Adding pots of hanging succulent plants like donkey’s tail, string of pearls, and Christmas cactus to your home is an easy way to maximize growing space and add natural beauty. Thanks to their ease of cultivation and wide variety of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors, succulents are popular choices for indoor spaces. Below you’ll discover 16 of my favorite trailing succulent plants to grow in your home and learn more about how to care for each type.
What are hanging succulent plants
Succulent plants have thick, fleshy leaves that store moisture. Because of this trait, most are drought tolerant and make low care houseplants. Hanging succulent plants are those with stems that trail over the sides of their pot. Some types of succulents mound over the edges of their containers while others can spill several feet down. There are many types of succulents with trailing stems and the most popular hanging types include string of pearls, Christmas cactus, and string of dophins.
Growing hanging plants
You’ll find growing advice for each type of trailing succulent in the list below, but succulent plants generally grow best when given plenty of light and well-draining soil. I like to use a cactus growing mix or succulent growing medium for succulent plants. These fast-draining growing mediums ensure excellent drainage after watering. This is important because overwatering is the fastest way to kill a succulent plant… trust me! Too much water equals root rot. I don’t water indoor plants on a schedule, but instead water when the soil is dry about an inch or two down. Use your finger to gauge soil moisture.
When hanging trailing succulents, place them where light reaches all parts of the plant including the top portion. Don’t hang a plant above a window where only the hanging stems receive light. If the top part of the plant is in shade and doesn’t get enough light, it may not produce new growth.
The best containers for hanging succulent plants
Trailing plants can be grown in hanging baskets, pots tucked into macrame hangers, containers elevated on plant stands, or in wall-mounted pots. Whatever type of container you choose to use, check for drainage holes on the bottom. As noted above, succulents need well-draining soil. If there are no holes, I suggest finding a smaller plastic container – with drainage holes – that fits inside your desired pot. Then, when it’s time to irrigate, you can remove the small pot, placing the plants in a tray, sink, or tub. Saturate the soil and allow excess water to drain away. Replace the plants in their larger containers until the next time you need to water.
16 of the best hanging succulent plants
There are so many different types of hanging succulent plants that make excellent houseplants. Below is a list of 16 of my favorites. I’ve divided them into several categories: short trailers, medium-length trailers, and long trailers.
Hanging succulent plants with short trailing foliage:
This versatile plant is super easy to grow both indoors and outside. It’s winter hardy to USDA zone 7, so doesn’t overwinter in my zone 5 garden, but I love to use it in summer pots and planters. At the end of the growing season, I bring it indoors to light up my winter windowsill. This succulent has narrow, almost needle-like green leaves that grow on mounding, pendulous stems. The plant doesn’t trail as much as other succulents featured in this article, but it grows quickly and is also easily propagated. Expect the stems to grow 12 to 14 inches. A standout cultivar is ‘Lemon Coral’, which has lime-green leaves and is perfect for pots and hanging baskets.
This variegated succulent adds eye-popping color to an indoor garden. Calico kitten (Crassula pellucida ‘Variegata’) has attractive heart-shaped green leaves edged in cream and pink. The stems grow upright and eventually trail over the pot once they’re heavy enough. This plant thrives in a window with morning sun and afternoon bright indirect light. An east window is ideal. Water when needed, keeping the soil quite dry, and propagate with stem cuttings.
October daphne sedum
October daphne sedum (Sedum sieboldii) is a cold hardy succulent often grown outdoors in garden beds as well as in containers. It’s winter hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 and needs a sunny site with well-draining soil. No outdoor space? You can also grow October daphne sedum indoors in a sunny window. It’s an extremely attractive plant with blue-green leaves edged in pink and stems that grow about a foot long.
