From bright yellow striped foliage to aerial roots and cactus spikes, plants from all over the world have interesting characteristics. Some plants, particularly rainforest plants, are trailing in nature. This makes them ideal for a hanging pot!
Hanging pots allow plants that naturally grow at heights to trail happily in your home, as trailing plants need plenty of space to trail down with wiry stems and intriguing leaves. In this guide, we'll explore a range of trailing plants that will bring summer vibes into your home all year round. With a little watering, the right soil, and a securely hung plant pot, you can grow any of these plants at home in the UK.
Why choose trailing plants?
Trailing houseplants have numerous benefits. Besides looking great, they are also good for other purposes - you can add a hanging pot to the centre of a room or even the corner, without relying on wall or table space.
Trailing houseplants are also often the best plants for bathrooms, where floor space isn't available. Many trailing variety plants are native to rainforest areas of the world, where they need plenty of humidity anyway. From bright blooms to eye-catching foliage, trailing varieties are just as diverse as other plant collections. You can explore all our plants at Prickle by style and purpose to find the right fit for your home.
The secret to hanging plants
Some trailing plants are hardy, while others can be rather tender plants, all of them need a secure home. Ensuring your hanging pot is firmly attached is very important - don't let it come crashing down!
When you are planning to grow a trailing plant, make sure you read up on the final size of the plant. Some of the plants on our list can reach several metres in height, while others stay quite small. Your hanging planter should be able to comfortably hold the weight of the plant, the ceramic pot, and the soil.
6 great trailing plant prickles to explore
Our list of the best trailing plants at Prickle are all perfect for a hanging planter or a plant pot perched on a high-up shelf. Some can also climb, so you have the option to grow them up a moss pole.
1. Devil's Ivy
The Devil's Ivy, aka the Epipremnum aureum, is perfect for hanging pots with it's wavy, thick stems and narrow dark green leaves with yellow flecks. It trails down with a slightly messy, jungle-like appearance that we love.
Devil's Ivy enjoys bright light but is happy in a some shade too. Keep your watering schedule to a minimum, as it only needs a drink when the soil is dry to the touch. Increase watering in the early summer, as the warmer weather can dry out the soil at a faster rate.
Overall, the Devil's Ivy is a very easy plant to grow and is perfect for beginners that want to explore trailing plants that look good in hanging pots or planters on tall shelves. It's also a fast grower, so it will quickly fill a space with its vibrant foliage.
Fast Growing Trailing Plants
Native to islands in the French Polynesia, Devil's Ivy likes conditions that mimic the temperate climate - a sunny position with moderate shade throughout the day, and soil that receives a little water when the top layer is completely dry.
The fast-growing nature and easy-going personality of the Devil's Ivy has made it a bit of a pest in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Once it has moved in, it tends to be a bit of a devil to remove. In your home, thankfully, it is pot-bound and easy to control with a little pruning. You can even propagate the stems you trim off using our guide to propagation.
2. Sweetheart Plant
Sweetheart Plant, also known as the Philodendron scandens, has beautiful hanging leaves that are a heart-like rounded shape, hence the name. These hanging plants can also be grown as climbers, up a moss pole, if you don't like the hanging plant pot look.
Like many other plants that trail down, it is native to a rainforest environment that offers it partial shade, warm temperatures, and consistently moist soil. Give it a feed regularly to keep the soil fertile too. When this plant is happy, it should have vibrant and slightly glossy green leaves. If the leaves seem too small, it needs more humidity.
The Sweetheart Plant is quite fast growing, so you'll have the satisfaction of watching it trail down (or climb up) to heights of 4 metres relatively quickly. Just keep the foliage out of the way, so pets don't take a bite of the toxic leaves.
Best trailing plants for shady areas
While the Sweetheart plant can handle low light or part shade, it is best placed in a mildly bright corner rather than a dim corner. Nonetheless, it's one of our favourite trailing plants for shady areas and doesn't need much to stay healthy and happy.
Remember to water sparingly, increasing during the hotter summer months, and give the plant a yearly prune. Removing dead or yellow leaves keeps the plant healthy and encourages growth!
3. Fishbone Cactus
The Fishbone Cactus, aka the Epiphyllum anguliger, is definitely one of the most interesting plants here at Prickle. This trailing plants name comes from its uniquely shaped foliage.
