My Hanging Baskets Are Not Holding Water – Why? What To Do?

Hanging baskets are a beautiful addition to the aesthetic of your patio and gardens. However, taking care of plants in hanging baskets need more attention and care than plants in soil beds and pots. Have you noticed your hanging baskets not holding water?

Luckily, we've done plenty of research and have the answers for you below!

There are several factors why your hanging baskets have trouble holding water:

  • Lack of space
  • Soil mix problem
  • Fertilizing issues
  • Overwatering or underwatering

Continue reading through the post for further discussion about the cause of why your hanging baskets do not hold moisture and how to fix the problem. With that said, let's dive right in!

Why Aren't My Hanging Baskets Holding Water?

Woman holding a hose and spray gun whilst watering a hanging basket

Hanging baskets could not hold water due to several factors, and we listed the causes below:

Lack Of Space

There is not enough room for roots to grow. The plant roots are tangled and won't absorb enough water and nutrients. The plant roots become bound, and it will be impossible to keep them alive.

To fix a root-bound plant, get bigger hanging baskets with 16-18-inch diameters and transplant your plants for more room for the roots to expand. Replace the potting soil with a new one for a fuller life.

Soil Mix Problem

Choosing the proper soil for your hanging baskets is necessary to retain moisture and keep the plants hydrated. Bad soil won't hold enough water, which could cause problems.

Coco coir holds moisture and nutrients needed for the plants to grow healthy. It is denser than peat moss when watered.

Perlite and vermiculite are also great options as soil mixes for hanging baskets because they have the best moisture retention. You can mix in compost and soil for well-drained capacity.

Fertilizing Issues

Regardless of the soil you use, fertilizers and moisture deplete quickly in hanging baskets. Lacking fertilizers will cause the roots not to absorb water and nutrients and the plants to die.

Use a slow-release fertilizer in the potting soil for continuous nutrients and energy supply. Compost tea is also ideal for hanging baskets.

Overwatering Or Underwatering

Imbalanced watering may cause the hanging baskets to struggle, and soon, the plant will slowly die.

Consistent watering and scheduling will help in proper root absorption. Water the plant when needed, and stop watering if the soil is still wet.

Allow the topsoil to dry before watering them again, but avoid too much drying.

How To Prevent Hanging Baskets From Being Dry

Dried dead flowers in a hanging basket by the door of residential building

Having hanging baskets gives extra elegance to your home, but you need to keep them moist for better development and continuous growth.

There are ways to avoid drying out your hanging baskets. They include:

Line The Baskets

One of the effective ways is using a liner. These are the best linings beneath the soil mix:

Coco Coir

Coco coir is long-lasting, thick, and moisture-absorbent, which makes it a good basket liner. This liner retains and releases water and nutrients to maintain soil moisture.

Hanging basket coco coir liners are easy to use. Soak them in water for 30 seconds before fitting them in the baskets. Apply perlite and soil nutrients, then place your plants.

View this coco coir basket liner on Amazon.

Plastic Linen

Plastic linen is a good liner for hanging baskets. According to the discussion in a forum, you can use a ziplock as a liner beneath the soil. Pierce the plastic to make holes for drainage before placing it in the basket.

Burlap Liner

Burlap liner is eco-friendly and biodegradable. This liner is perfect for home-based and garden projects. It helps protect the roots and plants and retain moisture.

Line a sheet in the basket before adding soil mix. and planting the plants.

Click here to check burlap liners on Amazon.

Use Soil Mix

Some soil mixes dry out more quickly than others, so choose a soil mixture that holds water for the roots to absorb. Vermiculite and perlite are good choices. If these rocks are not available, you can make your worm compost.

To make worm compost, buy a worm bin and worms, feed your worms, and harvest.

Mix in coir, shredded coconut fibers, or compressed soil for worm bedding. You can also purchase worm compost casting for soil amendment, soil conditioner, and organic compost.

Click here to check worm fertilizer on Amazon.

Go For Self-Watering Baskets

Self-watering baskets have spaces for water storage, which help your plant drink while you are on vacation. Most self-watering reservoirs are heavy-duty, strong, and will not rust.

