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10 best hanging and trailing cacti

Want to add a hanging succulent basket to your porch? Here are the best hanging and trailing cacti to choose from!

I love a hanging basket for adding texture, life, and interest to a front porch or interior room.

There are a lot of classic choices for a hanging basket – hello, ivy, I’m looking at you – but one of my favorite options is a little less conventional.

Hanging cacti and trailing succulents are a fun and unexpected option for your hanging basket.

The name hanging cactus tells you everything you need to know about these plants- they grow in such a way that allows you to hang them on a wall or a trellis with their branches and leaves hanging down.

They tend to have exquisite shapes and are typically suited for indoor spaces, although some of them can also thrive outdoors in certain climates.

There are many hanging cactus types, some of which we’ll look at today. So let’s dive into the best succulents for hanging baskets!

the best succulents for hanging baskets

The best hanging cactus and succulents

Here are some of the most common types of hanging cactus plants:

  • Rat Tail Cactus
  • Ric Rac Cactus
  • String of Hearts 
  • Calico Kitten
  • String of Nickels
  • Peanut Cactus
  • Dog tail cactus
  • Fish Hook Senecio 
  • Monkey’s Tail
  • Burro’s Tail

Rat tail cactus 

Many cacti carry meaningful names that tell you important information about their features or shape. And the rat tail cactus is a great example of that.

It’s one of the most popular trailing cactus types and has long, slim stems that have the ability to grow up to 3 or 5 feet long, which is more than one and a half meters.

Its spikes appear fuzzy due to their tiny shape. And at the end of their stems, they have beautiful bright flowers ranging in colors such as red, orange, and bright pink.

The rat tail cactus thrives in a bright and warm environment, which is probably due to the fact that it originates from Mexico.

It is suitable to keep both indoors and outdoors as long as you provide it with bright light and well-draining soil. Water them in the summer but avoid doing that as frequently during winter.

Ric Rac Cactus

The Ric Rac or Zig Zag cactus has beautiful zig zag shaped flat branches. They grow all which of ways up, out, and down. I love the unique lines and fun shape of this plant!

They are actually tropical plants and need a bit more water than your average cactus. Still, they like well draining soil and bright, indirect light!

potted ric rac cactus on a shelf

String of Hearts 

One of the loveliest of the hanging cactus plants, this succulent has long tiny stems and heart-shaped leaves that are bright green with purple undersides.

The string of hearts is an excellent option for a hanging basket as their growth seems to be endless. It can range up to 13 feet long (about 4 meters).

They’re also easy to care for; just place them in a suspended area that has bright indirect light and water only when the top layer feels dry.

You can even place this hanging cactus on a south-facing window. A few hours of direct sun can’t harm them.

Another great aspect about them is that they’re nontoxic and safe for pets, which makes them ideal if you want to become a pet and plant parent!

Calico Kitten

Similar to the string of hearts, these hanging cactus types also have heart-shaped leaves that combine several colors, such as bright green, pink, maroon, and cream.

When they’re exposed to full sunlight, their leaves turn dark purple, giving you quite a sight! The calico kitten has trailing stems that grow up to 12 feet long (around 4,5 meters).

Due to their lovely colors, they look beautiful when hung in a basket. Make sure to keep them out of reach from pets as they’re considered to be potentially toxic.

To stay on the safe side, it’s best to place the calico kitten in suitable well-draining soil and only water if it feels dry. This hanging cactus loves humidity and direct sun, so it’s also suitable for outdoors.

String of Nickels 

This extraordinary plant is an epiphyte and is native to tropical rainforests. It has long vines with unique half-an-inch wide leaves that are pale green and resemble coins.

Because of their habitat, these hanging cactus types require a bit more humidity than other plants, and potting them in well-draining soil with a gritty texture is recommended.

You can achieve this by adding shredded bark, pumice, or gravel. They thrive in indirect, medium light and tend to produce small flowers with colors such as creamy or white. 

Peanut Cactus

This hanging cactus loves to be out in the sun, where it will bloom and produce breathtaking orange flowers. Its stems resemble a peanut shape and are ribbed with white, short bristles.

It’s native to Argentina and can grow in hanging flower pots where its mature stems will begin taking their shape and hanging nicely over the edges.

Like other hanging cactus plants, you need to water them only when the top layer of soil is dry. Moreover, make sure to keep them in an appropriate well-draining flower pot. 

Dog tail cactus

The Dog Tail Cactus looks like a traditional cactus on a micro level – the small tubes are covered with the spikes you’d expect from a cactus. But, this plant grows in long stems that bend and hang just like – you guessed it – a dog’s tail!

dog tail cactus in a hanging pot

Fish Hook Senecio

Oftentimes confused with String of Bananas, this hanging cactus has long vines and flat, green leaves that are a bright green color and resemble a fish hook, as the name entails.

They’re native to South Africa and must be protected from frost and the harsh afternoon sun. Bright light is ideal for them, and water only when the soil seems dry. 

Monkey’s Tail

This beautiful cactus is native to Bolivia and is also known by the name Cleistocactus Winterocereu. Their stems are cylindrical and begin growing upright, but once they mature, their stems begin to trail and can reach a length of up to 8 feet.

On their ends, they produce stunning flowers in red or bright pink color. They’re covered in golden-white spikes that are quite long and fuzzy.

Like most hanging cactus types, these cacti are epiphytic, fast-growing, and require a bright place. Be sure to pot them in well-draining soil for cacti and allow them to dry out a bit before watering them. 

Burro’s Tail

The Burro’s Tail is a cactus with unique plump, dense, predominantly green leaves with blue and gray shades that grow along their stems.

The length of their stems can reach one and a half feet long (about 30-40cm), and make an excellent hanging cactus plant because of their amazing shape.

On their ends, they produce sweet-fragrant flowers.

Burro’s Tail is native to Southern Mexico and thrives in warm and direct sunlight. Ideally, south and west-facing windows are perfect for them. 

Any more questions about hanging cacti?

Thanks for reading!

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