31 Trailing Succulent Plants For Hanging Baskets
Are you trying to find the perfect succulent plant to hang in a basket somewhere around your home or apartment? There are plenty of different trailing & vining succulents that can fit just about any type of decor. In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton looks at her favorite vining or tralining succlents for hanging baskets in your indoor garden.
When it comes to container gardens, most gardeners choose to focus on what’s at eye level and in reach. But, once you’ve filled up that space, where do you go next? The answer is up.
Hanging baskets are wonderful ways to use the vertical space in your garden both indoors and out. Raising pots off the ground, it is also a great way to appreciate trailing plants that may get lost amongst a sea of other containers on a shelf.
When you’re searching for plants to fill your containers with, the first group you should look to is succulents. Needing little water and appreciating neglect, these plants make perfect options for overhead low-maintenance baskets.
- 1 Trailing Jade
- 2 Burro’s Tail
- 3 Elephant Bush
- 4 Christmas Cactus
- 5 Coral Cactus
- 6 Mistletoe Cactus
- 7 Ruby Necklace
- 8 Dancing Bones
- 9 Starfish Flower
- 10 String of Pearls
- 11 String of Hearts
- 12 String of Nickels
- 13 Million Hearts
- 14 String of Dolphins
- 15 String of Tears
- 16 String of Bananas
- 17 String of Buttons
- 18 Calico Kitten
- 19 Variegated Trailing Jade
- 20 Hindu Rope
- 21 Wax Plant
- 22 Silver Dollar Vine
- 23 Cliff Cotyledon
- 24 Peanut Cactus
- 25 Fishbone Cactus
- 26 Monkey’s Tail
- 27 October Daphne
- 28 Little Missy Sedum
- 29 Lantern Flower
- 30 Mezoo Trailing Red
- 31 Ice Plant
- 32 Final Thoughts
Trailing Jade is a creeping ground cover with overlapping succulent leaves on thick succulent stems. These stunning stems cascade over any pot or hanging basket, lending it the number one spot on this list.
Its Latin name is Senecio Jacobsenii – sometimes known as Kleinia petraea – and it has various common names including Weeping Jade or Vining Jade.
In fall and winter, this succulent carries bright orange flowers that jut outwards and upwards. The leaves also turn reddish maroon with the season, giving the plant an autumnal aesthetic. The hanging trusses of stems and leaves can even reach up to 4 feet long.
This grows well in full sun and also partial shade. It is fairly frost-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to 20F. It will struggle if the conditions are too moist or too humid. Like many succulents, it doesn’t need to be watered often, making it great for water-wise gardens.
Sedum morganianum is one of the most impressive succulent trailing plants with thick ‘tails’ of tightly packed succulent leaves named for resembling a donkey’s tail. The color of the leaves is a sought-after blue-green, a favorite for hanging baskets.
As these long strands, reaching almost 2 feet long, break easily, they should be placed away from traffic. Burro’s tail is not typically grown for its flowers, but they will appear in summer at the ends of the strands in a red or light pink color.
Although this plant is native to Mexico where the weather is usually hot, these plants can also be grown in cooler climates. They need lots of light and well-draining soil. Water only when the soil is dry and feed only once or twice a year during the growing season.
Known for its use as a carbon buster, Portulacaria afra hails from South Africa where it’s grown in many conditions from dry to wet and humid. It features arching red stems that cascade over hanging baskets and pots, covered in adorable roundish green leaves.
Portulacaria afra is a favorite food for elephants, hence its common name. It’s also edible for humans and makes a good salad ingredient with a sour taste and a crunchy texture. It has many uses in the garden, including as a hedge and in bonsai, as well as in hanging baskets.
Plant in full sun or semi-shade in well-draining soil. In early summer it is covered in pink to mauve flowers – in the wild, usually after rain.
Also known as Holiday Cactus, (Schlumbergera buckleyi) has segmented succulent leaves that produce stunning flowers at the ends in red, pink, yellow or white. Timed just right, these cascading succulents will bloom just in time for Christmas, hence the name.
Unlike desert succulents, these plants come from the tropical regions of Southeast Bazil with different growing conditions. They need partial or dappled shade, high humidity and high temperatures. They also like to be fertilized more regularly than other succulents for strong flowering.
The challenge with these succulents is making sure they flower just in time for the holidays. They need about 6-8 weeks of cool short days to flower naturally, but you can trigger this process by simulating shorter daylight and cold temperatures, even placing them in a dark cold area for 12 – 24 hours to shock the plant into bloom.
