Succulents are THE BEST plant to have in a hanging planter, here we have the best hanging ones. They don’t need a lot of water which is great, and hanging them by the windows allows them to get all the sun they need. There’s so many gorgeous trailing succulents to choose from so there’s one for everyone.
The term succulent doesn’t refer exclusively to just one family of plants but rather a whole variety of plants from different genuses. Succulents generally have similar care needs but it can be hard to know what’s a succulent and what isn’t sometimes. A succulent is a plant which stores water in thick, fleshy leaves or trunks to use later, allowing them to survive arid climates where the plants experience very little rainfall.
There’s over 10,000 plants that are classified as succulents, encompassed across 60 families. I’ve researched thoroughly and compiled the ultimate guide to the best hanging succulents – from commonly found to the more unusual finds! This article is great if you’re struggling to find the right succulent for you or you’re not sure what you’ve already got.
For this article, I’ve chosen the Burro’s tail as our best overall hanging succulent. This is because it is easy to care for, fun to propagate. Also it is really lovely visually. The Burro’s tail is also an incredibly fast growing succulent, which personally I prefer to the slow growers as they are more interesting. If you want something even more low maintenance then look no further than the Hoya Carnosa compacta. In turn another unique looking plant that barely needs looking after!
- Best Overall: Burro’s Tail
- Best Budget-Friendly: String of Pearls
- Best to Share: Christmas Cactus
- Best Unique Hanging Succulent: String of Dolphins
- Best Low-Maintenance: Hoya Carnosa Compacta
Best Overall: Burro’s Tail
The Burro’s Tail is the ultimate plant in my opinion. It’s funky, unique and has a gorgeous green color to bring a sense of life and brightness to your home. This sedum can be ground covering or trailing and grows so beautifully in hanging baskets. The Sedum morganianum can grow stems up to 4 feet long. This company grows their succulents in their California farm, carefully nurturing each one in suitable soil. Therefore they won’t die immediately as you take them in. As enticing as the big, cheap houseplants from big box stores are, they are generally over-fertilised to look attractive for sale. This means pretty much the minute you take them home they’re doomed unless you really know what needs to be done.
This Burro’s tail will be much more established and therefore resilient to the stress of moving house! They’re also incredibly easy to care for, they can be grown indoors or outdoors and require very little care. The Burro’s tail is one of those plants where lots of leaves are going to fall off when the plant is moved. But don’t worry it’s not a bad thing, you’ve not killed your plant. This is a natural response that the plant has evolved to do in order to spread, as each leaf that falls off can grow into a whole new plant just from the nutrients in that one single leaf – isn’t that so cool?
- Size: Each section of leaves can grow up to 4 feet long and the leaves themselves tend to be around an inch long.
- Life Span: These plants can grow forever as with just one fallen leaf you can clone the plant.
- Watering Needs: Water when the soil is properly dried out and the leaves have started to wrinkles, that’s how you know that the plant’s water reserves are running low.
- Light Needs: Succulents love bright, indirect sunlight.
- Difficulty Level: Suitable for beginners.
- Pet Friendly: Burro’s tail is considered mildly toxic, if enough is ingested it can cause mouth and stomach irritation which sometimes leads to vomiting.
Who Is It for?
This is THE hanging succulent in my opinion. It’s suitable for anyone who wants just a little low-maintenance pop of life in their home, it brightens up any boring corner. They’re also amazing as they’re just so easy to propagate you can give little plants as gifts forever or just grow yourself more. I just don’t think you can go wrong with the Burro’s tail succulent for your next hanging plant.
Best Budget Friendly: String of Pearls
As the string of pearls (SOP) is easy to grow and easy to propagate, and they’re very affordable. These strings of pearls are grown in CA licensed greenhouses and succulent nurseries so you can feel confident you’re buying a healthy plant. Additionally, the string of pearls is so easy to propagate. You just put the stem on soil and it’ll grow, even the newest gardeners with the blackest thumb can care for this plant.
Additionally, the variegated string of pearls is by far one of the most beautiful plants. I am absolutely desperate to own one. If you’re looking for a striking plant that looks expensive and unique but without actually having to spend much or do much, this is your guy. You can get really creative with succulents like SOP that don’t need much soil or care as they can live happily in any pot as long as you’ve added drainage. You can try thrifting old teacups and saucers, bird houses, making creations with broken pottery. There’s no end to how creative and funky you can get with styling a string of pearls.
- Size: The individual ‘pearls’ are about the size of a pea but the strings can grow super long, many many feet just depending on how often you trim it and if you give it enough light.
- Life Span: String of pearls will start to die back after about 3 to 5 years but you can keep yours indefinitely if you just propagate it.
- Watering Needs: Only water when the top half of the soil has dried out and the pearls begin to wrinkle, water is stored by the plant in the fleshy ‘pearls’ and they will wrinkle when they have used their stores of water.
