For today’s post, I’ve put together a top ten of my favourite trailing houseplants that I love to grow here at HOUSE PLANT HOUSE. It wasn’t until I moved again last Summer that I realised that quite a chunk of my plant collection comprises of hanging or trailing houseplants! As I’ve been finding places for these plants in the new place, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation of this type of plant and just how transformative it can be in an interior. There’s a bit of a mix of foliage plants and succulents here and something for most tastes I think. Let’s get into it…
1. Philodendron brasil
Philodenron brasil is a plant that has really grown with me over the last few years and is currently skimming along the floor! It’s foliage is an interesting mix of mid-green and a vibrant chartreuse which means that every leaf is unique. One of my favourite aspects of variegated plants is that they can look more three dimensional and less ‘blocky’ than solid green plants, which can sometimes have a tendency to look heavier against a light wall.
My plant has lived in a number of positions in my last three homes; hanging along the side of my wardrobe in my old apartment, in the corner of my living space in the cottage and here it’s tumbling down a bookshelf. It’s easy going, is easily propagated and works with a variety of decor styles too. I grow mine around one metre from a west-facing window which it loves!
2. Rhipsalis baccifera / Rhipsalis cassutha: mistletoe cactus
This dainty-looking plant is a lovely trailing option for smaller spaces and one I don’t see too often. As a plant group, jungle cacti in general (and Rhipsalis more specifically) are certainly increasing in popularity with more and more varieties and are becoming more widely available. My plant was a propagation experiment a few years ago and it’s always such a joy to see a cutting develop into an actual plant like this. It’s been an adaptable one for me to grow in a range of conditions and can tolerate periods of neglect on occasion. I particularly like it styled in a minimal setting against a light wall as in the photos below:
3. Spider plant: Chlorophytum comosum
The humble Spider plant is a classic in my opinion and is one that I always seem to have a few of in my home – definitely one of my favourite trailing houseplants. I have grown a few varieties over the years and these are my two variegated plants:
Things get interesting when Chlorophytum mature and begin to produce plantlets because this is the point that the plant truly becomes a cascade of greenery which can look dynamic and eye-catching. These plantlets can be propagated or left attached to the mother plant to create this waterfall effect. Some might consider these a retro houseplant but when styled in a minimal setting (as opposed to a macrame plant hanger which can feel a bit 70’s), they take on a more modern, sculptural aesthetic.
4. Peperomia hope
I have a bit of a penchant for trailing succulents because they are often easy to care for and forgiving if you forget to water on occasion! This particular cultivar is actually a hybrid between Peperomia deppeana + Peperomia quadrifolia and my favourite Peperomia I own. The plant has grown from quite a small pot to quite a statement plant over the last four years and it is currently trailing down the side of an old French tambour cabinet in my new space. As a slow grower it’s taken a number of years to reach this size. It’s only now starting to get a bit leggy so I’m going to prune it in Spring time to help rejuvenate the plant and keep it growing well. The coin shaped succulent leaves are quite unusual and a great option for something a little different in the ‘trailing plant’ category.
5. Epipremnum aureum:Pothos! Specifically Marble Queen, Manjula and Golden varieties
It certainly wouldn’t be a favourite trailing houseplants post without mention of a Pothos! These plants are perhaps the most popular hanging/trailing plant you’ll see on social media, and for good reason. They are adaptable to a range of home environments and look great in a variety of settings. I’ve selected my three current favourite Pothos within this ‘point’.
The golden pothos is arguably the easiest to grow out of my three best-loved varieties and can cope considerably well with lower light levels. My other two favourites, the Marble Queen and Manjula are both variegated types. These two require more light to grow well and their foliage is absolutely beautiful to admire up close. I can always tell I’m fond of a plant when I grow ‘back up plants’ and I always seem to have 3 or 4 pots of Marble Queen dotted around the place here! I’ve included a photo of my mature plant in the instagram post below for reference. Manjula, with its undulating leaves is definitely the slowest growing of the three.
From left to right above: Marble Queen – Manjula – Golden Pothos.
