Succulents are a great way to add freshness to any space. From table centerpieces to suspended terrariums, these small thick-leaved desert plants have made their way onto the home decor scene in more ways than one. If you’re looking to add some color or interest to a wall in your home, a succulent wall garden might be just what you need. Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden?
Succulents are an excellent choice for a vertical garden, thanks to their easy care regime and hard-to-kill nature. With bold forms and unique textures, you can transform any space into a lush botanical sanctuary in just a few quick steps. The best part? Creating your own living wall garden might be easier than you think.
If you’d like to create a succulent wall garden for your space, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our step-by-step guide and video tutorial will help you create an enticing succulent display of your own. Before you get started, check out the materials you’ll need below.
- Succulent Wall Garden Materials
- Recommended Succulents for Your Wall Garden
- Succulent Wall Garden Step-by-Step
- Living walls and Vertical Gardens
- How To Make A Living Wall With Succulents?
- Type Of Living Walls, Based On The Type Of Growing Medium
- How To Prepare Living Wall With Succulents?
- 13 Outdoor Succulent Wall Garden Ideas
- Succulent Wall Garden
- Vertical Gardening with Succulent Plants
- Gardening with Robin’s Living Picture Frame
- Preparing Living Picture Frame Cuttings
- Selecting the Varieties for a Living Picture Frame
- Planting and Rooting the Cuttings
- Watering a Living Picture Frame
- Where to Hang a Living Picture Frame
- Living Picture Frame Maintenance
- Fertilizer for Succulents
- Shop for Living Pictures and Living Picture Kits here>>
- Why Succulents are Great for the Wall Planters?
- Best Types of Wall Planters
- DIY Succulent Wall Planter
- Best Type of Succulents for Wall Planters
- How to Maintain Vertical Succulent Gardens?
Succulent Wall Garden Materials
- Succulents – Pick out a variety of your favorite succulents. We recommend selecting greenery with leaves and stems that are flat so that they don’t protrude too far out of your display. To get a better idea, take a look at our list of recommended succulents below. To give you a reference for the number of succulents you might need, we used approximately 35-40 succulents for a 11×14 frame.
- Shadow box frame – The deep shadow box frame will allow you sufficient room to add soil and plant your succulents. We recommend a frame of the following dimensions: “8×10,” “11×14” or “16×20,” although you can create a display as small or as large as you’d like. To help you determine what size frame might be right for you, think about where you’d like to hang your succulent garden. If you’re interested in using a standard frame for the project, you can also opt to build your own shadow box. Find instructions for doing so here.
- Landscaping plastic – Landscaping plastic will be used to protect the shadow box from the soil and will also help avoid any water drainage from your display.
- Hot glue gun – Use a hot glue gun to adhere the landscaping plastic to the frame.
- Sphagnum moss – You’ll use sphagnum moss to fill your shadow box frame, plant your succulents and keep them fresh.
- Wire mesh – Wire mesh is ideal for keeping the soil in place. You can find this at your local hardware store or order online. For this project, we used 1in.x 2ft.x 25ft. poultry netting.
- Staple gun – A staple gun will help you assure the wire mesh is securely fastened to the shadow box frame.
- Scissors – Scissors will be needed to cut materials throughout the project, so be sure to have them on hand.
Having trouble deciding which succulents are right for your display? Use our recommended list below to inspire your design.
Recommended Succulents for Your Wall Garden
These versatile air plants come in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. As we mentioned above, it’ll be important to select plants that are on the smaller side so that they don’t protrude too far out of your display. Select plants in varying colors to give your wall garden a more versatile look and feel. We also recommend picking a few different sizes to work with as well. We recommend the following succulents:
- Blue Pearl or Graptoveria
- Blue Giant or Graptosedum Hybrid
- Moon Silver or Pachyphytum
- Golden Glow or Sedum Hybrid
- Chocolate Soldier or Kalanchoe Tomentosa
After you’ve hand picked the succulents you’d like to display, it’s time to get started. Read on to find out how.
Succulent Wall Garden Step-by-Step
Project Time: 1 Hr
Step 1: Cut and layer a piece of the landscape plastic to fit the inside of the shadow box frame.
Cut enough plastic so that it extends up and over the outer edges of the shadow box. Place the plastic in the shadow box to make sure you have the right size to fit the frame.
Pro Tip: Be sure the piece of landscape plastic you use is slightly larger than the shadow box base. You can always cut off the excess afterward.
Step 2: Use the hot glue gun to secure the landscape plastic into place.
Hot glue along all four edges of the plastic and use your fingers to press it into place. Be cautious as the glue will be hot to touch. Once the plastic is secure, use scissors to cut the excess around the edges.
Step 3: Fill the bottom of the shadow box frame with sphagnum moss. Add enough so that the box is full.
Fill the shadow box entirely, shaking it side to side to assure the moss is evenly spread throughout. Due to its ability to retain water, the moss will give your succulents the perfect amount of moisture they need to survive.
Step 4: Place the wire mesh to fit the frame of the shadow box.
