Plantopia Hanging Basket: Product Review
Growing plants upside-down seems to be all the rage these days. And Plantopia has come up with a way to make that easy.
You’ve probably noticed hanging baskets that seem to be completely covered with flowers and may have wondered “How do they do that?” The quick answer is that they don’t just plant the top of the container – they insert plants into the sides of the basket!
To make that easy, this black, plastic hanging basket has eight holes in the sides through which to insert plants. And at 14 inches wide, the Plantopia planter can handle a lot of plants, making it easy to quickly grow a “flower ball” that’ll be the envy of all your friends.
Planting the Plantopia Hanging Basket
To prevent plants from falling out of the basket, the Plantopia uses 8 plastic inserts that partially cover the holes in the sides of the basket, leaving just enough room for plant stems to emerge without being crushed. These inserts are easy to remove and install.
To remove an insert, place both thumbs on the basket just above the center of the insert (on the outside of the basket) and push inward. I found that I had to push harder than I expected in order to bend the planter enough for the inserts to pop out. Don’t worry – you won’t break it. Just push until the basket bends under your thumbs and the insert will fall out.
Remove the inserts before adding potting mix and plants; if you try to remove them afterwards, it’ll be difficult to bend the pot enough to pop out the inserts.
Add potting mix to just underneath the holes and push your plants in through the holes, roots first. I used flowers in 3-inch pots and had no problem getting them into the holes. I wouldn’t suggest going much bigger though. For a list of the Proven Winners flowers I used, see the sidebar.
Replacing the insert is just as easy. Put the bottom in place around the neck of the plant (from the inside of the container) and then push the top into place. You’ll hear a “snap” as it locks in position. Be careful not to crush the plant as you do this.
After the inserts are in place, simply fill up the rest of the container and plant a few more flowers in the top.
Does It Really Cover the Whole Basket?
The holes in the basket sides are intended to allow you to fit more plants into the planter and have it quickly cover the entire planter. Whether or not that happens depends on what you plant. Vigorous, quick-growing, trailing plants will work best (for example, sweet potato vine, some petunias, bacopa, calibrachoa).
Because the holes are set low in the basket, I’d recommend putting fast-growers in the top of the basket so that they will drape over the sides. The basket itself isn’t particularly attractive so you’ll want to use plants that will grow quickly to hide the basket.
One issue I noticed was that the holes are all in a row, causing the plants to basically form an “upper” and “lower” ring around the basket – at least until the plants on top grew significantly. I’d have liked to see the holes staggered so that they’re not all in a row.
Be Careful Watering
As with any container, the Plantopia hanging basket needs frequent and careful watering, especially during the hotter days of summer (I watered daily). Although there’s a water “reservoir” in the bottom that is meant to retain some water, I found that the basket was difficult to water if the soil dried out. Rather than soaking into the potting mix, water simply flowed out of the holes when I watered, making it almost impossible to get water to the plants. This wasn’t a problem when the soil was moist.
To ensure that the plants get enough moisture, water every day (at least) and ensure that the soil is always moist. If it dries out, water very slowly, starting and stopping the water flow to give it time to seep into the dried out potting mix.
Hanging the Basket
The basket comes with a metal chain for hanging. It’s sturdy and doesn’t rust but isn’t particularly attractive.
I’d have liked to see a larger ring at the top, or a hook, as it was difficult to find a place to hang it. The ring didn’t fit over many of my larger Shepherd’s crooks and, without a hook, I couldn’t hang it from a railing.
Made in USA
The Plantopia hanging basket is made in the USA with 100% recycled materials. It’s made of sturdy material that held up well over one season of use (and I assume it will be fine next summer as well).
I give the Plantopia Hanging Basket a 3-shovel rating. It works well enough and it’s easy to plant through the holes in the basket sides. It’s not very attractive and can be difficult to water because of the planting holes, but if you use fast-growing plants and keep it consistently watered, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful hanging basket.
Where to Buy
The Plantopia basket can be purchased online on Amazon in two sizes. While we tested the 14 inch pot, only the 12 and 18 inch sizes are available online. Prices range from around $20 for the smaller size to $29 for the larger one.
You can also find the Plantopia hanging basket in a few garden centers nation-wide; check the Plantopia website for details.
And now over to you – Which hanging baskets have you used? What did you like or not like about them? Let us know in the comments below.
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