You can hang these baskets around your home, porch, garden, or anywhere.

View this self-watering basket on Amazon.

What Are Some Common Pests That Target Hanging Baskets?

Common pests that target hanging baskets, My Hanging Baskets Are Not Holding Water - Why? What To Do?

Hanging baskets are not exempt from insects and pest attacks. Listed below are some of the insects that can attack your hanging baskets:


Thrips pest of many plants

Thrips are sucking insects that feed off the plant's cells, causing worse damage. These insects cause white, silvery speckling patches on plants. The fruits and flowers get damaged, and soon the plant dies.

Follow these tips to get rid of thrips:

  • Wash the plants to remove them.
  • Shake off the plants to remove insects as much as possible.
  • Prune the damaged parts of the plants.
  • Spray with neem oil.
  • Build an environment for natural predators like ladybugs.


Aphid close up on a green leaf

Aphids are soft-bodied, sap-sucking insects that feed off plants. They reproduce and colonize rapidly, covering the entire plant in just a short time.

Tips on how to control aphids on hanging baskets:

  • Spray water to shake off aphids from your plants. Use a prayer or a garden hose to put pressure on removing pests. Ensure your plant won't get damaged due to too much pressure from the sprayer.
  • You can manually remove the pests using a brush and wipe them out. However, you can strip off or deadhead the plant if there is too much infestation and it almost covers the leaves. Drop the cut leaves in a bucket of water. Protect your hands with gloves.
  • Dust flour the infested parts. Flour constipates aphids once they ingest it.
  • Mix water and mild detergent soap. Use a paper towel or rag and dip it in the mixture. Wipe down the aphids off the leaves.


Close up of a slug on a leaf

Hanging baskets are susceptible to slugs even though they are hanging up. Slugs leave mucus as they move. They destroy fruits and vegetation and could hinder plant regrowth.

They feed at night and hide in daylight.

Ways to control slugs:

  • Eggshells help in dehydrating and killing slugs. Wash the eggshells before spreading them out on the potting soil.
  • Insecticides or fungicides with copper are effective in controlling slugs. Their mucus reacts to copper, which creates electric shock.

See this copper fungicide on Amazon.

What Are The Best Fertilizers For Hanging Plants?

Purple petunia flowers in hanging basket

Listed below are some of the best fertilizers for hanging plants:

Jobe's Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe's Fertilizer Spikes has a slow-release formula, providing a steady amount of nutrients to your plants, keeping them healthy all seasons. Ideal for potted plants and hanging baskets.

View this Jobe's Fertilizer on Amazon.

Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome Geranium

Fertilome is ideal for all hanging baskets, geraniums, patio plants, pansies, and ornamental plants. This fertilizer works best as a soil drench.

View this Fertilome on Amazon.

Espoma Organic Fertilizer

Espoma Organic Fertilizer works best on annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, and roses. This fertilizer has 3-4-5 low nitrogen and 5% calcium, promoting abundant blooms.

Approved for organic gardening, environmentally safe, and has no toxic ingredients.

Click here to check Espoma on Amazon.

Jack's Classic Water Soluble Plant Food

Blended with water-soluble micronutrients, the plant absorbs the food directly, promoting healthier and more robust plants in any growing conditions.

This plant food boosts iron intake and maintains low phosphorous. This is Ideal for hanging baskets and other locations with an inconsistent water supply.

Click here to check plant food on Amazon.

Nelson Plumeria Tropical Food

Nelson Plumeria is a good source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Works best on in-ground, hanging baskets, and container plants. The plants get an immediate boost of nutrients upon application.

View this Tropical Plant Food on Amazon.

To Finish Up

We discussed the causes of why your hanging baskets do not hold enough water. We also tackled how to prevent drying out your plants. Hopefully, we helped you solve the problems with your hanging baskets. Happy gardening!

For more helpful tips in gardening, you may proceed to read these posts:

Best Soil Mix For Hanging Baskets [7 Top Options You Should Try!]

Geranium Hanging Baskets (Care Guide, PICTURES, and More)

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