10 of the best trailing plants that will make your shelves look sexy AF

Hashtag plant shelfie is alive and kicking. Here's how to step up your shelf game for the gram.


If you’re here, reading this, it’s no surprise that you are a plant lover.


We’ve all seen how plants have taken over the ‘gram – and for good reason too. Plants not only add life and color to boring corners of our homes, but they’re also therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul.


There's just something so delightful about having a bit of living nature inside. Greenery can really change a room and make a house feel like a home. Cheesy, I know.

If you’re anything like me, there are certain kinds of indoor house plants that I love more than others (I'm looking at you maidenhair ferns).


If you guessed all the beautiful trailing plants, then you are correct. They’re great for tight spaces, to fill up room on bookshelves and in hanging baskets. I love the way they drape down, cascading along my shelves in a beautiful chaotic mess.


Here are some of my favorite trailing plants that are sure to make your shelves look sexy. And we almost always have all these guys in stock at NODE too - *humble brag* onwards, let's go!

1. Golden Pothos


Is any piece on trailing houseplants complete without mentioning the pothos?


Pothos are THE vining plants. One of the easiest plants to grow, the golden pothos drapes beautifully and have lovely green leaves. It can handle neglect so it’s good for beginners, and is an easy one to propagate – to help grow your collection.

2. Brasil Philodendron


Philodendrons can climb down and up a wall. And the Basil variety is one of my favorites because of the yellow strokes on the dark green leaves sometimes even with a bit of cream mixed in. Eventually, their leaves can grow large and are heart-shaped, making for the most beautiful draping plant to have at home.


Philodendrons seem somewhat fussier and more delicate here in New Zealand, especially when compared to the tougher pothos, so be sure to take extra care when keeping them warm, humid and happy.

3. Peperomia Scandens


This is a great indoor plant with so many features that makes it a favorite of lots of houseplant lovers. With delicate heart-shaped leaves that love to trail out, this peperomia was made for bookshelves.

4. Tradescantia Zebrina


An evergreen (and purple) trailing plant, the tradescantia zebrina has very attractive green and purple leaves with silver stripes. Basically a weed, it is a fast-growing and easy to grow plant and offers a graceful trail off of the edges of shelves/desks.


Honestly, you have to try to kill these guys. They're basically un-muderable.

5. Chain of hearts


Nothing sparks joy quite like a chain of hearts. An easy growing succulent, once these guys are established, they grow like gangbusters. The most traditional of trailing plants, they look so amazing draping along and down shelves, and I've seen them grow to meters and meters long, even tied all over a room!

6. String of pearls


A unique succulent that adds a pop of green and a cascading waterfall effect along a wall – once a string of pearls are happy (and that is a big IF) they can be a fast-growing plant.


Keep in a brightly lit, warm room and water sparingly and these guys will love you back!

7. Donkey’s Tail


Also known as Burro’s Tail, this unusual looking succulent has plump leaves and trails beautifully. It’s an easy one to grow and can be propagated using its leaves to root as well.


The donkey's tail trails down in the most beautiful of symmetry if undisturbed. However it's rather delicate, and its fleshy leaves fall off easily, which can also be propagated. So good luck repotting them!

8. Chain of fish hooks


Low maintenance, easy growing succulent, the chain of fish hook plant looks great in hanging baskets or wall pots. The unique shape and color of the succulent leaves make it stand out – perfect to prop up on a lonely bookshelf.

9. Hoya Carnosa


The most iconic and common hoya is the hoya carnosa, which trails and looks amazing at home. And it's one of the few houseplants you can count on flowering for you.


Nicknamed the wax plant, the hoya carnosa has lovely leathery green leaves. It’s a trailing plant that sometimes gets flower clusters and can be propagated using stem cuttings. And bonus - it won't kill your pets.

10. Swiss cheese vine


The Swiss cheese vine aka the Monstera adansonii, gets its name from its large, heart-shaped leaves full of holes. What is that a metaphor for? Go on, tell me.


This beautiful houseplant is one of my faves, with it's delicate, trailing leaves only growing more beautiful as they trail down (or up) my shelves. Inclined to reach towards the light, you'll find that if you hook them to a wall or even stake up a pole, the leaves will grow larger and more beautiful.


Do you have a favorite trailing plant? Share!