Especially in cities or in apartments that only have a terrace or balcony, the space for plants tends to be scarce. You still don’t want to do without green plants? Are you looking for an unusual version for greening the barrel to keep foreign looks away from your seating area?
Or do you want to enjoy a vivid picture? However, a vertical garden can meet all of these needs.
Good to know: Tropical botanist Patrick Blanc was the first to actively use facades to create a lively and green environment on walls. Inspired by his expeditions into primeval forests, he transformed boring European house facades into blooming, lush, lively walls.
With the help of vertical gardens, house walls in urban regions are used as an active living space for various wild and cultivated plants (“urban gardening”). In principle, all plants planted one above the other or on several floors can be described as vertical gardens.
Your immense advantage is the minimal space requirement with optimal biodiversity.
Below you will find out what a vertical garden is, how to set it up, which plants are suitable for it and how to water it.
Meaning and advantages of the vertical garden indoor and outdoor
The vertical garden in cities attracts special attention because its positive effects are particularly evident there. It is a vertical construction that is attached to a house wall or wall and is closely populated with various green plants. The vertical gardens tended to be “outdoor” enchanted many city dwellers, whereupon resourceful botanists and amateur gardeners brought this garden form into their own four walls as an “indoor” variant.
Advantage 1: Optical enhancement
Optical highlights are created by different leaf colors and structures as well as partly by flowers. Boring gray walls come to life and can be used as a sensible way of garden design.
Advantage 2: Noise protection effect
The vertical garden serves as noise protection because it absorbs sound waves. Due to its insulating effect, it also helps to save heating energy in the buildings behind it.
Advantage 3: Improvement of the climate
Since the green plants absorb pollutants and partially convert them, the vertical garden also helps to improve the climate. A welcome effect, especially in urban cities with little green.
Advantage 4: Habitat for insects and birds
Another ecological benefit is that insects and wild birds find a habitat in it. Birds and insects are increasingly deprived of their habitats and find hardly any food or nesting places in big cities. One more reason to do something about it.
Advantage 5: Your own wellness
oasis Last but not least, it serves to reduce stress. When the human eye looks into the green, the brain releases messenger substances that calm.
Where there is little space for greening, for example on the terrace or on the balcony, the vertical garden is also good because it also takes on the task of protecting it from view. Because its leaves give off moisture even in summer, there is an evaporative cold. The microclimate thus changes. There are many reasons to choose a vertical garden. Maybe you too will be inspired.
Construction and construction of a vertical garden
In nature, so-called vertical gardens often arise on their own when wild plants settle in crevices and wall niches. Either the wind or wild birds transfer seeds from grasses, ferns or ground cover to the barren soil or even parts of fatty leaf plants that grow in the cracks after a downpour.
If you want to green your own bare concrete wall or old garden wall , you cannot easily bring vertical soil to the wall and plant it on it. In the long term, the masonry would be destroyed here. There are different approaches to construction and construction, which also differ in the form of the irrigation system.
Setup variant 1: Original according to Blanc
The classic vertical garden is built up in several layers. The basic structure is made of steel. It is made like a grid. Most systems can be hung on the wall, some models can also be set up.
You hang a plastic net over this grid. It serves as protection.
Since a planting substrate would hardly find a foothold in this vertical garden, alternatively lay on a rock wool mat or a layer of synthetic felt (planting and irrigation fleece with large and small holes). You fix the plants with a small-meshed wire mesh.
If your vertical garden is to be built indoors, protect the wall behind it with a coat of paint to prevent it from penetrating moisture.
Any irrigation water flows from top to bottom, whereby the plants pull themselves what they need. So the vertical plantings that need more moisture can also thrive alongside those that need less. Because the roots are not surrounded by soil that store water, watering has to be done several times a day, which is why automatic smart home irrigation systems are recommended.
Construction variant 2: planted vertically on a natural stone
wall You can create a similar, near-natural variant by creating a natural stone wall, which you can equip with the appropriate plants. Ideally, these already have furrows, notches and holes into which either soil or vegetable fleece is placed.
Setup variant 3: Plant boxes and plant bags by upcycling yourself Build another
simple form of the vertical garden by attaching plant boxes or plant bags to walls or wooden palisades. This can be wonderfully done at home. Realizable with different elements for balcony, terrace or garden.
Make sure that palisades and more powerful frames have the required load capacity. If you do not want to use any planting systems from the trade, implement your own projects according to the motto “DIY”.
Idea 1: Old gutters
Upcycling old gutters or KG pipes, which are screwed onto the facade in any order or arrangement. Fill with planting substrate and plant as you like.
Idea 2: Vertical garden made of bottles
Everyone has old plastic bottles or glass bottles (alternatively tin cans). This can be cut open in half, beautifully painted or otherwise designed and attached to the wall to plant it.
Idea 3: Euro pallet garden as shelves
If you are a lover of pallet furniture, you should not be unfamiliar with planting vertically placed Euro pallets. They too are nothing more than vertical gardens.
The special thing about them is that they can be screwed together at any height and width or placed over corners so that you have a lot of freedom in the arrangement of the pallets. With this variant, do not forget to line the planters with a fleece so that no soil is rinsed out during watering.
The actual vertical garden, however, is a picture work of art “painted” from green plants, which is also known as “living wall”. You can make the vertical garden yourself in different sizes or purchase it as a finished planting system.
