By Esme Bourne
With a growing global appreciation for all things related to nature, it’s no wonder that green walls are becoming a huge trend in interior design. In case you haven’t heard of them before, they’re basically vertical gardens that are self-supported, with the plants getting their nutrition from within the vertical support system. Also known as living walls, these are quite common now in urban outdoor landscapes, but are increasing being brought inside thanks to the fact that they not only look lush and gorgeous, but also purify the air in your house. Green walls provide other health benefits, too, like better concentration and higher levels of productivity.
These living walls can even help reduce your home energy bills, as they cool off your home in summer and insulate it in winter. Through the process of evapotranspiration, living walls stabilize the humidity levels in your house too, leaving the air around the green wall cool, too.
They may look fancy, but making your own living wall is easy thanks to the rise of living wall kits on the market. Here are some of the best starter kits for green walls, and the basic steps explaining how to create an indoor living wall.
1. Consider The Wall
You may already have an idea of where you want your living wall to be, but you really need to ensure the wall can take the weight of the plants, soil and water. You also have to consider how much sunlight reaches that wall, and choose plants accordingly. Also remember that a living wall close to a large window might also be negatively impacted by cold during colder winter months.
2. Measure and Mark Your Space
Use a pencil and a tape measure to mark the dimensions on the wall you’ve selected, and check the size of the frames you want to buy. Work out how many frames you will need to fill the space you want.
3. Choose Your Frame
There are many companies that provide prefabricated wall-hanging frames in which you can plant your green wall. This one and this one provide plastic and wood frames that are quite small, but you can buy several and group them together for more volume. Ditto for these easy-to-hang pockets. If your walls are all plaster and won’t support any weight at all, then this mobile ‘green wall’ is a great option, and can also be taken outdoors in the summer if you’d like it to enhance the beauty of your BBQ or patio area. This frame is expandable, and works both indoors and outdoors. Don’t like any of these? You can also make your own living wall simply enough with wood, plastic sheeting, and a plant friendly fabric. Click here to get the DIYs on that.
4. Light Considerations
When it comes to hanging your succulent wall garden, you are going to want to display it in a space that receives the right amount of sun for the plants you want to grow. For example, succulents require full sunlight in order to thrive, so the space you hang the garden should receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. These plants will survive in areas that receive slightly less sunlight, but not as well as they would in direct sunlight. Not got a lot of light? Try growing a green wall of orchids mixed in with spider plants and peace lilies. Gorgeous! If you don’t have a car to lug around loads of plants or flowers, you can always order them for delivery from places like this.
5. Watering Your Garden
Plants should be watered when they approach dryness, which is about every 7 days or so. In order to determine whether or not your plants need to be watered, just use your finger to feel the soil. If it feels on the dry side, the plants will need watering – but remember: it harms plants more to overwater than under water them. For vertical green walls, it’s best to spray the water at the soil of each to avoid dripping or overwatering.
6. General Tips
- Try to place the green wall in a room that has good air circulation. That way, the plants will purify more air throughout your home.
- Choose plants that tend to spread out easily, such as ferns, ivy, spider plants and philodendron.
- For maximising air purity, choose plants that are great air filters. The Red-edged Dracaena plant is one of the most effective plants to remove pollutants, especially the formaldehyde that’s found in paints, wallpaper and smoke from fireplaces. Snake Plants are good for releasing oxygen and the Broadleaf Lady Palm removes ammonia, a chemical found in cleaning products. Finally, Aloe Vera fights benzene found in detergents and plastics.
- Should you get any pests crawling in your green wall, kill them in a natural way: fill a spray bottle with 1 part dishwashing liquid with 3 parts water and mist the offenders with the mix.
- Choose to add a few edible plants like rosemary and parsley so you have herbs on hand when you need them.
After choosing your favorite flowers and plants and learning how to care for them, you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of having a bit of nature brought right into your home!
Main and second image: Wikicommons Last image: Pixabay All others: Amazon