How to Hang Plants From the Ceiling Without Drilling

Hanging Plant

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Plants bring cheer to a home, and there's no place better to host your indoor fauna than the ceiling.

Hanging plants from the ceiling by drilling into joists or ceiling drywall is sturdy and safe but not always possible. Renters or anyone reluctant to create holes can hang plants from the ceiling without drilling—using non-invasive methods like magnetic hooks, adhesive hooks, tension rods, and clamps.

Warning

Do not hang plants from light fixtures, lighting tracks, fire sprinklers, smoke alarms, or security cameras. Avoid hanging plants above-head or above fragile objects since plants can fall when using non-invasive hanging methods.

Magnetic Plant Hooks

For a plant hook that doesn't mar the surface, magnetic hooks in stainless steel, nickel, chrome, bronze, or black fit any plant, hanger, or home decor.

The secret that makes these hooks work so well is rare-earth, or neodymium, magnets with super-strong capacities, up to 100 pounds. For the magnet to achieve full weight capacity, it must be attached directly to a clean metal surface.

Finding a solid metal attachment point on the ceiling can be a challenge. But look carefully and you may find metal plates, bolts, fasteners, and braces. 

Drywall screws, embedded in the drywall and covered with paint, are another attachment option. Slide the magnet across the ceiling to locate screws. Because screw heads are small, the weight capacity will be lessened, so be careful.

Tension Rods

Metal tension rods that extend from wall to wall give you the look of ceiling-hung plants without actually hanging them from the ceiling. 

Wherever two walls are close enough, you can mount a tension rod nearly to ceiling height with non-marring rubber tips. Bridge wall gaps, skylight frames, and ends of hallways with a shower tension rod. 

Standard shower tension rods expand from 41 to 72 inches. Weight capacities vary by product but range from 10 to 30 pounds. Extra-long tension rods for room divider curtains extend to 120 or even 160 inches. That's a full 10 and 13 feet, or long enough to span the width of a small room. 

Just remember to purchase a tension rod longer than the span length. Usually, the rod needs to be 2 inches longer than the intended span.

Shower tension rods are thicker and sturdier than curtain tension rods, which often have weight capacities below a pound.

Tip

Disguise the shower rod by spray painting it or by wrapping it in hemp, silk, ribbon, or cotton cloth. 

Adhesive Utility Hooks

Hooks with self-adhesive foam backings are often used on walls to hold keys or kitchen utensils. Adhesive hooks can also be used to hang plants from the ceiling without drilling.

As long as the surface is smooth and clean, adhesive hooks hold up to about a pound. The good thing is that adhesive hooks can be positioned anywhere you want.

Since most adhesive hooks are designed for walls, make sure that the hooks you purchase will hold an item without sliding off when the hook is turned 90 degrees. 

Suction Cup Hooks

Suction cup hooks are another great way to hang plants from the ceiling. Suction cups only work on smooth, non-porous surfaces. 

Skylights are a good candidate for suction cup hooks, as well as any surface that's sturdy and made of glass or plastic.

Weight capacities are low—usually about a pound—but some suction cup hooks advertise capacities up to 10 pounds. Look for swivel-hook suction cups that rotate to adapt to flat or angled ceilings.

Bar Clamps

For a unique and eye-catching way to hang plants close to the ceiling without drilling, use a carpenter's bar clamp. 

With bar clamps, an adjustable jaw slides on a metal rail. Bar clamps are up to 36 or even 48 inches long. 

A bar clamp can easily grab the 4-inch width of an end wall, with the cantilevered bar holding a lightweight plant at its end.

C-Clamps

For exposed ceiling beams, C-clamps can grab onto both sides of the beam and hold a considerable amount of weight. Plants ranging up to 50 pounds will be held secure by either a 6- or 8-inch C-clamp screwed tightly onto the beam. The size of clamp will depend on the width of the beam.

Protect the beam from indentation marks by purchasing separate clamp jaw pads or by using thick squares of rubber.

Best Lightweight Plants For Hanging Without Drilling

When hanging plants without solid, drilled attachment points, it helps to reduce the plant's weight. Along with using a lightweight plant holder, choose a plant that doesn't need soil.