This Tension Rod Is Strong Enough to Hold Up My Plants

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tension rod holding plants

The Spruce / Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Photo by Taylor Fuller

Because there were once plants on pretty much every surface of my home, I had to get creative with display ideas when I was expanding my collection. Instead of placing plants on mantels, coffee tables, dressers, and shelves, I had to look up. I started hanging them on curtain rods and off of my shower head. And then even those spaces that were built into my home were filled up.

At the time, my boyfriend and I were putting together a little bar area in our kitchen. It looked super empty so I asked him, “do you think we could hang plants here?” He of course rolled his eyes at me, as at that point I probably had close to 100 plants. 

Still, I wouldn’t give up! So I started looking online to see if I could find ways to hang more plants without drilling any holes anywhere since we were renters who definitely wanted to get our deposit back when we moved out. And that’s when I discovered the power of tension rods.

Ausemku Shower Curtain Tension Rod, 40-72 Inches

Ausemku tension rod


These are usually used to hang shower curtains in bathrooms, so surely they wouldn’t be able to support the weight of plants, right? But this tension rod did. And it has been supporting the weight of my plants for nearly three years.

To hang plants at home, all you need is the right tension rod and the tips below to set up yourself, your tension rod, and your plants for success.

Find the Right Size Tension Rod

First things first, you need to measure your space. Ideally you want to have a little alcove with two walls that are across from each other. Measure between the space. You want to find a curtain rod that is bigger than your measurements. The one I purchased comes in three different sizes. I made sure to order the one that wouldn’t need to extend really far when placed in between the two walls. I figured that if the pole wasn’t extended all the way then it would give my plants extra support.

Make Sure the Tension Rod Is Level

Next up you need to make sure that the rod is properly in place. You want each end to be flush against the wall so it doesn’t slip. You have to remember that usually people use these for shower or window curtains so they don’t necessarily have a lot of weight on them. If you’re going to be adding hanging plants, you want it to be as secure as possible so it doesn’t slip as you add more weight. Make sure you buy one that has non-slip rubber on the ends for extra security like the one I got does.

tension rod

Taylor Fuller

Don't Go Overboard on the Weight

The tension rod that I purchased can hold up to about 25 pounds of weight. However, I don’t suggest you try to match that weight—better to be safe than have a bunch of soil on the floor and cracked pots.

When you’re looking at plants to hang up, choose strategically. Two of my plants are hanging from macrame plant hangers and are still in their nursery pots, which are made of plastic. The other is in a lightweight basket. I chose these hangers because I didn’t want to add any additional weight like a ceramic pot or anything super heavy. I regularly trim back my philodendron and pothos so they don’t start weighing down the pole unevenly. The other plant I have hanging there is a string of hearts which is really delicate so I don’t have to worry about how big it gets.