The best way I've found at planting plants that don't root is with Cyanoacrylate gel - super glue gel. This is safe for fish and cures in water. I superglue java fern and anubias to driftwood, rocks, everything.
Tying plants to items is dangerous if you have fish that like to cram into small spaces, or look for food in the substrate. They can get caught in the string and will die if not freed, or may injure themselves trying to break free.
Other things you can do for non-rooting plants is:
- Put plant weights on them, like iron bands, wrap around the rhizome and they will sink.
- Jam them into crevices where they will eventually root to the item (driftwood, rocks, decor)
- Pack them into the substrate and place a heavy object on top of the substrate
- Get some sewing board, attach the plants to it, and bury it in the substrate
- Plant them into a terracotta pot that sinks
You should also make sure you keep them planted in a location that is not hit by a lot of current, either at the base or eventually at the top when the plant grows upward. This can cause the plant to dislodge.