30 of the Best Plants for Hanging Houseplants

A potted plant on a shelf secured in a macramé hanger.
My Garden Life
May 20, 2024
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Hanging houseplants with their cascading foliage are a great way to take advantage of vertical space and add natural beauty to your home décor. If you’re a houseplant enthusiast but have limited window space, growing plants as hanging houseplants allows you to take advantage of “bonus” window space and allow all your plants to receive the most natural light. By including hanging houseplants, you can grow plants on a windowsill, table, or plant stand and still add a few more from ceiling hangers or a sturdy curtain rod. 

If you’re interested in growing plants in hanging planters, it’s important to know that some plants are better suited to growing in hanging pots than others. Most importantly you will want to choose plants with foliage that has a naturally trailing habit, rather than an upright growth habit. Plants with trailing foliage will eventually spill over the sides of a pot allowing the weight of the stems to dangle and create a dramatic cascading effect.

Best Hanging Houseplants

The best plants to grow in hanging pots are plants that don’t require a lot of special care or watering. Succulent types of plants are especially nice if you prefer minimal watering or have a location that receives a lot of direct sunlight. All the following plants are easy to care for and very popular for growing in hanging planters.   

Succulent Plants for Hanging Baskets

String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus)

String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus)

Delightful, easy-care plant with foliage that resembles a frolicking pod of tiny dolphins. The stems emerge upright and then gradually arch over to trail down the container. Under ideal conditions may produce small pink flowers. Also known as: dolphin necklace, dolphin plant, jumping dolphins, and flying dolphins.
Rhipsalis (Rhipsalis species)

Rhipsalis (Rhipsalis species)

Rhipsalis are a lovely group of Cacti native to regions of South America. Very easy to grow, they require only minimal watering and a regular supply of bright light. This is a species that does very well in a hanging basket or planter where the narrow, pencil-like stems can cascade over the sides.
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

Dangling strands of ball-like foliage look just like strands of pearls. A very unusual plant that offers a nice change from leafy tropical plants. The unique form brings an artistic, sculptural quality to a room. Keep away from pets as this plant could make them sick if ingested.
Ruby Necklace, Little Pickles, String of Pickles (Othonna capensis)

Ruby Necklace, Little Pickles, String of Pickles (Othonna capensis)

The ruby necklace plant is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa where it grows as a low, creeping mat of foliage along the dry, rocky coastal scrublands. It’s popular for growing as a potted plant indoors, particularly in a hanging basket. The plump, succulent leaves take on a purple-red tint when stressed by direct hot sun, drought or cold. Plants may produce yellow flowers periodically throughout the growing season. Also known as string of pickles and the botanical name Crassothonna capensis.
Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

Thanksgiving cactus get their common name because they bloom in November. Plants are often confused with another popular holiday succulent, the Christmas cactus, that blooms in December. These two species are related, but their foliage and flowering times are different, and neither is a true cactus. Both are epiphytes, native to the tropical coasts of Brazil where they can be found growing in trees or from cracks in rocks. Makes a low-maintenance houseplant.
Burro’s Tail Indoors (Sedum morganianum)

Burro’s Tail Indoors (Sedum morganianum)

The appropriately named “burro’s tail” (also known as lamb’s tail and horse’s tail) certainly looks like a gathering of some sort of animal tails—or a shock of unruly green hair—spilling over the side of its container. This succulent, native of Honduras and Mexico, is a favorite of indoor gardeners. The trailing branches can reach two feet (60 cm) long and look stunning dangling from a hanging basket or cascading over the sides of a large planter.
String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

String of hearts produces a gorgeous cascade of succulent heart-shaped leaves that seem to float along wiry stems. Each leaf is marbled with silver, giving the whole plant a silvery glow. Produces very unusual tubular flowers from summer into fall. This is a climbing, trailing plant in its native habitat of South Africa.
Goldfish Plant (Nematanthus nervosus)

Goldfish Plant (Nematanthus nervosus)

The goldfish plant is a fun and easy to grow plant that is sure to be a conversation starter! The bright orange flowers have a fused-petal form that results in the look of puffy little goldfish. The ideal location for this plant is somewhere the foliage can be allowed to cascade, such as in a hanging basket or on a plant stand. Native to Southern Mexico and Brazil.
Hoya, Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Hoya, Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Hoya carnosa is a climbing species often called wax plant for the waxy look and feel of its leaves. It brings both color and fragrance to the home with clusters of dainty blooms over a long period. The blooms are most fragrant in the evening. Some varieties have variegated leaves for added interest when not in bloom. Looks great grown in containers and hanging baskets.

