What Are Hanging Succulents
Many succulents can sometimes grow so tall that they start leaning out of their pots, but you cannot identify them as hanging succulents. You can actually find hundreds of species of succulents that trail or purposely grow and hang out of their containers. If you are still a beginner at collecting succulents, then it is a must for you to invest in a couple of hanging specimens.
Hanging succulents are those whose stems are not as thick as other plants. These types of succulents can grow so long that they trail on the ground when in the wild. In a domestic garden setting, these plants need to hang from a considerable height because the stems are just too long.
Although they do not look the same, you still have to care for your hanging succulents the same way you would for your other common plants.
Benefits of Growing Hanging Succulents
Why should you start collecting and growing your own hanging succulents? Here are just some advantages of these plants that should encourage you to have some of them in your household:
Amazing Ornamental Value
Hanging succulents are quite beautiful, which is why they have impressive ornamental value. They also usually hang at eye level, which is why they are also the first things that you will notice in a succulent collection. Having a row of these plants will make your home look a lot cozier and more inviting. You can also hang artificial succulents, but they just do not feel the same.
Provide a Lot of Fresh Oxygen
Hanging succulents also deliver the common benefit that those who take care of plants get – and that is fresh oxygen. These plants will add beauty to your home and ensure that you will always have fresh air circulating all over the place.
Just having these hanging succulents to tend to after a hard day’s work can help ease your stress levels, which is kind of ironic when you think about it because you will be doing more work. However, it does not feel like you are working when you take care of a small nursery of cute and beautiful plants.
Can Brighten up Your Home
Having other living things in your home will give it a more welcoming and warmer atmosphere. Placing a couple of hanging succulents in certain places in your home will surely give it a nice and organic touch.
How Do Hanging Succulents Work
Hanging succulents are just like regular succulents in the sense that they have the same fleshy leaves. Remember that although their stems are thinner and more flexible than the others, they are also fleshy and useful in storing water. People call them hanging succulents because their stems tend to fall over the edge of the container and trail on the ground.
However, despite the name, you do not have to hang hanging succulents. If the stems are not that long yet, you can put them on any flat surface if you want. You can use them for ground cover.
Note that succulent ground covers can bloom in a variety of pastel shades, making them quite pretty.
Pros and Cons of Hanging Succulents
- Save space. You do not need to clear out additional space on your window sill if you plan to take care of these succulents. You can just hang them from a hook on your ceiling. This way, you can essentially place twice the number of plants in the same space. It means that you do not need to build additional shelves for your new plants.
- Make a great ground cover. If you live in a place where the weather is quite dry, you can use hanging succulents to provide your garden with ample ground cover instead of growing grass. Just plant them in the ground and they will trail out and cover as much as they can.
- Easy to maintain. Hanging succulents and cacti don’t need a lot of care. You do not need to water them every day. They are also not as susceptible to pests compared to other plants. Moreover, these hanging succulents are capable of withstanding any weather. In fact, if you plant succulents in your garden, you can just leave them on their own for months and they will still thrive.
- Grow steadily. Hanging succulents also have the advantage of growing continuously. Unlike other plants that have a limit on how much they can grow, hanging succulents can grow quite long. If you do not prune them regularly, the fronds could trail down to the ground. The only reason why certain hanging succulents can only grow a certain length is that the fronds can get too heavy.
- Easy to propagate. If you have one hanging succulent plant, you can grow many more of them from it. You can use branch cuttings, or if you are patient enough, you can use the fallen leaves. Many people have made a good living out of selling succulents and some of them started by propagating their initial stock from a single plant.
- You will need to take them down during bad weather. If you feel that there is even a slightly strong breeze, it is best if you take down your hanging succulents for the time being. A strong gust of wind might break off a lot of stems or shake off the leaves.
Types of Hanging Succulents
If you are seriously thinking about growing your own hanging succulents at home, be aware that the following are among its most common types. You may want to check them out and choose to cultivate them.
String of Pearls
This plant looks like green peas strung on long strings. When they are in perfect health, the leaves shine just like pearls, hence the name. If you take excellent care of it, a string of pearls can have white blooms that smell like vanilla. It is one of the world’s best flowering succulents, so it definitely makes sense if you decide to make it a part of your household.
String of Beads
This succulent looks quite the same as the String of Pearls, though the former is still distinctive with its differently-shaped leaves. The String of Beads hanging succulents come with elongated and pointed leaves. This plant can hang from a basket or you can let it trail on the ground to provide ground cover. If you want to propagate a String of Beads, it is best to use cuttings instead of the leaves. The “pearls” are not big enough to ensure successful propagation.
String of Bananas
This plant looks like long bunches of tiny green bananas, hence the name. The String of Bananas is sturdier than the Pearls and Beads as their leaves do not fall off quite easily. They are also more resistant to the cold. This makes it a good candidate for beginner succulent collectors. Furthermore, this hanging succulent can grow quite fast once it is mature, so you should prune the stems a bit every couple of months.
Fish Hook Senecio
This type is almost identical in appearance to String of Bananas. The only things that make it different would be its longer and thinner leaves. Through the eyes of a complete novice, you might not even differentiate the two plants even if they are side by side. Just like String of Bananas, this succulent can grow vigorously and will need regular pruning.
String of Nickels
Most people might not even notice that this plant is succulent because of its flat leaves. However, if you look at them closely, you will discover that they are a bit on the fleshy side. This plant got its name because its leaves are the size of nickels.
This type is one of the most beautiful common hanging succulents that you can own. It has bright green and pink leaves. If you take outstanding care of it, a pot of Calico Kittens will look like a huge bouquet. This is one succulent variety that can grow and trail quite quickly. You will discover that starting from a single stem; this plant can quickly take over the entire pot if left for a couple of months.
String of Hearts
Also called Rosary Vine, the String of Hearts succulent has heart-shaped leaves, obviously. It also has mottled green and white coloration. It is one of the easiest to take care of among hanging succulents. You just have to provide a lot of indirect sunlight and water every week or so.
The Hindu Rope
Also called the Hoya and Wax Plant, the Hindu Rope works well as an indoor house plant. You may also take care of it outside but make sure that it is in a shaded part of the house. These require a bit more maintenance as they need bright, filtered light. The reason is that their leaves are prone to sun damage. Keep in mind, though, that not all varieties are succulents, so you better scrutinize the plant before you buy it.
Baby Donkey Tail
This succulent has dense and plump bright-green leaves and the stems usually grow to about a foot in length. Even though collectors identify this succulent as a common variety, it is quite cute and should be in anyone’s succulent collection. Because the stems do not grow that long, you can just keep this plant inside a tall pot and let the stems droop off the sides of the container.
This looks like the Baby Donkey Tail, but its leaves are longer. They also tend to grow in more compact rows. Moreover, the stems can grow longer than just one foot. Once they are fully grown and established, the plant looks like someone’s head with green dreadlocks. The neat thing about this plant is that it is straightforward to propagate. You can just throw the cut stems into a pot of soil and they would take root on their own.
This variety is one of the best rare succulents in the world. Because there are only a limited number of Ruby necklace succulents, you can expect to pay upwards of five hundred to a couple of thousand dollars just for one plant. As its name suggests, this plant has bright red-purplish leaves with a green base. Although it is a rare species of succulent, it is still quite hardy and easy to take care of.
Things to Know About Hanging Succulents
Before diving into the habit of planting and cultivating hanging plants, it is still a must to learn more about them. That way, you can do the process of planting these amazing hanging succulents with ease. Here are just some things to be aware of:
Plant Above the Rim
The pot you will be placing your succulent in should be full to the brim with potting mixture. This will allow the stems of the hanging succulent to drop over the edge easier. If you positioned the plant a bit too deep inside the pot, the stems would have trouble drooping over the edge.
Pack It Tight
When you transplant a hanging succulent, you will need to pack the soil around it tightly so that the plant will not uproot. The fronds of hanging succulents can get heavy, especially those with thick leaves, like the Burro’s tail, so you need to ensure that the stems will not fall.
Let Succulents Hang Over the Edge of the Pot
If you do not let the hanging succulents hang over the edge of the pot, they will bunch up inside the container and will become a tangled mess inside. The stems and leaves have to hang loosely over the edge to have more room to grow while also obtaining proper ventilation.
