Also known as a vertical garden, living wall or ecowall, indoor green living walls are no longer just for businesses. Many homeowners enjoy including these beautiful and natural architectural features in their homes.
The benefits of an indoor green living wall are many.
- ⬥ Adds warmth and beauty to your home.
- ⬥ Improves your home’s air quality.
- ⬥ Works to reduce the temperature (plants absorb sunlight).
- ⬥ Absorbs sound, making your living space quieter.
- ⬥ Improves your mood and reduces stress.
How to make an indoor green living wall
From ornamentals to vegetables, there are many types of plants you can use for your indoor green living wall.
And while there are lots of commercial options you can use to create a beautiful vertical garden, you can easily make one for your home using inexpensive or recycled materials.
Once you’ve picked where you want to place it, you’ll essentially need 3 things when creating your own green living wall.
- ⬥ A medium that will deliver water and nutrients to your plants.
- ⬥ A structure that will support the weight of your plants.
- ⬥ Adequate lighting for the types of plants you’ll grow.
To support your plants as they grow and to provide vital nutrients and water, your vertical garden will need some type of medium.
Common types include:
- ⬥ Loose media such as soil or coconut fibers,
- ⬥ Mat media made from coconut fibers or felt,
- ⬥ Polyurethane sheets in an egg crate pattern,
- ⬥ Structural “blocks” that combine features of both loose and mat media.
While the medium should provide some structure for your plants you’ll need to create a framework to contain your green living wall.
Some commonly used materials include:
- ⬥ Old pallets
- ⬥ Picture frames
- ⬥ Wooden boxes or crates
- ⬥ Plastic storage boxes/containers
- ⬥ Recycled plastic or metal bottles, buckets, cans, etc.
The type of materials you decide to use will determine how you’ll put the living wall together.
For example, if you opt for a pallet or picture frame, you’ll need to add some type of barrier (landscaping fabric and plastic sheeting works well) between the pallet and the wall you’ll be hanging your plants on.
Not only will this barrier contain the growth medium you use and provide structure for your plants’ root system, it will protect your walls from damage.
Next, you’ll need to set up some way for your plants to be watered. The simplest way is to place the plants in trays and/or individual containers which can be removed for ease in watering by hand.
Or, you can set up a hydroponic drip irrigation system that can be run either on a timer or by a single controller. If you don’t feel comfortable setting this up yourself there are many affordable watering systems available commercially.
To ensure your plants grow healthy and strong, add liquid nutrients to the water when needed.
Lighting and choice of plants
The types of plants you choose to put in your green living wall should be dictated by the lighting options you have available.
Natural light is best, however if the plants you want to use require more sunlight than you can give them, artificial lighting (e.g. grow lights) can be used.
From ferns to ivy and petunias to vegetables, the variety of plants that can be used in your vertical garden is seemingly endless.
While you’ll want to choose plants that are the most appealing to you and your home, remember that your new “wall” will be a living thing and will require some maintenance on your part.
Opt for plants that are well suited to the wall you’re placing them on (e.g. there’s adequate lighting) but that fit with your family’s lifestyle.
For example, if you’re typically away from home for extended periods of time, unless you’ve got someone attending to them while you’re gone, you’ll come home to a wall covered in wilted and dead plants.
Finally, whether you choose to go DIY or purchase a kit, your vertical garden will provide warmth and beauty to your home for many years.