Hanging Plants with Colorful or Variegated Foliage

Fittonia, Nerve Plant (Fittonia species)

Fittonia, Nerve Plant (Fittonia species)

Fittonia,  also commonly called “nerve plant”, is an eye-catching, easy to grow plant. Green leaves are etched with colorful veins that create a striking mosaic effect. Creeping habit is ideal for hanging baskets. Beautiful used as an outdoor annual, cascading over the rim of a container planted with colorful flowering plants.
Variegated Ivy Indoors ‘Variegata’ (Hedera helix)

Variegated Ivy Indoors ‘Variegata’ (Hedera helix)

A trailing houseplant popular for its beauty, toughness and adaptability. Variegated forms are available in green blended with white or gold, perfect for brightening corners and shelves. Easily trimmed to contain size and can be trained to grow on an upright support. Ideal for hanging baskets and mixed containers where the foliage can trail over the sides.
Heart-Leaf Philodendron ‘Brasil’ (Philodendron hederaceum)

Heart-Leaf Philodendron ‘Brasil’ (Philodendron hederaceum)

‘Brasil’ offers a colorful twist on a plant that has been a houseplant favorite for generations. That’s because heart-leaf Philodendrons are some of the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors. They tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light, poor soil and inconsistent watering. This is a great first-time houseplant or gift plant.
Pothos ‘Marble Queen’ (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos ‘Marble Queen’ (Epipremnum aureum)

Another fantastic, easy-care pothos variety; ‘Marble Queen’ has beautiful green and white marbled foliage that will blend well with any décor. A good choice for anyone inexperienced with houseplants. The trailing foliage adds a relaxed, natural feeling to any room. The vines can get quite long over time so don’t be afraid to prune the plant to keep it contained. Pruning also encourages new side shoots to form that keep the plant bushy and full.
Purple Velvet Plant Indoors ‘Purple Passion’ (Gynura aurantiaca)

Purple Velvet Plant Indoors ‘Purple Passion’ (Gynura aurantiaca)

‘Purple Passion’ purple velvet plant is a fascinating trailing plant that produces deep green leaves covered with fine purple hairs. The whole plant seems to glow purple! Prune back older foliage occasionally to encourage more colorful new growth. Mature plants may produce orange flowers in the spring. The blooms have an unpleasant fragrance and it may be best to remove the buds before they open.
Inch Plant, Wandering Jew Indoors (Tradescantia zebrina)

Inch Plant, Wandering Jew Indoors (Tradescantia zebrina)

A vigorous, easy to grow houseplant with a trailing growth habit. Many varieties have striped leaves and all have dainty, 3-petaled blooms. Place where the vines can fall freely or trail along a shelf for the best effect. Watering should be reduced in winter.

Tropical Foliage Plants for Hanging Pots

Green Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

Green Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

The green heart-leaf philodendron is a classic houseplant for hanging baskets. Heart-leaf is a climbing/trailing plant native to parts of Mexico, Central and South America. Its glossy, heart-shaped leaves may give it a delicate appearance, but this is a very durable plant perfect for beginners. Easy to propagate from stem cuttings.
Swiss Cheese Plant or Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Swiss Cheese Plant or Vine (Monstera adansonii)

Swiss cheese plant gets its funny name from holes that naturally develop in the plant’s leaves as they mature. The holes give the leaves the appearance of sliced Swiss cheese, but in nature they allow water and sunlight to flow through to lower parts of the plant.
Oyster Plant, Moses-In-The-Cradle Indoors (Tradescantia spathacea)

Oyster Plant, Moses-In-The-Cradle Indoors (Tradescantia spathacea)

A beautiful rosette of spiky foliage that adds great texture and color to any room. Produces small white flowers at the base of the leaves that are protected by two cup-like bracts. The bracts and blooms resemble oyster shells with little pearls inside! An easy to grow, low-maintenance selection great for beginners or anyone just wanting a low-maintenance plant.
Strawberry Begonia Indoors (Saxifraga stolonifera)

