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15 Beautiful Trailing Plants to Add to Your Collection

dining room with white walls and wood floor and several green hanging plants from ceiling

Sara Toufali

There’s nothing like a lush, striking houseplant to breathe life into a room. You might choose a tall, treelike statement plant, or a stunner with brightly colored leaves. But nothing creates that lush, verdant feel like a plant with long, trailing vines just begging to be hung from your ceiling or in front of a light-filled window. 

If you’re looking to create a lush, tropical vibe—or you’ve simply run out of shelves, countertops, and windowsills to display your houseplant collection—you can elevate your space by hanging some of these beautiful trailing specimens.

Here are our picks for the best trailing houseplants to add greenery to your home.

Meet the Expert

As a certified Master Gardener in Philadelphia, Alexandra Jones has been an avid indoor and outdoor gardener for more than a decade. She's spent the past five years writing professionally about gardening, plants, and sustainability.

01 of 15

String of Pearls

string of pearls plant with long trailing leaves in white pot against white background

Tom_coultas / Getty Images 

  • Botanical Name: Senecio rowleyanus
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining cactus or succulent mix
  • Soil pH: 6.6 to 7.5

This succulent gets its name from long, thin stems lined with tiny leaves the color and shape of a pea, and it’s one of the cutest hanging plants out there. Similar species include string of bananas, with smile-shaped leaves, and string of dolphins, whose leaves look like little dolphins leaping through the waves. Take care not to overwater your string of pearls plant and always use a well-draining succulent mix to prevent root rot. When properly cared for, each strand can grow up to three feet in length, at which point you can trim and propagate using the cuttings.

string of pearls plant from directly above
Succulents Box String of Pearls $25.00
02 of 15

Spider Plant

Trailing spider plant in a boho bedroom

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-drained potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.2

There’s a reason this elegant, easy-growing houseplant is a classic: it’s nearly impossible to kill, and its variegated, arcing leaves can create a lush, jungle-like feel in any space. Hang a spider plant in front of a bright window or even on your porch or balcony and with a little TLC, they’ll reward you with tiny, star-shaped white flowers and babies you can grow into whole new plants. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, as its roots tend to hold a lot of water. Spider plants are happiest when they're pot-bound, so keep this in mind when considering repotting.

small spider plant in hanging planter Spider Plant $45.00
03 of 15

Inch Plant

inch plant on floating shelf in home office nook

House of Chais

  • Botanical Name: Tradescantia zebrina
  • Sun Exposure: Medium to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: All-purpose potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 7.8

Also known as wandering Jew, this colorful houseplant is nearly foolproof, even for home gardeners without green thumbs. The stems of this vigorous grower often reach out and up rather than trailing straight down, giving the plant an attractive bushiness that looks great in a hanging basket or on a high shelf. These guys thrive when neglected, so let the soil dry out completely between waterings, and cut back in colder months. After a couple of years, your inch plant may start to look leggy and bare. If so, consider recycling the mother plant for propagation.

potted inch plant on stool next to a cup of water
Bloomscape Tradescantia Zebrina $35.00
04 of 15


hanging pothos in a boho bedroom

Sara Toufali

  • Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: All-purpose potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 6.5

Also known as devil’s ivy, a healthy specimen of this leafy vine can be trained to grow hundreds of feet long. Golden pothos, with yellow, cream, and green variegations, is the most common, but you can mix it up with rarer types like lime green neon pothos and satin pothos, which has a sought-after matte finish and silvery flecks, for more color and texture. Pothos are very low maintenance—they can go weeks without water if necessary, but aim to water when the top two or so inches of soil are dry. When yours is ready to reach the floor, simply give it a pruning, then propagate sections of stem to grow new plants.

