Many an indoor gardener simply uses every flat surface available to display their collection of plants. Bookshelves, tables, windowsills, counters and more are all perfect places for the foliage and flowers to make their home.
But what happens when you begin to run out of space?
What if you've not got plenty of free space to begin with, but you desperately want to bring a bit of greenery into your home?
One of the most attractive ways to display plants is by potting them in hanging baskets for display. While it does bring a new look to the way the plants are seen, hanging plants can bring some challenges as well. These challenges are why many people shy away from this as an option for their plants.
Luckily, we've got the experience and information necessary to help you get your plants off the floor and on display in an attractive way. Keep reading to learn more about how to hang plants.
Reduce the load
Even when displayed on a shelf, you know your plants can be heavy. Maybe even more so than the plants, the potting soil and the container the plants are planted in also add plenty of weight.
One thing you can do to reduce the strain on your hanging apparatus is to reduce the weight it is holding. Using a potting soil that contains vermiculite or perlite is a good option. Both of these help to aerate the soil while still giving plant roots the ability to grab on and make a home in the soil. They weigh far less than organic matter too, so while they do their job, they won't be adding more weight to your hanging system.
Watering your plants only increase the amount of weight that is held up by your hook or other hanging system. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate some of this stress.
First, do not over water your plants. Over watering is the number one killer of indoor plants, as it causes root rot and kills the plant from the bottom up. Instead, water only as your plants need it.
Also, you can add crystals that are made to absorb water to your potting mix. These little guys can hold a few times their weight in water and then they will slowly release this water into the soil for your plant. Not only does this reduce the weight of the planter, but it saves you time because you won't have to water your plants as often.
Generally, plastic containers are a better option than ceramic when used as containers for hanging plants.
It is a good idea to get a container with a drip tray attached, too. This way you won't wind up with a muddy mess if there is any overflow while you are watering your plants.
How to hang your plants
There are a number of ways you can hang your plants around your home or office, but the most common is to hang them from the ceiling in a hook of some sort.
Choosing your container
Since not all containers are suitable for hanging plants, you'll want to first be sure that the container you intend you use will work as you want it to.
Because the plant, soil and water will already be quite heavy, you'll probably want to avoid using a container that's too heavy.
Choosing your location
The first thing you need to do is find a suitable location for hanging your plants.
Certain plants will do best when they have been placed near a window with bright light. A window that is facing south will be good for these plants.
Some other plants will fare better when they are placed away from the window but in a spot where they'll still receive light – east or west facing windows are your best option for these plants.
Some plants will thrive when they are kept in an area that receives little light. Windows facing the north are where these plants will be happy.
When you have decided how the plants will be arranged in the room, you need to find the stud or cross beam that your plant will hang from. You don't want to just hang your plant in a random spot, as sheetrock and drywall are not strong enough to suspend a heavy planter. Hanging your plant from the stud will help to ensure it is well-supported.
Once you have determined which plants will go where, you can move on to the next step.
Choosing your hardware
Though it might be tempting, do not use simple adhesive hooks to suspend your plants from the ceiling. This might be a more convenient option, but over time the adhesive will weaken, and your plant will eventually come crashing down.
Instead, purchase hooks that are made for hanging plants and other heavy items.
For best results, you will want to first find out how much your plant weighs, container and all. You can do this by weighing it on the bathroom scale. Do this step soon after watering so that you can know how much your plant will weight at its heaviest.
When you know how much your plant weighs, you can then head to the hardware store for supplies.
You'll want to purchase a hook that can support more weight then your plant weighed on the scale. For example, if your watered plant weighed five pounds, you'll be good with a hook that can support 10 pounds of weight. The more weight your hook can support, the better.
Get as many hooks as you need to hang whatever plants you have decided to hang. If you don't have a drill and drill bits, now is the time to borrow or purchase these as well.
Hanging your planter
Now that you've chosen your container and your location, checked for studs and acquired the necessary tools and hardware, you are ready to finally hang your planters. Follow these simple steps below and you will soon have some beautiful hanging plants in your home or office.
- To easily reach the ceiling and reduce risk of injury, use a ladder to complete these tasks
- Mark the spot on the ceiling where you want to hang the plant from the stud
- Using your drill and drill bits, drill a pilot hole for the part of the hook that will go into the ceiling. Make sure that this pilot hole is slightly smaller than the hook's bolt
- Once the pilot hole is drilled, twist the bolt into the ceiling, turning it clockwise to ensure it tightens
- If your hook has “wings”, you'll want to attach the wings to the bolt and fold them toward yourself
- As you press the bolt through the hole in the ceiling, press the wings closed so that they fit through
- Turning the bolt clockwise, thread it through the hole in the ceiling and twist it to ensure it is tight
- Pull on the hook to make sure it is securely fastened to the ceiling
- Hang your plant's hanging apparatus from the hook. There may be rings, chains or cords that are on the planter to help it hang from the hook
As you can see, by following a few simple steps it is easy to hang plants indoors. There are many benefits to having plants indoors, and there is a wide variety of indoor plants to choose from to plant in your hanging planters.
Whatever you choose, you'll soon be breathing far easier and will be greeted daily by lush greenery in your home or office.