When you look at the form of a Coral Cactus you can see where it got its name, with segmented stems that stick out like bits of coral.
Its Latin name is Rhipsalis cereuscula and it comes from Brazil where it grows under large trees in filtered light, explaining why too much sunlight will burn the stems. When it gets cold, the tips of the stems turn red.
Coral cactus needs rich soil, a solid fertilizing routine and consistent watering. Allow the soil to dry between watering and improve drainage to avoid waterlogged soil.
Like the Christmas Cactus, the Coral Cactus can be forced into bloom by placing it in the dark and reducing temperatures. Flowers form at the end of the branching stems in a range of colors including pink, purple and white.
This epiphytic cactus seems as if it was made for trailing over a hanging basket. Also known as Spaghetti Cactus or Chain Cactus, Rhipsalis baccifera has pale green branching stems can reach up to 30 feet in the wild.
They come mainly from Central and South America – tropical areas with high rainfall and high humidity. Confined to pots, they grow to around 6 feet long.
In winter and spring, small white to green flowers appear along the stems. These are followed by berries in either white, pink or red.
This plant needs well-draining soil and regular watering to thrive. Place in a filtered brightly lit position indoors and out of direct sunlight outdoors.
Othonna capensis ‘Ruby Necklace’ is a cultivar of the low-growing succulent groundcover with narrow cylindrical leaves spiraling around green stems. In the case of Ruby Necklace, the trailing stems are vibrant maroon and the leaves can change from green to purple and burgundy.
It also has impressive daisy-like yellow flowers that can bloom all year round, making an excellent hanging basket candidate.
As a desert succulent, Ruby Necklace enjoys dry conditions. However, it does need to be protected from harsh sunlight, especially in summer. Early morning sun is best.
This epiphyte (Hatiora salicornioides) has such descriptive common names as Dancing Bones and Drunkard’s Dream.
It’s an easy growing succulent with jointed stems that grow upwards and then drunkenly cascade over the rims of hanging baskets. The segments are divided into pieces, connected together to look just like bone joints.
This tropical succulent comes from the rainforests of Brazil and will need a similar environment to flourish. In spring, yellow flowers will pop out on the tips of the stems.
The plants become dormant in the winter months and quickly pop back up in spring, ready for regular watering. Allow the soil to dry out between watering and add an occasional boost of liquid fertilizer in spring. Place in a position with bright but indirect sunlight when growing outdoors.
The succulent Starfish Flower, also known as the Carrion Flower for its ripe scent, was formerly called Stapelia variegata and is now Orbea variegata.
The five-petalled flowers are the most impressive part of this plant, but you almost don’t want them to flower with the unpleasant smell they produce, which in turn attracts flies and other insects.
It looks almost like a carnivorous plant but strangely is not. But it is still a very interesting plant with thick cactus-like stems and a cascading nature.
It comes from sunny South Africa, but grows well indoors in a warm bright spot. But be careful when growing indoors – you will need to take it outside when it flowers in summer.
Give these plants more water than regular succulents but keep up drainage to prevent rotting.
String of Pearls
From the daisy family comes a pretty trailing plant that looks like strings of green fleshy pearls. Senecio rowleyanus (now called Curio rowleyanus) is one of the most common of the ‘string’-type plants. It displays lengths of stems reaching about 35 inches long in ideal conditions.
This succulent vine is native to the southwest of Africa, used to dry conditions. However, it grows in the shade of other plants and rocks so as not to get sunburnt. It is mostly grown as an indoor plant as long as there is plenty of bright light and well-draining soil.
Pot size is incredibly important when growing these plants. If the pot is too big, the soil will stay wet when the plants are watered. Any beads resting on the soil may start to rot. It also has shallow roots, so a smaller pot is recommended.
Water approximately every two weeks depending on conditions and check that the soil is dry before adding any more. A dose or two of weak-concentration fertilizer in spring is enough to keep these plants happy.
String of Hearts
Ceripegia linearis subsp woodii – also known as just Ceropegia woodii – is a lovely, easy-to-grow trailing plant widely cultivated as a houseplant.
It grows well in semi-shade, ideal for perfectly placed indoor hanging baskets. Its only downfall is that it is tender to frost, but indoors that is easily controlled.
