When you live in an apartment, space is valuable and window real estate is often limited. In my place, there’s one small sunny window, and I do my best to crowd as many plants as possible in front of it, but I can still only fit four, and that’s just not nearly enough for a #crazyplantlady. The solution? Hang ’em up. There’s always plenty of ceiling space you’re not using. But not every plant will look good when you’re viewing it from below—you want something that drapes elegantly over the sides of the pot and isn’t too high-maintenance (because, let’s be honest, you’re not going to feel like dragging out your step stool to water it every day). Not only are these six foliage options beautiful for indoor hanging baskets, they are also a breeze to care for.
You often see baby’s tears (Helxine soleirolii) in terrariums due to its delicate little leaves and low-growing tendency. But before you pop it in your fairy garden, know that it spreads quickly and will waste no time in covering up your ceramic toadstools, stretching its vines for the rim of the bowl. But the same characteristics that demand frequent trimming in a confined space make baby’s tears an excellent choice for a hanging planter. The wandering vines spill over the edge of the pot, and the intricate leaves provide plenty of visual interest on their own. Baby’s tears prefer humid conditions, so try it out in the bathroom if you’ve got the space and natural light.
Baby’s Tears Plant in 4″ Pot from Amazon; $5.99 + $7.59 shipping
Burro’s tail (Sedum burrito) is a succulent with stems for fleshy leaves that hang in long braids over the rim of the pot, making it an excellent candidate for elevation. It also loves the hot, dry air that tends to collect up near the ceiling. Give it a spot where it gets plenty of sunshine and err on the side of caution when watering—it can tolerate periods of drought and too much moisture will rot the roots.
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are a no-brainer for hanging baskets. The long, slender leaves naturally droop around sides of the pot for a cascading effect that’s annoying if the pot is setting on a windowsill, but beautiful if it’s hanging in the air. And if you’re adopting your first-ever houseplant, you couldn’t choose an easier specimen. Spider plants are kind of like the goldfish of the plant world—a starter pet that’s easy to take care of and cool to look at but otherwise doesn’t need a lot of attention. Hang it in a spot where it gets a bit of sun and give it some water once or twice a week and you’ll be good to go.
Spider Plant in 1 Quart Pot from Amazon; $14.70 + $6.98 shipping
English ivy (Hedera helix) is the creeping vine that you’ll see covering brick walls on the campuses of historic colleges. Actually, it’s not a good idea to plant English ivy outside because it’s pretty much unstoppable once it gets established and can become invasive—but it’s a great option for a trailing hanging houseplant. You’ll find dozens of cultivars with leaves in all shades of green, as well as variegated options with cream, yellow, and dark purple. Plant English ivy in well-draining soil, making sure the soil is dry to the touch before watering, and hang it in a sunny window—this is key to keeping it from becoming leggy.
8 Baltic English Ivy Plants in 1 3/4″ Pots from Amazon; $7.45 + $6.04 shipping
Arrowhead plant (Nephthytis) has large, textured heart-shaped leaves that won’t go unnoticed. Like many plants that do well in hanging planters, arrowhead plant is a vine that trails off the edge of the pot. You can even try wrapping the wandering stems along the edge of a bookshelf or the top of the window to create an indoor jungle. It likes humidity, so mist it daily or hang it in the bathroom, being sure to keep it away from direct sunlight.
Bridal Veil Plant
The dark green and purple foliage of a bridal veil plant (Gibasis geniculata) is sprinkled with pearl-like white flowers. It’s a good choice for indoor hanging planters for its cascading foliage and love of indirect light (though you can also hang it under a porch roof in summer if you like, bringing it back indoors at the end of the season). Water only when soil feels dry to the touch or you’ll risk drowning the roots.
Now all you need are some amazing hanging planters:
AT’s Founder Shares His Favorite Hanging Planters
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