Finding new places to keep and grow your plants can sometimes be tricky. For example, does your office, home, or other property have drop ceilings, and you're not sure if you can hang plants from them? Is it unsafe to try and hang plants to this already-volatile ceiling type?
Luckily, we've scoured the internet for the answer and are here to help.
Since most drop ceilings can only handle 15 pounds of weight hanging from them, we think it's fine to have smaller plants attached to yours. However, you'll want to use a hook with an S-hook design or something that can attach to the sturdier part of the ceiling.
Unlike a regular ceiling, drop ceilings are secondary to the existing ceiling/roof above them, making hanging anything risky. Therefore, you want to hang very light, small plants to keep your ceiling from breaking.
As we start this post, we will cover all things drop ceilings and discuss how you can hang plants from them. Whether you want to brighten up the office, have drop ceilings in your home, or need other advice, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic below!
What Is A Drop Ceiling? Can You Hang Things From It?
A drop or dropped ceiling is a secondary ceiling that hides infrastructure, including piping, wiring, and ductwork. These faux ceilings give the illusion that a room has ended while another foundation exists above it.
The primary purpose of having a drop ceiling is for aesthetics. If an office building has pipes or other HVAC systems above-head and doesn't want to spend money creating an additional roof/ceiling, they tend to choose the drop method.
This is mainly made using panels of vinyl or expanded polystyrene. Therefore, they can't hold much weight, especially when it comes to plants.
If you hang something too heavy from a drop ceiling, chances are it will pull the whole section down. That's because between each panel is a metal framework, which also isn't super sturdy.
So, you rarely notice hanging plants from drop ceilings because people don't like to do it: they're likely scared of bringing down the entire roof structure.
Is It Safe To Hang Plants From A Drop Ceiling?
In general, we don't recommend hanging plants from a drop ceiling. They don't handle extra weight well, and many plants weigh more than 10-15 pounds.
For example, a hanging fern may only weigh a few ounces before adding soil. However, once you fill the entire hanging pot with dirt, it could weigh 20+ pounds.
With that said, if your potted plant is pretty tiny and the soil is lightweight, you should be fine hanging it from the dropped ceiling.
As we covered, you want to use an S-hook for this, which you can attach to the metal portion of the drop ceiling. You don't want to try and nail through the paneling on your roof because it will crumble.
Remember, the panels aren't sturdy at all but rather decorative.
For extra lightweight items (not plants), you might notice people stick tacks into the panels of a drop ceiling, but again: that won't work for your hanging plants.
The key is finding a structurally sound portion of the ceiling and attaching a lightweight, small plant to it using an S-hook or something similar.
Mzekgxm Large S Hooks for Hanging
These large S-hooks work for hanging plants, have a non-slip design, work inside and outdoors, are black, six inches, and come with a 12-month warranty.
How Do You Hang Plants From A Drop Ceiling?
If you have a small plant you want to hang from a drop ceiling, this won't be too difficult. Generally, the steps to hanging something from your roof are as follows:
- Lift two panels from your ceiling (ideally on either side of a metal frame).
- Grab an S-hook and place it around the metal divider.
- Lower the two ceiling tiles, snapping them back into place.
- Grab your potted plant and attach a rope to the container.
- Use one end of that rope to tie around your S-hook.
- Test the ceiling by slowly releasing your plant.
- If you hear cracking or the ceiling lowers, remove the plant.
So, you can see this won't take more than a few steps and some precision. However, you want to weigh your plant's container before testing it from the hook in your drop ceiling.
If the plant is more than ten or 15 pounds, we do not recommend attaching it to the ceiling. Doing this puts your structure at risk and can cost thousands to repair in the event of a major collapse.
Ideally, you want to hang succulents or plants that don't need large pots or too much soil. That also means you don't need to water them as frequently, which is ideal for a drop ceiling design.
We also recommend bringing your pot down when you prune, water, or fertilize the plant to avoid pulling on your ceiling tiles and support.
Mkono Macrame Plant Hanger Basket
This hanging planter has a macrame design, works for smaller plants, is 35 inches, is 100% cotton cord, has an ivory coloring, works for pots nine inches in diameter, and does not include a planter container.
How Much Weight Can A Drop Ceiling Hold?
Generally, a drop ceiling grid can hold 15-ish pounds per tile area. For example, you can safely hang something 10-15 pounds from the metal grid between your panels.
Therefore, the plant you decide on needs to be small and not exceed 15 or so pounds. Some grids may be able to handle more weight, but this can significantly depend on how it is installed.
If you aren't sure about the structural integrity of your ceiling grid, that's when we don't recommend hanging a plant from it at all.
Repairing a drop ceiling can be difficult and expensive, especially if your heavy plant causes a section to fall down or break off. Moreover, you never want to hang anything from the panels in a dropped ceiling.
That's because they aren't sturdy and may even resemble a cork-board texture/density.
Try and test the integrity of the grid on your ceiling before doing anything drastic.
What Types Of Plants Should I Hang From My Drop Ceiling?
Succulents are some of the best plants to hang from a drop ceiling. Since desert plants don't need much soil or water to grow, you can easily attach them to a drop ceiling without issues.
Unlike heavier soil-dependent species, your succulent or cactus should be fine with some lightweight potting mix and a bit of rock or sand.
As we said, you only want to hang small plants from your drop ceiling. Even six-inch pots might become too heavy with certain species, so this isn't always a one-size-fits-all answer.
However, regardless of your pot, we recommend using an S-hook to hang it. That will ensure you can safely connect your two items, all without using any drills, nails, screws, etc.
Remember, drop ceilings aren't regular ceilings. You can't drill or hammer into them. You have to depend on your hook to loop around the metal grid and sustain the plant of your choice.
How Do I Water A Hanging Plant?
When watering your hanging plant, we recommend removing it from the ceiling and watering it on a stable surface.
Especially with drop ceilings, you don't want the weight of the water to pull down your greenery. Water weight can add a few pounds to your planter's total average, which might become a problem for the ceiling grid.
On top of the weight concern, you also want to avoid watering plants over your flooring if they don't have proper drainage or have an exposed drain hole.
For example, if you overwater a hanging plant with openings at its base, expect water to rain down onto the floor. This can become problematic in your home or office and cause damage to whatever's below.
Therefore, we recommend thoroughly watering your plant on the ground and letting it dry a bit before hanging it back up. Doing this reduces the stress your drop ceiling and surroundings may experience.
Many experts also recommend using a transparent tray to catch drips under your plant's container. That will at least stop the water from overflowing onto the floor, so we recommend it.
Is Hanging A Plant From The Ceiling A Good Idea?
Overall, hanging a plant from your ceiling is okay if you don't have any other options. Since drop ceilings can be tricky to navigate and apply pressure to, we don't always recommend hanging plants.
Instead, you may want to focus on plant shelves or vertical gardens along walls. You can incorporate greenery into your home/office/space, even in places without technical gardens.
One idea that comes to mind is using the window sills as a garden. You have endless places to add plants, including the ceiling (although this can be tricky).
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you have drop ceilings at home or in the office, it's always good to know if you can hang plants from one. We found that this is possible, although you need to keep the weight of your plant low and use an S-hook.
Typically, smaller plants weigh between ten and 20 pounds in their pot, which should be okay for a drop ceiling. Anything larger than that might bring down your ceiling panels or cause damage to the grid.
We recommend succulents and macrame baskets for hanging, so try and start there!
While we have your attention, check out these related articles below: