In part 1 of this series, we discussed some wonderful varieties of plants that make excellent hanging plants. From succulents to ferns, hanging houseplants come in a wide variety of options to suit your decor and level of ability.
In this blog post, we are going to cover hanging plant best practices like choosing the right pot for the right plant, drainage options, care and some alternatives which might pique your interest.
Choosing the Right Pot
Houseplants come in a variety of plastic growers pots which are utilitarian, though somewhat unattractive. Hanging plants come with plastic hangers that are sturdy and efficient but are also a little large for most ceiling hooks. For these reasons, you are likely going to want to repot your houseplant into something that is more attractive and practical for your space.
As with most houseplants, size matters when it comes to choosing a new pot for your plant. Typically you shouldn't go 1-2" larger than the plants existing pot size. this is because a large volume of soil may hold too much moisture for your plant. This may lead to root rot, mould growth and can attract insects like Fungus Gnats. So when choosing your new pot, just be mindful of its size.
Another thing to consider is the drainage for your hanging plant. We usually encourage the use of pots with drain holes to prevent the previously mentioned problems; however, this might not be practical when your plant is dripping on to your rug 6ft in the air.
But have no fear, there are definitely options for you. The first is to choose a pot without drainage holes and follow the protocol that I outlined in a previous blog post "Using Pots and Containers Without Drainage". In brief, you can create your own drainage in containers by using a mixture of drain rock and horticultural charcoal. If you are hanging a succulent or cactus plant, it is suggested that you go with a container or pot with a drain hole. These plants dislike having soggy soil, so skip the pots without drainage and continue reading for more options.
Plants that do well in pots without drainage would be ferns like Boston Ferns, Spider Plants, and Tradescantia. These plants thrive in moist soil (not soggy!) and will tolerate a pot without drainage well. We carry a great selection of hanging pots without drain holes and regular pots without holes which can be placed in hangers like Macrame or on hanging "shelves".
When using a pot with drain holes, there are 3 options for you to consider when hanging your plant. The first is to buy a hanger such as a macrame holder like this which is large enough to accommodate a standard saucer/tray that matches the pot. This creates a seamless look to the pot and has a pleasing aesthetic. When watering just we aware of the capacity of the tray. In this situation, I chose a saucer which was slightly larger than I would normally allow for extra drain off to protect the furniture below.
This is your best option for plants that prefer well-draining soil such as cactus and succulents. The tray will catch any drips, but also will allow the excess water to evaporate more quickly.
The second option is to use a plastic drip pan. These are clear plastic trays equipped with their own hooks that attach to the outside of the pot by the lip of the rim. They are quite deep so they have excellent water catching abilities and are affordable. Additionally, they can be fitted with the standard growers' pots that hanging plants are sold in and come in several sizes.
The third option seems a bit obvious, but you can always bring your plant down to water in your sink or bathtub. This has added benefits such as checking on the health of your plant (looking for insects, fungus etc) and allows you to water more accurately without any potential mess.