of flowers.

These 4 packs of strong steel-rod
 hanging baskets have a black vinyl coating making them rust-proof. They include 4 coco liners & chains. Choose between 10-, 12- or 14-inch diameter baskets.

**TIP!  If you want a similar all-encompassing floral effect but without the basket, look for stand-alone wire-frame planters or a trellis like this one which can easily accommodate any climbing roses, clematis or any vining, flowering plants of your choice…

To get an all-encompassing flower effect without baskets, try a sturdy lattice grid trellis like this one in areas of your garden where hanging baskets are not practical…

If you don’t have wire baskets, is it possible to create a similar effect with regular hanging baskets?  Believe it or not…

Trick #3: Can You Use Regular Hanging Baskets? If You Select the Proper Plants…

If you only have regular hanging baskets lying around, you may be able to achieve a similar orb of flowers effect.  How?  The secret is that you must use long-trailing flowers such as the Petunias suggested below.  And, of course, follow all the other tricks for spectacular blossom-filled baskets…

How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners like Disney - a close-up of petunias, dianthus
Unlike traditional baskets, coconut fiber liner gives you flexibility to grow a variety of flowers, foliage or herbs all around the sides of your basket.  The trailing Petunias, while planted on the sides here, are actually excellent growing from the top as the “centerpiece.” Instead, I used some extra Dianthus I had as the centerpiece.

Trick #4: Experiment With Color

When assembling your hanging flower baskets, be sure to experiment.  Sticking with one color family will lend major visual impact but variety is the spice of life…  Even including different sizes and colors of the same flower, such as different but complementary hues of Petunias or Ivy Geraniums, can take your arrangement to the next level.

**TIP! Don’t underestimate the visual impact of white.  Try using all white flowering plants to brighten up shadowy walkways and other dull spaces.

Trick #5: Not Just Flowers — Add Foliage & Herbs to Hanging Baskets For Modern Texture & Color

Leafy Foliage & Herbs Add Interest & Dimension to Baskets

Consider adding asparagus fern, ivy, spider plant, bleeding heart & purple heart, etc. as side fillers between the flowers in your baskets.

Remember, a variety of attractive leafy foliage helps create distinct color and texture combinations to make your baskets stand out from the all-flower baskets…

**TIP!  Seasonal flowers, herbs and leafy foliage let’s you adapt your style to changing seasons, as well as set a holiday mood in your garden.
How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners like Disney - add petunias
I used an old dianthus plant that I needed to transplant as the top centerpiece.  Giving it new life as part of this hanging basket will hopefully give it renewed vitality.  Fertilizers with more phosphorous than nitrogen should promote more flowers, less leaves- especially towards the end of summer.  As flowers fill in and grow down over coco fiber liners, baskets will take on a fuller floral appearance…

Trick #6: Certain Types of Flowers Grow Better in Hanging Flower Baskets

Many plants that grow in a “trailing” fashion, such as Million Bells, Ivy Geraniums, Petunias, especially “Supertunia,” “Wave,” “Ramblin’ Hybrid” and “Surfina,” Impatiens, Dianthus, Coleus, Torenia, Fern, Ivy, etc., love to grow hanging from a basket rather than just out of the ground.

**TIP! Long-trailing plants like trailing Petunias may only need to be planted in the top of your basket and will grow full over the edges.  Shorter trailing plants like Purple Verbena, Lantana, Bacopa and Fuchsia may need to be planted on the top and all around the sides for that coveted full-looking display.

Trick #7: Coconut Coir Fiber Liner Benefits for Hanging Flower Baskets

Coconut coir, also known as coconut fiber or coco basket liners are a durable, natural way to grow one-of-a-kind flower displays in wire baskets.  They provide both drainage and air circulation for healthy plants, as well as support.  These flexible liners provide form and shape, while allowing flowers to grow through and around the basket.

As you will see, cutting small holes strategically through the liner enables flowers to grow from every angle of the basket, not just from the top.

Are There Drawbacks to Coconut Coir Liners for Hanging Flower Baskets?

