We are used to seeing vertical plants, growing at ground level, and this can make your garden or terrace look a bit boring. In decoration it is important to play with the height of objects to guide the eye through the space in a dynamic and fluid way. If all your plants are more or less the same height and size, the space will look dull, overloaded or as if something is missing. The solution is simple: play with heights, and hanging plants are your ally.
Hanging outdoor plants can act as that cohesive element on your terrace, balcony or garden, as well as adding visual interest. I love hanging plants because they are a way to add dimension to the space and give us an excuse to buy more plants, even if you think you have run out of space to put them. That's why we've rounded up some of the prettiest and easiest hanging plants to care for, plus a few tricks to keep them looking beautiful up high.
Tips for happy hanging plants
- Not all plants are suitable for hanging pots, although there are some that do well. As a general rule, any plant with flexible stems and a creeping or climbing habit will do very well hanging, as gravity will do its job and it will drain over the rim of the pot.
- Avoid hanging very heavy plants, as accidents are waiting to happen. If the pot is too big and heavy, the structure supporting it will eventually give way and fall to the ground sooner or later. It is better to look for light and simple materials, such as plastic, and use a decorative pot or macramé accessory to hang it.
- To lighten the weight of the pot, instead of placing pebbles or cobbles in the bottom to facilitate drainage, use pieces of polystyrene (polystyrene, corkboard) and on top of this add a couple of handfuls of hummus and then the substrate. This will provide a very efficient drainage surface without adding extra weight to the pot, plus you will be recycling a non-biodegradable material that would otherwise go to landfill.
- Some people place saucers under pots to catch excess water from watering. If you do this, remember to empty them a couple of hours after watering to avoid keeping the roots soggy.
- Hanging plants do not always have to be suspended from the ceiling. You can use hanging plants in pots with a raised base, which allows the branches to descend. Another option is to use planters or pots suspended on the edge of railings or walls, which allow the branches to drop.
- Hanging plants are rarely located in places where they receive direct sunlight, as they are usually placed under trees, on terraces, balconies and similar structures, but they may receive direct sunlight for several hours of the day, so it is important to take into account the orientation of the space in order to choose the right species.
- It is essential that you make the right installations for hanging your plants. Use sturdy hooks, capable of supporting the weight of the plant even when it is freshly watered. There are wall brackets, S-shaped hooks that you can hang from railings, exposed pipes, branches and railings, as well as hooks that need to be installed in the ceiling using a drill. Whichever option you choose, install properly for the safety of you and your plants.
- Choose the right type of pot for the species and what you want. Not all hanging pots are the same, as their design has different visual effects. For example, if you want plants that look like hanging spheres full of flowers, then you need a pot that is made of wire and allows you to cover it with fibre and make holes that allow you to plant the plants in all directions.
- Don't skip the fertiliser. It is important to keep these plants well nourished and watered so that they grow beautiful and lush. Nothing is sadder than a hanging pot with just a couple of lonely twigs.
- That said, the secret to having enviable hanging plants is to put several specimens in the same pot so that they look lush and full. They need to overflow from the pot to achieve the aesthetic effect you are looking for.
The most beautiful outdoor hanging plants
Bougainvillea are the most popular climbing plants in temperate to warm locations and during the summer, as the high temperatures ensure that their bracts will fill your garden with colour all season long. Lush and beautiful, easy to care for and maintain, it will become a favourite in your garden. You can also buy them in different colours and mix and match.
The secret to beautiful Bougainvillea is to take care of the temperature and the roots. It is native to the tropics, but is able to acclimatise and tolerate temperatures as low as -3 C. If it is in a temperate climate, it will flower all year round. Be very careful with its delicate roots and avoid transplanting as much as possible to avoid damaging it. It needs little watering, so a couple of times a week will be enough, leaving the substrate to dry out well between each watering. It should receive as much light as possible and in fact it does very well in direct sunlight. It is light that will stimulate flowering. Don't forget to fertilise every 3 weeks in summer and spring.
If you want hanging pots full of flowers, petunias are just what you need. Although they are not too elongated in stature, you can create beautiful arrangements by placing petunias in basket-like pots with fibre that allow for planting around and in the bottom. Their shallow roots make them perfect for this type of pot.
Sun-loving, they need at least 5 hours of direct sun a day. The ideal temperature for these plants is between 16 and 25°C. It should be kept indoors during the coldest months. Water fairly frequently, taking care not to get the flowers wet. The substrate should be well drained and remember to remove faded flowers to make room for new ones. Fertilise every two weeks during the growing season and enjoy its incredibly colourful flowers.