String of Hearts has heart-shaped leaves on thin stems with a silvery mottling on the surface. These stems sprout from tubers that look just like potatoes.
The flowers form upright on thin stems and have a pinkish bulbous base. They usually flower in summer and fall but in ideal conditions, potentially year-round.
String of Nickels
Also known as Button Orchid, Dischidia nummularia is a stunning dark-green-leaved cascading plant. It grows well indoors and can reach an impressive 3 feet long in the right environment.
This plant has long stems with flat oval-shaped leaves that resemble coins. This is why you may also find it labeled String of Coins in stores or online. As an epiphyte, it prefers well-draining potting mix or orchid mix to grow best, along with high humidity. Small yellow or white flowers appear on this succulent in spring and summer.
String of Nickels needs bright indirect sunlight. Any direct sunlight may scorch the delicate leaves. Water every 2 weeks or so, only after the soil has dried out. It is not frost-hardy and needs to be protected from the cold if grown outdoors.
This pretty trailing plant has green heart-shaped leaves in pairs opposite each other. The trusses of leaves can reach around 3 feet, with the tiniest white flowers that form on the nodes in late spring and early summer.
Million Hearts grows well in pots and hanging baskets, found naturally in Asia and the Philippines growing at the tops of trees.
These plants, scientifically known as Dischidia ruscifolia – like high humidity and moisture. However, they do not like to be waterlogged and need well-draining soil to thrive.
Place in a well-lit area indoors and keep an eye on it. Too little light and it will become leggy, too much and the leaves will face damage and turn red.
String of Dolphins
Curio x peregrinis has common names that include Dolphin Plant and Flying Dolphins. It’s easy to see why if you study the leaves.
As with all ‘string’ plants, the stems are long and thin and the succulent leaves form all the way down the stems. In this case, they look just like leaping dolphins. For that reason alone, this plant is a must for a cascading collection.
In spring and early summer, little puff balls of flowers appear on stalks in white and yellow. This plant needs regular watering about once a week during spring and summer, slowing in fall and winter.
Place in an area with bright indirect light area and plant in well-draining soil to prevent rotting. When it comes to pot size, String of Dolphins prefers a bit of crowding in the container.
String of Tears
Formerly Senecio herreianus, Curio herreanus (also known as String of Watermelons or String of Raindrops) is a succulent cascading plant native to South Africa.
It’s similar to String of Pearls, but the shape of the fleshy leaves are more teardrop-shaped. The globules are a light green and some may have stripes on them, looking like mini melons.
Excessive sunlight may cause these purple lines to darken. White fuzzy daisies appear on thin upright stems in the right conditions and the whole plant can trail about 12 inches long.
String of Tears prefers a brightly lit position out of direct sunlight to grow successfully. The stems will begin to stretch if it’s too dark.
Also plant in well-draining soil and water well. Although it is a succulent and is considered drought-tolerant, it does better with regular watering as long as the drainage is good.
These plants are toxic and should not be placed near children or pets.
String of Bananas
Named for leaves that resemble single green bananas hanging off thin stems, Curio radicans (previously Senecio radicans) is another succulent ‘string’ plant that is perfect for hanging baskets.
In bright sunlight, the leaves turn from green to red. The flowers are tubular at the base, exploding into fluffy balls on long stems that sit upright against the trailing leaves. Tiny white star shapes flowers form with the ends featuring curling stamens.
This plant enjoys well-draining soil and consistent moisture. It is highly susceptible to root rot, so careful watering is key. Place in a brightly lit place indoors and in partial shade outdoors.
Although native to South Africa in dry hot conditions, they grow well in normal household temperatures as long as they are not placed in the path of cold drafts and extreme heat.
String of Buttons
Crassula perforata is an easy-to-grow succulent with triangular leaves that form on opposites sides of thin stems in a spiraling pattern. The fleshy leaves start at the base of the stem and form all the way down.
These plants start growing upright and then trail over hanging baskets, making thick strands that can reach 2 feet long. This hardy succulent is able to withstand relatively low light indoors, but with enough light will develop touches of pink on the leaves.
String of Buttons grows best in sandy soil or cactus mix and requires little watering. This plant is incredibly low maintenance and does well with a bit of neglect. The only thing it cannot handle is the cold. In frosty areas, bring these baskets indoors in winter.
Calico Kitten comes from the popular crassula genus of succulent plants. It has masses of heart-shaped leaves along thin stems. The patterned leaves appear in green, pink and white.
