Hanging plants are the way that most people bring the outdoors into their homes. Hanging plants add ambiance, enhance decor, and are soothing and healthy to have inside. Many people hang plants outdoors during the summer, lining patios and porches, and then bring them indoors when the weather turns colder. Caring for hanging plants is often a hobby that soothes and brings joy. Only a few simple skills are required to be successful with your indoor plants.
Choosing the Right Hanging Planter
There are some planters made specifically for hanging plants, usually along the pot within a pot or attached tray designs. The second design, which is also called the drip tray scheme, is economical in cost and size, but has the flaw of being limited in its overflow catch. These trays often leak, especially if the plant is disturbed for any reason, spilling water on the floor or furniture.
Although heavier and more expensive, the pot-within-a-pot design is much better. In this design, the outer pot is usually permanently fastened with chains and has no drainage holes at all. The pot with the plant in it is set inside the outer pot and set to overflow it so it appears to be in the larger pot. This allows for easier watering, drainage, and the swapping or moving of plants.
Other alternative hangers include pots that are made to be planted from the side, are made only of mesh to hold in hummus or fibered soils, etc.
Popular Plant Choices for Hanging Plants
Many choices for hanging plants include any shade tolerant, small plant. Ferns, flowers, and even edibles like tomatoes, spinach, and cabbages are popular hanging plants. Flowers such as African violets and orchids are popular choices for indoor hangers. Long leaved varieties, especially ferns, are popular indoor plants because of their large sized appearance, leafy green looks, and relative ease of care.
Watering Hanging Plants
Plants that are indoors require much less water than do their outdoor counterparts. This is due to the relatively steady temperatures inside, the higher humidity usually present inside the home, and lack of direct sunlight and breezes. All of these things mean the plants lose less moisture to the atmosphere than do their outdoor counterparts.
Whether the plant is outdoors or in, however, be sure to water the soil the plant is in, not the leaves and stems of the plant. This can be done by either moving leaves and stems aside to access the soil directly or by pouring water into an outer container so that it seeps into the soil inside the pot.
Frequency will depend on the type of plant. Water hungry plants like most ferns should be checked daily and watered at least three times a week if indoors and probably daily outdoors. Always water outdoor plants in the morning, but indoor plants can be watered at any time.
Potting Mix for Hanging Plants
There are specific potting soils for indoor hanging plants. Usually, the soil will be thicker in feel and more absorbent. Any good potting soil, however, will work well for most potted plants. As time passes, fertilizers will be needed to reconstitute the soil and keep the plants healthy. Hanging plants require fertilization more often than plants in the garden or flower bed because of the limited amount of space afforded the soil in their pots.
A common fertilizer will be a 10-20-10 mixture (also 1-2-1). Natural or organic fertilizers can be used and one of the best of these is compost tea, which most gardeners will know how to make. Hanging plants should be fertilized biweekly or as often as the plant type requires.
Want to learn more gardening tips for hanging plants?
Check out these sites for more information:
Care for Hanging Baskets from Iowa State University Extension
Indoor Hanging Plants from The Green Man Show by Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection