Create a living wall – where landscaping and design meet. Plants are grown in stacked rows of modular systems to make a vertical garden: a striking statement for your interior or exterior space. Choose the best placement and plants, plan the irrigation, and construct your wall!
You have probably seen a living wall, even if you haven’t heard the name before. Where landscaping, design, and decorating meet, a living wall is essentially a vertical garden, and a beautiful statement for your interior or exterior space. Plants are grown in rows of modular systems attached to the wall and often watered by installed irrigation systems, from the top down, or by hand.
Why Have a Living Wall?
Planting a vertical garden may sound like a lot of trouble, but it’s not as complicated as you’d think. Plus, there are considerable benefits to installing a living wall, whether inside or outside.
Keeping plants in your home improves air quality and is known to positively affect mental health and productivity. An indoor living wall is unique and striking and will transform your space.
Outside, fitting your wall with plants will reduce noise pollution, provide insulation, and hide unsightly walls or views. It’s also a great way to add greenery and texture to a compact patio or create borders between different garden areas.
Where to Install Your Wall
You may only have one wall space that will work for a vertical garden. However, if you have multiple to choose from, the most critical factor to consider is the amount of sunlight your proposed wall receives.
As with most plants, direct light is best – go with a south-facing wall if your space allows it. You can get by with an east- or west-facing wall with partial light, although you should avoid plants that need full sun to thrive.
Interior walls, by nature, will likely only receive partial light. Choose the one with the most light coming in from the windows and consider installing artificial lights to supplement.
How to Choose the Best Plants
Annuals or Perennials?
While annuals offer bright colors and allow room for creativity, you’ll need to replace them every year. Perennials, on the other hand, will return and require less attention. Make your choice based on the amount of time, energy, and money you’re willing to put into your wall.
For the most part, choose compact plants (or ones that hold up well to pruning). In general, plants with shallow roots – like succulents or herbs – will do well.
Mix it up. Create a neat look with tidy plants or mix in some trailing plants to soften the appearance. Floridians are lucky in that we can take advantage of lush, tropical plants, creating a jungle-like effect in our living walls.
How to Do It
A living wall can be as complex as you want it to be, complete with timed irrigation systems and solar pumps. However, you can create yours with a few simple materials and little expense.
Take measures to protect structures behind and below your living wall. Leave a gap or install a waterproof membrane so that vulnerable surfaces are not perpetually damp, and treat wooden components like decks.
Attach pocket planters or container systems to the wall, making sure to space evenly and keeping the stacked rows close to their neighbors above and below.
Or, skip the DIY part and purchase a kit to install your vertical garden easily. Some systems attach felt matting to a frame; you can fill pre-cut pockets with soil and get to planting.
We suggest planting small transplants rather than growing from seed so that you can visualize the wall design and switch things around if you need to.
A small wall with a felt base can usually be watered from the top (with a pump or by hand), while large walls may require irrigation installed throughout. Hand watering is always an option (and the easiest on your wallet), but it takes more work! Choose your wall size and design with the required attention, maintenance, and care in mind. Now get to work!