Crassula pellucida ‘Variegata’ will change colors according to the amount of light it gets. The more hours of light it gets, the richer and darker the reddish hues become. But this can also act as a warning sign that light levels are too high, potentially risking sunburn.
In freezing temperatures, they need to be grown indoors or protected in a greenhouse. Other than that, they are easy plants to grow requiring little water, well-draining soil and a touch of fertilizer in spring and summer.
Calico Kitten forms delicate white flowers on the ends of the stems in spring and into summer. The strands can reach around 6 inches long.
Variegated Trailing Jade
Similar to the Calico Kitten, Crassula Sarmentosa ‘Variegata’ (also known as Crassula Sarmentosa ‘Comet’) has excellent foliage.
The heart-shaped leaves are brightly striped in yellow and green, with a tinge of red on the serrated margins. They form close together on red stems that are long and trail to around a foot. Groups of pink and white flowers form on the ends of the stems in clusters in the fall.
Like any other crassula, they are remarkably easy to care for. Don’t overwater and plant in well-draining sandy soil or cactus mix and you should have no problems.
It is fast-growing and able to withstand full sun and a semi-shaded position. Indoors it needs lots of light to perform well.
Hoya carnosa compacta is grown for its trailing ropes of vines that sport fleshy green twisted leaves. The curling leaves of this epiphytic vine make an interesting and lush hanging basket candidate, with strands reaching several inches long.
What is most special about this plant is the balls of furry pink double star flowers that appear after a couple of years in spring and summer. Although they take a while to appear, they are worth the wait.
Use a good orchid mix to plant this hoya in a hanging basket and position with at least 6 hours of bright light but not intense sunlight a day. Once it is in position, avoid moving or turning as it prefers to be left alone.
Avoid overwatering as the waxy leaves will store enough water to keep the plant happy for a while. Feed only once or twice in spring and summer and avoid overfertilizing.
Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’ has long stems with succulent, waxy leaves. Thanks to their variegation, the leaves have dark green edges with marbled creamy stripes down the centers. Once this hoya reaches maturity, the prettiest clusters of soft pink double star shaped flowers will appear in spring and summer.
To make sure this plant grows well – and to give you the best chance of flowering – avoid overwatering and place in a bright spot with a few hours of gentle morning sun.
Don’t fertilize in winter when the plant is dormant. Only feed once a month during the spring and summer growing seasons. Don’t overfeed or you may lose out on flowers.
Silver Dollar Vine
The large round fleshy leaves formed along thick stems of Xerosicyos danguyi are perfect for hanging baskets. The thick succulent leaves that store plenty of water trail downwards or climb in any container they are planted in.
As its common name suggests, the shapes of the leaves look like a dollar and the silver tinge to the foliage gives it the Silver Dollar Vine title. It is also sometimes called Penny Plant.
This drought-tolerant plant needs very little water – just enough to stop the leaves from wrinkling. It can tolerate partial shade, bright indirect light or full sun. Beyond good drainage, it is not fussy about soil type and only needs fertilizing once per year.
In early spring it may produce small greenish-yellow flowers, but they are no match for the gorgeous look of the leaves.
Cotyledon pendens is a pretty South African succulent found hanging down the side of cliffs, giving it the common names Little Cliff Bells and Cliff Cotyledon. The strands of succulent globule leaves and attractive orange bell-shaped flowers hang down from thin stems.
This is a multi-branching succulent with thick fleshy leaves that make it naturally cascade up to 2 feet. It comes from a dry region and needs very little water and good light to thrive. It can also be grown in colder climates as long as it’s protected in frosty areas and brought indoors.
The only real issue with bringing this plant indoors is light. If the leaves start dropping after moving, a sunnier spot is recommended.
Echinopsis chamaecereus has multiple fingers of fleshy cactus stems reaching up to 6 inches long. The thick stems look like the shell of peanuts giving them the apt common name.
They might look spiny, but the bristles on this plant are actually quite soft. Apart from the form of the plant, it also has the cutest orange or red flowers with many pointy petals from funnel-shaped bases.
This mountain cactus needs little care. Bright light and watering occasionally will be enough in a hot dry climate. It does not appreciate high humidity, preferring the dry air of its natural habitat. This plant does need a little dip in temperature to trigger flowering in spring.
Also known as a Ric-Rac Cactus or Zig-Zag Cactus, this trailing succulent is easily identifiable by its wavy leaves.
