17 best trailing plants for pots
Pump up the volume and add an extra layer of interest to indoor and outdoor displays by embracing these wondrous trailing plants for pots.
Why grow trailing plants?
Time to spill. Trailing plants are a great way to go *big*. Their cascading foliage adds more greenery to pot displays, making them ideal for filling out small spaces such as balcony gardens, terraces and the inside of your house.
Their tumbling foliage helps to balance out the height of container displays and hanging baskets. Plus, blooming varieties can add a wall of colour when they’re in flower, providing a vision for the senses and a waterfall of wonderful nectar for the bees.
Indoors, let hanging plants drape elegantly over your bookshelves, cover your walls and pep up dull corners.
Best trailing plants for garden containers
Ready to fill your outdoor pots, hanging baskets and troughs with trailing plants? First off, decide whether you want flowers, foliage…or both. Then spare a thought for the season of interest. Do you want your trailing plants to be at their best in spring, summer, or through autumn and into winter? If you’re planting them as part of a display, make sure you combine them with other plants that will be looking good at the same time.
Our favourite trailing plants for outdoor pots
Trailing Lobelia’s tiny flowers add softness to any container display. They bloom for ages in the summer and are super low-maintenance. Hell, they don’t even need deadheading.
Trailing Fuchsia’s come in wild reds and purples, and low-key pastel pinks and white. Add them to hanging baskets for a touch of froth and volume and they’ll flower all summer long.
For easy-to-grow, cascading annuals, look no further than fast-growing, fragrant and fabulous petunias. Popular as bedding, petunias are also right at home in container gardens.
Black Eyed Susan
Also known as Thunbergia, Black Eyed Susan is a climbing vine, but it’ll happily dangle down over the edges of a pot. Native to Africa, it’s a fan of warm weather, so will do well in a sunny garden or conservatory. Bed it in a large container to show off its generous flowers.
Brighten up winter and spring containers with a planter full of pansies. These cheery blooms aren’t just for bedding. Grab yourself a couple of hardy trailing varieties and let them tumble from a hanging basket or window box when little else is flowering.
While verbena is beautiful as annual bedding, we prefer it as a trailing plant. Pop it outside in pots and let it romp over the sides, flowering brightly from midsummer to autumn.
One for foliage fans. Add miniature ivy to mixed winter pot displays to add evergreen leaf colour. It needs very little care and its flowers and berries provide food for the birds and bees.
Try: Ivy 'Hibernica'
Trailing periwinkle (aka Vinca) can get out of control and scramble all over your garden if you plant it in the ground. Grow it in a container instead and enjoy its flowers and evergreen foliage without it getting out of hand.
Succulent lover? Find yourself a trailing sedum and let it spill out of an outdoor pot. Drought-resistant stonecrops are happy to be neglected and will reward you with star-shaped blooms in summer.
Edible trailing plants for pots
We love a wild card, so here are our top picks for trailing plants that look swell *and* provide you with tasty treats. Win-win.
The flowers, leaves and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and taste deliciously peppery in a summer salad. These rich and vivid blooms are quick and easy to grow and will overflow containers with wild abandon.
There’s nothing better than a container display that comes with hidden snacks. Bush varieties of cherry tomatoes are ideal for hanging baskets. Grow them in a sunny spot at head height and the trusses of toms will more or less dangle into your mouth.
Strawberry plants are beautiful, so why confine them to the allotment? Plant them in hanging baskets and patio pots to keep the delicious fruit close by and reduce their risk of slug damage.
Best trailing plants for indoors
In our eyes, you can never have too many houseplants. And by adding a few dangling varieties, you can really transform your home into an indoor jungle. Grab yourself a hanging planter and let tumbling, trailing greenery cascade from bookshelves, cupboard tops, windows and ceilings.
Our top trailing houseplants
String of Hearts
You had us at the name. And String of Hearts does exactly what it says on the tin, producing masses of cascading, heart-shaped grey-green leaves with pale pink stems and undersides. It’s a cinch to look after and grows impressively long.
This cactus is known by many names: fishbone cactus, ric rac plant, zig-zag cactus. Whatever you want to call it, we defy you not to fall for its charismatic, wiggly, wavy foliage.
Peperomias are known for their succulent leaves. Miniature varieties are extra cute, with tiny foliage and a trailing habit. Keep it in a humid spot and watch new stems grow thick and fast.
Mix it up with some crazy-coloured foliage. Some Tradescantias come in green with bright yellow, pink or white markings across their leaves. Other varieties have silvery, shimmering leaves with shocking purple undersides. Put us down for one of every kind.
Most plants need to be potted up to survive. But not Tillandsia. This incredible air plant (known as Spanish moss) is rootless and absorbs water through its hanging foliage. Just dangle it from a curtain rail or bookcase and mist it regularly to keep it alive.
Try: Tillandsia usneoides