Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes to choosing containers for your indoor cacti and succulents, hanging baskets are a good choice. These take advantage of space that might otherwise be neglected. Hanging baskets are very attractive containers for house plants.
Almost any small cacti or succulent will fit in a hanging basket. In addition, plants with a trailing growth habit are ideal. Here are some suggested cacti and succulents for indoor hanging baskets.
Burro tail (Sedum morganianum)
This tender sedum was originally native to Mexico. This species goes by various other common names, including donkey’s tail. It is one of the most attractive succulents you’ll find. If left unpruned, the trailing stems can be three or four feet in length. The stems are covered with tiny, overlapping leaves. These are bright green with a white or silvery bloom. For best results, this plant needs full sun. Avoid brushing against the stems as this can cause the leaves to shatter.
Carrion flower (Stapelia spp.)
Though all of the carrion flowers are suitable for hanging baskets, the ones with pendant stems are preferred. Noble star flower (Stapelia nobilis) is an excellent choice. This is native to South Africa. It has tufted branching stems that are up to eight inches tall. There are tiny teeth along the margins. This is noted for its especially large blooms, which are six inches wide. Opening during the late summer and fall, these are white on the inside and purple on the outside. The carrion flowers need full sun. A rich soil is best.
Fig marigold or ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)
This is one of the tender ice plants. A member of the aizoon family, it is native to Africa, particularly South Africa. As an indoor hanging basket plant, this needs full sun. The name ice plant refers to the glistening ice-like spots on the leaves.
Easy to grow from seed, this is an annual. The much branched stems are succulent and spread along the top of the soil. The tips of the stems are often purple. During mid to late summer the purple flowers open on sunny days. These have tinges of white.
Willow cactus (Rhipsalis capilliformis)
One of the mistletoe cactus, this is also known as old man’s head. It is a jungle cactus, and requires the same sort of care as the Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus. The baskets can be hung outdoors on a porch or other shady spot during the summer months and brought back indoors for the winter.
Native to Brazil, this species has trailing, thin, round, string-like stems. These are much branched. Very floriferous, this species has small, whitish-green blossoms towards the ends of the stems. They last for several days. Under good growing conditions, willow cactus can produce small, white fruits that resemble berries.
Wax plant (Hoya carnosa)
This has long been a favorite house plant and is well suited to hanging baskets. A member of the milkweed family, this climbing vine has fleshy stems. The fleshy foliage has a leathery texture. This is noted for its scented, whitish-pink, waxy blooms. These are shaped like a wheel. They open in trailing clusters during the summer months.
The Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus as well as the well known Easter cactus are great choices for hanging baskets.