Australia-wide our homes vary in size, location, and climates. Sometimes we have limited access to backyards and outdoor living areas making it difficult to live out our garden desires. If this is the case for you then indoor plants are the answer. Even if you have a garden, you may not have the time to tend to a large yard, making indoor planting a much more feasible option. We are in an era of the indoor plant where a lack of outside space inspires an eye-catching indoor display that not only looks good but boasts big benefits too thanks to their air-purifying qualities. The beauty of indoor plants is that they can be arranged in any way, shape or form, including in hanging baskets. The hanging indoor plant instantly brings life and interest to any room from the kitchen, to bathroom to main living space. To help you decipher the options we’ve put together an easy how-to guide for selecting, caring for and positioning your own indoor hanging plants.
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) - This creeper thrives best in a hanging pot or basket as it likes plenty of space for its vine tendrils to grow in all directions. If you’re tight on space and want your plant to hold a particular shape, trim back the vines or use wall hooks to drape the vines along the wall. This plant is very hardy, thriving indoors with little light or water. Its vibrant leaves are glossy and heart-shaped making the plant a perfect addition to any plain or empty space. If you are looking for a low-maintenance plant that will forgive you if you forget to water it, then devil’s ivy is for you.
Monstera (Monstera Deliciosa) - Create a tropical getaway in your living room with Monstera. Occasionally called the Swiss cheese plant, Monstera produces huge, bright green, attractively cut leaves. It has a dense, bushy shape but over time will begin to stretch and climb a trellis or wood totem. If you want to keep the plant compact, simply prune back the vining branches. Water Monstera whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, and fertilise once a month during the spring and summer. In its natural habitat, Monsteras like to climb so be sure to install stakes and trellising for support
Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamifolia) - This stunning plant not only looks great, it has been hailed as ‘almost indestructible’ and is perfect for those who tend to neglect their plants, especially as it is drought-resistant. Native to Africa, the plant has deep green glossy leaves and is able to survive long periods without water. The reason the Zanzibar Gem is so hardy is due to its ability to store water in its potato-like tubers. To care for your Zanzibar Gem, don’t over-water it or leave it sitting in water. In fact, it thrives on neglect and prefers you don’t water it too often. Once a month is enough. It’s best placed in a bright to lightly-shaded area, however, it will tolerate a shady spot, it will just take longer to grow. Keep it out of direct sunlight as the plant can burn. You can add a slow-release fertiliser in spring and re-pot if you notice the root starting to bulge.
String-of-pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) - If you are looking for a succulent that stands out from the crowd, then the string-of-pearls plant is for you. The plant's name comes from the green pea-sized foliage threaded on very thin stems. When arranged in a pot the plant sprawls itself over the edges giving the effect of beaded necklaces spilling out. These plants grow well in direct sunlight and are drought tolerant, so no need to water more than once a week. Like most succulents, the string-of-pearls will need occasional pruning. Simply trim off any dead stems and individualised pearls. Removing the discoloured stems and pearls will promote renewal and you’ll find your plant pushing out new shoots in no time. These plants thrive in room temperature around 22°C, so be sure to hang them away from heating and cooling devices.
Staghorn - these plants are a part of the air plant family, meaning they don’t need soil to grow. Propagating from a backing board (which natively is a tree), staghorns can be hung like you would a canvas or picture frame. They vary greatly in size and absolutely love humidity. They require good drainage and thrive well in light shade and patches of sunlight. Staghorns need little maintenance. If you find leaf fronds yellowing or dying off you can cut the yellowing parts off there for aesthetics, though there is no need to remove the entire leaf. Staghorns like to be kept moist but do not overwater as you run the risk of drowning the plant. To ensure the plant doesn’t dry out, hang your staghorn out of direct dry hot winds such as open window paths and doorways.
Kokedama - hailing from the traditional Japanese art of planting, Kokedama is a ball of soil that is formed into a sphere shape, covered in moss and encased in natural twine. This style of planting is perfect for indoor hanging plants such as succulents. They make a gorgeous display especially if you are aiming for a natural earthy look in your home. Planting this way will make your plants look as if it is suspended in air and your plant will be completely self-sufficient. Kokedama planting gives the plant its own ecosystem to thrive in without the worry of pots breaking or overheating. To water your Kokedama simply dunk the whole ball into a bucket or sink of water and let it soak for up to a minute before hanging it back in place. Water once a week in the hot months or once a month in winter and avoid hanging in direct sunlight. If you are unsure about whether your plant is receiving enough water, spray your plant with water from a mister bottle to keep the plant moist and hydrated.
Caring for indoor plants
The beauty of indoor plants is that most thrive with little water and love warm environments. Plants that withstand indoor spaces mainly originate from subtropical climates, so be sure to gradually acclimatise your plant to the individual climate of your home. Indoor plants are extremely low-maintenance and provide a spectacle for guests to your home. Not only do they bring nature indoors but they also have air-purifying qualities to help with allergies and filtering air flow inside. Other positive health benefits include reducing stress in an office space or studio. It is important not to overwater your indoor hanging plants as they can become extremely susceptible to root rot. The best way to test if your plant is moist enough is to stick your pinky finger into the soil. If your nail is slightly damp when you pull your finger away then your plant has a sufficient water supply. During the cooler winter months and during low sunshine periods reduce your usual watering routine to half. We suggest watering hanging indoor plants once a month during winter and once a week during summer.
Where to hang your indoor plants
Ideally, you want hanging plants to be positioned on a sturdy hook and drilled into place in a solid ceiling or wall. Use the natural surroundings in your home such as cabinet knobs and ledges as an alternative place to hang your plant pots. Depending on which indoor plant species you pick, it will determine whether you pick a pot, a glass terrarium, vase, woven macrame basket hanger or washable paper planters. Many indoor plants are self-sufficient, such as staghorns which require a tree stump or backboard for support once hanging, or the Japanese art form Kokedama which can be carried out on smaller indoor plants.