Strawberry Begonia Indoors (Saxifraga stolonifera)

Strawberry begonia is not a true strawberry plant or a begonia, it is a creeping plant that produces strawberry-like runners and leaves that slightly resemble some begonia species. The plant forms a tuft of rounded, deeply cut foliage with silvery white veins. Loose panicles of dainty white flowers are an added bonus. Perfect for all kinds of containers and terrariums.
Candle Vine/Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus australis)

Candle Vine/Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus australis)

Although commonly known as “Swedish Ivy” this plant actually originates in Australia where it grows as a wild groundcover. Looks great cascading from a hanging basket or spilling over the sides of a planter mixed with flowering plants. Produces small stems of white flowers, but is mostly grown for its lovely foliage and vigorous, rapid growth.
Inch Plant, Wandering Jew Indoors (Tradescantia fluminensis)

Inch Plant, Wandering Jew Indoors (Tradescantia fluminensis)

Inch plant is a long-standing favorite for growing as houseplant and a great plant for beginners. This vigorous trailing plant thrives under indoor conditions. The species has green foliage but cultivars are available with colorful variegated leaves. Small white blooms pop up intermittently throughout the year. Place where the vines can fall freely or trail along a shelf for the best effect.
Pellonia (Pellionia pulchra)

Pellonia (Pellionia pulchra)

A beautiful trailing plant native to regions of South East Asia. Produces a low, flat mass of satiny-textured foliage. The silver and green marbled leaves give the overall plant a soft glow. Occasionally prune back any leggy, older foliage to keep plant lush with new growth.
Maidenhair Vine Indoors (Muehlenbeckia complexa)

Maidenhair Vine Indoors (Muehlenbeckia complexa)

Also commonly known as “wire vine” because the plant forms a dense mass of wiry stems adorned with tiny round, glossy leaves. This New Zealand native can be grown outdoors in a planter for the summer or year-round in the garden in frost-free climates. It’s one of the best plants for training to a small trellis or topiary.
White Butterfly Syngonium ‘White Butterfly’ (Syngonium podophyllum)

White Butterfly Syngonium ‘White Butterfly’ (Syngonium podophyllum)

A gorgeous mound of creamy white foliage touched with green combines with the arrowhead-shaped foliage to create an illusion of butterfly wings. The subtle color is a perfect accent to any décor. Easy to care for and adds a relaxed, natural feel used indoors, or can it be enjoyed outdoors during warm weather on a shaded porch, patio or deck. Looks wonderful cascading from a hanging basket.
Creeping Fig (Ficus repens)

Creeping Fig (Ficus repens)

A charming member of the Ficus group with small, slightly heart-shaped leaves. Creeping Ficus is usually grown as a houseplant, but it can also be grown outdoors in frost-free climates. Selecting a location outdoors should be done carefully. Creeping Ficus will attach itself very firmly to walls, wooden fences and the sides of houses or trees. Give it a space where it can be free to roam.
Spider Plant Indoors (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant Indoors (Chlorophytum comosum)

One of the most carefree plants around! Spider plants easily adapt to indoor conditions and the soft, gently arched blades of foliage add a lush, relaxed feeling to any room. Looks great grown in containers and hanging baskets. Potted plants can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside for the winter.
Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Truly one of the toughest, most popular and easy care houseplants! Golden Pothos sends out trailing stems of green leaves, variegated with white or gold. The variegation is more pronounced when they are grown in bright light, but they do adapt to lower light levels. Place where the vines can fall freely or trail along a shelf for the best effect.

Epiphytes Make Good Hanging Houseplants

String of Nickels (Dischidia nummularia)

String of Nickels (Dischidia nummularia)

This plant is commonly called “String of Nickels” because its firm, round leaves look like long strands of coins. This is an epiphyte, or “air plant”. Epiphytes are plants that attach to trees, rocks, or other structures instead of growing in the ground. The cascade of fleshy foliage looks great in hanging baskets or mounted to a piece of bark or moss. Native to Singapore.
Lepismium (Lepismium cruciforme)

Lepismium (Lepismium cruciforme)

Lepismium is a rugged epiphytic cactus that can be found growing among the trees in South American jungles. Very easy to grow, they require only minimal watering and a regular supply of bright light. This is a species that does very well in a hanging basket or planter where the stems can cascade over the sides.
Million Hearts (Dischidia ruscifolia)

Million Hearts (Dischidia ruscifolia)

Million hearts is an epiphytic plant native to Asia where it can be found growing attached to trees or clinging to cliff walls. Epiphytes are plants that attach to trees, rocks, or other structures instead of growing in the ground. Produces long strands of dainty, heart-shaped foliage. Tiny white flowers appear close to the base of the leaves throughout the year. An exceptionally easy-care, no fuss houseplant.

