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.
String of Pearls
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 to root rot.
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.
Also known as wandering Jew and by its botanical name, Tradescantia zebrina, 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.
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. When yours is ready to reach the floor, simply give it a pruning, then propagate sections of stem to grow new plants.
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.
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.
String of Hearts
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.
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.)
Hoya Carnosa 'Compacta'
This sought-after cultivar of 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.
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.
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.
A relative of the inch plant that’s sometimes known as Setcreasea pallida and Tradescantia pallida, purple heart plant 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.