So…you want a green wall. Where do you start?

So you have decided your space could benefit from a green wall addition. Your wall is a living thing and its long term success can depend on some initial planning from you.

The placement of your green wall could single handedly be the most important design decision you make! Inside, outside, west facing, east facing..etc., these things will matter for your wall in the long term. You can put a green wall anywhere. I along with everyone else in this industry will assure you that almost anything is a possibility, and as long as you pay attention to the small things you will be setup for success. Some of the following are things you will need to address when deciding to place a green wall in your home or office, your wall will look better in the long run.

-Is your wall going to be inside/outside?

This will effect plant choice dramatically. Tropical species are generally used on the inside, and a variety of perennials/annuals can be used outside. Speak to your green wall supplier to explore the extent of your options when looking at what you would like to place in your wall.

-What type of lighting does your space get? Specifically speaking, how many foot candles of light does the actual area where plants will located receive?

Your local horticulturalist will have a light meter if you are not sure what light your space and area are getting. Light is going to be a major factor in the longevity of your wall, and will also determine what your day to day will look like. Plants need light, a minimum of 150 foot candles to be exact. The more you have, the greater options you will have in plant choice, the healthier your wall will look from day to day, the less replacements you will see, and the quicker it may come back from biological attack.

-Will you need to add supplemental lighting?

We have seen walls do best when supplemental lighting has been added, plus you get the bonus of making your wall stand out even more. HID, metal halide, and LED can be used. Your goal is to have an even flood of light over the whole wall. Supplemental lighting can be angled to address parts of the wall which may be getting less natural light. Your lighting should be set to 11 to 12 hours per day.

-Will my wall smell or have issues with gnats?

There are many systems for you to choose from. Walls generally won’t smell or have an issue with gnats if they are being watered correctly. Choosing plants with the same watering needs will help you control your water level as well as contribute to the overall health of the wall. Plants can get too wet, and many systems are made to hold enough water for a week or two, depending on the amount of light available.

These are some of the bigger things that can affect the success of your wall. There will be some other factors that your green wall supplier or local horticulturalist will bring to light. If you select the correct system, address lighting concerns and choose a good selection of plants, you wall can look good for years to come!