Once utilized mostly by interior designers and decorators, living plant walls indoors are growing in popularity among homeowners and are relatively easy to put together. They allow you to display your favorite plants in a unique and eye-catching way or free up some valuable floor space by moving plants onto your wall.
Also sometimes called living walls or vertical gardens, there are a variety of indoor plant wall ideas that incorporate different plants and styles. You can even purchase living plant wall kits to help get you started—although these can be pricy depending on where you purchase them from.
This tutorial will go over a simple, budget-friendly DIY indoor plant wall that only costs about $50 using items you may already have at home.
Equipment / Tools
- 1 Scissors
- 1 Electric drill
- 1 Stapler
- Fabric shoe organizer or fabric plant pockets
- Plastic nursery pots
- Potting soil
- Wall hooks
How to Create a DIY Plant Wall
Choose Your Location
The first step in making a DIY living wall is to choose the area that you will be hanging the plants on. Ensure that you choose a structurally sound wall that can handle the weight of the plants, pots, and soil. Additionally, you will want a wall that receives natural light throughout the day (depending on the types of plants you want to include).
Line the Fabric Pockets with Plastic
For this homemade plant wall, you can use either fabric shoe organizers or fabric vertical wall garden grow bags—both will work nicely. To ensure that water from the plants does not leak through the fabric and damage the wall behind it, you will want to line each pocket with high-quality plastic to keep any excess moisture in. For added protection, you can also staple a larger sheet of plastic on the back of the organizer.
Choose the Plants
Choosing the right plants for your plant wall will have a big impact on the success of the living structure. Ideally, try to choose plants with similar light and water requirements. This means that dry, sun-loving plants such as succulents shouldn’t be paired with humidity-loving plants like ferns or orchids. Your plant wall's light requirements depend entirely on each plant's ideal growing conditions.
Also, ensure you choose plants that will do well in the location you have chosen for your plant wall. If the wall they will be hanging on receives little to no direct light throughout the day, you'll want to add some supplemental light, otherwise, they likely won’t survive.
Prepare the Plants
This DIY plant wall does not utilize an irrigation system, so for that reason, it is nice to be able to remove the plants to water them. This will minimize the chance of causing water damage to the wall behind the planter. Each plant should be planted in lightweight plastic nursery pots with drainage holes before being added to the plant wall. Ensure that the pots are the right size to fit into each pocket. Before adding the potted plants to the wall, water each of them thoroughly and allow excess water to drain from the bottom of the pots.
Assemble the Plant Wall
Once you have potted and watered all of your plants, it is time to assemble the finished plant wall. Hang the fabric planter on the wall before adding the plants to ensure it is secure and avoid any spills. Use an electric drill to fasten sturdy hooks on to the wall for support. Make sure to fasten the planter into studs in the wall, because the hanger can be heavy once it's filled with plants. Once the planter is secure, add the plants to the wall one by one and organize them until you are satisfied with the overall look.
Caring for Your Indoor Plant Wall
Once your plant wall is fully assembled, the main care requirements will be ensuring the plants receive enough water and appropriate light.
If you have chosen a variety of humidity-loving plants, such as pothos, ferns, and peperomia, regular misting of the plant wall can also help it thrive. If you notice that the plants are not receiving enough light, setting up a grow light or adding a grow light bulb to the nearest light fixture can help.
Some plant-loving enthusiasts may even choose to set up multiple plant walls and coordinate the plant collections in each to correspond with the amount of light the area of the room receives.
How long do living walls last?
Most living walls should last for at least 3 to 4 years, but some can even live for nearly a decade. Your plant wall's lifespan will depend on the specific varieties you choose to create it with. Opt for long-living, low-maintenance plants to make your plant wall last as long as possible.
Are plant walls hard to maintain?
A living wall requires the same growing conditions as each individual plant that's incorporated in it, and in general, most popular houseplants are easy to care for. For example, many respond well to filtered sunlight and waterings when the soil begins to dry out. Determine each plant's needs and maintain proper conditions for healthy greenery.
How often should you water a living wall?
Some living walls include built-in irrigation, which allows the gardener to water the plants much less frequently (about every 1-2 weeks). However, if your plants are grown in soil and standard pots, they likely need watering a few times per week. Research the specific varieties you want to plant to determine the best watering schedule.