Add a Living Wall to Boost Your Mood and Brighten Your Living Space

by Jan Kennemer 04/25/2021

Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels

If you're still in the construction phase of your new dream home, or if you'd like to improve your existing home with a small project that gives you back more than just a monetary return, consider adding space for a living wall. A living wall not only gives you something beautiful to look at, it's a bandage for the planet you live on, too.

What Is a Living Wall?

Simply defined, a living wall is a wall made entirely of plants or plant material. A workable solution for both indoor and outdoor spaces, living walls are sometimes called green walls or vertical gardens. Their purpose is to add beauty and oxygen to the atmosphere, while reducing volatile organic compounds and muffling noise.

If you live close to the freeway, outdoor features such as living walls and fountains can help hide the sound of cars passing by. Additionally, your living wall will reduce the fumes generated by vehicle exhaust. This feature is easy to install and requires little in the way of maintenance, but it provides a beautiful space for your eyes to rest. Green walls such as these are environmentally friendly, and when installed in a frequently used area, such as the living room, bathroom, or outdoor patio, bring serenity and peace to your space.

How Do You Install a Living Wall?

Green walls are easy DIY projects, or you can hire a local landscaper to help. Generally, they include a sturdy wooden framework to which you'll affix pockets or planters. The pockets are filled with a lightweight, well-draining soil and outfitted with an irrigation method. Lastly, you'll add plants that will grow and vine, overtaking their planters and hiding the structure. When installed correctly, you'll see only the plants themselves, with none of the framework or tubing visible.

If you're planting your own green wall, you may want to work from a pre-made kit that includes fabric pockets and tubing for irrigation. The pockets are often made of recycled plastic and usually feature a waterproof rubber backing to protect your walls from moisture. There are multiple types of kits available, ranging from easy to complex. Some may require the help of a plumber to add a strategically placed spigot for irrigation.

What Are the Requirements for a Living Wall?

You should keep several factors in mind when installing your green wall. These include:

  • Ensuring your wall is located under sufficient natural light

  • Using plants that are hardy in your climate

  • Keeping interior walls safe from moisture

  • Planting varieties that are non-toxic to children and pets

It's important to use the right materials and to have at least a basic knowledge of gardening when constructing your own green wall. Otherwise, consider hiring a professional to help you install this pretty and functional addition to your living space.

Which Plants Are Best for Living Walls?

If you're installing your vertical garden indoors, you'll need plants that flourish under minimal light. These include:

  • Pothos

  • Lipstick Plant

  • Ferns

  • Wedding vine

  • Peace lily

  • Philodendron

If you're planting an outdoor vertical garden, you must use plants that are hardy to your planting zone. Choose varieties that are leafy and ones that vine and drape attractively. Impatiens, nasturtiums or vinca are all solid options.

What Are the Benefits of Installing a Living Wall?

There are many benefits to adding a living wall to your new or existing home. It generates healthy oxygen and makes rooms smell fresh and clean. A vertical garden also adds interest, texture, and height to your room's design. It's a beautiful, natural element that brings the outdoors inside. And when used outdoors in a sunny climate, can be a refreshing source of shade.

If your space needs a boost, consider the many physical and mental health properties of installing a living wall. You'll love the way it looks and feels, and watching it thrive and flourish can feel therapeutic and satisfying.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.