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Plant Species for Green Walls

Plant Species for Green Walls

Let's get right into it.

The species you use will be dependant on temperature, light levels and budget. Species will differ depending on whether you are in Cairns or Melbourne, on walls facing west or north, indoors or outdoors and the exposure to wind. There is no ‘one plant fits all’ formula.

No doubt you have seen 'mighty fine' green wall examples in flight lounges or draped across city buildings. These are professionally designed and maintained and cost $1500 per square metre and upwards. There may be 100 plants each square metre, engineered superstructure, automatic fertilisation and electronic failsafes.

Probably a bit over the top for me! No worries let's find something more suited for the home and small office space.

Up front in determining what plants to use is temperature- exclude the species that won't grow in your climate. No point in trying Hostas in Cairns or Spathiphyllum in Alice Springs.  Secondly, consider the light level. Is the wall to face the sun at any part of the day? Is it in the hottest part of the day or not? Is it in shade or inside? Are you planning on LED lighting? Where does your selected plant species normally grow and will it adapt? If in full sun also consider succulents- these will be bomb proof. If in shade go for low light species.

Green wall Next, look at the scale. There seems little point in using large plants on a small wall. Species also need to have modest growth habits so they don’t require constant maintenance. Plants normally used as ground covers or spillovers work best along with clumping species. You could use plants like LiriopeHemigraphis, Alternanthera, Bromeliads and Hoya for outdoor gardens, Calathea, Maranta, Aglaonema, Philodendron, Birds Nest and Haresfoot ferns for indoor gardens. A word of caution here - try to match species in terms of growth habits. Vigorous species will grow right over that plant with modest habits and cause maintenance problems.

You might like to consider using just one or two species, solving a lot of issues up front. Also, your wall does not need to look like Grandmas quilting gone loopy. You can have broad waves, solid blocks, layers or a wall that is colour coordinated as it’s primary design objective.

Image via: Thinking Outside the Boxwood 

If you are finding it hard to decide we have taken the guesswork out and come up with a green wall pack