How to Hang a Plant From the Ceiling

Updated: Apr. 22, 2024

Hanging a plant from the ceiling is an easy DIY task. Here are the steps.

Next Project
Time

1 hour

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Under $50

Introduction

Hanging a plant from the ceiling is all about establishing a rock-solid anchor point to support its weight. Here's how to hang a plant from the ceiling properly.

Tools Required

  • Assorted drill bits
  • Drill
  • Stud finder

Materials Required

  • Ceiling hook
  • Dish to catch water
  • Macrame Hanging system
  • Potted plant
  • Toggle

I love indoor plants. I can never say no to another orchid— and because friends and family know I love them, I get a new one a few times a year.

If you are like me, hanging a plant from the ceiling wasn’t a consideration until I found I had no more room on my coffee table, windowsill, plant stands or countertops.  That’s when it occurred to me that I could just hang a plant anywhere I wanted. Whether in a corner of the living room or centered in front of a window, hanging a plant from the ceiling is simple and all about making sure you’re supporting the weight of the plant.

As soon as you have determined where you want to hang your plant from the ceiling and have purchased hooks with sufficient weight capacity, you can start the installation process.

Vocabulary to Know

Ceiling joists are the horizontal framing members that span your ceiling, supporting materials such as drywall and light fixtures and transferring the weight of the roof and rafters to load bearing walls.

Toggle bolts, toggle anchors, or butterfly anchors are fasteners for hanging objects on hollow walls and ceilings. Toggle bolts have wings that open inside the hollow wall when they are tightened, which allow them to brace against the backside of the drywall or lathe for greater strength.

Swag hooks are Decorative hooks used to hang items from the ceiling, such as plants or pendant lights. The hooks typically include stair bolts for attaching the hook directly to the ceiling joists or toggle bolts to attach it to hollow areas of the ceiling where the joists are not present.

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Determine if you are hanging from a stud or anchor

Choose where you want to hang your plant and determine if there is a ceiling joist near that location. A wood ceiling joist is preferred and will give you a hook that is both sturdier and easier to install. If you’re unsure about a stud location, use a stud finder to confirm its exact position.

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Determine if you are hanging from a stud or anchorTMB Studio

Step 2

Pre drill into the joist

Once you locate a ceiling joist, pre-drill a pilot hole that is the size of the shank, not including the threads of the screw side on the ceiling hook. This will allow the screw to fit tightly so it sustains the weight once plant is hung.

Make sure to select a hook that can support a greater weight than the total weight of your plant, recognizing that freshly watered plants tend to weigh more.

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Pre drill into the joistFamily Handyman

Step 3

Install the hook

Install a swag hook or “J-Hook” by screwing it flush to the ceiling. Hang your plant and enjoy the view.

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Install the hookTMB Studio

Step 4

Pre drill drywall anchor

If you find the point where you wish to hang your plant has no accessible joist and is hollow drywall – you will need to use a toggle bolt or anchor. Swag hooks are usually sold with their dedicated anchor or toggle corresponding to weight capacity. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for drill bit sizes and how to install the specific anchor provided.

Pre-drill hole for your toggle screw or anchor with the suggested drill size.  In this case, I used the suggested 5/8-in. drill bit.  (Be certain to follow suggested manufacturer’s instructions for drill bit and weight capacity.)

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Pre drill drywall anchorTMB Studio

Step 5

Install toggle screw

A toggle bolt has a spring-loaded “wings” that keeps the hook in the ceiling. Holding the wings or anchors together, push them through the drilled hole. Once it gets through to the other side of the drywall, let go of the wings and they will open behind the drywall.

To secure the end bolt, tighten until it is flush to the ceiling. You may have to hold the screw until it catches the toggles and tightens to the drywall. Don’t be alarmed if the hole in the drywall looks big and noticeable— the collar on the swag hook or will cover the hole.

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Install toggle screwTMB Studio (2)

Step 6

Install swag hook

Install swag hook by screwing it flush to the ceiling. Make sure the collar or flange is snug against the drywall. Hang your plant in a macrame hanging system and enjoy the view.

Safety Tip: Always use a ladder according to the instructions. Consider having a friend help you.

How To Hang A Plant From The Ceiling Install swag hookTMB Studio

Step 7

FAQs

How much weight can a house ceiling hold?
A home built to current building codes is designed to support 10 pounds per square foot. You would then subtract one pound for ceiling weight, making its capacity nine-pounds per square foot.

Most plants with a planter and moist dirt can easily weigh more than the capacity limit. That means an anchor and hook with a capacity rating of more than your plant and pot will be required.  Be sure to follow manufacturers’ suggestions for installation.  Most swag hooks are sold with the proper toggle and screw to support the weight.

Can you hang plants from a suspended ceiling?
When hanging a plant from a suspended ceiling be sure to use and install a ceiling hook designed for hanging objects from ceiling tees on suspended ceilings. Plastic grid-clip and metal S-hooks are ideal for use with drop or suspended ceilings.

How much weight can you hang from a suspended ceiling?
The weight limit for a suspended ceiling depends on your drop ceiling grid and the manufacturers recommendations. Not all suspended ceilings are rated for the same weight capacity.

Hanging heavier items may sag, warp, or damage your drop ceiling grid. To avoid excess & uneven weight being placed on the ceiling grid bars, limit the weight to less than 15 pounds.