Q: I’m looking for a plant that will stay green all year long and flourish in a hanging pot on my porch. In years past we’ve just bought annuals. Is there a perennial that will work under these conditions?
A: There are no perennials that bloom or have remarkable features year-round in a hanging basket. However, to keep the outside of the basket attractive, you can duplicate a trick that professional designers use. Fill a large, lined hanging basket with potting soil. Plant rooted cuttings of ivy (either green or variegated) side-by-side just inside the rim. Pin the ivy (use ferning pins bought at a craft store) to the side of the basket as the vine elongates. Plant appropriate annuals in the center, depending on the season. Pansies, impatiens, petunias and even florist hydrangeas work well. Substitute and replace the annuals as the seasons change. Your basket will at least be green year round; flowers in the middle make it an even more attractive focal point.