Coconut fiber liners tend to lose moisture fast, causing them to dry out not long after you water them.  Soaking the liner in warm water for ten minutes or until they are saturated prior to planting will provide initial hydration.  However, since the liner wicks away moisture, any flowers you plant will need to be watered once, or even twice, daily during hot summers.  Keep reading for more watering tips…

Trick #8: Prevent Coconut Fiber Lined Baskets from Drying Out So Fast

In addition to frequently watering your plants, help prevent your coconut fiber liners from drying out by adding a layer of moisture-trapping plastic.  Discover how to do this below under,How to Plant Wire Hanging Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners Step-By-Step.”

Trick #9: Water, Water, Water Your Hanging Baskets

Hanging flower baskets dry out super quick already in the hot summer sun.  There is less soil to begin with, plus, as we learned above, coco liners dry out fast.  In order to achieve plenty of lush healthy blooms, the last thing you want is for your flower baskets to dry out.  Dryness not only destroys your plant’s roots, but a poor root system begets weak flowering.

**Scroll down to Trick #10 to discover a product that helps your potting soil retain more moisture…

**TIP! How Do You Water Hanging Flower Baskets in the Summer?

In addition to adding a plastic layer for additional hydration, as described above in Trick #8, make sure you water you hanging baskets thoroughly and frequently, especially in the heat.  During hot summer days (with temperatures over 70° F), water your baskets at least once a day.

To do so, place your baskets on the ground and give them a deep and even soaking until the water runs out of the bottom of the basket.  Water twice a day if it gets really hot out or if your flowers start to look limp and dry.

**TIP!  Make sure you place your flower baskets on the ground when you water because, as you will discover, watering makes them heavy.  Also, know that when your baskets feel light, it might be time to water.
**TIP!  As your plant grows, it will need more water and nutrients, meaning you may have to water twice a day by the end of summer.

Trick #10: Try Adding Water-Holding Polymer Crystals to Prevent Flower Baskets from Drying Out So Fast

Some potting soils already come with these included, but if your potting mix doesn’t, you can always add some.  Consider a product like “Soil Moist” which attracts and retains moisture in your soil rather than having it drain right out every time you water

Trick #11: Add Fertilizer to Hanging Flower Baskets

Because you have to water them so often, plus the porosity of the arrangement, means any nutrients will quickly drain out, much more so than with potted plants.  To combat this, add a slow-release 15-15-15 fertilizer to your soil when you plant, and then add a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer when you water two or three times a week.

TIP! Nitrogen In Soil Is a Secret to Promote Cascading Flowers in Your Hanging Baskets

Nitrogen, which you will find in 20-20-20 fertilizer, is one trick to promoting cascading flowers that spill out of your baskets as well as cascading vines.  Also, look for more of this in your fertilizer for more flowers….

TIP! Phosphorous Helps Promote Blooming Flowers in Your Baskets

Fertilizer Recommendations:

This 20-20-20 fertilizer provides essential bloom-inducing nutrients, including phosphorous, potassium & nitrogen.

Another excellent & reliable “flower food,” this 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer will promote abundant & cascading growth.

**TIP!  Evaluate your blooms and if they are not as lush as you like, consider gradually adding liquid fertilizer more frequently.  Some prolific gardeners of bountiful blossoms have been known to feed their hanging baskets as often as every day for the lushest blossoms around.  Try a 20-20-20 fertilizer for essential bloom-inducing nutrients, then switch to one with more phosphorous for more flowers.

How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners like Disney - wire hanging baskets over lake

How to Plant Wire Hanging Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners Step-By-Step

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Wireframe hanging baskets or planter stands;
  • Coconut coir fiber liners trimmed, if needed, to fit basket frame;
  • Plastic bags with drainage holes added (or even diapers) to line the coconut coir for added hydration;
  • Scissors or knife;
  • Soil with compost added for a rich fertile soil, such as Master Nursery Gardener’s Gold Potting soil;
  • Seedlings of flowering trailing plants or herbs such as Geraniums, Petunias, Impatiens, Dianthus, Million Bells, Begonias, Coleus, Torenia, Fern, Ivy, etc.  Also, consider shorter trailing plants Purple Verbena, Lantana, Bacopa and Fuchsia;
  • 1 Tablespoon of slow-release fertilizer such as 15-15-15 fertilizer like the one below;
When planting your hanging baskets, start with a slow-release fertilizer 

Directions to Create Beautiful Hanging Baskets From Coconut Coir Liners:

1. Hydrate the Coconut Coir Liner:

Soak the coconut coir fiber liner in water for a few minutes until it is completely saturated.

2. Press & Size:

The hydrated coconut liner should now be quite pliable.  Press the liner into the wire basket until it conforms to its shape.  Coconut coir disk liners are sold in a variety of sizes; however you can always cut large ones to fit your basket.  Once pressed in place, you may use scissors to trim the liner if it overhangs the wire basket too much.  However, a little excess overhang folded over the rim is not a bad thing as it will soften your basket’s rim.

3. Add a Layer of Plastic for Hydration:

As discussed above, if you live in a drier climate or just want to ensure your flowers don’t dry out, adding a plastic layer over your coconut liner will slow drainage to hold moisture longer.  If you decide to add this layer, do the following…

  • Take a plastic grocery or garbage bag and cut it like a round disk shape to fit the bottom of your basket.  You may even use a small baby diaper for this purpose.  Whatever you use, make sure to use scissors or a knife to poke a few drainage holes in the plastic so excess water drains properly.

4. Mark & Cut Holes Around the Coconut Coir Liner for Your Plants

Mark the spots to create the holes where you will insert your shorter trailing side plants.  You can use a felt-tip marker or the tip of your scissors or knife to mark the spot with a dot.  Try to space each dot evenly around the basket a few inches down from the rim.  Then use your scissors or knife to carve small cross-shaped slits at each dot about 2.5 to 3 inches by 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter.

**TIP! Remember, these side holes or slots will allow you to view plants from every angle no matter how high you hang your baskets.  To accomplish this, create holes large enough to insert your plant’s roots.
How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners - create holes at intervals around coconut fiber liner
Use a pair of scissors to carefully create holes at intervals around the coconut fiber liner…

5. Add Your Soil Mix

You may prepare and add some of your moistened soil and compost mix to the basket now, pressing it in gently along the bottom of the basket.  Add the rest of your soil mix after you have inserted all your plants.

6. Prepare & Insert Your Plants Through the Holes of the Coconut Coir Liner

Gently moisten your plant’s roots so they are pliable and easy to work with.  Decide which plants you want to place all around your basket, usually the shorter trailing plants.  You could also use the same plant all around, of course.  Longer trailing plants are ideal for the top “centerpiece” as they will grow over the sides.

  • Carefully remove your plants from any containers and shake off some of the excess dirt around the root ball so they fit inside the holes.  You may want to wrap the root balls in a thin paper towel or saran wrap just to make them easier to insert from outside the basket.  This makes them easier to pull from inside.  Then simply discard the paper or wrap.
  • Continue inserting the plants all around the basket, alternating different plants if you like, until you achieve your desired effect.

7. Add Your “Centerpiece” Flowers on the Top

  • Add a bit more of your soil mix to cover the roots of the side plants, then add your centerpiece trailing plants such as Geraniums, Petunias, Impatiens, Dianthus, Million Bells, Coleus, Torenia, etc.  You will likely only need to position one plant in the center as it will grow in.  A plant from a 4-inch container will eventually fill in the basket.  Of course, feel free to experiment and create a “mixed basket” arrangement.  Add soil to within an inch or so of the rim, firming the soil around the base of each plant.

How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Using Coconut Coir Liners - add your centerpiece flowers

8. Add Your Slow-Release Fertilizer

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of slow-release fertilizer beads around the top of your soil, such as the 15-15-15 one mentioned above.

9. Water

Water the seedling plants right away.  Don’t forget to check their moisture levels every day, and water as needed.

10. Evaluate & Enjoy Your Floral Masterpiece

Check your basket from all angles to make sure you are happy with the variety of plants, colors, and textures.  Remember that the side plants will eventually grow out, and the centerpiece will also fill out and grow down.  Now, hang your baskets and watch them grow into a full “head” of blossoms.  The end result may look like there isn’t even a basket there — just a gorgeous hanging orb of flowers!

Conclusion: How to Make Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets Like Disney Using Coconut Coir Liners- Bookmark & Share These Tricks

If you’ve followed these tricks and tips, you should have some show-stopping Disney caliber hanging baskets soon.  Make sure to bookmark this page so you can always maintain a consistent hanging basket care and fertilizer routine.  And don’t forget to share them to inspire others to grow their own amazing orbs of Disney-style flowers.


Have you tried growing Disney-style hanging flower baskets in your garden?  Share your favorite tips & flowers in the comments!