Hanging succulent plants with medium-length trailing foliage:
String of turtles
This charming semi-succulent plant is small in stature growing about 4 inches across with stems that trail 10 to 12 inches. It’s named for its rounded leaves that have dark and light green mottling, reminiscent of a turtle shell. By comparison to other succulents, it’s a slow grower and also has slightly different growing conditions. String of turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is an epiphyte. That means in its native habitat it grows on the surface of trees and other plants where it receives filtered light. It should therefore be given bright indirect light. Full sun can discolor the leaves.
Choose a growing medium that is high in organic matter, but also well draining. I blend an all-purpose potting mix with an equal amount of perlite. Also note that string of turtles thrives in high humidity (perfect for a bathroom or a terrarium), and wants a dry to very lightly moist growing medium – don’t overwater.
Hindu rope hoya
Hoyas, which is also called wax plant, are beloved by indoor gardeners for their ease of cultivation and tropical foliage. Some hoya species have succulent-like leaves, while others have semi-succulent foliage, and still others have thinner leaves. Hindu rope hoya (Hoya carnosa) has waxy, semi-succulent leaves that twist and curl on pendulous stems. When mature, the stems trail about 16 inches long, making this a good choice for a hanging basket or a pot in a plant stand. Ideal light for this hoya is bright indirect light, although morning sun is fine. Too much direct light mid-day can burn the leaves. Use a cactus or succulent growing medium and water when the soil is dry an inch or two down. There are several varieties of hindu rope hoya you can grow including ‘Crisp Variegata’, which has green and cream variegated leaves.
Holiday cacti like Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) are popular plants for indoor gardens. Why? They’re very easy to grow, forgiving of neglect, and have attractive foliage and flowers. Christmas cactus is perhaps the best known and is a long-lived plant with arching, hanging branches made up of flat, segmented pads.
As an epiphytic plant, it grows best in indirect or filtered light with infrequent watering. I water when the growing medium is dry an inch or two down. Christmas cactus is a short day plant and needs 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light to initiate flowering. If you have your plant in a spot where it doesn’t receive artificial light after dark, it will bloom in November or December. If there is a light source nearby (like a living room lamp), move the plant to a room where there is no artificial light or cover it with a piece of black plastic once the sun sets.
String of buttons
String of buttons (Crassula perforata) is a fun plant with flat, succulent leaves that grow densely along their stem. The effect is long chains of leaves that appear stacked one upon another. Initially the young plants grow upright, but as they get longer, they eventually cascade over the side of the pot. Care is easy and this one of the best hanging succulent plants for a beginner. Water deeply when the soil is dry and make sure it receives plenty of light. This is also a good choice for a terrarium.
Hanging succulent plants with long trailing foliage:
String of pearls
Among the most popular types of hanging succulent plants, string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), has unique round leaves that grow in long pendulous chains. This curious plant, also called string of beads, is relatively fast-growing and the trailing stems can grow up to three feet long. It thrives with plenty of light, but a mixture of direct and indirect sun is best. Ideally, try to find a spot with bright morning sun and indirect light at midday. String of pearls plants aren’t long-lived, and typically survive just 4 to 5 years. To ensure you always have a string of pearls plant, take stem cuttings and insert them in potting mix or place them in water until they root. Like many succulents, this plant is toxic to humans and pets. Growing it in a hanging basket is an easy way to keep it out of reach.
String of bananas
Like string of pearls, string of bananas (Senecio radicans) is a trailing succulent plant, but I’ve found it easier to grow. Why? It’s less particular about light and water and is considered a low maintenance indoor plant. Great for beginners! The oblong, banana-shaped leaves of string of bananas are about an inch long and look like small green bananas. The banana shape makes this a fun indoor plant for kids. When mature, the plants can trail up to 4 feet, creating a stunning effect inside the home. To get more plants, root stem pieces as you would string of pearls.
String of dolphins
The first time I spotted a string of dolphins plant at a local nursery, I HAD to bring it home. I’m charmed by the quirky leaves which resemble jumping dolphins – they even have flippers! The plants grow about 6 inches tall and trail 2 to 3 feet. Like most succulent plants, it grows best with 6 to 8 hours of light and a well-draining growing medium that is watered when dry an inch down. While considered rather carefree, this plant can attract indoor pests like aphids, so inspect string of dolphins regularly and use an insecticidal soap spray if you spot any pest issues.
