Make the most of your patio or garden's vertical space with succulents that have hanging, trailing or vining growth habits.
Included here are those I’ve cultivated successfully and highly recommend. To utilize space that otherwise would be wasted, I grow them in pots that hang from hooks in patio beams or the branches of small trees and large shrubs. An added benefit is that they are out of direct, hot sun and are also protected from frost.
I don't hang them in deciduous trees for obvious reasons: by definition, those drop their leaves in winter. This can blanket and smother the succulents and then---if they're still alive---expose them to the elements. Not good!
Hanging Containers How-To
Traditional hanging baskets or planters are made of wire and lined with dried moss, then filled with soil. Pre-made liners of coir (coconut fiber) also are available.
For stability, a hanging pot or basket should have three heavy-gauge wires or chains attached to the rim, equidistant from each other and all the same length. Make sure the chain is strong enough that the rings will not separate due to the weight of the container.
Fill with bagged "cactus mix" soil, then tuck-in cuttings or small rooted plants. For recommended varieties, scroll to the Gallery below.
To balance sun exposure, rotate hanging planters 180 degrees every week or two. When you trim the plants, reinsert cuttings to enhance the arrangement’s balance and fullness.
Watering Hanging Pots
Don’t forget to hand-water succulents in hanging pots! Because they’re elevated, such containers are often out of reach of irrigation. During the hottest, driest part of the year, check hanging planters often; they may need twice the water as adjacent, impermeable pots.
Watering wands---slender pipes that screw onto the end of a hose, and that are tipped with a bulb-shaped sprayer---make it possible to reach the tops of hanging baskets without standing on a ladder. The gentle spray ensures even distribution of water without disturbing the soil.
Another option is to weave a drip irrigation tube down the chain that holds the basket, with an emitter on the end that drips according to a preprogrammed schedule.
Watch for Aerial Roots
Most stem succulents (as opposed to shrub-forming varieties and agaves) tend to grow downward from a hanging container, window box or terrace. It’s the nature of aeoniums, sedums, stacked crassulas, senecios, graptopetalums, echeverias, and other ever-lengthening succulents to become pendant as they seek soil in which to grow.
Some, like the kalanchoe shown here, get a head start by producing aerial roots. Even succulents that don't do this generally will form roots when they touch down.
Expert Design Tips
In this video on my channel, succulent floral designer Melissa Teisl plants a hanging basket with a lush and lovely assortment of succulents. This is one of several projects in my book, "Succulents Simplified."
Gallery: Trailing, Hanging, Vining Succulents
Where to buy succulents for hanging pots? Mountain Crest Gardens, a premier mail-order succulent nursery, has a great selection that includes many of those shown here:
*Links are affiliate.
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