While searching for gardening ideas and inspiration, you may have stumbled across beautiful pictures of indoor or outdoor walls covered in lush greenery.
Whether you call them plant walls, green walls or living walls, one thing we can all agree on—plant walls are stunning to behold.
It may surprise you to learn that they can also be easy to plant, grow and maintain. In this post, we will tell you how you can grow your own plant wall, and share some gorgeous examples with you for inspiration.
What is a Plant Wall?
A plant wall is simply a vertical planting of any variety. It can take the form of a single large frame/panel that contains numerous plants, or it might be a wall where you have containers of plants in an upright orientation bracketed to the wall, sitting on shelves, or so forth.
7 Benefits of Plant Walls
Before we go over plant wall instructions, let’s explain why plant walls are a fantastic choice for any gardener.
1. Plant walls are stunning and dramatic.
If you want to make a statement on your patio, in your living room, or anywhere else in your home or business, a plant wall is a fantastic way to do it. There is no understating the visual impact that a living wall can make. It will instantly become the visual focal point for any room or outdoor space.
2. There are numerous ways to style a plant wall.
Speaking of aesthetic benefits, plant walls can be incredibly diverse. Depending on the type of system you use, the plants you choose, and how you decide to arrange them, you can create a look that is minimalist, maximalist, modern, traditional, or anything in between. Designing and personalizing your plant wall really gives you a chance to flex your creative muscles.
3. You can increase insulation with a plant wall.
Does it tend to overheat in your home or one your patio? The plants on your walls can absorb sunlight, which may help to regulate temperatures.
If you are tired of listening to your neighbors through your walls, the acoustic dampening effect of plant walls may also be a nice benefit.
4. Your air quality may improve.
Many people believe that having lots of plants indoors is one way to improve the quality of the air.
The American Lung Association says, “[A] NASA study showed that plants did clean the air in a closed, limited environment or chamber. Other studies have confirmed2 that plants can remove harmful gases, such as formaldehyde, called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which have a long history of health impacts.”
That said, the association points out that our home environments are quite different from space stations. As of right now, the jury is still out as to whether or not indoor plants significantly boost home air quality. Still, it might be worth a try.
5. You can garden in a small space.
Don’t have a huge house with a backyard where you can do a lot of gardening? If you live in a tiny house or a small apartment, then a living wall may be the solution. This type of garden takes up almost no horizontal space, but makes use of space that might otherwise go to waste.
You can create a living wall for decorative reasons, but you can also use a living wall for practical purposes, like to grow your own herbs and vegetables.
6. Keep pets away from toxic plants.
A lot of plants you want to grow may be poisonous to your cat, dog, or other pet. Toxic plants may also prove to be a dangerous temptation for small children.
A wall hanger planter can be placed high enough that a child or pet will not be able to reach it. That way, you can rest assured that everyone in your household can coexist safely with your poisonous plants.
7. A living wall will give you a mental wellness boost.
Even though no one is positive whether green walls and other indoor plants really improve air quality, one thing is certain—they are great for your mental and emotional health.
For many people, green spaces simply feel more relaxing, restorative and positive. We feel connected to nature when we bring a bit of it inside.
With a plant wall in your home, you may simply feel happier, calmer and more centered each day. That alone makes it worthwhile.
How to Grow a Plant Wall
Eager to create a plant wall of your own? Here are the basic steps to growing a plant wall:
1. Choose a wall.
2. Pick a plant wall system.
3. Set up the system and plant what you want to grow.
The reason we are not going into more detail is because there are many different types of plant wall systems. Depending on the type you opt for, the steps to get started can vary quite a bit.
Generally speaking, there are two categories of plant wall systems:
- Plant wall kits
- DIY plant walls
If this is your first time creating a plant wall, we recommend getting a kit rather than going with the DIY option. It will be faster and easier. More importantly, your system is less likely to suffer from issues involving leaks. You do not want to compromise the structural integrity of your wall by introducing rot and mold.
No matter what system you choose, add a waterproof membrane to your wall before you install the system.
What Your Plant Wall Needs
Whether you buy a kit or build a DIY plant wall, let’s go over the basic ingredients that a plant wall needs to flourish.
1. An irrigation system
You need a way to water your plant wall. This is one of the first things you will need to think about, as it is the biggest logistical challenge.
If you buy a plant wall kit, the panel should include an irrigation system, which saves you the trouble of having to engineer one from scratch.
If you do not have a kit with an irrigation system, you will need to buy or build one. Some types of irrigation systems used for living walls include:
- Re-circulating irrigation systems
- Drip irrigation systems
- Direct irrigation systems
- Manual irrigation
2. Containers and a grow medium
Panels, troughs, planters, shelves, trellises and baskets are all examples of the containers or structures you can use to create a green wall.
As for growth media, here are your main options:
- Loose media like soil
- Mat (felt and coir are common examples)
- Structural (mat and loose media combined)
- Inorganic polyurethane sheets (similar to mat media, but more sturdy)
After you have everything ready to go, you can finally add the plants themselves. Some options that work great include:
- Air plants
Plant Wall Ideas: Inspiration for Your Living Wall
While creating a plant wall is not too challenging, it does take some time, effort and planning. To inspire you to make it happen, here are a few beautiful examples of plant walls.
1. Green wall in Austin, TX
One dramatic way to transform the exterior of a building is to turn part of it into a living wall. Look how inviting the entrance to this business looks with all of that greenery welcoming visitors.
2. Planter Wall
Here is an example of a simple system for a living wall that makes use of regular planters. The finished look is charming and rustic, and the slatted panels that hold the pots have a decorative effect.
3. Artistic Succulent Plant Wall
This plant wall feature has a simple but stunning design. Colorful succulents are arranged inside the frame, while greenery dangles down from below. It is like living wall art!
4. Multiple Frames
While many green walls take the form of one large frame containing a lot of plants, another approach is to purchase or build multiple smaller frames in different shapes and sizes. Each one of them is like a planter in your vertical garden.
Your artistry comes into play both when you select individual plants for each, and when you decide how to arrange them on your wall.
You can even try different configurations over time when you want to freshen up your wall a bit for a new look.
5. Succulent Wall Planter
The planter you see here features felt fabric, but there is also a waterproof version.
The colorful succulents contrast boldly with the black wall planter, which really makes each individual plant stand out.
6. Flowing Lines
This plant wall can be seen at a business called Spero Rehab. Different types of plants have been arranged in rows along flowing lines, providing a rich contrast of colors and textures.
In fact, it appears a bit like you might expect plants to look like growing in the wild if you were viewing them from overhead. Even though these plantings were carefully designed and cultivated, the finished effect looks very “organic.”
7. Vertical Flowers
While cacti and moss are the most typical choices for a plant wall, keep in mind that there are ways you can grow flowers vertically as well for a gorgeous effect.
Get Started On Your Own Plant Wall
Feeling inspired by these plant walls?
Take the next steps in building your own living walls. Decide on a system and either purchase a plant wall panel kit, or create your own DIY system of wall planters.
Once you are enjoying beautiful greenery on vertical plant walls every day, the effort you put in will all have been worth it.