Plant Walls: How to Create a Living Wallscape
In recent years, due to the revitalization of urban environments and innovative landscaping and hardscaping solutions, plant walls have grown immensely in popularity. At The Plant Concierge, we’ve helped many clients install one-of-a-kind, custom plant walls on the exterior of their homes.
In this article, we have provided a list of advantages as well as how the installation process works, so read on!
How Plant Walls first Started
You might be wondering where the idea of creating living plant walls first started. Although they’ve been around in many different styles and forms for thousands of years, they were first introduced to the modern era by the landscape architecture professor Stanley Hart White. He patented the first vertical garden all the way back in 1938. Then, years later in the 80s and 90s, French botanist Patrick Blanc helped make plant walls more accessible and popular as a way to improve biodiversity in cities and increase sustainability.
The Benefits of Plant Walls
There are a number of benefits of plant wall installation in addition to increasing the aesthetic environment. Plant walls also make your household more energy efficient by adding an extra layer of insulation to your home. Not only does this help keep your building cooler in the summer and warmer in the wintertime, but it also reduces the heat island effects prevalent in so many of today’s major cities and suburbs.
Additionally, plant walls increase the air quality around your property, providing more oxygen to the surrounding area and reducing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in many things such as paint, cleaning supplies, and building materials.
Since they provide an added layer of insulation, they’ll also help reduce noise in busier areas from increased traffic and passersby.
How Are Green Walls Installed & Maintained?
If you’re serious about installing a plant wall, then you’ll want to know how they’re installed and maintained. Living plant walls contain a substrate or growing medium, in addition to a means for supplying them with water. Traditionally, most plant walls will have soil or another material as the growing medium that is contained securely in a vertical surface. Many will also have a built-in watering or hydroponic system to keep plants well-nourished.
Different Types of Plant Walls
There are a number of popular types of plant walls, including:
- Mat Walls: In this type of plant wall, the plants are rooted in a growing medium contained in fiber mats or felt instead of traditional soil. This type of plant wall is easier to maintain than others. However, since the mats or fiber medium isn’t as thick as other alternatives, they don’t hold as much water. This means they’re best for smaller plants that don’t boast big root systems that can easily tear through the fabric.
- Loose Walls: This type of plant wall uses soil as the growing medium and they’re one of the most commonly seen today. The soil is often contained on a shelf or in a bag and it needs to be replaced for the plants to remain healthy. A good rule of thumb is to replace the soil on an annual basis for exterior plant walls.
- Sheet Walls: Similar to mat plant walls, sheet walls are structured the same way as mat walls but utilize plastic sheets with an egg-carton pattern designed to hold bigger plants and retain more water. Another added benefit of sheet walls is that the plastic sheets don’t decompose or tear as mat walls do over time.
- Structural Walls: These are the most complicated type of living plant walls because they’re often much larger and more complex. Structural walls are most often used for commercial properties, but can also be installed on homes as well. With structural plant walls, the growing substrate consists of large blocks of soil, meaning that you can plant pretty much any variety of plants you want. The blocks come in different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, so the right ones for you will depend upon the plants you want to have. One of the foremost benefits of structural plant walls is that they last much longer than others, in some cases, up to 15 years.
A Few Considerations Before You Go…
Before you get started on planning your plant wall installation, we wanted to leave you with a few considerations to help you during the process. Firstly, depending on the plants you want to feature in your plant wall, you’ll need to consider the best area for them in terms of sunlight. Additionally, if not watering them by hand or investing in a hydroponic system, you’ll likely also have to install an irrigation tank.
When selecting plants for your plant wall, it’s always best to consult with an expert, as they’ll know what types of plants will thrive in your area. Choosing native plants is always the best way to ensure a healthy and vibrant plant wall.
Lastly, maintenance of your plant wall is essential, so it’s always best to hire a professional landscaping company to keep them well-maintained. They’ll be able to determine the best watering schedule and remove any dead plants or leaves and perform pruning and trimming when necessary.
Contact us today to begin designing your custom living plant wall!
To create a one-of-a-kind plant wall for your luxury property, contact us online today or by calling (972) 243-1455 to request a FREE quote!