Add Some Height
You need to hang these plants a bit high because their fronds can grow quite long in just a couple of months. It is also a good practice to prune your hanging succulents every month to control their growth. Moreover, you can use the cuttings to propagate more plants. It is not a requirement to hang these succulents from the ceiling. You can just plant them inside a tall container or a wall planter.
Use a Top Dressing and Pot Feet
If your hanging succulents are not long enough yet to warrant hanging them, you can use pot feet to elevate the containers and prevent the pot from sitting on a pool of water after you water them. You will also need top dressing to make the plant look nicer and prevent the leaves and stems from sitting on pooled up water. The reason is that it might cause them to rot. The top dressing also prevents the growth of weeds.
How to Grow Hanging Succulents
Although it is possible to grow a beautiful succulent from seeds, it is usually reserved for cacti. Propagating other succulents is easier and quicker. There are two easy ways for you to propagate and grow hanging succulents by using stem cuttings and doing it from the leaves.
Stem Cutting Method
Step 1 – Choose a stem to cut
You should pick a more mature stem to start your propagation from as these are more robust. Aside from that, they usually have roots growing out already. The smaller and younger stems tend to dry much too quickly for proper propagation uses.
Step 2 – Allow the cut end of the stem to dry
You just need to lay your cuttings down on a sheet of paper or a paper napkin and place them somewhere cool and away from direct sunlight. You need to prevent mold from developing on the cut part of the stem and promote faster root growth.
Step 3 – Prepare your plant container
Just like with any other succulent, you should use quick-draining soil. You can make your own just by mixing regular garden soil with an equal amount of perlite. If you cannot find any perlite, add sand to the soil. The voids will make the water drain out faster. To further increase your pot’s drainage, line the bottom with pebbles or broken pottery pieces before pouring the garden soil mix inside it.
Step 4 – Put it in the soil
Stick the dried cut end of the succulent stem into the soil (around an inch or two will be fine). Just make it deep enough that even a slight nudge will uproot the cutting. You can also fashion small makeshift pegs using paper clips that are cut in half.
Step 5 – Lightly mist the soil
Doing so will encourage the growth of roots. Once you feel that the cutting has grown enough roots to lodge itself securely into the soil, you can start watering it normally. Once the roots have established themselves, switch to a regular watering can and fully saturate the soil with every watering. It will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.
Step 6 – Hang the pot once the stems have drooped out enough
If the stems have grown so long that they get too heavy that they risk breaking at the base, you can start hanging the pot from the ceiling or anywhere you like.
Step 1 – Pluck off a couple of leaves from the mother plant
Choose the larger leaves as they have a higher chance of propagating. Also, choose leaves that are not shriveled or have started to rot.
Step 2 – Let the leaves dry a bit
Just like with the stem method, it can help prevent mold from growing on the cut part.
Step 3 – Prepare the potting soil
Use quick-drying, loose soil for better drainage. Equal amounts of regular gardening soil and perlite will do. Fill in a gardening pot or any container you want to use.
Step 4 – Lay the leaves on the soil
You will then just need to lay the leaves on the prepared potting mix. Place the container somewhere away from direct sunlight and just wait for a couple of weeks. Give the soil a bit of misting every couple of days. Make sure to avoid getting the leaves wet if you can.
Step 5 – Examine your cuttings
After a couple of weeks, sometimes more than a month, most of the leaves should have sprouted tiny little leaves of their own and would have roots dug into the soil as well. Do not place them in the sun just yet. Wait until their stems have grown to about an inch or two before exposing the plants to direct sunlight.
How to Repot Hanging Succulents
Here are also the steps if you will be repotting succulents at home. Do not worry too much about the possibility of harming the plants. Remember that succulents are a tough breed, so there is a low chance of that happening.
Step 1 – Carefully loosen the soil around the plant
Using a small gardening knife, carefully dig around the base of the plant. Try your best not to damage the roots. Just push the knife into the soil and wiggle it a bit to loosen the compacted soil.
Step 2 – Shake off as much of the soil as you can
After getting as much of the soil out of the roots, let the plant air dry somewhere cool and dry. This is necessary for preventing mold growth on the roots.