Related Pothos post:
6. Selenicereus chrysocardium: Fern Leaf cactus
A more unusual trailing houseplant next, with a long name! Selenicereus chrysocardium is commonly called a Fern leaf cactus and is a type of jungle cacti. It’s is a slow but steady grower and I’ve grown mine from a small cutting I got sent as a plant swap quite a few years ago. If you love a zig zag/fishbone cactus, this Selenicereus is an excellent alternative. As the plant matures it will start to trail and it looks great in a simple plant hanger. These aren’t that easy to come across, but if you do find one, I’d highly recommend it!
7. Asparagus fern: Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ — also known as Emerald Fern, Emerald Feather
A welcome addition to my trailing plant collection comes in the form of an Asparagus fern. This was a curve-ball plant purchase for me a couple of years ago as it is quite different to my other plants. The feathery plumes create a softness to a space that feels quite whimsical, but despite their delicate appearance, I’ve had success growing this in all sorts of rooms. Other types of Asparagus fern can be quick to shed but I’ve found the Emerald fern to be robust in comparison.
Due to their more airy aesthetic, this plant works particularly well in smaller spaces where larger leaves can sometimes dominate. I’ve enjoyed growing mine off a ceiling hook and a curtain pole to maximise the trailing impact.
8. Hoya Linearis
Hanging Hoyas are having a moment in the limelight and my Hoya Linearis is one of my favourite trailing houseplants. I like how the plant doesn’t take up lots of space, but it creates considerable impact. There’s also something neat about it’s growth habit which really appeals to me – I love how it can look quite architectural next to a window frame or something structural, which accentuates it’s linear form. More mature plants can get quite large over a number of years, but it’s easy to prune or propagate by division to allow it to work in your space long-term. In a smaller room, a few pots comprised of a couple of strands on a bookcase or shelf can be extremely striking.
Related Hoya post:
9. Senecio jacobsenii /Kleinia petraea: ‘Weeping Jade’
Time for a more unusual favourite now – commonly know as the weeping/trailing jade. It’s a slow growing succulent that in time, starts to hang over the pot in a very sculptural, almost gravity-defying way! I propagated this from a small cutting so it’s taken a few years for mine to start to trail. The diminutive size of this plant means it’s a good candidate for a smaller space too – I’m growing mine in a wall planter for a minimal look.
In my last place, it was enjoying life on the south east windowsill but it developed a bit of a suntan in Spring with the increase in light intensity. Hence the purple hues in the two photos below. After a few weeks it was back to it’s deep green tone though!
10. String of Hearts: Ceropegia woodii, Ceropegia woodii variegata
Last but not least, my beloved String of Hearts deserves a top ten favourite trailing houseplants spot for sure! If you are a regular reader you’ll know how much I’ve been enjoying growing my SOH plants this last eighteen months. I’m really hoping to be able to emulate the growing conditions here in the Chapel conversion. I’ve got a big post on how I care for my String of Hearts here if you want to read more on that.
From a plant styling perspective, these trailing strings (or chains) of hearts look effortlessly pretty when trailing out of a hanging planter, or trickling down the side of a shelf. Due to their delicate nature, these often work best with other, similarly delicate plants. As you might imagine, they do take some detangling, but growing smaller pots makes this a slightly more manageable task…!
I particularly like them in a display with a small pot of Peperomia Hope, as in the photo below left:
Related SOH posts:
I hope you enjoyed seeing ten of my favourite trailing houseplants today and that it’s offered some plant purchase or plant styling inspiration for you. It’s been an enjoyable post to put together to shine a light and acknowledge some of the houseplants that form the basis of many of our plant collections!
If you are new to plants and are unsure about where to start on the trailing plant front, a golden pothos is always my pick! In terms of wish list plants, some trailing plants I’m coveting at the moment are a Lepismium bolivianum or Rhipsalis paradoxa, either of which would look fantastic near my Hoya linearis. For something leafy, a Scindapsus treubii moonlight is right up my street – I just love anything with slivery leaves.
I’m looking forward to sharing the plant design aspect of the renovation project before long and I will be sure to share the ideas and process in a future piece here on the blog.
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