Potted pothos plant on a small table.
Ansel & Ivy Devil's Ivy $46.00
05 of 15

Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf philodendron on a bright and airy bookshelf

Dwell Aware

  • Botanical Name: Philodendron hederaceum
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Peat moss-based potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0

Another trailing jungle vine, heartleaf philodendron is easy to mistake for pothos, though their care and growth habit is similar. You’ll know it by its truly heart-shaped (rather than teardrop-shaped), smooth-surfaced leaves. Variegated types like ‘Brasil’ are some of the prettiest, with shiny leaves streaked in deep and lime green. Another, known as blushing philodendron, has red stems and bright pink streaks on its leaves. 

Potted heartleaf philodendron on a stool next to a glass of water
Bloomscape Philodendron Heartleaf $35.00
06 of 15

Goldfish Plant

Blooming goldfish plant in a hanging pot


  • Botanical Name: Nematanthus gregarious
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 6.5

While most trailing plants are known for their long, leggy stems and lush leaves rather than flowers, goldfish plant is an exception. Make it happy and it’ll display bright orange or yellow flowers—shaped like goldfish, hence the name—amongst waxy, teardrop-shaped leaves on three-foot-long vines. This epiphyte grows on trees in its native habitat below tropical jungle canopies, similar to air plants and bromeliads, and prefers a well-draining growing medium and lots of bright, indirect light to bloom.

goldfish plant in pot
California Tropicals Black Goldfish Plant $17.00
07 of 15

String of Hearts

hanging string of hearts and various potted plants on styled shelves

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Ceropegia woodii
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-drained potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5

Not to be confused with string of pearls and other houseplants in the Senecio genus, string of hearts is another lovely trailing succulent. It's known for its cute, petite heart-shaped leaves splotched with pale green and white, with mauve stems and leaf undersides. Place yours in a south-facing or west-facing window that gets lots of bright light, but out of direct sunlight. Without enough light, the leaves will have less color and show less marbling, and they’ll grow further apart, too. They're also very sensitive to overwatering, so let the soil dry out completely in between deep waterings.

08 of 15

Burro's Tail

trailing succulents in a bathroom

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5

With its ropy, seafoam-green strands of tiny succulent leaves, a mature burro’s tail—also known as donkey’s tail—is one of the most awe-inspiring trailing plants out there. Even better, it’s a pretty low-maintenance succulent, needing just bright, full sunlight and occasional water. Take great care when handling this plant, though, as bumps and jostles can cause the delicate leaves to fall off, creating a patchy look. On the plus side, you can propagate fallen leaves into new plants.

Burro's tail in pot
Succulents Box Sedum Donkey's Tail Succulent $23.00
09 of 15

Rope Hoya

hoya compacta in a lap

Tracey Hairston

  • Botanical Name: Hoya Carnosa 'Compacta'
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5

This sought-after cultivar of the wax plant features the original’s deep green, glossy leaves curled and twisted into charming ruffles along thick, draping vines. Also known as Hindu rope or krinkle kurl plant, it makes a striking plant for a hanging basket or a high shelf that gets bright, indirect light. With proper care, hoya ‘compacta’ will grow pretty clumps of tiny pink, white, or purple flowers at maturity. Aim to water deeply and regularly during warmer months, but let the soil thoroughly dry out in between—like with many succulents, overwatering is one of the most common reasons for a dying Hoya.

The hoya compacta is one of the more unique looking types of epiphytic air-purifying plants in the succulent family, and is non-toxic to pets.

Trailing rope hoya in a pot
Pistils Nursery Hoya Carnosa 'Compacta' $16.00
10 of 15


Maranta plant surrounded by other plants

 Firn / Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-draining soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.0

With its herringbone-like pattern of red ribs against deep green, maranta is one of the prettiest prayer plants, a family that also includes calatheas. These humidity-loving plants are great to hang in a window or even atop a cabinet in your bathroom, where the steam and warmth from the shower can keep them moist. Choose a spot that gets bright, indirect light from a north-facing or east-facing window—the light is gentler from those directions.

