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I have a potted plant (approx 5kg/10lbs) that I wish to hang from a drywall ceiling of a window aisle.

Unfortunately, I have no idea about what specific kind of drywall plate it is or how it was attached; at any rate there is only a fixed place that I can hang the plant from so that it doesn't prevent me from opening window.

I have previously attached shelves and all kinds of things to drywall WALLS, no problem, and also reading here I mostly found about attaching/hanging things to/from walls, too, but I am a bit concerned about how much would a drywall plate be able to hold something hanging straight down from it.

My current idea is to use a metallic threaded anchor like this:

enter image description here

but maybe I need several anchors just to make sure weight is distributed, or maybe I should use a different kind of screw/attachment?

THe aisle in question:

Window aisle

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Ideally this should be screwed/anchored into a joist for maximum support. However, if you really want to use a drywall anchor, you should use a toggle bolt or a ceiling anchor. Instead of just screwing into the wall, these expand to several times their size which gives you a good hold, especially when the force is pulling directly down. 10lbs might be pushing it though, it will depend on the thickness of your drywall and the overall condition. The worst case is you just have to patch the hole and repaint; drywall is pretty forgiving like that!


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I agree. 10 pounds sounds too heavy. I would try to hit a stud. – BrianK Jan 29 '12 at 4:28
Thank you, I will give it a try. – Gnudiff Jan 30 '12 at 18:58

Do you have attic access above the spot on the ceiling? I would try to toenail a cross piece perpendicular to the ceiling joists where you want to hang your plant. If there isn't room to swing a hammer between the joists and rafters that close to the edge of the roof, you could just screw into the end of the cross piece through the joists with 3" wood screws.

I'd recommend making a very small nail hole up through the ceiling drywall where you want to hang the plant prior to placing the cross piece. That way when you get in the attic, the exact location will be much easier to find.

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Thank you for the tips; unfortunately it's a 4 floor house and I don't live on the top floor. I presume the drywall of the aisle is just put over the really thick brick outer wall (it's a house from the beginning of 20th century). At the moment I am considering using the toggle bolt suggested, but I am afraid it might indeed be not enough. – Gnudiff Jan 30 '12 at 19:05
Well, if the toggle bolt ends up tearing out, you can always put a something in the ceiling to anchor the plant before you patch the drywall. – Doresoom Jan 30 '12 at 19:16

You could also try to get a board to go between the joists if you can't hit them directly. The holding strength of drywall isn't much in this direction. Really if you look at drywall it's about 2 pieces of paper with a little bit of "stuff" in between. If you have the vertical space you could push a piece of wood through a hole near one of the anchors or near one of the joists. After you get it through toenail or screw through the drywall and the wood into your joists. Then patch your hole and you'll have something worth holding too. Shouldn't be terribly hard. Not a cake walk though. If you've ever installed a ceiling fan brace box that's the idea I'm shooting for here.

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