It’s important to understand whether or not your green wall is situated in the right environment for a particular plant variety. This guide will help you choose the right plants for the right space ensuring your green wall stays lush and healthy.
You can plant almost anything in your decorative green wall - but your plants will only survive if they’re in their optimal environment. Succulents, for example, need dry, sunny, desert-like conditions, whereas ferns prefer shady, moist conditions mimicking that of a rainforest.
Before purchasing the plants for your green wall, you need to take into account where your green wall will live. This includes whether your vertical garden will be indoors or outdoors, and whether it’ll get natural sunlight and good air circulation, or predominantly artificial lighting and air conditioning.
Picking plants for your decorative green wall
Choosing the right plants for your green wall will help you lower the overall cost of green wall ownership, minimising maintenance and plant replacement costs. Here’s a few things to consider when choosing plants for your vertical garden.
Weather and sunlight
The right lighting and weather conditions are absolutely imperative to the health of your plants. If, for example, you live in a very cold, dry climate and you choose plants that thrive in warm, tropical conditions, your green wall is unlikely to survive.
Different plants also require various amounts of sunlight to photosynthesize properly. Photosynthesis is the process where a plant turns light into energy to help it grow. If a plant is getting to little or too much sunlight, it’ll begin to die.
Before buying any plants for your green wall, chat to your nursery and ask them whether the plants you’re looking at are appropriate for where your vertical garden will be situated. You’ll want to select plants with similar lighting and water requirements to ensure the best results from your living wall.
Read our article, Why proper lighting is critical for indoor decorative green walls, to find out how to choose the right lighting for your vertical garden.
The biggest risk when it comes to maintaining a decorative green wall, is overwatering or underwatering your plants. Many new gardeners will overzealously shower their plants in water, thinking that watering is the key to a healthy green wall - however this isn’t the case. Others, in their fear of overwatering, can cause the reverse problem, by not watering enough.
As we mentioned above, selecting plants with similar maintenance needs will prevent a situation where some plants are living in perfect conditions, while others struggle along. This will not only lower the chance of you needing to replace plants, but it will also make your life a whole lot simpler.
GrowUp’s irrigation system guards against over and under watering, by using nature’s flood methodology. This fills the pots with a suppen deluge of water, followed by a period to dry off - ensuring that the roots of the plants aren’t constantly soaking in moisture.
Read our article, Green wall maintenance mistakes: overwatering vs. underwatering, to find out how to spot the signs of each, and reverse the damage before it kills your plants.
Plant size when fully mature
Another consideration when choosing plants for your green wall, is what size the plants grow to when they’re mature.
You don’t want to buy plants that will quickly outgrow their pots, and start dying off. While the GrowUp grow bags help to prevent plants becoming pot bound a plant that has a naturally deep or large root system will eventually outgrow the pot, resulting in an unhealthy plant.
A second thing to keep in mind, when it comes to plant sizes, is putting a large plant directly next to a small one - the larger plant may overshadow the smaller plant, preventing it from getting enough light.
Colours and textures
The key to a stunning decorative vertical garden lies in a clever combination of textures and colours.
When selecting your plants, try to picture how the textures and colours will come together. Keep in mind the scale of your system, and how much space you’ll have to work with. You can also use light to emphasize the textures of your green wall - adding depth, and creating interest.
GrowUp’s honeycomb pot system is perfectly designed to create living art work - with the pots acting like pixels on your screen. This means you’ll never have any unsightly gaps between plants. You living wall will look lush and full from day one.
Even if your plant selection doesn’t flower, you should pick a variety of leaf textures and shades to ensure your decorative green wall has a dramatic effect.
Read our article, 50 shades of green: why you should paint pictures with plants, to see how you can turn your green wall into a living work of art.
Indoor vs. outdoor vertical gardens
Picking plants for your indoor green wall will be vastly different from picking plants for an outdoor green wall.
Outdoor green walls will be suitable for a much wider variety of plant species. The most successful indoor plants are native to tropical rainforests, and can survive low lighting and low humidity. Vines and members of the Philodendron family are the best choices for low maintenance houseplants.
Read our article 9 indoor plants that are almost impossible to kill, if you’d like a list of low-maintenance indoor plants that are suitable for your green wall.