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.
Hanging Plant Care
Hanging houseplants can be slightly neglected in general because of the old adage "out of sight out of mind" or simply because they are more difficult to reach. However, there are some key things to consider when choosing a hanging plant for a space. If it is going to be hung in a location that is difficult to reach, consider a houseplant that is tolerant of infrequent watering because inevitably there will be delays in watering. These spots would be perfect for a succulent like Burros Tail or Lipstick Vine Plant.
Another aspect to consider is the frequency of watering. Hanging plants are subjected to higher temperatures than other plants because heat rises in your home. This means that they are likely to dry out more quickly in between waterings, so you may have to set a schedule to adapt to these conditions.
Lastly, hanging plants can become dustier than other houseplants because they are less often viewed from above and if your home has heat registers in the ceilings. Thick dust layers on your plants can decrease their ability to photosynthesize and also can attract insects. Be sure to perform regular health checks on your plants and wipe them down with a moist cloth to remove the dust.
Otherwise, care for your hanging plant according to its specific needs as per usual. If you need advice, our helpful in-store staff are always ready to help you out.
Unexpected Hanging Plants
Hanging houseplants don't always have to be vines or trailing plants. Have a little fun with your hanging plants and consider some of the following options.
Tillandsia are a fantastic and unique hanging plant option since they derive their nutrients through moisture in the air. We sell a variety of glass globes and vessels that are perfect for creating miniature terrariums. Hang them in groups for a look that is reminiscent of raindrops or bubbles. Or go for a more modern aesthetic with these geometric metal-framed hangers for a trendy vibe.
Marimo Moss Balls
Marimo Moss Balls are a quirky phenomenon, to begin with, and then to place these water living balls in a bowl and hang them... Yep, you have reached maximum creativity! Marimo Moss Balls are not exactly what they sound like but are Aegagropila linnaei algae which grow into large green balls with a velvety appearance. These little balls like medium light and require their water to be changed every two weeks or so; however, in warmer months that might be more frequent due to the growth of other unwanted algae and evaporation.
However, for the best advice on how to actually install the hook in your ceiling, I would refer you to your local hardware store where someone can guide you through the process of choosing the right fastener for your plant based on its size and location.
Heather You, Digital Media Manager