Hanging Hypertufa Baskets – I Tried It & It Works!
Making a hypertufa liner for a wire-form hanging basket.
A few summers ago, I thought about replacing my coconut liners in my hanging baskets with a permanent form made from hypertufa. It won’t degrade like the coconut ones, and will look really nice with succulents with a cascading habit.
And guess what? It works. And I really like the look. I have made the hanging hypertufa baskets or planters using the mold form of a hanging wire basket. This ordinarily holds a coconut fiber liner which you typically have to buy new each year. At least mine seem to get all ratty looking, and I have to get a new one. (Need those $$ for more succulents.) And I have also made some draped hypertufa hanging baskets too!
Maybe the nesting birds want to line their nests with the fiber, so they rip at it? Or maybe the squirrels get a kick out of seeing how it frustrates me when it is all shredded! Whatever the case, I now have permanent liners!
I am using this in the sunny or bright areas in the garden. It will need to be watched to keep it watered when it is dry. But I didn’t have much problem last year when I had succulents in the coconut fiber, so this has made it even more convenient. I think the hypertufa liner is light enough, but be sure to use a heavy “S” hook, and be sure that the wire basket is a sturdy one.
Here is a short film I made ( one-handed) as I tried this first one. I am still learning.
Next, here is the finishing-up video showing the plant I put into the basket.
I also use these types of hypertufa hanging baskets in my shade garden. I have some pedestal-type supports which can hold a basket or round pot. I can make a unique hypertufa planter for each pedestal. So all the hanging wire forms can have a unique fitted hypertufa liner made for each.
The ones in the shade garden can have Japanese Painted Ferns and will be soon covered with mosses. And I plan to put large troughs there too. Just got myself another 94 pound bag of Portland cement. I hope that I will shortly have that used up!
Here are a few pictures of the finished product. I was checking out the imprints on the side, but not securing it into the wire forms since it was still “green” and needed to cure for a week. But I think it has turned out nicely. ( Since I have made the video, I have planted and hung the planter. It has aged well and looks like it will last many more years. In fact, three years later this is still in fine shape and has an aged look.)
Have you made anything unusual with hypertufa? I have seen your head vases over on Facebook and I am determined that I will eventually make one of those.
I am always trying to think up something different to try. Along with making bowls and troughs. What about you? There are a lot of talented people who are posting all kinds of experiments on our new Hypertufa Gardener Group on Facebook. Why don’t you come join us?
Wonderful work on thinking up this trick and making them. Do you use cold hardy succulents or do you buy new succulent plants each year? If you have cold hardy ones, could you name a few that you like that are easy to careful for beginners to succulents? Thanks!
I try to use hardy ones, since it is such a pain to bring plants inside in winter. Just check you zone and at the garden center, get the ones which suit your zone. You may be able to grow mistletoe cactus, donkey tail, elephant bush, etc outside where you live. I just cannot here in Ohio, but I love those so much, I bring them inside. ( They are all cascading.)
I had trouble getting the tufa out of the wire basket. Any hints for us?
I had wire frames with just a slight “give” and had lined with heavy plastic. After they dried, I didn’t have too much trouble, bend and pull out. Maybe let it dry longer? Shrinks a little more when it is dry? Hope that helps.
Well, that video intro is a real loooong fail. I will get to work on that and re-splice and fix that…