Can You Make Any Plant Into a Hanging Plant?

As a gardener, nothing beats the beauty of hanging plants. There’s a certain wistful romance to porches filled with hanging wicker baskets, accommodating long-trailing plants blowing in the wind. But is there a limit to the type of plants you can hang?

You can make almost any plant into a hanging plant, but there is a limit to what you can hang regarding the size and weight of your preferred plant. Take note of how big and heavy your chosen plant will be. Research if a plant can tolerate growing in a container or not. 

In this article, we will discuss why some plants don’t make good hanging plants, how to grow healthy plants in hanging planters, and more. Excited? Then let’s get started.

Why Some Plants Don’t Make Good Hanging Plants

Many plants can thrive in a hanging planter. However, plants that need constant moisture or those that are too heavy to hang most likely won’t thrive. Ground cover plants also won’t thrive above ground. 

Let’s look at a few more factors to consider when planting hanging plants.

You’ll Limit Their Ability To Grow

How big will your preferred plant get? While there is still time to repot into a bigger planter in the future, it is wise to plan ahead. Remember, while there are many hanging planter styles and sizes available, they’re still not as varied as regular pots. 

Depending on your preferred plant, your options might be a bit limited. For example, if your preferred plant is a Creeping Thyme, you’ll have a tough time keeping it contained in a planter. Since this plant type is made for growing on the ground, it might not thrive as a hanging plant because of how limited the space is. 

You’ll also need to consider the weight of your plant. Where are you planning to hang it? Will the location be able to accommodate the full weight of the plant, including the soil and planter?

For your reference, the average weight of hanging planters is 7 to 20 lbs (3-9 kg)

Tall plants also are not good candidates for hanging baskets, as they can topple over if they get too top-heavy. These might include small trees and plants that grow to over a few inches above the hanging basket. They are better planted in the ground.

What Happens If You Ignore Your Plant’s Growth?

What’s going to happen if you don’t repot your plant? Will it simply stop growing? It might, but not in the way you think. Your growing plant won’t simply stop growing. Instead, its roots continue to grow into a tangled mess until it runs out of space, which means that your plant becomes root-bound. 

This can lead to water deficiency, nutrient deficiency, and even plant death. While you could prevent this by placing them in a larger hanging pot, you may want to limit these plants to the ground instead.

Plants That Need Constant Moisture Won’t Do Well In Hanging Pots

One of the main benefits a hanging planter provides is better air circulation. However, this also means that your plant’s soil will dry out more quickly. Plants that need a lot more moisture won’t do well in hanging pots, which is why I don’t particularly recommend hanging plants that are not drought-tolerant. 

Some Plants Don’t Like Being Above Ground

You can still force a ground cover to grow in a hanging planter, but you can’t expect it to thrive in the same way it would if it were planted directly into the ground. Plants meant to be in the ground need space to spread out and take advantage of the nutrients in the soil. If they’re planted in hanging pots, they may not do as well as you might expect.

The Verdict: Most Plants Can Thrive in Hanging Planters

Many plants can survive in a hanging planter, including those you probably wouldn’t consider hanging may perform well. Potatoes are a good example. They might not be your first choice for a hanging basket, but here’s a quick video that shows they can thrive even while being above ground:

How To Grow Healthy Hanging Plants

Hanging plants still need to be prepared properly, or you won’t have healthy plants. Your structure should also be able to handle the weight of growing plants, or you’ll end up picking up the plants from the floor. 

How To Prepare Your Hanging Plants

You don’t need to be intimidated by hanging plants, as they require the same care as regular potted plants. There’s only one single factor that sets them apart: weight

Here’s how to properly hang your plants:

  1. You need a stable structure. Hang your planter on ceiling joists as much as possible. Wall studs are also ideal.
  2. Hanging planters get even heavier after they’re watered. Add perlite to the soil, which will make your potting mix lighter, and holds less water.
  3. Consider how the water will flow. Put a pot with proper drainage inside a hanging planter with no holes. The hanging basket acts as a water catcher, preventing inconvenient puddles and water damage.

Here’s an article that discusses more how drainage works with hanging plants: This is How Drainage Works With Hanging Plants

How To Care for Your Hanging Plants

Caring for your hanging plants uses a similar method that you would use for your ground plants. However, there are a few differences between the methods. 

Use Quality Soil

Like regular potted plants, hanging plants need the best soil possible. However, it’s not just because your plant grows in a limited environment. Hanging plants tend to dry quicker and, thus, will require more watering, which also means that nutrients will be washed away quicker.

It’s okay to supplement the soil with fertilizer. I recommend using a slow-release formula during your plant’s active growing season. 

Water Your Hanging Plants Frequently

You need to monitor hanging plants closer when it comes to watering. Depending on your location and current humidity levels, it is common for hanging plants to require watering sessions every day, sometimes even twice a day.

Some tell-tale signs that your plant needs watering are if it feels light or if the soil is dry an inch (2.5 cm) below the surface. 

Place Your Hanging Plants In the Correct Sunlight Spot

Similar to the grounded potted plants in your container garden, you need to place your plant in a location that provides it with the amount of sun it needs. 

Does your plant require direct or indirect sunlight? While some plants need more sunlight during the day, others require less sunlight and need to be in the shade for a better share of the day. Be sure to place your plants where it receives the correct amount of sunlight and shade for the plant species. 

Prune Your Plants As Often As Needed

Hanging plants need a lot of TLC when it comes to pruning. Think of it as a step to keep your plants properly groomed, especially since these planters usually hang at eye level, so they can’t easily be ignored like a regular grounded pot.

The goal here is to encourage denser, fuller growth. One technique you can use is deadheading. This pruning method helps to remove parts of the plant that have already been spent, such as when a flowering stem has already faded out of bloom.

Pinch or cut off your plant’s fading or dead parts directly above the part where they meet the stem, as this will encourage new growth, especially if it’s done at the right moment. The timing will depend on your plant. That said, many plants prefer to be pruned during their dormant period or just before their early growing period starts.


You’ll be surprised how many plants can actually do well in a hanging planter. However, that’s not to say there aren’t any plants out there that will find the drying and limiting growing space a pain. Researching the growth requirements of your preferred plant is advisable. I recommend more drought-tolerant plants, especially if you’re a beginner grower. 

Another option is to adjust your watering sessions.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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