Parrots sleep upright on their perch; bats sleep hanging upside down. In the plant world the mantra is "green side up" but is this always the case? Are there any plants that would find roots above more rewarding than below? Are there any plants that might normally be grown green side up that would benefit from green side down, and if so how would this be achieved in a practical sense?


1 Answer 1


I wouldn't say any plant benefits from having its foliage pointing down and its roots pointing upwards, even if only from an aesthetic point of view. You can buy upside down pots, so that the foliage dangles downwards, but the roots are still buried in soil in the pot. Tomatoes are sometimes successful in this type of pot, but other plants over time, not so much, although it has been a fad for the last 3 or 4 years to plant all sorts of plants in that type of pot. It is difficult to defeat the forces of geotropism (and I'm not at all sure why people would want to) to which plants respond positively or negatively - negatively in the sense of the foliage growing up, and positively in the sense of roots going down.

Otherwise, some plants, particularly those which grow in warm jungle conditions, produce aerial roots (Monstera for example) which go upwards seeking to locate moisture or root somewhere, but the main roots are still on the bottom, in soil, with the topgrowth above.

  • Wonderful, amazing answer, Bamboo!
    – stormy
    Aug 11, 2018 at 19:56
  • To add to this (complete Bamboo) answer, there are also hemiparasitic plants such as mistletoe, that can hang up side down, such as seen here. It seems to look for more light downward, however the roots of this plants can be seen as rudimentary (no real soil root functions).
    – benn
    Aug 12, 2018 at 8:18

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