How to plant a pollinator-friendly hanging basket

If you have an external wall or fence post that you are able to mount a bracket on, then a hanging basket can be a great way to add a splash of colour to the wall at the same time as supporting your local pollinators.

Whilst it is always preferable to plant native species, we appreciate that many people like non-natives too. These can still be very beneficial for pollinators, so as long as they are not invasive, it’s ok to plant them.


Hanging basket

How to plant your pollinator-friendly hanging basket

Step 1: Line your hanging basket with conifer clippings, an old woolly jumper or an old hessian sack (don’t use sphagnum as this may have come from a peatland).

Step 2: Add a couple of layers of thin plastic (such as an old bread bag) into the base to help retain moisture, but pierce a few drainage holes in it to avoid it becoming waterlogged.

Step 3: Fill two-thirds full with a peat-free compost. Plant tall plants in the centre, followed by smaller plants around it and trailing plants around the sides.

Step 4: Fill in any gaps with compost.

Step 5: Hang your basket in a sunny spot and water regularly.

Recommended for planting: 

Tall central plants: knapweed, scabious, lavender

Smaller plants: pansies, marigolds, sweet alyssum

Trailers: ivy, nasturtium, honeysuckle, sweet pea, Lobelia ’pendula’

Time to complete

1 - 2 hours

Anticipated cost

Difficulty Level

Suitable location

Size of garden/greenspace

Best time of year

Associated wildlife


Help protect Scotland’s wildlife

Our work to save Scotland’s wildlife is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters.

Join today from just £3 a month to help protect the species you love.

Join today

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top