Low maintenance but high on aesthetic impact, succulents are the perfect houseplant to hang in your home.
Do you want to brighten up your homestead with a splash of greenery, but lack the space to do it? If your floors, coffee tables and windowsills are already at capacity, why not look up? Your ceiling offers a great opportunity to maximise the space and introduce some more foliage into your household, all at the same time.
There are plenty of trailing plants that you can bring into the home in a hanging basket, but succulents make one of the best options out there. That’s due to the fact that they’re incredibly robust and can bounce back even after a prolonged period without water, making them ideal for forgetful gardeners. They’re also accustomed to the warmer temperatures brought about by central heating, so they’re well-suited to pretty much any room in the house. Some humid-loving varieties will even thrive in the bathroom!
If you’re interested in bringing more succulents into your home but aren’t sure where to start, this handy collection of suggestions will point you in the right direction.
Twelve Hanging Succulents For Your Home
1) Donkey’s tail
It’s not difficult to see why this trailing succulent has earned the moniker of Donkey’s tail. The fleshy stems will hang over the edges of your hanging basket, with clusters of pastel green leaves clumping together in a form that resembles the pleat of a rope – or that of an ass’s posterior. If you’re lucky, the plant will produce small, star-shaped flowers of a pale red come summertime.
Like most succulents, Donkey’s tail requires a mere modicum of care. Simply place it in a spot which receives decent amounts of light and water it when the soil loses its moisture in the warmer months, cutting back on irrigation in winter. Be sure to never let it dry out completely, however, and keep away from humid settings such as bathrooms and kitchens. Reassess its size every couple of years and repot in a bigger container if necessary.
2) Ruby necklace
Originally hailing from South Africa, Ruby necklace offers its owners a mesmerising display of different colours. The stems themselves are perhaps its most eye-catching aspect on first glance and are what give the plant its name, being a full ruby red or purple hue. Though the leaves are typically a deep green, prolonged exposure to the sun will encourage them to take on the characteristics of the stems, leading to a real ruby necklace display! And in summer, the daisy-like yellow flowers offer the perfect contrast to the purplish backdrop behind.
Unlike many of the other options on this list, Ruby necklace does well even under the direct gaze of the sun and, as mentioned above, will reward you with a colourful transformation if it is placed in such a spot. All it really requires to thrive is well-drained soil and a pot with drainage holes to ensure it doesn’t become waterlogged and suffer from root rot.
3) String of pearls
String of pearls have become a hugely popular hit on social media in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. Their trailing, tendril-like stems – which can reach up to almost a metre in length – are dotted with small, spherical leaves that resemble pearls and retain water. This latter fact means that String of pearls is drought-resistant and actually prefers less moisture, so wait until the soil completely dries out before watering it.
It enjoys bright spots but doesn’t do so well in direct sunlight, although they’re hardy little creatures who will adapt well to most environments. For that reason, they’re easy to propagate, as well; simply replant a cutting in a fresh pot of soil and water it regularly until the roots take hold. Be mindful that the globular leaves can look like an appealing treat to small children and pets, but will upset their stomachs, so keep out of the reach of both.
4) String of dolphins
Every bit as photogenic as its pearl-shaped cousin, String of dolphins has that unusual name due to the unusual shape of its leaves. It also boasts trailing stems studded with fleshy leaves, but these have a beautifully crescent-shaped format, with a small protuberance at one side which resembles the fin of a dolphin. They’re also known as String of fishhooks for the same reason, but we know which name we prefer.
For the sheer novelty of their appearance, String of dolphins are an excellent complement to an ocean-themed setting, but don’t introduce them into the bathroom, since the humidity will sap their strength. Instead, keep them in a spot which receives some sunlight but not direct exposure, since that may cause the poor little dolphins to burn, while the soil should be allowed to dry out before watering.
5) String of hearts
Are you noticing a theme develop yet? String of hearts are so named for the romantic shape of their leaves, which dangle from the trailing vines of the plant itself. They’re quick-growing little critters and can reward you with an attractive beaded curtain-like effect in next to no time – but be sure position them in a location with plenty of space below, since their vines have been known to reach up to four metres in length!
Like the other succulents mentioned above, String of hearts do best in bright but indirect sunlight, since too much ultraviolet exposure will singe the foliage. They’re also prone to root rot if their soil is allowed to retain moisture too much, so ensure they’re placed in a pot with good soil drainage and a hole at the bottom.
6) String of nickels
No prizes for guessing that the English name of this trailing succulent was coined by an American! But despite its US moniker, String of nickels is actually native to the southeast Asian tropical rainforest, meaning you can bring a little of that eastern exoticism into your own home by transplanting it to a domestic setting! It doesn’t require much water but does thrive in humidity and heat, so it’s an ideal choice for a bathroom or kitchen, since those rooms best replicate the conditions found in the rainforest.
Another interesting fact about String of nickels is that it’s an epiphyte plant, which means that it will willingly grow on top of other plants and organisms. Put simply, it doesn’t care much for personal space or have any idea of what boundaries are socially acceptable! This means that you might need to be proactive when it comes to paring back and pruning, unless you want your whole home interior to be covered with tiny nickel-shaped leaves.
7) String of bananas
Native to South Africa, this stunning little succulent is the last in our “String of…” series. As you might have guessed, it’s named for the banana-like leaves which dangle from its thick, lengthy stems. Though not quite as prolific as String of hearts, the vines of String of bananas can reach a metre in length, so ensure there is plenty of room for them to grow and develop from your hanging basket.
String of bananas will do equally well indoors as they will al fresco, as long as they’re not placed in direct sunlight and their soil isn’t allowed to become waterlogged. They don’t like the cold, however, so if you are hanging them outdoors, you’ll likely need to bring them inside when the mercury begins to drop. Bear in mind that while their leaves might resemble a delicious fruit, they are highly toxic when ingested, especially to cats.
8) Flowering kalanchoe
Unlike all previous entrants on this list, Flowering kalanchoe is not a trailing succulent, but a more compact and self-contained alternative. However, you shouldn’t be put off by that fact, since its stunning foliage and flower blooms are sure to catch the eye. There are many different types of the species, which are generally divided by colour rather than cultivar. Choose from red, yellow, orange, pink, lilac, salmon, white or green flowering types to tailor the plant to the décor already in place in your home.
The thick flesh on the plant’s leaves allows it to retain moisture, so weekly watering is sufficient to give Flowering kalanchoe all the encouragement it needs. The species is also a short-day plant, which means that buds will appear when it enjoys fewer than 12 hours of light. Because of that fact, it’s possible to manipulate the plant’s exposure to light and trick it into thinking that its winter all year round, thus ensuring floral displays whatever the month.
9) Snake plant
Who doesn’t love a snake plant? These drought- and shade-resistant plants can literally go weeks without water or light without losing their lustre, while their stiff, pointed leaves with unusual patterns are reminiscent of the scales on a snake’s back. Like the Flowering kalanchoe mentioned above, Snake plants aren’t trailing species, but their upright foliage can look equally effective hanging from the ceiling as it does sprouting from the floor.
Just remember that the plants can grow up to a maximum of three metres in height, so you may need to transplant them into a larger pot with regularity. They are, however, very easy to divide and propagate in other pots. Although they’re more than a match for temporary darkness, they’ll thrive best and their leaves will look the most impressive when granted prolonged exposure to medium or bright levels of light.
10) Hoya plant
Rather than trail, hoya plants are climbers. This means that depending upon where you place the hanging basket, you can encourage quite stunning arrangements in and around your own. Besides its lengthy vines, hoyas are well known for their beautiful blossoms. The plant produces clusters of star-shaped flowers in white, pink and other soft tones, which all together form a globe. In full bloom, it’s quite a breath-taking sight.
Hoyas are native to Australia, Indonesia, India, China and several other parts of Asia. That means they need both warmth and brightness, but they don’t cope well in direct sunlight, so choose your spot carefully. Hoya carnosa is one of the most commonly found types of the species, but plenty of others are available. If you’d like a similar effect but without the climbing aspect, Hoya bella is a smaller and more compact alternative that works well in hanging baskets.
11) Christmas cactus
While all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti! This festive specimen is ideal for hanging around your home as the Yuletide season approaches, since its brilliant flowers blossom in the winter months. However, it’s just as attractive the rest of the year, too, with its chunky segmented stems that will trail over the edge of your basket. Best of all, it’s not as spiky as some of its other cacti brethren, so you can put away the gloves when handling it.
Although the Christmas cactus can cope in low-level light, it will produce better and more regular blooms in brighter locations. It also likes a little more water than many other cacti, so ensure the top of the soil is kept moist (but not soaking wet). To propagate, simply cut out a Y-shaped fragment from the extremity of its stems and replant up to a quarter of its height in fresh soil.
12) Medusa head
As the name suggests, this exotic succulent bears a striking resemblance to a seething den of snakes, much like those found on the head of Greek mythological creature Medusa. Fortunately, looking at this little beauty won’t turn you to stone, so you can take your time in feasting your eyes upon its strange splendour. When hanging from the ceiling, the head-height position of Medusa head makes it all the more impactful.
They’re a thirstier type of succulent than most of their counterparts, so be sure to water them regularly. They also need six hours of sun per day to reach their full potential, but they can become stressed if they receive too much UV light. However, as a succulent, they’re still pretty resilient if either light or water is taken away from them for a few days and should bounce back well.
Jonny is an avid writer with a background in tourism, film and literature, but has a penchant for penning articles on all kinds of topics. He's always considered himself an environmentalist to some degree, but in recent times he has found himself shining a greater spotlight on his daily lifestyle choices and how the tiny changes he can make to his routine can have a cumulatively significant impact on the planet.