Maranta plant in an orange pot
The Sill Maranta $45.00
11 of 15

English Ivy

two English ivy plants on a modern styled shelf

Coco Lapine Design

  • Botanical Name: Hedera helix
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Standard potting soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.5

The same English ivy that grows on the walls of stately old buildings also comes in several indoor-friendly cultivars. It’s easy to train your English ivy’s long vines around a basket handle or up a pole set in the container, or you can simply let them trail down in a hanging basket. Resist the temptation to cut a stem from outdoors to propagate at home, though—with their smaller, more plentiful leaves and colorful variegations, houseplant-specific varieties will look best in your indoor space. 

Variegated English ivy in a hanging planter pot
Lively Root English Ivy Glacier $42.00
12 of 15

Purple Heart

Purple heart plant potted in a brown pot

Giuditta Sofia Scotti / EyeEm / Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Tradescantia pallida 
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light to direct light
  • Soil Type: Peat moss-based potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 6.0

A relative of the inch plant, purple heart is a robust grower even when neglected. Its lance-shaped, deep purple leaves and spreading growth habit make it excellent for hanging baskets and elevated planters. With proper care, it grows small, pale purple flowers. It’s incredibly easy to propagate, too—just cut off a section of stem with a few leaf nodes and pop it in a glass of water or directly into a pot of soil to make a new plant. 

Purple heart plant
Succulents Box Purple Heart Tradescantia Pallida $15.00
13 of 15

Chain Cactus

chain cactus in hanging planter

Hugo Goudswaard / Getty Images

  • Botanical Name: Rhipsalis paradoxa
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, rich soil or cactus mix
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 7.8

This cactus with Rapunzel-esque locks is a member of the succulent family and is closely related to the common Christmas cactus. The aptly named chain cactus, or Rhipsalis paradoxa, is known to grow chain-like leaves in branches several feet long. As is typical with succulents, this plant prefers only slightly moist soil and should dry out between waterings—it also enjoys an occasional misting and thrives in high humidity. It's not too finicky about light either, as long as it's not sitting directly in the sun, which can scorch the leaves.

This low maintenance succulent is non-toxic to pets and helps purify the air in your home by absorbing bacteria and eliminating toxins.

chain cactus in pot
FLgreenery Rhipsalis Paradoxa $15.00
14 of 15

Trailing Jade

Hand holding trailing jade in a white pot


  • Botanical Name: Peperomia rotundifolia
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining peat-based soil or cactus mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 6.5

Another succulent option, trailing jade or Peperomia rotundifolia is actually quite different from the common jade plant, though the two look fairly similar. Its waxy, round emerald leaves grow on branches that trail up to four feet long. Given the right care and conditions, small inconspicuous flowers can form. As far as watering goes, less is more with trailing jade—let the soil dry out between waterings, and reduce frequency in colder months. Like with many leafy succulents, propagation is possible by drying out stem tip and leaf cuttings and then planting in a moist potting mix.

Small trailing jade plant from above
JoyOfPlants Peperomia Rotundifolia $19.00
15 of 15

Creeping Fig

Creeping fig plant on a windowsill in a modern bathroom


  • Botanical Name: Ficus pumila
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 7.8

A cousin to the well-known fiddle-leaf fig and other members of the Ficus genus, the creeping fig, or Ficus pumila, is a little different (and more hardy) than its woody-stemmed relative. Instead of growing upwards, this plant prefers to grow in long, lush vines, which makes it a great candidate for both outdoor ground coverage and indoor trailing pots. The creeping fig prefers consistently moist soil, but will suffer if the roots sit in water, so be sure to use a well-draining pot. To propagate, simply plant stem cuttings in a sterile potting mix in early spring and keep it warm and humid.

Potted creeping fig on a wood stool
36Vine Creeping Fig $26.00
Article Sources
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  1. Fonseca-García C, Coleman-Derr D, Garrido E, Visel A, Tringe SG, Partida-Martínez LP. The Cacti Microbiome: Interplay Between Habitat-Filtering and Host-SpecificityFront Microbiol. 2016;7. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00150