A double shot of how-tos on hanging gardens

September 29 | Guest post by Mariegael

Hanging gardens are SO SO hot right now — and why not? They're easy, gorgeous, and fit in even the smallest homes. We've covered one version of a hanging garden — now you can add two more to your knowledge base. -Cat

Steve's Rainforest Drop, ready to grow.
I'm very pleased to be able to bring you two ways to create a hanging garden. First I'll walk you through a video tour of how to make a curtain using air plants and other little greenies. After that, one of my very, very favorite bloggers, Steve Asbell of The Rainforest Garden, will share his method for making rainforest drops.

Mariegael's living curtain

Since moving to Thailand, I've fallen in love with the hanging gardens that seem to spill over every surface — and so I've finally built my own living curtain, which can even be drawn aside if I want more light. Once it fills in, this hanging garden will allow air to flow through my windows while providing some privacy and shade.

If you want to make a living curtain, you'll need these materials

  • Plants — I'm using a parasitic orchid, but you can use air plants or even use this method to wrap a regular pot for any plant.
  • Wood — I'm using coconut husks
  • String — I'm using twine, but you can use wire as well
  • A place to hang your curtain — since I live in the tropics, I'm attaching mine to the outside of my window. You can use a curtain rod indoors if you like.

Notes

I found it was best to use plants with falling foliage near the top and rising foliage near the bottom. For a more layered affect, in addition to orchids, I've also added philodendron, African violets, and a blue morning glory vine. This means that in a few months, the window will be covered in blooms.


Steve's rainforest drops

I think that I've finally perfected the recipe and I couldn't wait to share. The old way works just fine, but I think that you'll find these instructions a bit easier to swallow.

To sum it up: I root the cuttings first, stuff the grapevine ball with long grain sphagnum moss, and tuck in the cuttings!

1. Pre-root the Rhipsalis Cuttings
Giving the rhipsalis cuttings a head start makes it much easier to establish your Rainforest Drop. Simply line a used and washed Chinese food takeout tray with moistened short grain sphagnum moss or potting soil, lay the cuttings down lengthwise, and cover. A few weeks will do the trick.

Don't have a Chinese takeout tray? Try these instructions instead.

2. Stuff Ball With Sphagnum Moss
The long grain sphagnum moss is not only a dream to work with, but it's also very moisture retentive. This means less watering!

The orchid bark from my original directions is attractive enough but has the unfortunate habit of falling through the openings in the ball and making things difficult for you.

3. Insert Rooted Cuttings
Tuck in the rooted ends of the rhipsalis cuttings and tightly pack in some more of the moistened long grain sphagnum moss around the stems.

Thoroughly water your horticultural masterpiece once or twice a week, periodically mist with a spray bottle, and fertilize when the stems lose their deep green coloration.

For more information on caring for and displaying your little hanging garden, or if you want to skip the fuss and buy one from me instead, I've got information in my FAQ. The original instructions can help too.

  1. Is there a way to make something like this work indoors? I imagine it must be quite a mess to water these plants…

    0 agree
    • i'm sure it'd work indoors. i only mist mine so there's really no dripping. if you're afraid of drippings, you could also set a row of potted plants below the area, but i don't really have a problem with just misting.

      i DO have another hanging plant inside (nothing like either of these) & when i drench it, i just set an old tea cup beneath it for a few minutes. works fine.

      1 agrees

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