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Jessica Walliser

7 great hanging plants to add to your home

Jessica Walliser
| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, 12:03 a.m.
Grape ivy is a wonderful plant for hanging baskets.
Jessica Walliser
Grape ivy is a wonderful plant for hanging baskets.

Houseplants are having a renaissance of sorts. A whole new generation is developing a love for indoor plants. Whether they sit on a windowsill, a side table or hang from a hook above the kitchen window, houseplants have returned to vogue.

For trendy houseplant lovers in the millennial generation, the current “it” plants include the Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides), the fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) and just about any plant in the genus Peperomia, including species with such humorous common names as beetle peperomia (P. quadrangularis), belly button peperomia (P. verticillata) and the happy bean plant (P. ferreyrae).

Aside from this short list of favorites, hanging houseplants are also filling the windows of apartments and homes once again. While macramé plant holders are few and far between, decorative ceramic, plastic and acrylic containers with natural rope, metal and even leather hangers are now used to beautifully display hanging houseplant varieties. A quick search on Pinterest yields plans for thousands of different DIY plant hangers and repurposed shelving units for displaying treasured houseplants.

There’s room for houseplants in every home, no matter how large or small, especially when they’re grown in hanging baskets that don’t take up space on tables and counters.

While there are hundreds of different plants to grow in a hanging basket, here are some of my favorites that are both easy-care and easy to find at your favorite local nursery or flower shop. Whether you’re a longtime houseplant lover or a newbie, there’s at least one plant on this list that you’re sure to adore.

• Grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia): The leaves of this hanging houseplant look like a mixture between miniature grape leaves and ivy. A tropical species that’s very tolerant of indoor growing conditions, grape ivy tumbles down over the edges of pots and hanging baskets with grace. The tendrils are beige while the leaves are a beautiful medium green. With vines that can grow 8 or more feet long, keep this plant in a cool room. Grape ivy prefers low to moderate light, but shield it from very bright locations.

• Wandering jew (Tradescantia pallid): The purple and white striped foliage of this long-favorite hanging houseplant was once in the window of nearly every home. An incredibly resilient plant with a long history of being passed from person to person via easy-to-root stem cuttings, wandering jews are a perfect houseplant choice for new green thumbs. Bright, but indirect, light is best and keep the soil slightly moist. In the winter, you’ll have to water this hanging houseplant a bit more often. In the spring, you’ll have to pinch the growth back a bit to keep it full and lush.

• Bridal veil plant (Gibasis geniculata): Bridal veil plant is a popular hanging houseplant for many reasons. The delicate stems and leaves are graced with tiny white blooms off and on throughout most of the spring and summer. It’s a good choice for low to moderate light areas and requires consistently moist soil. The leaves are green on the upper surface and they have a purple tinge to their undersides. Bridal veil plants should be fertilized monthly from April through August with a diluted liquid organic fertilizer. Stems can be trimmed back easily if the plant grows too large.

• Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum): Among the funkiest looking hanging houseplants, burro’s tail is a succulent with minimal care needs beyond a bright window and soil that’s kept on the dry side. The texture of this plant makes it a personal favorite. Succulent, banana-shaped leaves are densely clustered together along the stems of the plant.

• Hearts on a string (Ceropegia woodii): A unique houseplant that has a wiry stem sprinkled with small, heart-shaped leaves, hearts on a string is also called the rosary vine. As the vines tumble down out of the pot, the leaves are very much like little hearts on a string. The foliage is fairly sparse, looking almost bead-like in form. Hearts on a string prefer a very sunny window. Don’t overwater this plant or root rot could be the result; keep it on the drier side.

• Variegated pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Among the easiest hanging houseplant to care for, pothos have been growing in houses across America for a very long time. Their vines can grow to ten or more feet in length but they can easily be trimmed to stay shorter. The thick, heart-shaped leaves of pothos are mottled with green and golden yellow. The plant is notorious for surviving even in very low light conditions, though it much prefers medium to bright light.

• Cupid peperomia (Peperomia scandens “Variegata”): Requiring little more than a sunny window and room to grow, this variegated vining peperomia features long tendrils of thick, glossy green, oblong leaves edged in white. The plant droops nicely out of a hanging basket or down over the edge of a shelf. Vining peperomia requires consistently moist soil, but do allow the soil to dry slightly before watering. The tendrils will reach over 3 feet long if left untrimmed.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden,” “Good Bug, Bad Bug,” and her newest title, “Container Gardening Complete.” Her website is jessicawalliser.com. Send your gardening or landscaping questions to tribliving@tribweb.com or The Good Earth, 622 Cabin Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.

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