Houseplant of the month - September: Hanging plants

Hanging plants are in the spotlight this September because these eye-catchers add character and a touch of the mystic to our homes. Both leafy and flowering hanging plants are absolutely in revival mode right now. There are lots of hanging plants that actually have air purifying qualities and they also fit perfectly into the current trend for all things natural, be it in shape, décor (think botanical prints) and having as much greenery in the home as possible.

Hanging plants look great in both classical and modern interiors and can be used in many different creative ways. Use a combination of different hanging plants to make things trendy, or surprising. You could perhaps create a really original element in your living room such as a ‘green wall’ or even a green room divider. Try draping a hanging plant over a large, pretty dish on your table for something different. Leafy and flowering hanging plants really can enhance your home.

Where they come from

Many of our leafy and/or flowering hanging plants originated in tropical rainforests where they are usually actually climbers. These plants all have ingenious botanical tools to help them along like suckers, hook-like spines, aerial roots, leaf/stem tendrils and curling stems. When climbers like this have no support, they tend to either hang or creep. There are also hanging plants that originated in more desert-like climes that resemble succulents. This means they can more easily survive periods of drought, or at least, less rain/watering.

How to care for them

Leafy and flowering hanging plants with thick, fleshy leaves require less watering in comparison, specifically because they are like ‘normal’ succulents. Others need gentle watering every two or three days just because the foliage is thinner and more fragile.
  • Most flowering hanging plants require a nice warm spot in the light, but preferably not in full sun. Rule of thumb: the bigger the number of flowers the plant grows, the more light it needs, and the lighter/more variegated the foliage, the more light it needs.
  • Water your hanging plants regularly with water that is not too cold. Don’t let the roots dry out but also don’t be drowning them. Hanging plants will thank you for a regularly spray of lukewarm water (just don’t spray the flowers).
  • To keep your hanging plant looking healthy for as long as possible, you should feed it every 2-4 weeks. Regular dead heading and taking off any old leaves will help. Also, prune back the vines when they get too long.