By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms Horticulturist
Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms
There’s a plethora of places to enjoy houseplants. Larger varieties are ideal on the floor, whereas smaller varieties sit happily on a plant stand, desk, or table. Many varieties are perfect for hanging. Whether you hang them from a hook on the ceiling or let them suspend from a shelf, it’s a perfect way to display some of your favorite plants. Plus, it helps keep them up and out of reach of children or pets that may make a mess! Here are 10 of my favorites.
It can be difficult to find a good hanging houseplant that blooms well, so look to Alsobia to meet this need. A gesneriad (it’s in the African violet family), it bears furry green leaves, often accented with a purple midrib, and white flowers with fringed edges that look a bit like little snowflakes tucked in amongst the lush foliage. It can tolerate low light and grows better (and flowers best) in a medium to bright spot. It’s also easy to propagate, so you can share with friends!
This variety was bred back in the year 2000, but this Philodendron has already become a tried-and-true favorite for its seemingly indestructible nature. It shows off heart-shaped, dark-green leaves variegated with chartreuse and gold in the center (like the pattern of the Brazilian national flag). It handles low light well, but like most plants, prefers medium to bright, indirect light.
Hoya (Hoya carnosa)
There are a wealth of Hoya varieties available, and almost all are trendy right now thanks to their hanging habits, drought tolerance, and beautiful flowers (that are often fragrant). Among my favorites is Hoya compacta. This milkweed relative bears dark green leaves, which may be variegated with shades of pink, cream, or white, depending on variety. It’s a slow grower that tolerates low light, so you’ll get best performance from it in a bright spot.
Little Swiss Monstera (Monstera adansonii)
Also called Swiss Cheese Plant because the leaves develop adorable and irregular holes as they mature, it’s a tidier version of super-popular Monstera deliciosa. While its sibling is too large to let trail, you can grow Little Swiss Monstera in a basket and let it hang down (or meander along a mantle). It can be a quick grower if you give it lots of light, so it’s a good plant for semi-instant gratification.
Variegated English Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Mini Adam’)
Although it’s not from a subtropical region like most common hanging houseplants, English ivy is an elegant, and relatively easy-care choice for adding color and a touch of life to our living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. Mini Adam is a particularly fun variety that shows off smallish leaves dramatically edged in creamy white. It’s a showy choice that’s especially well-suited to rooms that are cooler than a lot of other houseplants prefer.
A stunning newer selection of old-school inch plant, Nanouk tradescantia boasts bigger-than-average green leaves delightfully marked in shades of cream and pink. Often used as a tabletop plant, it’s also a fabulous choice to hang. Bonus: When it’s up, you get a better view of the hot pink coloring on the undersides of the leaves.
Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
I’ve always had a soft spot for prayer plants because of their patterned leaves. It was also one of the first houseplants I ever owned as a child. Its common name comes from the way the leaves fold up in the evenings like a set of praying hands. Prayer plant tolerates low light and adds a little excitement and contrast to any houseplant collection.
Able to adapt to a variety of growing conditions, this trendy aroid (it’s in the philodendron family) bears heart-shaped leaves that show off a stunning silver overlay. This Scindapsus is a relatively slow grower, so you won’t have to worry about it growing out of bounds. It tolerates low light but grows best in a spot with medium to bright, indirect light. Keep it away from drafts for best performance.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Adored for its low maintenance nature, spider plant gives you grassy leaves that may be variegated with cream or white, depending on the variety. You’re also sure to love the little plantlets it produces at the ends of its hanging stolons. It tolerates low light (and drought and low humidity) like a champ but grows faster in medium to bright conditions.
Strawberry Begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera)
A charming plant perfect for hanging baskets, this uncommon beauty bears begonia-like leaves with silvery veins. As it grows, it makes adorable little offshoots on raspberry-red stolons that hang down from the plant. It’s super-easy to remove an offshoot, pot it in regular houseplant mix, and let it grow. Strawberry begonia (which ironically is related to neither strawberries nor begonias, but rather is closer kin to Heuchera and Astilbe) prefers medium to bright light.
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By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses
In many areas of the country this is an excellent time to prune roses. Although rose pruning may seems daunting, it’s not hard to learn and the results are well worth the effort. For an informative article on rose pruning, click here .
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