Belgian Nursery Blog

November 17, 2021
Woman gardener holding macrame plant hanger with houseplant over grey wall. Hobby, love of plants, home decoration

Hanging with your Tropicals – Hanging Baskets

There’s just something about the look of foliage in hanging baskets that makes a space…peaceful, I think. It’s as if suspending a tropical houseplant above our heads somehow releases it from the confines of space and time, and allows growth and gravity to do their own thing at their own pace. Plus, it frees up more space on our shelves and tables for more plants so, you know, bonus!

While many tropical varieties do best when positioned firmly on solid ground, there are so many others that love an elevated setting in our homes and offices. For sun-loving succulents, such as the fan-favourites Burro’s Tail and String of Pearls, hanging them directly in a bright south-facing window means they can treat themselves to a sunlight buffet without having to compete with neighbouring plants. If your windows are more on the morning sun/lower light side, or if you’ve got lots of space to hang but without a direct view, there are plenty of tropical varieties that thrive on less sunlight. Have you seen how a Pothos or Philodendron can turn a plain corner into a lush jungle paradise? Trust me, it’s magical!

When it comes to hanging plants, there are a few important factors to consider:

Sunlight: Does the location receive morning sun or later in the afternoon? Would it shine directly onto the plant, and if so for how long? Are there curtains or sheers that would affect the level of sunlight to the area? On a scale of sunny atrium to dark closet, how would you rate the sunlight level?

To be fair, these questions should apply to every plant in every location, whether they’re tropical houseplants, perennials in the garden, or annuals in planter pots. How the sun rises and sets is simply out of our control; all we can do is work with what we have. And yes, there are grow lights that can supplement for what the area is lacking but, please, one step at a time.

Space available: Does the area allow for plants with wide, arching wingspans or would a graceful, vertical waterfall of foliage be a better fit? Many tropicals can be trimmed as needed if/when they get too wide, but if you trim a Bougainvillea to fit into a tight corner you’re just going to end up with twigs and a handful of leaves instead of colourful blooms.

Watering: Can you easily reach the hanging basket to water the plant? Can you take it down and water it in a sink to help keep your floors dry? If you need to rearrange your entire living room to get to it, then it might be easier to choose a hanging basket that prefers to dry out well between waterings; any Succulent would be perfect so long as you can offer it 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, and Spider Plants can handle any light condition and are very forgiving when it comes to watering schedules.

Maintenance: This is less a deciding factor and more a comfort level thing, really. Some varieties need a little more time and effort with cleaning and trimming than others, like Bougainvilleas that need to be trimmed after flowering to keep them from getting too leggy. Then there are tropicals that can actually multiply, so long as you’re able to do the actual repotting. Spider Plants are famous for sending out “babies” that keep the plant’s genetic code going for generations, and Wandering Tradescantia are easy to propagate via cuttings. In other words, you can get more plants just by cleaning up your existing ones – like I said before, it’s magical!

So what do you think, ready to turn every level of your home into a tropical jungle? Excellent! Here’s a select list of some of our favourite tropical hanging baskets*:

Low Light and Clean Air: Spider Plant, Pothos, Philodendron, and White Butterfly. Most plants help clean the air to some degree, and these ones are especially effective!

Fantastic Foliage: Baby Tears, Boston Fern (and any other Fern, really), Pilea (any variety), Peperomia (again, any variety including String of Turtles), Grape/Oak Leaf/Montgomery/English Ivy, Wandering Tradescantia, Hoya

Beautiful Blooms: Goldfish Vine, Lipstick Vine, Bougainvillea, Mandevilla, Passion Flower, Flowering Cacti (aka Christmas Cacti, Spring Flowering Cacti)

Bright Direct Sunlight: Hoya, any Cacti and/or Succulent but especially String of Pearls/Beads/Dolphins/Pickles – yes, String of Pickles!

*Please note that not all these varieties will be available at all times, and that our selection changes constantly and rapidly. We recommend exploring our Tropical Greenhouses and the Cactus & Succulent House often to see what’s in stock and what’s new!

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