- Light Needs: Full sun! Especially if you have the variegated SOP, it’ll need more light to maintain its patterning (you’ll be able to tell if it’s getting enough sun based on whether the pearls revert to green or stay variegated).
- Difficulty Level: Suitable for beginners.
- Pet Friendly: Unfortunately, string of pearls is toxic to both dogs and humans. For humans the effects are quite mild, moderate stomach symptoms like nausea and sometimes vomiting. For pets the side effects are much more serious and can be fatal so it’s important to keep this plant high up and far out of reach. I would urge you to be careful even then as bits of the plant might occasionally fall off and onto the floor. Consider hanging this over a desk or a surface that would catch the plant droppings, ensuring no access is granted to pets.
Who Is It for?
This is the plant for anyone who wants a cool, unique statement piece of plant decor to bring vitality to their spaces. It’s another amazing one that you can propagate into many new plants to spread joy to your loved ones. The variegated version of this plant is such a winner, the marbled pattern is just stunning and I really think it would go with anyone’s decoration!
Best to Share: Christmas Cactus
One of my favorite things about growing plants is when I can take a cutting and grow a plantlet to give it to a friend! This plant comes fully established and well-rooted so it’s ready to start thriving. These succulent plants get their name due to the fact that they flower between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The succulents are grown by California Tropicals, who are a very well-trusted plant company with a great nursery. They ship out healthy, quality plants and I think that’s always reflected in their reviews.
The Christmas Cactus I’ve linked above is a Golden Dancer variety called Zygocactus Yellow but there’s so many varieties of these plants with different flowers.
- Size: These’ll grow to roughly 6 to 12 inches tall and 1 to 2 feet wide.
- Life Span: Christmas Cactus can live for up to 100 years if taken care of properly.
- Watering Needs: Throughout the active growing season when it’s warmer the plants will need more water, so during this time water the plant when the top few inches of soil are dry. Always make sure that you allow the excess water to drain away, which might mean removing the exterior pot to drain the water. Succulents are particularly sensitive to root rot as they are adapted to dry environments. Throughout periods of dormancy, where the plant is not growing or is growing very slowly, like winter the plant will need less water.
- Light Needs: If possible, aim for around 8 hours of bright light per day, ideally bright, indirect light. If you grow your plants outside in the summer keep them in dappled sun or partial shade, as the sun is more intense outside and can damage the foliage.
- Difficulty Level: Easy.
- Pet Friendly: Yes! This plant is listed as non-toxic for both dogs and cats.
Who Is It for?
I think this is the perfect plant for anyone who feels connected to the plants they grow and would like to share that or pass it on. These plants can live so long and they’re so easy to propagate! Additionally, they’re not toxic. It’s not the end of the world if the plant does get “shared” by your pets! So they’re perfect for anyone who wants to get a cute companion anytime or already has.
Best Unique Hanging Succulent: String of Dolphins
String of Dolphins, also called Dolphin plant or flying Dolphins is a cool hybrid plant that is a mix of the string of pearls and the candle plant. The result is a unique plant that looks like little flying dolphins and blooms in the fall with small, white flowers. These plants are cultivated by Sprout N Green in their California farm run by experts. Each String of Dolphins comes fully rooted in a 4 inch pot and they are well-established, meaning you don’t need to worry too much about shock when you first bring your plant home. These plants are super easy to grow too as they are drought tolerant and can handle a little bit of neglect.
- Size: Around 6 inches tall and 2-3 feet wide.
- Life Span: Over twenty years or more when taken care of well, but as with other succulents you can have it indefinitely if you propagate the plant.
- Watering Needs: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, the little dolphins will be wrinkly when the plant needs more water. Either soak until the water runs through the bottom of the pot or bottom water them, just whatever you prefer.
- Light Needs: Ideally, at least six hours of sunlight each in a south-facing window.
- Difficulty Level: Relatively easy to grow.
- Pet Friendly: No, this plant is toxic to cats, dogs and other pets. It can also be mildly toxic to humans when ingested in large enough quantities.
Who Is It for?
String of Dolphins is great for anyone who has quite a collection of plants already and maybe fancies something slightly different. This succulent is beautiful, easy to grow and unique!
Best Low-Maintenance Hanging Succulent: Hoya Carnosa Compacta
Last but not least we have the easiest to care for succulent on our list, the extremely low maintenance Hindu Rope, also known as Hoya Carnosa Compacta. This vibrant and striking plant gives far more than it takes, generally only needing to be watered every two weeks! Like most succulents, this plant will do best in a well-draining soil mix with ingredients such as perlite, that is nice and light. Hindu Rope doesn’t really require much in the way of care generally, they don’t need fertilizing or pruning and generally just go with the flow!