Idea 4: Plant shelves and flower pot walls
Not a classic plant wall, but also a nice variant to green walls and walls, it is to attach shelves and to plant lush crops on them. Walls with hanging flower pots can also enchant and go through as a modification to completely overgrown plant walls.
The classic vertical garden is built up in several layers. The basic structure is made of steel. It is made like a grid. Most systems can be hung on the wall, some models can also be set up. You hang a plastic net over this grid. It serves as protection.
Since a plant substrate would hardly find a hold in this vertical garden, you can alternatively place a rock wool mat on top. You fix the plants with a small-meshed wire mesh. If your vertical garden is to be built indoors, protect the wall behind it with a coat of paint to prevent it from penetrating moisture.
After a 1-2 years, with a little gardening skill, a real plant wall has been created that is not only dense and beautiful to look at, but can also act as a partition on baloons to the neighbor.
Irrigation and irrigation systems for vertical garden forms
In most cases, there is a vertical structure without soil or very little soil, which means that little or no water can be stored. To prevent dehydration, an appropriate irrigation system must be used.
Basically, a catch basin for the running irrigation water is built below the vertical garden. It serves both as a water collecting container and as a storage container. Depending on the hydroponics, irrigation takes place between three and five times a day, so that the water is in a constant cycle.
With the help of a pump, the water is pumped from bottom to top. During the cycle it evaporates and is consumed by the plants. This should be refilled every day. Depending on the size of the vertical garden area, this can mean 5-10 liters of water.
The irrigation system should consist of pipes, which cannot burst in frost and are ideally hardy in the outdoor area, just like the plants they contain. The pipe feeds the water and then runs horizontally above the garden. In this area, every 10 cm holes are drilled into the pipe to let an irrigation jet pass.
For vertical gardens made of bottles and other containers, a micro-drip variant is recommended. In this case, special droppers are used in each vertically attached container, which supplies water around the clock using the drip process.
Otherwise, systems with drip irrigation have proven their worth. These direct the water from a storage tank directly into the substrate or rock wool layer, which soaks up and supplies the plants with liquid over a longer period of time.
Automatic systems fill the rock wool whenever it has dried out. With high-quality irrigation systems, the intensity and frequency can be regulated. If you do not want to invest the relatively high purchase costs for this, remember traditional methods.
Integrate cotton threads into the wear layer, which you can end in a water tank. They act like wicks by pulling the water into the rockwool layer.
Automatic irrigation systems are also suitable for other types of vertical gardens such as plant bags, boxes and pots. Or they pour manually. If your arm no longer reaches the pots when the planting height increases, use a watering stick. Remember that each type of plant makes its own demands on the water supply.
Real and suitable plants for vertical gardens
Before you create your vertical garden, find the right location. This determines which plant species you will use later. Succulents and most herbs, for example, prefer a sunny position. These include:
Low sun-hungry perennials such as:
You can also be a little windy. The Goldtaler sets bright yellow accents in the sunny vertical garden.
Use low grasses such as bearskin to loosen up the planting. With Sedum mixtures, you can also make your living mural interesting, especially since most species bloom, depending on the species in different colors, shapes, heights and at different times.
Mosses and ferns, on the other hand, love the shade and penumbra. The latter present a comparatively large amount of leaf mass, yet their fronds appear delicate. A nice contrast to their dark green leaves are, among other things, colored foliage that also looks attractive outside of their flowering period.
You should be able to provide these plants with a sufficiently large wall surface so that they can be used to their full advantage. For the indoor area, choose either outdoor species that tolerate heat and dry air, such as wild strawberries, or houseplants that are suitable for vertical planting, such as tillandsias, which you do not plant, however, but fix on the grid.
You can also attach them to roots that you attach to the basic structure. Instead of watering them, sprinkle the plants with lime-free water, which you bring to room temperature beforehand.
Indoor ferns, cacti or bromeliads are available for the vertical garden in the room in a diverse selection. To achieve a 3D effect, vary the heights of the plants.
With bromeliads you have to make sure that they are slightly slanted when you put them in the rockwool layer. Because you should only pour them into their leaf funnels. However, the administered water must not run out again. Distinguish the area of application when choosing plants for the vertical indoor garden.
Not all plants thrive equally well in every room. And you don’t want to find them all everywhere. Those who evaporate a lot of water would raise the humidity in the bedroom too much, so that there is a risk of mold growth.
Cacti are too damp in the bathroom. Wherever you work and want to think in peace, you might feel disturbed by highly fragrant species. For the study, you should preferably choose plant species that clean the air.
These include the green lily. It is also suitable for vertical planting. If too many offshoots form over time, simply cut them off with a knife. You can re-use them elsewhere or in a pot and have them rooted. Or you can use them to create the next living wall.
Either install the room garden near the window to take full advantage of daylight or put up plant lamps. LED plant lamps can be safely left on for several hours a day without noticeably increasing your electricity bill.
If your vertical outdoor garden is to be green all year round, attach it to the back of an outside wall. In winter, it benefits from the radiating warmth of the wall, the roots of the plants do not freeze through as much.
Depending on the system and the sensitivity of the planting, additional winter protection may still be required. If the vertical garden is free in your garden, for example because it serves as a room divider, you can insulate it as a precaution by integrating a thick layer of polystyrene.
Or put sheep’s wool or other insulation materials into the protective layer.
When assembling the vertical garden, you also need to install an irrigation system, since watering with the watering can is hardly possible.
Plants with high water consumption can thrive in hydroponics.
Finally, a vivid video about vertical gardens