You have always loved plants for the soothing, green lushness they bring. After a long day at the office you can relax in the midst of your foliage and de-stress. But how do you fill your home with plants without a balcony or much floor space?
Your living room wall is perfect. Create a vertical display of plants making your wall as an anchor, and this way you have floor to ceiling space to use. First make sure you have adequate sunlight, otherwise you can create a lighting system that mimics sunshine.
These green walls are also known as eco walls and vertical gardens.
Aesthetics – First of all a green wall adds visual appeal to any space. If you love plants, a green wall is a wonderful substitute for a painting or art piece. Visually, a well-designed green wall adds beauty, texture and colour to your living space. It is living art.
Air quality – A great advantage of having a green wall is that plants produce oxygen-rich air and also filter the air around them by absorbing polutants. Just what you need in hazy conditions. Save on air purifyers.
Noise blocker – Another fanstastic advantage of a green wall is that it blocks noise effectively. Instead of a wall you can also create a vertical screen or partition.
Energy saver – Through a process known as evapotranspiration, the air surrounding the green wall is cooled naturally, so that you can do away with airconditioning or fans. During cooler temperatures amidst the rainy season, a green screen effectively acts as an insulator.
What you need
Wall space – Start by finding a vertical space that you can use, preferably with adequate sunlight. Many homeowners use one of the living room walls beside the row of windows or balcony. If you’re fortunate enough to even have a balcony one of its walls can also be used.
Equipment – You need a good solid structure and frame that can be attached to the wall. You can also lean the structure against the wall if you don’t want to do any drilling, stapling and hammering. Panel Systems have plants already grown into the panels and can be used in any climates, indoors or outdoors. Tray Systems are popular for indoor use. Plastic frames and pots are popular but waterproof wood such as bamboo and teak have their own beauty. Essentially you need the frame and pots and the whole system to be waterproof and to prevent water leakage. An irrigation system has to be set up much like a champagne fountain that starts at the top row of plants that drips down to the bottom row. It may be a little tricky so consider an professional. You may also want to consider a fertilising system.
Plants and potting mix – There’s no point creating a beautiful green wall if the plants are going to shrivel up and die after one week. Get plants that are suitable for indoors with the amount of sunlight the wall receives. Soil or potting mix that works best should also be considered.
Hydroponics is one of the most popular soil systems for green walls. Plant roots require moisture, nutrients and oxygen, and the main six types of hydroponic systems are designed to provide these for plant health. They are Drip System, Ebb & Flow, Nutrient Film Technique, Water Culture, Aeroponics, and Wick. Visit websites to research and find out what type of system you favour and make it yourself or else get a professional.
Maintenance and watering – You can get wall systems that are designed with drip-irrigation systems and automated systems to minimise water use and wastage. It is basically a tiny fountain or waterfall that is made up mainly of plants and special pots. Otherwise a simple structure with ropes, shelves, pots, bottles and vases can be used if you can reach high enough to water the plants. This is popular with the creative green thumbs who love designing their own look and style.
Bugs and bacteria – If you’re afraid of pests and germs with all those plants and pots of soil in your interior, opt for readily prepared heat-pasteurised potting mixtures such as Horti Soil that you can get at nurseries and plant shops. It is also vital to prevent mosquito breeding by eliminating stagnant water.
Popular plants for green walls
Pothos (Epipremnum sp.)
Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans)
Sword fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata)
Money plant (Epipremnum aureum)
In Singapore various types of potting mix can be considered depending on the types of plants you want for your green wall. Potting mix comes in large plastic sacks and are heat-pasteurised to destroy harmful bacteria and pests.
Cactus and succulent potting mix – These plants are sand lovers and the potting mix is based on this combination.
Sphagnum moss – Place these on top of pots to reduce water evaporation from potting soil. They are also ideal for lining pots, and packing around ferns and orchids.
Coconut husk or peat – Bio-degradable and recyclable material derived from coconut husk known as coconut coir. It has a high water-holding capacity, and can also be added to the soil to prevent it hardening.
Potting mix combos – Mixture of various mediums including sand, peat moss, perlite, coconut husk dust, rice hull and soluble nutrients
DIY Green Wall
Hunt around for recycled or unused items around your home or garage sales
Any of these can work as a basic frame for your green wall:
Old picture frame with chicken wire to hook little hanging pots to
Wine rack, little pots
Gala or bamboo pole, rope, vintage bottles
Old door frame, hooks, assortment of string and pots
Unused bed frame
Painted plastic plumbing pipes with the tops sliced off to form troughs
Old pair of blue jeans, bamboo mat or rug with strengtened holes to hang bottles and little pots
Selected photographs and more ideas at houzz.com