- Size: At maturity, the Hoya Carnosa grows to 11 to 18 inches tall, and 8 to 12 inches wide.
- Life Span: Roughly 10 years .
- Watering Needs: Let the soil dry out completely between waterings and then water thoroughly. It’ll be roughly every two weeks but that will change depending on the temperature where you are. Try bottom watering if you want to encourage a strong root development.
- Light Needs: Lots of bright, indirect sunlight is best, ideally over 6 hours a day. Hindu Rope can tolerate lower lighting but the leaves will be smaller and weaker.
- Difficulty Level: Suitable for anyone.
- Pet Friendly: This plant is considered non-toxic to dogs and cats!
Who Is It for?
If you’re in need of a low-maintenance, pet friendly and easy to care for plant, this is the one for you. It’s perfect if you want to liven up a space that you don’t use a lot, and you need a drought-tolerant plant. This plant is best for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, but wants to make a big impact in their office. The plant can grow really quickly when well taken care of, meaning it can easily add a lot of beauty throughout the space.
Hanging Succulents Buying Guide
There are five key things you need to consider when choosing which plant to buy:
You’ve got to remember that some of these succulents can grow to extraordinary sizes when given some TLC. Occasionally furthermore they might just be too big for your home. Throughout this article, I have focused on small plants, this is for a number of reasons. Smaller plants are more portable, also more affordable and naturally, take up much less space. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you’re going home for the holiday or the office is moving and you have to throw out a plant because it’s too hard to take with you. Small plants are often less maintenance, and they don’t need as much pruning or dusting. This is great because the last thing you need when stressed about work is more on your to do list!
But luckily with succulents, especially trailing succulents like strings of pearls it’s extremely easy to prune and reduce their size.
#2 Light Requirements
Depending on your home and where you live geographically you’ll get very different levels of light. Most succulents are big fans of light and will need decent access to a window, or a grow light.
If you have an animal or child in your home you can’t neglect the possibility of a secret leafy snack now and then so you’ve got to consider whether this plant is safe to have around. Here are a few succulent types you should be aware of:
- Jade Plant/ Crassula Ovata
- Aloe Vera
- Mother of thousands and mother of millions
- String of pearls
- Snake plant
- Some Echeveria
Even if you believe you have a non-toxic plant, err on the side of caution as succulents are often confused and mislabelled as other varieties (because honestly the Echeveria all look the same!).
#4 The Pot
When you buy your plants they often come in a simple plastic pot, called a nursery pot, which is meant to either be replaced or plant into an outer pot. You’ll need drainage however you choose to display your plant. But it’s also important to think about the furniture around the plant. If you buy a pot with drainage holes on the outside you’ll need to take it to a sink or shower to water them, which won’t always be possible or convenient with hanging plants. So I would recommend buying either a terracotta pot with a drainage dish underneath, or an exterior pot with no drainage holes. You’ll just have to tip out any extra water. If your plant is going to be hung above a nice wooden shelf or something similar, you should make sure you’re being careful when watering, or you might damage your things!
#5 Factor In How Much Time You Have
There’s a good number of plants I very deliberately didn’t include in this list because of one thing; they’re very thirsty! Everyone’s schedules are very different. If you’re a bit more free most days you can have a plant that needs a little extra love but just don’t forget to consider this. If you’re very busy you’ll want to opt for something that needs a little bit less watering so that it’ll be easier.
Which succulents are good for hanging baskets?
Any succulents that spill or trail can be grown in hanging baskets nicely, you can put any succulents in a hanging basket though. The best ones are Burro’s tail, string of pearls, most sedums are great, then you can have some upright succulents like snake plants, Kalanchoe, Aloe vera etc in the middle of your basket for variety.
Do succulents do well in hanging baskets?
Succulents are perfect for hanging baskets due to the way they grow in a trailing pattern. Additionally, succulents tend to have shallow root systems that do not require a large amount of space/ depth to grow. Hanging baskets tend to be quite shallow which suits succulents well.
Do hanging succulents need sun?
All succulents love light and need quite a lot of bright sunshine, around 6 to 8 hours per day. It’s important that they are not getting bright, direct sunlight all day long though as that will damage the plant. You can add some curtains or move your plant further from the window to reduce light. There’s generally a lot of misinformation that implies that some plants like succulents can survive without sunlight, this is not true at all. All plants need sunlight to photosynthesise and succulents need more than most others.
Don’t Hang Back – Get Yourself Some Succulents!
The best hanging succulent in the world? Undoubtedly Burro’s tails. They are so easy to care for, low maintenance, gorgeous and make such an impact in any space. Not only do they purify the air and reduce air pollution but they also can increase creativity, reduce stress and boost your mood. There’s a lot of studies into this area that are worth mentioning.
Are You Sucked in?
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