Selenicereus anthonyanus comes from the tropical regions of Mexico where it grows in moist forests. It produces big beautiful, fragrant spiky pink and white flowers at night in fall and then leaves behind fruits.
This fast-growing humidity-loving cactus can cascade to over 3 feet. It prefers dappled shade (direct sun will burn the plant) and feeding every couple of weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer in spring and summer.
Although it is a succulent, watering must be carefully monitored so that the roots don’t dry out. Once the top few inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water. Make sure the soil drains well and that the container has enough drainage holes.
Once mature, this impressive cactus has long thick fleshy stems covered in fine white hairs that resemble tails. It’s known as Hildewintera colademononis botanically and when fully grown can cascade over containers reaching 8 feet in length.
When small, it starts off growing upright with a cylindrical ribbed form and sparse white spines. But the sheer weight of the stems make it curve and trail, covered with bristles. It also has impressive spiky reddish flowers in spring and summer.
Water only when the soil is dry and stop watering in winter. It is not frost-hardy so care should be taken to protect it in winter. It will grow well in light airy soil with good drainage. Place in partial shade or bright light but not full sun.
Sedum sieboldii is a succulent perennial that forms upright stems of rounded fleshy leaves, spilling over hanging baskets as it grows. The foliage changes color according to the seasons and the amount of light it’s given, from blue-green to shades of pink and red.
In late summer into early fall, clusters of pretty pink star-shaped flowers form at the ends of the stems. These stems typically reach around 10 inches long.
In the garden, this plant is typically used as a ground cover. However, it also does well in pots in well-draining soil with added compost.
It grows in full sun or partial shade and is drought tolerant, but needs extra watering during the hot spring and summer months. Deadhead the flowers to encourage more blooming.
Little Missy Sedum
Sedum ‘Little Missy’ is a hybrid evergreen perennial. Small rosettes of leaves are grey-green with pale green margins and a touch of pink.
This adorable succulent produces clusters of pink flowers on short stems in summer. As it grows, it will cascade over pots and in the garden will form a matting ground cover.
It grows in any type of soil as long as it is well-draining. However, it prefers slightly sandy, alkaline soil for the strongest growth. Place in full sun and indoors in bright light. Water as soon as the soil begins to dry out.
Image Credit: Gail Frederick via Flickr (Image Use Allowed With Attribution)
Ceropegia haygarthii is a fascinating succulent with thick vining stems that can reach 10 feet long. The pale green leaves become a brighter green at the end of the fleshy stems.
The flowers look almost alien, standing upwards starting at the base with long tubes in a mottled burgundy and cream and green. Expanding into a star top, the thin stalks hold a ball of spiny flesh at the top. They are incredibly unusual and look like pretty upside-down lanterns, giving them their common name.
This plant prefers a warmer climate and needs protection in cooler weather. Grow in partial shade or filtered light in rich well-draining soil and water on a regular basis so that the plants don’t dry out.
Mezoo Trailing Red
Dorotheanthus-bellidiformis ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ is known for its vibrant red blooms on a bed of succulent leaves. The plant is bicolored – green leaves with white edges – and it can reach down to 8 inches.
This plant likes to grow in full sun, but will tolerate some partial shade. Relatively drought-tolerant, Mezoo Trailing Red will bloom in summer. But for the rest of the year, the variegated foliage makes an attractive container plant.
In cold regions, this plant is often grown as an annual or kept indoors during winter. Water when most of the soil dry or before the leaves start wrinkling. In warmer weather, water more frequently, making sure the container drains freely.
Delosperma lehmannii (also known as Corpuscularia lehmanni) is a distinctive succulent known for triangular plump leaves. It comes from dry regions with cold spells, so it will tolerate a range of temperatures.
Ice plants make lovely houseplants in baskets that allow for the thick stems to trail over the edge. It has pretty yellow or orange flowers distinctive of the Delosperma species in spring and summer.
It will grow vigorously in well-draining soil and prefers full sun, but will tolerate some shade. Water infrequently and expect some die back in winter. Although it’s called an Ice Plant, it does not like frost and needs to be protected.
Now that you have a comprehensive list of the top trailing succulents for hanging baskets, the only thing left to do is pick the next one to add to your indoor garden! But who can limit it to just one? Most of the plants on this list are easy to care for, and will make a great addition to your indoor garden. So why not pick a few?