Image: Spencer Gu / Unsplash

Cascading, hanging and trailing plants add a fresh dimension to shelves in the home

I can’t visit a nursery without bringing a new green friend home, and when shopping for plants, I often look for ‘trailers’ – plants that cascade over the edge of a container and hang in the air. They remain low in the pot and are perfect for shelves where there isn’t much space overhead. And, when placed on a high shelf, they tumble down to eye level where they can be admired.

The most common mistake with indoor plant care is overwatering. I avoid those that need frequent moisture and keep my watering to one day of the week to help me keep track of how much each plant is receiving. Feeding depends on the plant. I use diluted liquid fertiliser every few weeks in spring and summer on many of mine, but not on cacti or succulents. It’s important to take note of a plant’s light requirements: while good for a succulent, a sunny windowsill with direct light is not the best spot for every indoor plant. However, if you have a plant that survives, but fails to thrive in a given spot, it probably isn’t receiving enough light. Don’t be afraid to move a plant around to determine where it’s happiest.

trailing plants
Image: Inge Prins

Pictured here, I have arranged a selection of trailers on shelves in my home alongside an array of collectables, and the juxtaposition of the green element adds life and a unifying softness to the arrangement. While all hanging, the leaf forms are variable – most are fine and delicate, but some are more robust. I often re-arrange the shelves to enjoy new combinations of tendrils alongside one another and find a different balance between the various plants. Having lived with these indoor plants for a while, I can’t imagine my home without them.

Favourite Trailing Plants

Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina)

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Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

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String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

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Chain of Bananas (Senecio radicans)

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Chain of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

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Donkey’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

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Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)

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Text: Mary Maurel

For more plant inspiration read 7 Indoor Plants that Thrive on Neglect5 Houseplant Instagram Accounts to Inspire and 5 Plants and Flowers That Will Help You Sleep Better next.