Step 3 – Prepare the new container
Make sure that the pot or container that you will be putting the plant into has enough drainage. You can line the bottom with some large pebbles for additional drainage.
Step 4 – Transplant the air-dried plant
After a day or two of air-drying, you can now transplant the plant to its new and much bigger container. Fill the pot a third of the way with inexpensive homemade succulent soil. Place and hold the plant inside the pot and fill the rest with the potting mix.
Step 5 – Tap the soil to compact it a bit
By doing that, you have an assurance that the plant is secure in the soil. Just put enough pressure to make the soil firm to the touch. You would not want to compact the roots of the plant.
Step 6 – Water the soil
When doing so, be careful not to wet any exposed part of the plant too much. This will encourage the growth of new roots while also revitalizing the old roots.
Step 7 – Hang the pot in an ideal location
You should place the plant somewhere that is not too windy and gets a lot of sunlight every day.
How to Care for Hanging Succulents
Step 1 – Place top dressing in the pot
The top dressing does more than just make your potted succulents look nice. They also prevent the growth of weeds while keeping water from pooling on the surface, thereby preventing the stems from rotting.
Step 2 – Water them sparingly
You should not water your hanging succulents more than once a week. They have already stored enough water in their stems and leaves to last for months. Only water your plants when the soil feels really dry.
Step 3 – Use fertilizers sparingly
Do not be too hasty when it comes to your succulents. Unlike other plants, they grow quite slowly. Using fertilizers will speed up their growth, no doubt, but not by much. However, they will ensure that your plants are healthy.
Step 4 – Re-pot plants when it starts to crowd their pots
A pot full of hanging succulents may look nice, but it is not good for the plants. If the pot gets too crowded, parts of the plant will not get any ventilation and the roots would bunch up and compact into a ball.
Do’s and Don’ts With Haning Succulents
- Put the plant inside when it is getting too windy outside. Many species of hanging succulents have very fragile stems that even a moderately windy storm will break.
- Prune the plants when the fronds get a bit too long. Although having extremely long stems can look beautiful, they are more trouble than they are worth. Every couple of months or so, you should trim off the excess lengths of stems (to be determined by you) and just use them to propagate even more plants.
- Do not overwater them. Hanging succulents do not need that much water as they keep them stored up in their meaty leaves. Only water them when the soil where you plant them is parched.
- Do not let your pets near them. Cats especially love to play with anything dangling from a string, so it is best to keep your house pets from even seeing your collection of hanging succulents. If you do not do that, you will most likely find most of your treasured succulents on the floor.
FAQ About Hanging Succulents
How often do you water a hanging succulent?
It will depend on the climate in your area. Generally, you need to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. It usually means that you should water them no more than once a week.
Where do you hang succulents?
If you have exposed rafters on your porch, you can install hooks on them and hang your plants from there. Basically, anything that can take the weight of the plant and pot is good for hanging succulents.
Where should I place my hanging succulents?
Ideally, your succulents, hanging or not, should be located somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight. Also, the location should not be so windy that they make the hanging pots swing around wildly.
Is Trailing Jade a succulent?
Yes. You can tell that it is succulent just by looking at its plump and meaty leaves. It is actually one of the most beautiful common varieties of succulents because of its bright green leaves.
Can you plant succulents in hanging baskets?
Yes. As a matter of fact, hanging baskets are best for trailing succulents such as burro’s tails, creeping jades, and the like. This type of container allows the stems to drop off the sides and give them more room to grow.
You really cannot call yourself a succulent enthusiast if you do not have at least a couple of hanging succulents in your collection. Although they might look like they are high-maintenance, they really are just the same as the other succulents you have. They love lots of sunlight and they need very little water.
It is highly recommended that you get your first hanging succulents as soon as possible because they tend to grow quite slowly. Aside from that, this hobby can make you feel good, especially when you see a thriving and very lush hanging succulent.
Photos from: IKvyatkovskaya / depositphotos.com, iamtui7 / depositphotos.com, silviacozzi / depositphotos.com, gardenguru / depositphotos.com and Emson / depositphotos.com.