A Basket Case

I feel like this might be a little random but it still fits into the diy/home category that I love so I’ll just go with it and hope that maybe it helps somebody out there.  Coco-fiber baskets.  Ever heard of them/seen them?  You might’ve if you’ve been a reader of this blog for awhile.  They’re what we made the chandelier in our entry way out of.

They’re metal baskets made to hold plants and they’re called coco-fiber baskets because they’re lined with this thick, stringy material made out of coconut shells.  Do you care?  Probably not.

Well, here’s the thing.  I bought two for the above chandelier months before we even made the thing, misplaced them, thought I probably returned them, and then found them stashed away months after the chandi was made.  I still ended up returning one but the other I hung on our porch. 

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They look so much better than those hunter green or black plastic numbers that hanging plants come in these days and they’re a pretty cheap upgrade.  This one in particular only cost about $6. 

So, like I said, I hung it.  But before I did, I had to do a little research because I had no clue how to plant something in these.  Did I need to do something special because of the coco liner?  Could I use regular ‘ole dirt?  Will any plant work?

Turns out, they’re really no different than those regular plastic hanging baskets other than the liner, which keeps everything in place and in the basket.  Except, I read that plants planted in them need to be watered more often because the coco liner is not very good at holding water.  Since remembering to water plants is not my finest attribute, that doesn’t bode well for anything I bury in that basket.

Am I boring you yet?  Good.

As I usually do when faced with a conundrum of any sort, I put on my thinking beret and came up with this.  And it worked because my plant thrived all summer last year.  Here it is.

A plastic bag strategically placed to hinder water loss and harbor water retention…aka stop water from leaking out right after it was poured in.

Here’s my basket, all ready to find it’s plant mate:

After cutting off the handles of a plastic grocery store bag and cutting a few small slits in the bottom of it for drainage, I laid it in my basket like so:
Once I had it in the basket, I pulled the sides of the bag over the basket.  But since the edge of my basket was wider than my bag, I cut a couple of slits down opposite sides of the bag to make it fit.

Then I put a little bit of dirt in the bottom of my basket; just enough to set the roots of the plant atop it so the top soil of the plant would be slightly lower than the outer rim of my basket.

Then I set my plant in…
[I have no clue what the name of this plant is, do you?  All I know is that I bought it on clearance at Lowe’s for $3.]

…and filled the rest of my basket with dirt, making sure it was nice and packed around my plant.IMG_4955

Last, I went in and trimmed the excess plastic sticking up and over my basket edge so that it wouldn’t be noticeable while the basket was hanging.  A good watering and that basket/plant pair was set.

All of the above pictures were taken last year when I first tried the plastic bag trick, if you will, and that plant lived until freezing temperatures hit the South last December and I watered that thing maybe twice a week (even though it was probably closer to once a week).  This year I planted a fern in the basket and it’s doing just peachy (see the very first pic above).  I planted it about a month ago when it was just a wee thing and, well, it’s still just a wee thing but I have high hopes that it will grow and that maybe I’ll be able to keep it alive for a couple of years.  Time will tell.

So, all this is to say that if you’ve also been let down by the lack of aesthetics of the generic plastic hanging basket, set your bar basket higher because coco baskets are where it’s at…coco baskets plus a plastic bag.

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I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Anthony has his first whole day off in something like three weeks tomorrow so we are going to town on the to-do list – powerwashing, hanging new blinds, and working on these.  What’s in your weekend plan? 

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all you babies mamas out there!


  1. Hi Sheena. I wanted to share something that I recently read about. It fits perfectly with this post. http://sandandsisal.com/2015/04/how-to-keep-potted-plants-moist.html

    1. That is genius Lisa! Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely have to keep that one under my hat!

  2. I just need to borrow your creativity for like one weekend, will that work?

    1. Ha! Sometimes it comes along with a little crazy though... ;)

  3. Looks like a philodendron to me! They are easy to care for which is why they're so popular :)

    1. Oh! Which might be why it survived my haphazard watering!

  4. So smart! I just planted ferns on our porch and I'm already wondering how long I can go before forgetting to water them!

    1. They're pretty resilient...at least the ones I've planted in the past are so hopefully they won't mind if you forget them! :)