Portulaca flowers all summer long, loves the heat and is perfect for outside in a hanging pot. It is very easy to care for and undemanding, so it is perfect for people who don't have much experience with plants and want to add a touch of colour to their garden or terrace. There are 2 known varieties of this plant, portulaca grandiflora and portulaca purslane. The one that looks great in hanging pots is the portulaca purslane, as it has longer and more flexible stems, so it will droop its branches.
You should know that portulaca requires little watering, it is important to let the substrate dry out very well between each watering because excess water would be fatal. For the same reason, you must provide a well-drained substrate and use every trick in the book to ensure that it drains perfectly. You can use a sandy substrate or one suitable for cacti and succulents. You can add a little liquid fertilizer for flowering plants every 15 days in their regular watering and you will have a lush plant with beautiful foliage and beautiful flowers.
It's not all about flowers, so gardens also need plants with nice foliage. Ribbon is a great plant because it's beautiful and so easy to care for and propagate that you'll want to have several and plant them in different places. Creeping in habit, they are often used to fill in spaces on the ground under trees and long plants, but if you put them in a hanging pot they will spread their long leaves to fill your terrace or garden with greenery.
The Cinta or Mala Madre, as it is also known, loves the light that allows it to keep the light tones in its leaves, but it does not like direct sun, so it is best placed under the shade of some trees or protected by a structure or awning. It can survive temperatures as low as -2°C, although warm temperatures below 30°C are better for it. Watering should be more or less frequent in summer (2 to 3 times) and fertilise every 15 days in spring and summer. Don't forget to spray it from time to time, because humidity is essential for this plant.
Rosary plant or Senecio
One of my favourite succulents is the Senecio Rowleyanus or Rosary plant, although it is also known as the pearl necklace. It is so named because its leaves are practically spheres hanging from a slender stem. It is beautiful, very showy and grows very fast, and being a succulent, it is very easy to care for and reproduce. If you take care of it, you will have strings of green pearls hanging from your pot in no time at all.
Senecio prefers to live in semi-shade, as too much direct sun can dry it out very quickly, although if you have no other choice, you can leave it in full sun but you must increase watering so that it does not dehydrate. As a good succulent, it should have a well-drained substrate, with some sand in its preparation. Water when the substrate is dry, maybe once a week, but this depends on the temperature. Fertilize in spring with organic fertilizers and get ready to see it grow in all its splendour.
Also known as Queen's earrings, they are noted for their beautiful flowers that grow downwards, like lanterns in two shades of pink. They are decorative shrubs that can grow up to 1.5 metres tall, but will not grow as tall in the hanging pot. There are many varieties, distinguished by the colour of their flowers which can be purple, pink and red.
Fuchsia requires a lot of light, but avoids direct sun or sun for too many hours. It does not withstand low temperatures, so it should be sheltered in winter. As for the substrate, make sure it is well-drained and a little acidic. Water abundantly during flowering, keeping the substrate moist but not waterlogged. Avoid getting the flowers wet and don't forget to fertilise every 2 weeks with watering during spring and summer. You are now ready to have the most beautiful flowers of the outdoor hanging plants.
Potus is the noblest plant in the world. It grows under all environmental conditions and grows very fast. Because of its flexible, elongated leaves and branches it looks great in hanging pots. do you have a covered patio or where there is no sunlight? Potus will thrive. is your garden so sunny that everything you put in it burns? Potus will grow beautifully, with lighter green lines. On top of that, it is a purifying plant and you can reproduce it in no time at all.
The only enemy of the potus is overwatering, so it is best to check the substrate thoroughly before watering. Make sure it is dry and if in doubt, wait another day. Watering should be weekly, although if temperatures are very high, it may need a little more. The substrate should drain well and fertilise once a year with organic fertiliser. All you have to do is let it grow and be happy.
Air plants like Tillandsia are the perfect choice for those who love the neat and clean aesthetic of minimalism but need plants in their life. Tillandsias are perfect, because they don't need a pot with substrate, but can be placed in stylish metal supports, directly over railings or in other hanging arrangements.
On top of that, they are so easy to care for that they are ideal candidates for busy people or people who travel a lot. Place your Tillandsias in indirect light, especially in summer. They do not need watering, but should be sprayed from time to time to ensure adequate humidity levels, especially in summer.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.