Hanging plants add elegance and beauty to any room. But some of them are actually good to grow in the garden. Here are seven hanging plants that grace the outdoors as wonderfully as they do with the rooms of a home.
What Are Hanging Plants?
Hanging plants are plants that are especially attractive when they are grown in hanging baskets because of a trailing habit. These are flower pots that are hung from the ceiling. Usually you can spot them from the edge of a porch or from trees meant to hold hanging baskets.
Main Varieties of Hanging Plants
With its graceful fronds, ferns are the ultimate hanging plants. Ferns are unusual because they grow from spores and not seeds. So they have a complicated reproductive cycle. There are about 10,000 species of fern. These include the below.
- Davallia, or the rabbit’s foot fern;
- Asplenium, or the bird’s nest fern;
- Nephrolepsis, or the familiar Boston fern.
Different ferns have different leaves besides the compound leaves of a plant like the Boston fern. The strap fern gets its name because of the shape of its leaves, for example.
This plant has masses of tiny green leaves and intertwining stems. Baby’s tears are native to Sardinia.
True ivies make lovely hanging plants and do well in climates that have cool to blazing hot summers. The leaves can be variegated or come in solid shades of green. They are native to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.
Outside, the kangaroo vine is a climber that holds on with its tendrils. As its name suggests, it is a native to Australia.
This plant, which is native to Mexico, is grown for its hanging, pinkish orange bracts which resemble cooked shrimp. White flowers appear on the ends of these bracts. Freed from its pot, the shrimp plant grows to a three foot tall shrub in the garden.
This trailing plant originated in Java. But it has been seen growing on hillsides as far north as New York City. It gets its name from its velvety, purple leaves.
This large family of hanging plants originated in South America. Nasturtium is a perennial climbing or trailing plant whose flowers are orange in the wild. Cultivated, the flowers are golden, red, scarlet and white.
How to Grow Hanging Plants in Your Garden
Most ferns are native to the tropics. But others can grow well in temperate climates. They need good light, though not direct sunlight, high humidity and very moist, acidic soil. Most species do very well in a mix of peat and sphagnum moss. These former hanging plants are excellent for woodland gardens.
Baby’s tears is a creeping plant that needs sandy, constantly moist soil and an environment that’s warm and humid. It needs good light but also to be kept out of direct sunlight.
Ivy is a woody vine that can grow to 90 feet. So the gardener has to make sure that it doesn’t become invasive once it’s set out in the garden. It is a rare plant that flourishes in both full sun and full shade. It also has deep roots that help prevent erosion when it’s planted on hills. Ivy with variegated leaves needs a bit more sunlight than those with deep green leaves. The plant prefers rich soil that’s amended with organic matter. These hanging plants are mostly easy to grow out in the garden. However, many of them do best in warmer climates.
Kangaroo vine does well in the shade as long as the soil is kept moist. A relative of it is the grape ivy. But this is not considered a real ivy. This plant is native to tropical America and the Caribbean and also does well in poor light.
The shrimp plant needs a warm environment with winter temperatures never dipping below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It does best in good sunlight. Also, it does not need much watering even during its growing season. Some experts say that you should not water the shrimp plant at all during the winter. The bracts and flowers appear from spring until autumn.
The velvet plant needs sunlight and moist, rich soil. A very well cared for velvet plant will put forth clusters of orange flowers. Also, it may become a bit rampant in the garden.
- One nasturtium cultivar, Tropaeolum majus, does best in poor soil. Rich soil actually discourages flowers and encourages the leaves.
- Another variety, T. polyphyllum, needs full sun and soil that has good drainage. But is unsuitable for cold climates. In the winter, it dies all the way back to an underground rhizome.
- The Scottish Flame Flower is an aggressive grower that can grow up to 12 feet tall. It can be trained up a northern or eastern wall and doesn’t need full sun. It does not like to be transplanted.
- T. tuberosum is best if you plant it in a warm, sheltered position at the bottom of a hedge. In places with cold winters, the tubers should be lifted and stored in a box of sand until the spring.
All of the nasturtiums blossom in summer, though T. majus continues to bloom until autumn.
To Sum It Up
These hanging plants add beauty to the indoors. But they are also great to plant out in the garden as ground cover, shrubs or climbers.
The image is from depositphotos.com.