'They're like an art display!" The 5 best indoor hanging plants designers love to trail around their homes

It's not every plant that can be hung up in your indoor garden and admired from down below, but these are the five designers pick as worthy to place on high

hanging plants over a kitchen island
(Image credit: Getty)

Creating an interesting display of greenery isn't just about the plants you choose, but how you display them too. Along with the desire to fill a dark corner, or bring life to a book shelf, the colors and shapes of the leaves, and the conditions the plant requires, can all serve to influence its placement. 

This is why hanging plants are a wonderful way to shake things up and style your indoor garden. From cascading vines to fountains of fronds, there are certain species that suit being suspended over others. And each brings something different to the plant party.

'For me, the same energy and thoughtfulness that go into selecting the right color of paint for the walls, or the perfect pieces of furniture, should go into selecting the right plants, planters, and accessories necessary to make a room feel finished,' says plant expert, Hilton Carter, author of Living Wild.

5 of the best indoor hanging plants

Designers explain which are the best indoor hanging plants to brighten or finish a room.

1. String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

string of pearls indoor hanging plant

(Image credit: Getty)

This striking succulent with its spherical leaves originates from south Africa, where it trails over rock outcroppings and provides ground cover. Resembling cascading beads, string of pearls perfectly suits a hanging planter or a high perch.   

String of pearls can be tricky to care for, but remembering it's a succulent will go along way to its survival. This plant has adapted to drought conditions and its shallow root system is prone to rotting. Therefore, a fast-draining soil and watering your plant only once the soil has dried out is best. Avoid letting the 'pearls' rest on wet soil too. 

'One of my favorite hanging plants is the String of Pearls,' says Nick Sandford, founder of Leaf & Clay. 'Its cascading tendrils of small, spherical leaves create a unique and eye-catching display. String of pearls thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers to be hung near a window. A lightweight plastic pot with good drainage works well for this plant.'

One of the only things you need to know about hanging plants is to make sure you get the light right - just as you would with placing them in any other space.

2. Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

Philodendron heartleaf hanging houseplant

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This popular low-maintenance plant for indoor gardening, hailing from central America and the Caribbean. So called due to its beautiful heart-shaped leaves, philodendron heartleaf is an adaptable plant aesthetically. 

It's a vine, so philodendron's can be trained to climb up and around a moss pole (or frame), or left to trail elegantly from a hanging planter. It's also a low-maintenance option that doesn't require tons of attention.

'Another fantastic choice is the heartleaf philodendron,' says Nick. 'Its heart-shaped leaves bring a touch of lush green to any space. It can tolerate low to moderate light conditions and is perfect for hanging in areas with less natural light. Clay pots with drainage holes are suitable for this plant.'

As well as a placing philodendron heartleaf in a hanging planter, a high shelf, tall window ledge, mantlepiece or pedestal make a good spot for it to drape its trailing vines. They're like an art display, ever-changing.

'Philodendron Heartleaf can be placed in a variety of lighting conditions and doesn’t require constant watering,' says Bloomscape's plant expert, Lindsay Pangborn.

3. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston fern hanging from timber rafters

(Image credit: Getty)

This bushy fern with its dense foliage is a fabulous addition and one of the best plants for a lush indoor garden. Bursting with fountains of fronds, it creates a dynamic display that brightens a space. 

Although not a trailing vine, the explosive shape of the Boston fern suits both a flat surface or suspension from a ceiling, where its fabulous fronds can spill out. 

'The Boston fern is an elegant hanging option,' says Nick. 'Its feathery fronds add elegance to any room. Boston Ferns prefer bright, indirect light and high humidity. 

'Hanging them in a bathroom or near a humidifier can provide the optimal conditions. A plastic or clay pot with good drainage is suitable.'

4. Devil's ivy (Pothos)

marble pothos hanging houseplant

(Image credit: Alamy)

Often seen in indoor zen gardens, there are numerous pothos varieties, and each of them make good hanging plants with their attractive trailing vines. Golden pothos and Marble Queen have beautiful, fast-growing variegated leaves that look lovely cascading from a hanging planter or high shelf.

Pothos are also easy to care for with similar requirements to the philodendron. One thing to be mindful of with hanging plants is how often they need watering. As this usually entails taking the planters down, so you can access the plant and monitor how much water it gets.  

Pothos likes its soil to dry between waterings, so you can get away with watering it once every week or two. 

'Our Pothos Collection consists of Pearls & Jade, Marble Queen, and Golden Pothos, each with its own striking variegation,' says Lindsay at Bloomscape. 'This collection is easy to care for and can adapt to low light, making them great for an area set back from the window. To elevate a space, I’d recommend investing in a plant stand or hanging pot.'

5. English ivy (Hedera helix)

indoor ivy houseplant on a shelf

(Image credit: Getty)

Although, often seen climbing around trees in the wild or over buildings, this evergreen does well indoors too. Ivy is another fast-growing vine, that is easy to propagate. Once it gets too long, simply snip some sections off and place the stems in water to root. In a few weeks, you'll have rooted cuttings to pot on.  

Ivy doesn't require much attention either. It can handle inconsistent watering and can adapt to different environments. So it's great for busy people, beginners and for placing in hanging planters, where access for watering it may be a tad awkward.

It is a toxic plant though, so keep it well away from prying pets or toddlers who may want to grab its trailing tendrils.

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.