Plant Walls: How to Install a Vertical Garden
Add some pizazz to your professional space with a vertical garden. Biophilic design is trending for the workplace, and vertical gardens are a great way to add nature to the office. Show your employees and customers that they matter by creating a memorable experience every time they come to your location. Do you think a plant or moss wall may be right for your space? Will your plant wall be indoors or outdoors? Let’s learn how to bring PLANTZ’s plants to new heights.
What is a plant wall?
Plant walls go by a few different names, such as vertical gardens, green walls or living walls. These walls are reinventing standard gardens by letting plants spread out vertically on surfaces instead of in a regular widespread, horizontal fashion. They are the perfect option for areas where space is limited and thrive both indoors and outdoors.
Vertical gardening has been a hit due to its aesthetic appeal through bringing greenery to small or unused spaces. What makes these living, respirating focal points to life is the wide array of plant options that can be displayed in a plant wall. Ferns, succulents, herbs, vines and certain flowers can thrive in these systems depending on the amount of available light and climate conditions. Ferns are a crowd-pleaser because of their verdant color and their ability to thrive in low light conditions. Succulents are also a popular option since they require minimal watering and provide a multicolored landscape that can be a feast for the eyes. Herbs like basil, thyme and mint, are a brilliant approach to plant walls. Not only do they add a variety of textures to the plant wall, they also literally spice up the workspace with pleasant fragrances that can be used to make lunch more tasty or jazz up your tea. Mint even repels mosquitos! Vines like ivy, pothos and certain philodendrons make great options for cascading wall effects. Flowers like begonias and petunias lend bright colors and interesting leaves to the mix.
Vertical gardens may be created from a wide array of techniques and materials, for instance:
- Trellis System: For these popular systems, a trellis or lattice framework is attached to a wall. They can be wooden or plastic and are perfect for climbing plants that can be trained to grow up the trellis filling it in.
- Square or Rectangle: Square or rectangular shapes will help create a full plant wall effect which is sure to be a showstopper.
- Modular Systems: Modular plant walls use panels made of lightweight materials like plastic or metal that are easily installed and interconnected to create a full living wall. Each panel has multiple compartments that hold soil and plants. This is a great option for growing a wide variety of plants in one place.
Moss walls are a fresh take on a traditional plant wall. Live moss walls use a variety of mosses to create a striking display. They have been proven to be more sustainable and require less maintenance than a traditional plant wall. The mosses use a specialized mesh or panel system to grow on and attach to the surface. Moss walls carry the same health benefits as plant walls but may work better for a different aesthetic.
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Why are plant walls good?
Plant walls and moss walls do more than create visual splendor for your eyes. There are multiple reasons why adding a plant wall to your workspace is a fantastic idea. First, it’s been well studied that plants improve overall health. First, it has been well-studied that they improve the air quality in their environments. The process of photosynthesis, where plants turn light and carbon dioxide into nutrients, uses the available carbon dioxide in the air and releases oxygen, increasing oxygen levels in the surrounding air. Certain plants also remove toxins from the air like benzene and formaldehyde. These toxins have been known to make people very sick from causing respiratory distress to even causing cancer. Being able to drastically reduce these toxins from the air simply by adding plants to your workspace is a no-brainer.
Beyond air purification, plant walls have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and, when coupled with increased oxygen and fresh air, the stress reducing nature of plant walls will help improve mental clarity, increase production and, give employees an enhanced overall well-being.
Improved air quality and health benefits are not the only reasons plant walls are a good choice. Did you know that plants can reduce noise too? If your office is loud, installing a plant wall will help create a more peaceful environment because plants can absorb sound waves through their stems, leaves and branches. The thicker the leaf, the more sound waves the plant can absorb.
Plant walls also add a unique, personal touch to the workplace décor. A showstopping plant wall at the entry to your building provides a great first impression to new employees and customers. That lasting impression is a great start to ensuring return business from those customers.
Plant walls are entirely customizable. If you are a green plant lover, then PLANTZ can design a custom plant wall full of lush, verdant plants. Adding color to meet the needs of your preferred color scheme or already in place décor is not a problem. Flowers and succulents come in a wide range of shapes and colors. Plant walls can encompass a complete wall, or just a portion of one. They can be used to frame your company’s logo, ensuring the logo, and your business, is remembered by customers. They are also the perfect way to add life to small, empty spaces without taking up floor space. What employee would prefer a blank white wall in front of them to a wall made of fresh herbs that tantalize both the optic and olfactory nerves?
How do you take care of a plant wall?
