Living walls or green walls and the plants that grow on them are similar in concept to green roofs, but are quite different in execution. While green-roof plants are usually low-maintenance, drought-tolerant species, plants for living walls can include more intensively managed species. Here at Plant Delights Nursery, we have an enormous on-line plant catalog and have searched through it to create this mini-catalog of plants for living green walls that look great hanging out in the garden.
More Information About Living Wall
The Best Plants for Interior Living Walls
Some green walls/living walls are interior-scape structures that contain evergreen foliage plants and flowering plants embedded in a vertical hydroponic rack. The plants embedded in the interior living wall are like living wallpaper. Large scale interior living walls can be seen in luxury hotel lobbies, large malls or airports. The best plants for these types of green living walls are deep shade-tolerant species with arching foliage such as aspidistra, evergreen ferns, heuchera and heucherella.
The Best Plants for Outdoor Living Walls
Most living wall installations occur outdoors, on patio walls. The plants for these green living walls need to be more sun tolerant, and since they are outdoors also need to be tolerant of weather. In addition to the plants listed above, sedum and other succulents can be used, as can ornamental grasses like carex, liriope and ophiopogon. Outdoor green living walls tend to change color throughout the season which is a nice effect.
Backyard Green Living Walls
On the smallest scale, are backyard green living walls. These can be as simple as hanging a terra-cotta pot on a wall or fence, trellising a small tree or vine along a wall, or installing a small planter with a picture frame around it. The plants in small scale living walls may be irrigated by hand or with drip tube. Small scale living walls don't necessarily need to contain just evergreen plants. Thus, backyard green living walls are the most flexible of all. Some of our favorite plants for small scale green living walls are agave, dicentra, helleborus, lobelia, salvia, rubus and acorus.