As a succulent, it prefers bright indirect light with some direct sun and a generally bright position throughout the day. Like all cacti and succulents, over-watering is a huge problem that can lead to root rot. So, recreate hot weather conditions in your home that it can thrive in. The optimum temperature range for this plant is 16°C to 25°C with minimal watering and an occasional misting.
When happy, the Fishbone Cactus can sprout small pink flowers with spiky petals! These usually appear in the autumn and only bloom for one night. Like the foliage, they are toxic to pets and babies so keep an eye on any curious nibblers.
Sun-loving hanging houseplants
The Fishbone Cactus is one of the best plants for full sun and sunny spot conditions. It can handle some direct sunlight on the trailing stems throughout the day, so it's great for any south-facing windows.
When it comes to repotting you can use some cactus compost to keep this plant happy. It is a slow grower but can reach heights of 2 metres when well cared for and we think it's one of our most beautiful trailing plants .
4. Blue Star Fern
The Blue Star Fern, also know as the Phlebodium Blue Star, is ideal for a hanging basket. These trailing houseplants are native to the South American rainforest, where they grow at heights and naturally trail downwards. To keep the Blue Star Fern happy, try to mimic the conditions of the rainforest by keeping compost moist and ensuring high humidity.
Keeping the top five centimetres of the soil moist and providing lots of mist is essential - that's why we class this plant as a high-maintenance diva! Keep an extra close eye on it in the summer, to ensure that the soil doesn't dry out.
A bright spot in your bathroom is usually the best place for the Blue Star Fern. A high shelf or hanging planter in a brightly lit area will keep it happy - just don't expose it to too much direct sun.
Fast growing plant
The Blue Star Fern is a very fast grower. From late spring to autumn, when the temperature and light conditions are optimum, be prepared for plenty of growth. Reaching heights of 1 metre, this plant also gets quite heavy and difficult to move.
Finally, watch out for brown patches on the foliage, as this can be a sign of too much water. The foliage is also toxic to pets and babies, so keep it out of the way too.
5. Watermelon Peperomia
Native to South America, Watermelon Peperomia, aka the Peperomia argyreia has distinctive green striped leaves that give this Prickle its unique name. This trailing plant is incredibly drought tolerant and only needs the occasional water. To do this, take down your hanging plant pot and let it sit in a dish of water to absorb what it needs.
Watermelon Peperomia might be from a warm climate with a summer growing season, but the leaves and stems can actually survive in temperatures as low as 10°C. This makes it an excellent plant for our UK climate.
This slow grower can eventually reach a height of 30cm and will drape down elegantly while retaining a good bush-like shape. Choose a white ceramic plant pot to really make the frosty white stripes on each leaf pop.
Pet-friendly trailing plant
The Watermelon Peperomia prefers bright light or a little shade over full sun. It's also suited to small pots as well as hanging planters, and can be placed in a location where pets wander close. As a pet-friendly plant, it's totally non-toxic, so you don't need to panic if Mittens takes a bite.
6. Spider Plants
Last on our list is the Curly Spider Plant, also known as the Chlorophytum bonnie. Like all spider plant varieties, it has long foliage with green and white colours. It's an easy grower too - once situated in consistently watered compost, it will flourish with very little care. You can even place this plant near pets and babies without worry; it's non toxic!
The Curly Spider Plant is well suited to a hanging plant pot thanks to the tendril-like foliage that hangs down in luscious curls. When this plant is particularly happy in your home, it will start to grow baby plants that can be propagated to create new plants to give as gifts or grow your at-home jungle.
Although rare, the Curly Spider Plant may also bloom with white flowers in the summer. Like the foliage, these are non toxic should they be accidentally nibbled by a pet or small human.
Perfect for small hanging planters
Even when fully grown with baby plants emerging in the summer, the Curly Spider Plant won't extend further than 70cm at most. It's ideal for small hanging ceramic pots as a result.
As for placement, this plant prefers bright indirect light over full sun. It can also tolerate a little shade, so long as the leaves and stems receive light at some point during the day.
Best trailing plants
You don't have to stick to this list of plants to place in your hanging pot, but our carefully selected trailing plants can help you get started on your plant parenthood journey.