It may be intimidating at first to consider how much work can go into taking care of a plant wall. Plant walls use a lot of plants and not all plants are created equal. When designing your plant wall, make sure to use plants that work well together in the same climates under the same conditions. Have a good idea of the amount and intensity of light that will be available in the proposed space. If the available light varies from end to end, there are more plants to use in your wall. Understanding the lighting conditions is the first step because that will decide where the wall is installed and what plants will be used.
Watering is the next hurdle for taking care of a plant wall. Again, the amount of water needed for your plants will depend on the type being used. Plants are a lot like humans when it comes to water. When we are in the sun longer, we get thirsty faster. The same is generally true for plants. The more light a plant receives, the more water it will need. There are multiple watering systems available for plant walls depending on the size of the installation:
- Wicking containers use a piece of rope or fabric as a wick that draws water from the reservoir up to the soil, where the plants absorb the moisture through their roots.
- Sub-Irrigated Planters are designed using a system of tubes or pipes that bring the water up from the reservoir, usually through some form of wicking material or capillary action. This ensures a constant supply of water to the plant as it needs it.
- Automatic watering systems use timers or sensors that can be programmed to release water into the soil at specific intervals or when the sensors read that soil moisture is at a certain level.
- Hydroponic systems are another option for plant walls. Did you know that not all plants have to have soil? Some plants can thrive in a hydroponic environment as long as they receive the right nutrients in their water solution. These can be self-contained and self-watering systems, which make them very popular for plant walls.
In order to keep your plant wall looking its best, it is important to prune and trim it regularly. This helps to remove any dead leaves or stems and keep the plants healthy while maintaining their shape. Another way to ensure your plant wall remains a stunner is to do general maintenance on it at regular intervals. Clean the leaves to ensure the plants are able to absorb light. Check for any signs of damage or pests. Following these general guidelines will keep your plant wall at peak health for years to come.
Moss walls require less maintenance than plant walls. In fact, it is safe to say they are very low maintenance. They need to stay moist and require periodic misting to maintain appearances, but they do not require soil and work best in lowlight conditions where it is easier to maintain moisture.
How do you fertilize a plant wall?
Fertilizing your plant or moss wall installation is necessary to ensure the health of the plants. Plants require a balance of nutrients that may include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, but not all plants have the same needs. Make sure you use a fertilizer that is suitable for the plants you have and has the proper nutrient ratios. Reading the labels carefully on your fertilizer is crucial to the survival of your plant wall. Some fertilizers can be too strong for certain plants and over-fertilization can lead to leaf burn, which will destroy the lush, thriving environment of your plant wall. Follow the instructions thoroughly and dilute the fertilizer with water as instructed. Fertilizer should also be applied at regular intervals to keep your plants from “starving.” These intervals may need to be adjusted as the seasons change depending on your climate. Generally, plant or moss walls in Florida are less likely to go into a dormant stage than ones in Minnesota in December. Be aware of the plants’ needs and adjust accordingly. If you notice your plants are growing slowly or developing yellow leaves, it might be time to add more fertilizer.
Plant walls are a flashy and fun way to bring nature to the office, but like all plants, they require proper care and upkeep. If the idea of incorporating a plant wall in your workplace is appealing, but you are concerned about installing and maintaining it, contact PLANTZ. Their experienced plant technicians have been working with businesses to include more biophilic design in their spaces and are skilled in the area of plant and moss wall installations. Not only do they work with you to design your plant wall, but they also offer maintenance services to ensure the plants stay healthy and your plant wall is a long-lasting beauty. Contact PLANTZ today to start down the path of vertical gardening.
- Can I install a plant wall indoors? Yes, you can. Plant walls are a great option for reception areas that receive some natural light. Work with an expert from PLANTZ to figure out the right plants for your plant wall and their natural light setting.
- Can I maintain a plant or moss wall on my own? The simple answer is yes. However, properly maintaining a plant or moss wall requires an understanding of the needs of each type of plant, including fertilizer, sunlight, water, and humidity. In order to keep your plant wall thriving, consistent care is required.
- Is there a company that will design, build, install and maintain my plant wall for me? Yes! PLANTZ’s techs work with business owners to create a living masterpiece for the workplace. They will design and build the wall, help the client choose the right plants for their location, install the plant wall and provide maintenance packages for the care of the plant walls.
- How do I get started? The first step is a simple one. Contact PLANTZ by phone, via email, or through the online form. Choose whichever path is easiest for you. Then a design specialist will reach out to you to set up a time to look over the location and work with you and your interior designers to create a personalized plan that is the ideal fit for your office.