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The creation of a green wall: how to go about it?

Last modified: 2021-07-23 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Christine Simard

If you are a plant lover, you have surely heard of green walls. If you are not familiar with this term or, like me, thought it meant a wall full of vines, think again! Instead, imagine a vertical garden, filled with different and varied plants, concentrated on a wall section.

You are interested? Us too! The realization of an interior or exterior green wall will not only offer you an aesthetic advantage, but will also offer you multiple benefits! Here is some information before you embark on this adventure.

The creation of a green wall: how to go about it?

What is a green wall and what are its benefits?

Much like a painting, a green wall can extend to different sizes depending on your space and its restrictions. However, unlike a regular painting, this one will be in constant bloom and you will be able to watch it grow and flourish over time!

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, its installation will help with the purification and filtration of the air, in addition to the natural production of oxygen that plants normally produce.

Plants also help keep the temperature more stable and cool, which will also help you limit your air conditioning energy use! In addition, a green wall will offer you sound-absorbing properties once installed since it will absorb ambient noise in your home.

Several studies report in particular the benefits of plants and vegetation in the workplace, in community spaces or at home, explaining that they significantly increase productivity, well-being, mood and much more!

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Installing a green wall: where to start?

The selection of the perfect plants according to their location

If you choose to install an interior green wall in your home, you will have to take into account its location and the amount of light it will receive. Whether in a small apartment or a larger home, natural light will never stay the same with the passing hours.

If you choose a corner that receives little light, lean towards tropical plants instead, as they require little direct light to thrive.

For generally darker or poorly lit interiors, it is best to install an additional light source, even if you are only selecting plants that require little light exposure. You can do this using a horticultural light (fluorescent tube) or a steam lamp. This will also allow you to broaden your selection of plants in the end.

The PlantesPlaisirsPassions website lists the following plants, which are suitable for shaded areas:

  • Dracaena;
  • Zamioculcas;
  • ferns (Asplenium, Adiantum, bird's nest, capillary, Filicophyta, Nephrolepis Exaltata, etc.);
  • miseries;
  • Pothos;
  • Aeschynanthus;
  • Peperomia;
  • Asparagus;
  • Spathiphyllum;
  • Sansevieria;
  • Clivia;
  • Ivy.

For predominantly brighter places (including the addition of artificial light), you will have access to a wide selection of plants that will be able to adapt perfectly to these conditions.

However, it is best to avoid plants that do not appreciate humidity, such as succulents or cacti, since the proximity of your plants will create a humid climate naturally. 

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The framework of your green wall

The structure of your wall will depend on the size you want to work with. The base can be made from a simple medium-sized frame, going up to the full size of your wall if you want!

The way you go about it will obviously also be different depending on the location of the structure. Here we will focus on an interior wall!

Here is PlantesPlaisirsPassions's practical guide (translated from French):

First of all, you have to know that a green wall is made up of a support fixed to a wall which must form a substrate on which the plants will grow. In addition, an irrigation system is for regular watering of the plants. For that, here is what you will need to make your interior green wall yourself:

  • a flexible polyethylene or polyane film;
  • a wooden board to be fixed to the wall or freestanding;
  • chicken wire;
  • moss (sphagnum);
  • succulents;
  • soil suitable for succulents;
  • hammer, nails, wall stapler and staples, wood glue, wire cutters, pencil, tape measure.

Once the basic structure has been chosen, it must be made waterproof by cutting the flexible polyethylene film to deposit it at the bottom. Take care to let it protrude well on the sides. Then place the sphagnum moss (available at garden stores) in a bowl and water it so that it soaks up well. Then place it all over the bottom of the board. Finally, add over the potting soil evenly. To make the whole thing even prettier, you can put on top of the green wood moss.

Now let's move on to creating the front of the wall. To do this, take the measurements of the board and cut the mesh according to said dimensions. Secure the wire mesh to the board and place it on the bottom. Turn everything over to cut off the excess polyethylene film.

All that remains is to place the succulents. It is a question of enlarging the holes of the wire mesh using wire cutters to pass the roots. Dig a hole in the moss with your finger and slide the plant into it. Do the same over the entire surface, arranging them to your liking. Now it will take a week for the plants to take root. If like most people you like flowers that are both aesthetic and not difficult to maintain, you can go for trendy varieties. After that, you can fix it to the wall, hang it up or put legs on it.

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Source: verticalgardens.nl

Watering and irrigation

Several models of green walls seen on the internet during my research included an automatic irrigation system. The upside is that other than filling the main water basin, you won't have to constantly remind yourself to water your plants.

Called "closed-circuit", this tank is made up of submerged pumps that are connected to meters which, once programmed, can send the water through pierced pipes which will water the plants.

Maintaining your green wall

The maintenance concerning your green wall will remain rather simple. You will need to make sure to remove any dead, damaged leaves or yellowing cuttings as your wall grows to avoid affecting other surrounding plants.

Otherwise, it is good to know that each year, it is recommended to change at least 10% to 20% of your plants, in addition to pruning several of them according to their development.

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