Hanging plants are an easy way to add greenery to your balcony without taking up floor space. Of course, you can still use them in addition to normal planters, too!
Picking the right outdoor hanging plants depends on the climate and your needs, among other things. We’ll cover all this below before looking at the best 10 hanging plants and planters for a balcony.
Choosing the Right Hanging Plants
We’ve already mentioned one of the main benefits of hanging plants. Generally, hanging plants are a good idea because:
- They provide greenery and interest without taking up floor space.
- You can use them to make a living privacy screen.
- They’re ideal for covering up boring walls.
- They can be pretty low maintenance.
Things to Consider Before Getting Started
It’s easy to get started with outdoor hanging plants, especially if you choose types suitable for beginners. Here’s what you should think about before filling your balcony with hanging plants.
If your climate is warm enough, you could get away with using indoor plants on your balcony. You might have to bring them indoors over the colder months, but it’ll open up your options for decorating your balcony.
You should find out what USDA Hardiness Zone you live in. Knowing this will help you work out which plants are most suitable for you to keep outdoors.
As with all plants, you’ll need to care for hanging plants. If this isn’t feasible, simply go for faux plants (we’ve included some below). You can get some realistic ones if you’re willing to spend a bit of money.
This might seem like a strange consideration, but are you buying the plant for anything in particular? Generally, you’ll either be buying it for decoration or for privacy.
For decorative plants, consider ones that flower or have interesting foliage. For a privacy plant, you’ll want something fast-growing and bushy. Or, you can go with a fake privacy plant!
In theory, any plant can be a hanging plant if you hang it up! However, we generally consider trailing or creeping plants to be the best hanging plants, as they grow down rather than up.
The most obvious way to hang these plants is from a hook in the ceiling. You could drill a hole or use adhesive hooks and then buy hanging pots or macramé plant holders.
This isn’t the only option, though. If you don’t have a balcony ceiling for your outdoor hanging plants, you could try one of the following:
- Hanging from a wall (with hooks)
- Railing planters (a good choice for a privacy screen)
- A freestanding bird feeder stand
- A flag pole
- A DIY option (such as a repurposed ladder)
With a bit of creative thinking, you’ll find there are plenty of ways to hang plants if you don’t have a ceiling.
10 Best Balcony Hanging Plants
The hanging plants we’ve chosen are all fairly low maintenance, providing your climate is right. A good way to tell this is if you can buy the plant at a local store. Failing that, look up its USDA Hardiness Zone, as mentioned.
1. Spider plant – Best for beginners
Spider plants are incredibly popular houseplants, but work great outdoors, too. You don’t have to do much to them, and they even enjoy being pot-bound! In fact, a pot-pound spider plant will start producing pups quicker, which are the small offshoots that turn into new plants.
A spider plant is a perfect choice for a beginner. Plus, they’re inexpensive and you can have an almost unlimited amount of free plants from one!
Thanks to their association with boho style, spider plants look best in a macramé pot.
2. Pothos – Best for covering large areas
In the right conditions, a pothos could cover your whole balcony in a few years. They grow prolifically and are very easy to propagate. Much like with spider plants, it means you can have as many as you want!
You’ll find variegated varieties and ones with almost golden leaves. As such, a pothos is a great way to add interest to a balcony.
If you want your pothos to grow big, buy the largest hanging pot possible (like this one). You can buy fake pothos, but the real thing is almost always a better option.
3. Burro’s tail – Best for interesting displays
Burro’s tail is a succulent that grows unusual spiny leaves, making it a great way to add texture and interest to your balcony. It’s one of the lowest maintenance hanging plants on this list because it’s a succulent. You won’t need to water it very often and it doesn’t really need repotting.
As the name might suggest, it’s native to Mexico. So, if you want to grow it outdoors, you’ll need to live somewhere warm. It likes full sun and warm temperatures, so consider bringing it indoors over the winter.
Its leaves make it the star of the show, so keep it in a fairly plain hanging pot.
4. Petunia – Best for flowers
Granted, petunia is more of a trailing plant, but it’s a common sight in hanging baskets. The flowers look amazing and come in a wide range of colors.
There’s not much else to say about petunias as hanging plants. They’re low maintenance and are readily available in gardening stores.
Consider planting them in a coir-lined basket, as you can cut holes in the coir and poke petunias through for more interest.
5. Boston fern – A great privacy choice
Boston ferns might not be the best hanging plants for privacy, but they can certainly block a view. Its main drawback as a privacy plant is that they don’t trail but rather grow outwards. That said, a large Boston fern will do a decent job.
Boston ferns work well as outdoor hanging plants, providing you’re willing to put in the care. They’re higher maintenance than others, as they don’t like afternoon sun and enjoy high humidity. As such, you might want to spray them daily.
In the right circumstances, a Boston fern can reach up to 6ft. across. As you can imagine, you’ll need a pretty big hanging pot for a plant this size!
6. Wandering jewel – Best for different colors
Wandering jewel (also known as wandering dude and an older, less savory name) has amazing pink-to-purple leaves and stems. It’s another good choice for beginners because it doesn’t take much to keep it thriving.
You’ll also find it super easy to propagate. Simply cut stems and poke the cuttings back into the soil to fill the pot out. You could turn them into new plants, too.
Due to the colors in wandering jewels, they’d look best in a white hanging planter (like this one).
7. English ivy – Best for privacy
English ivy is the best choice for privacy because it can grow massive. You can keep them as hanging plants or potted on the ground. If growing up a wall, though, be aware the plant’s roots damage masonry.
We’ve got a full article on how to grow English ivy, so check that out for full details.
Ivy is one of the most popular choices for fake plants. Faux ivy (like this) is a great basis for a privacy curtain.
8. String of pearls – Best if you like a challenge
If the hanging plants we’ve mentioned so far sound too easy, string of pearls might be the one for you. Be prepared for it to just die on a whim though, as it’s quite the diva.
It grows small round leaves that, unsurprisingly, look like pearls. It’s technically a succulent but likes deep waterings once the soil dries out. The strings can get incredibly long, which you can cut off and turn into other plants.
Due to the way it grows, it would look best in a wide and shallow planter (like this one). If you like the look but don’t want the challenge, it’s popular as a fake plant.
9. Other string plants
There are hundreds of “string of” hanging plants that add all kinds of interest to hanging pots. Some of the best include:
- String of needles
- String of turtles
- String of dolphins
- String of bananas
- String of hearts
- String of pickles
The care instructions for these hanging plants are pretty much identical, but some are lower maintenance than others. Again, you shouldn’t struggle to find fake versions of many of these.
Fuchsia might not be your first pick when thinking about hanging plants, but dwarf and trailing varieties can look great in baskets. Of course, railing planters are a good pick for these, too.
Not only do the flowers come in a variety of colors, but they’re great for attracting pollinators. Plus, they’re super low maintenance.
Final Thoughts on Outdoor Hanging Plants
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to go out and buy some hanging plants for your balcony. Of course, there are plenty more types out there, but these are some of the easiest to care for. Now all you have to do is find enough space to hang them all!