I had a couple of bin liners laying around and thought I’d use them to line my hanging baskets with. So, I looked into it and put together this helpful article to explain if you can use bin liners to line hanging baskets.
So, can you use bin liners to line hanging baskets? You can use bin liners to line hanging baskets as long as you poke some holes in it. If you don’t have holes for the water to drain out, the soil will be too damp and cause root issues such as root rot.
There are other options you can use to line your hanging baskets that may do a better job than plastic. I’ve listed some of them below with their benefits and drawbacks.
Should I line my hanging basket with a bin liner?
Lining your hanging basket with plastic such as a bin liner or a plastic sheet works well as long as you can put some drainage holes in it.
Without drainage holes, the water will pool at the bottom of your hanging basket and will cause issues like root rot and fungal diseases. So you should poke a few holes in the bottom to allow the water to drip out.
What are some materials to line your hanging basket with?
The hanging basket liners you can use are sphagnum moss, landscape fabric, coconut fiber, a plant pot, and plastic liners.
|Type of hanging basket liner||Pros||Cons|
|Coconut fiber||Good drainage
It’s a natural material
Need to buy from a specialty store
|Landscape fabric||Good drainage
Easy to install
Keeps the soil in well
|Made from synthetic material
|A plant pot||Easy to install
Allows no dirt through it
|Plastic liners||Easy to find around the home
Easy to install
Lasts a long time
Good drainage if holes are used
|Not the best looking
Is made of synthetic materials
|Sphagnum moss||Last for a few years
Coconut fiber is extracted from the outer shell of coconuts. It is strong and lasts for a long time. You can get two big handfuls of coconut fibers from each coconut.
Coconut fiber works as a good liner for your hanging basket. It retains moisture and slowly releases it for the plant but also drains out the excess water. The material has a rustic look to it making it an attractive and popular choice as a liner for hanging baskets.
The coconut fiber is a biodegradable resource that is also sustainable and good for the environment. Most plant stores that sell hanging baskets will sell the coconut fiber separately.
You can get the coconut fiber liner that is made into the shape of your planter or one that you can press into the planter so it acquires the shape you need.
The coconut fiber liner is pH neutral with a small amount of potassium and phosphorus that is beneficial to the plant. It also has antifungal properties that protect your plant from fungal diseases.
The drawback of using a coconut fiber liner is that it can be expensive buying them every year. You need to visit a store that sells hanging planters and the coconut fiber liners to buy them.
Landscape fabric is often used as a weed mat. But you can also use it as a liner for your hanging baskets.
The benefit of using landscape fabric is it’s inexpensive and requires very less maintenance than a material like coconut fiber. It also has a premium look to it when placed inside the basket.
The drawback is that the landscape fabric does not fit naturally into the basket. You will need to adjust it in the basket and hold it in place with a wire.
You need to make sure it does not bunch up in just one portion of the basket. And you’ll need to cut off any excess that pops out of the basket.
The landscape fabric is a good drainage material so the excess water will drain through and drip out the bottom. This way your plants won’t become waterlogged.
Sphagnum moss is a natural material that is found in peat bogs in certain locations of the world. It is also known as peat moss.
This material works great as a basket liner because it can retain good moisture but drain out the excess. When you add water to dried sphagnum moss it expands and can hold up to 16x to 26x its weight in water, according to Wikipedia.
The drawback of using sphagnum moss is that the material is not a renewable resource and hard to find which makes it expensive.
It also gives a rustic look that is similar to coconut fiber. The material does not naturally fit into the basket so you need to moisten it and press it into the basket.
Sphagnum moss will also attract birds to your hanging basket as they try to take the pieces for building their nests.
Bin liners are a good choice to line your hanging baskets if you want to save some money. They do well to hold the potting soil and moisture.
You do need to add some drainage holes at the bottom so the excess water can drain out.
The drawback of using a bin liner is you need to hold it in place in the basket. Otherwise, it may shift and the soil falls out. A piece of wire could be used to hold it in the right position.
The bin liner is also not aesthetically pleasing so if you’re looking to create an attractive hanging basket, it might not be the right choice.
Do hanging baskets need liners?
If you want to directly plant into the hanging basket, it will need a liner. This helps hold the soil and moisture in the basket.
If you use a pot inside of the basket, then you don’t need to use a liner. The pot is sufficient to hold the plant, soil, and moisture.
At the end of the day, it depends on your personal preference whether you want to put pots in your hanging baskets or use liners.
It depends on the look that you are trying to achieve. A more natural, garden of Eden look, can be achieved by using a natural fiber hanging basket liner.
For a more industrial look, you should go with a bin liner, landscaping fabric, or plastic pots.
What are the best hanging basket liners?
The best hanging basket liners are coconut fiber, peat or sphagnum moss, and landscaping fabric. This is because they hold the soil in, allow water to drain through, and look nice.
If you are unable to source any of these then garden pots or bin liners can be used. But bin liners are the least preferred option just because of how they look.
You can use bin liners to line hanging baskets provided you poke a few drainage holes at the very bottom of it. Otherwise, water will pool in your hanging basket and cause damage to the roots.
There are many good options to line your hanging basket with such as coconut fiber, peat moss, plant pots, and landscaping fabric.
They have pros and cons, and you should choose one based on their availability and your personal preferences.
But peat moss and coconut fiber are the preferred option because they are natural and do a good job of holding in the soil and draining away the excess water.