How to Water a Hanging Houseplant

Hanging houseplants can be a little trickier to water than potted plants on table or plant stand. Especially if they are hung up so high that it becomes difficult to check the soil moisture or apply water. Try to keep this in mind when you hang your plant and position it at a level that allows fairly easy access to the plant. Plant hangers are usually sold in a variety of lengths, or you can make your own simple macramé hanger from sturdy cord or a rope hanger and customize the length to your space.

While a container with drainage is always recommended for potted houseplants, a pot with drainage holes creates a special problem when used for hanging plants. Here are some ideas for different pot selections and tips on ways to water your hanging plants:

1. Grow your plant in a hanging planter without drainage and then exercise caution when watering to avoid overwatering. If you gently lift on the pot after watering to get a “feel” for the weight, then do the same when you check the moisture level next time. Feel the soil surface moisture and lift the pot again to feel the weight. Over time you can get very good at judging the moisture in the pot by this combination of weight and feeling the soil.

A Philodendron 'Brasil' in a blue ceramic pot hanging by a macrame hanger is one of the best hanging houseplants.

2. Place the grower pot with drainage holes inside a decorative pot or plastic lined basket with no drainage. In this case you would want to pour off any excess water after thoroughly watering the plant.

A potted button fern is set into a teal-colored glass hanging pot by a window.

3. Take down the plant for watering. Place the pot in a sink, tub, or bucket to water and rehang it when there is no more water draining. During warm weather you can take your plant outside to water it and bring it back indoors later.

A woman hanging a pot of a flowering pink vinca plant using a macrame hanger.

4. You may see or read about suggestions to water your hanging plant with ice cubes so that the water is more slowly released into the soil. Realize that the ice will eventually melt into water, that can still drip from the pot if you apply a lot of ice cubes to a plant in a pot with open drainage holes. Also, tropical plants are very sensitive to cold. Placing ice cubes next to, or on the stems of your tropical foliage plants can cause tissue damage to your plant unless you have the soil space to keep the ice cubes well away from the plant. 

Ice cubes on the soil of a potted anthurium plant.

5. Place a potted plant on a hanging plate or shelf. Make sure the pot has a saucer to capture excess water or is placed inside a decorative pot without drainage holes.

A pot of ivy in a white ceramic pot placed on a shelf supported by a thick cord hanger designed for hanging houseplants.

6. Hang your potted plant with a saucer or use a pot that has an attached saucer. Note that once the saucer fills with water there is still some chance of it overflowing.

A houseplant hanging with a macrame hanger that includes a drainage saucer.

General Tips for Hanging Houseplant Care

Other general tips for caring for a hanging houseplant include:

  • Use a lightweight potting mix. Wet soil combined with a growing plant can become quite heavy over time.
  • Feed with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer for houseplants. Apply according to the product directions and recommended schedule.
  • Remove dead leaves to keep plant tidy. If you have a flowering plant, remove flowers once they fade.
  • Prune foliage if it becomes too long or to encourage more lush top growth.
  • Avoid hanging plants in a way that the foliage touches the glass of a window. The foliage can be damaged when the glass changes temperature during exceptionally hot or cold weather.
  • Unless the plant is hanging over a surface that is water-resistant, such as tile, glass, or plastic, you may want to consider some type of surface protection such as plastic sheeting, a bucket, or a tray to catch any drips or overflow from the pot when watering. 

More Ways to Enjoy Trailing Houseplants

If you love the beauty of a hanging houseplant but are unable to hang pots from a ceiling hook, you can get a similar effect by growing plants in a wall planter, a pot on a plant stand, or by growing trailing plants from a pot on a shelf. See our article 7 Houseplants that Look Great on a Shelf for helpful plant recommendations.   

Shelves in adobe style room with lots of potted trailing plants on the shelves.

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