Ruby necklace (Othonna capensis), AKA string of pickles and string of rubies, has fun pickle-shaped leaves. Those leaves have a ruby-purple tint, as well as vibrant purple stems. For the most intense ruby color, grow this plant in full sun. In low light conditions, the succulent leaves stay green and the stems grow leggy. The foliage of a temperature-stressed ruby necklace plant can also turn purply-red, so if the leaf color changes unexpectedly and quickly, consider the growing conditions.
String of nickels
String of nickels (Dischidia nummularia) is a tropical succulent with roundish to slightly oval leaves. Like string of turtles, string of nickels is an epiphytic plant that grows on trees and plants in its native environment. It prefers low to medium light, such as that of a north or east-facing window. It’s also a good idea to plant string of nickels in a very well draining growing medium like orchid mix or coconut husk chips mixed with a little all purpose potting mix. Water when the growing medium is dry 2 inches down. Frequent misting also supplies moisture to the foliage.
A mature donkey’s tail plant (Sedum morganianum), also called burro’s tail and sedum burrito, is a spectacular sight! The pointy succulent leaves hang in long draping chains, often trailing 3 to 4 feet long. This plant has a reputation for being fussy, but that’s mainly due to the fact the leaves are quite fragile. Handling the plant can result in leaves breaking off. I take a hands off approach to donkey’s tail care unless I’m trying to propagate the plant. Keep it happy by planting it in a pot filled with cactus or succulent growing medium and place it in a spot with plenty of light. Water when the soil is dry about 2 inches down. ‘Burrito’ is a cultivar with oval, not pointed leaves, but its care is the same.
Trailing jade plant (Kleinia petraea) is also known as weeping jade for its foliage which resembles that of a jade plant (Crassula ovata). Unlike the upright growth of jade, trailing jade has thick, teardrop-shaped leaves that arch several feet over the side of a pot. This is a tough, drought-tolerant plant and is best grown in a well-draining cactus or succulent soil mix. Water when the growing medium is dry several inches down and keep it in a spot where it will receive plenty of light. Propagate it by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in cactus or succulent potting mix or in containers of water. There is another plant called trailing jade (Senecio jacobsenii) which also has glossy succulent leaves. Both are beautiful trailing succulent plants.
String of hearts
String of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a colorful, compact hanging succulent with trailing stems and heart-shaped leaves with green, silver, and pink coloring. The vines grow 2 to 3 feet long and want bright indirect sunlight. Of course you can also grow this plant, commonly called rosary vine, under a grow light if you’re short on space. Too little light can result in leggy growth as well as mute the intensity of the variegation. Water sparingly and only when needed.
Peperomia hope (Peperomia tetraphylla) is a charming trailing plant with round green leaves that have light green striping. Each plant grows about 8 inches wide and 12 inches long. Plant it in a hanging pot or display it on a plant stand to best show off the trailing foliage. It’s relatively slow growing and, as an epiphyte plant, benefits from filtered or indirect light as well as frequent misting. It needs a well-draining growing medium and thrives when planted in equal parts of potting mix and coconut coir bark.
Other awesome hanging succulent plants include elephant bush, string of needles, and jelly bean plant. Or consider trailing cacti like monkey’s tail, rat tail cactus, and peanut cactus. And of course there are many non-succulent hanging houseplants like bridal veil plant and spider plant.
To see a sneak peek of some of these hanging succulent plants, check out this video that includes a few of our favorites:
Want to discover even more indoor plants? Check out these popular houseplants:
- Green Goddess philodendron: A guide to growing and care
- Sinningia: Caring for Sinningia plants
- Anthurium: Learn how to grow eye-catching anthurium plants
- A guide to growing string of dolphins
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