This simple, lightweight plant hanger is made out of a single square dowel.
I am always on the lookout for crafty new ways to hang plants. There often seems to be a shortage of hanging pots and ready-made hanging systems available at garden stores, and most of the hangers are large and clunky without much in the way of style. This lightweight, delicate plant hanger is made out of a single dowel, which you can find at most craft and hardware stores, and it will hold any pot with a lip. I used an aged Terra-Cotta pot with a strawberry begonia. The round green-and-silver leaves of the strawberry begonia have a red-hued underbelly that looks wonderful against the terra-cotta’s patina. I love strawberry begonias, or Saxifraga stolonifera, but their common name is a bit of a misnomer as they are not true begonias. They are called strawberry begonia because their basic leaf structure is that of a true begonia and they spread by runners, just like a strawberry plant does. A hoya or aeschynanthus would also work well for this project.
If you would like to age your own terra-cotta pot, you can do so with either lime or moss. The lime will give the terra-cotta a white cast, while the moss will give it a green look. To age the pot using lime, combine garden lime and water together in a 50-50 ratio and stir until the mixture has a pastelike consistency. Paint the mixture onto the outside of the pot and let it dry. Once it’s dry, sand the mixture off the pot in random spots for a more natural look. Then spray the pot lightly with two or three coats of clear enamel top-coat. Spray the inside of the pot as well to prevent water absorption into the pot. Work in a well-ventilated area with gloves and a face mask. If you would like a mossy, green look, age the terra-cotta using moss and yogurt. Simply soak the pot in water, paint with yogurt, and rub with moss. Set the pot in a damp, dark, cool place for a week to a month, until moss begins to grow on the surface of the pot, giving it an aged appearance.
- 5-inch pot with rim (A)
- 8 to 12 feet of 1mm waxed string (B)
- 36-inch square bass, balsa, or poplar wood dowel with a 3/8-inch width (C)
- Strawberry begonia or another plant to fit in pot (D)
- Tape measure (E)
- Saw (F)
- Drill (G)
- 1/16-inch bit (H)
- One or two clamps—if you do not have clamps you can substitute rubber bands (I)
Wood glue (J)
Measure the inside diameter of the pot at the bottom of the lip by holding one end of a piece of string on one side and drawing it across to the other side. Measure the length of the string.
Measure the thickness of the pot’s lip and add the two measurements together—the length of the string and the thickness of the pot’s lip. The result will give you the length for two of the balsa wood pieces, allowing the frame to fit snugly directly below the lip. To determine the length of the other two pieces of wood, double the width of the dowel and add that number to the sum of the length of the string and the thickness of the pot’s lip.
Using the saw, cut the balsa wood dowel into four lengths, based on the measurements you determined in step 2.
Drill a hole through the two longer pieces of wood, near the end and in the middle of each piece.
Apply some wood glue to the ends of the two shorter pieces of wood, and press them onto the longer pieces of wood to make a square.
Use a clamp to hold the wood pieces together while the glue dries. If you don’t have a clamp, use rubber bands or string. Let the glue dry completely.
Cut four pieces of string a little longer than the length you would like the planter to hang. (I used lengths of 24 inches.) Pull one length of string through each hole in the wood hanger, and tie knots on the back side. The knots should be double knots or larger so that they don’t slip back through the holes. Make sure the knots are secure by tugging the string on the other side. Gather the four strings together at the top and tie them together for hanging the pot.
Place the pot in the frame and hang the frame.
Remove the pot from the hanger and water in the sink, allowing the water to drain fully before replacing the pot in the hanger. Strawberry begonias like a fair amount of water during their growing season (spring and summer). Try to avoid getting their leaves wet, because they are susceptible to fungal disorders. Water them less frequently during winter, when growth will also slow.
Strawberry begonias like bright but not direct sunlight. Be careful of exposing the plant to too much heat and humidity.
Use a diluted, balanced, watersoluble fertilizer a few times during the growing season.
You should repot your strawberry begonia every spring, as these plants do not like to be pot-bound. If your plant starts to look a bit bare in the center it may be time to propagate new plants from the mother’s offsets.
To propagate simply place the plantlets from the runners into soil without removing them from the runner. You can place the offshoots back into the same pot as the mother or put them in their own pot next to the mother. Within a month the plantlets will develop their own roots and you can snip the runner to separate it.
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