After you cut the wire mesh, lay it onto the frame of the shadow box to assure that it properly fits and extends onto the wooden frame edges. When you’re sure you have the correct size, secure the mesh into place by using a staple gun along the edges.
Step 5: Prune the roots of each succulent for planting.
Now, it’s time to give your succulents a new home. When repotting the plants, you’ll need to prune the roots of each in order to ensure proper growth and a thriving succulent wall garden. Use your hands to release the roots from the excess soil. This will also make it easier to plant your succulents through the wire mesh.
Step 6: Now it’s time to plant your succulents in the shadow box.
Before pressing the roots of the succulents into the moss, use your fingers to make room. Place your succulent in proper position and then firmly press into the moss. Repeat this step until your shadow box frame is full of lush greenery. Stand back from your design every once in awhile as you’re placing your succulents to get a better feel of what the finished product might look like.
Pro Tip: When your succulent wall garden is just about finished, if there are a few small places where you can see the moss, just cut off small bits of a full succulent plant and use them to fill the holes.
Step 7: Hang your succulent wall garden and enjoy!
These easy-to-care-for displays should prosper just about anywhere. Set the living succulent picture on a table, shelf or hang it on a wall. You’ll want to wait until the plants are securely rooted (between four and 12 weeks) to hang your display. Hang your wall garden in a spot that gets moderate to bright sunlight. Since succulents are desert plants, they’ll enjoy the nice warm atmosphere. Whether indoors or outdoors, this decor piece is sure to bring some life to any space.
Now that you’ve created your own succulent wall garden, it’ll be important that you continue to care for it properly. Follow the care instructions below.
- Water the succulents once a month. Lay the display on a flat surface and thoroughly moisten the soil. Keep the display down for an hour or so and make sure that the frame is dry before hanging it up again. Also keep in mind that the box doesn’t drain, so be careful not to overwater your succulents.
- Mist your display once a week. The moss in the soil will enjoy the light moisture.
A dramatic living wall is a stunning way to display your succulents. After you’ve created one for your home, make another for someone else. This DIY project makes the perfect gift for the person who appreciates something out of the ordinary (no matter if they have a green thumb or not!)
Living walls and Vertical Gardens
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Do you have a boring patio or garden wall? Are you looking for a way to add some color and interest to the wall? If so, you should consider creating your very own colorful and living work of art to liven up that space – with succulents.
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A vertical garden, or a hanging garden made of living plants, is a fantastic way to turn a ho-hum space into a focal point. Succulents are an excellent choice for a vertical garden because they are hearty, they grow slowly and they come in a range of colors, sizes and textures. Blending a variety of these plants together to create a vertical garden will create instant interest to your space.
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Are you intrigued by the idea of adding such a garden to your space, but think that it will be too difficult to create and care for? Think again! A vertical succulent wall garden is actually quite easy to create and rather easy to care for.
Creating the Garden
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To create your succulent wall garden, you are going to need a frame, potting soil and a collection of succulent clippings. You can purchase a preassembled frame from a home supply store, or you can create one yourself. Creating one yourself will require a picture frame, a wooden shadow box, planting fabric and potting soil.
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After you add your potting soil to your planter, make sure that the wire is accessible. The wire is what will secure the plants in place. To plant the succulents, poke the ends through the wire and push them into the soil. After arranging the plants, let the frame lay flat in a sunny location so that they can take root. This will take anywhere from about 4 to 10 weeks. Once the plants take root, the garden is ready to be displayed on a wall. Alternatively, you can go with a ready-made living wall planter from uzplanters.
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Making an Attractive Display
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It really doesn’t require much to create an attractive succulent wall garden. There are so many different types of succulent plants and all of them are as attractive as the next. Use your eye for what you think looks best on how to arrange them in the planter. Group together plants that you think look the best. A word of advice; creating a cluster of several of the same types of succulents will make for a very eye-catching display.
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When it comes to hanging your succulent wall garden, you are going to want to display it in a space that receives a lot of sun. Succulents require full sunlight in order to thrive. This means that the space you hang the garden should receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. These plants will survive in areas that receive slightly less sunlight, but they will not thrive as well as they would in direct sunlight.
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Watering Your Garden
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As with all plants, your succulent wall garden will require regular watering. These plants should be watered when they approach dryness, which is about every 7 days or so. In order to determine whether or not your plants are approaching dryness, use your finger to feel the soil. If it feels on the dry side, the plants will need watering.
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To water, remove the planter from the wall and lay it flat. Water the planter lightly and allow the water to drain well before replacing it on the wall.
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A succulent wall garden will be sure to add instant interest and life to your space. With little maintenance, these gardens are an ideal addition to your outdoor space.
How To Make A Living Wall With Succulents?
Living wall, also known as a green wall or vertical garden, is gaining popularity in many parts of the world. It is a wall covered by greenery, which has living plants, planted on a suitable growing medium, like soil or substrate.
To make the plants live longer, an inbuilt or supplementary watering system is also included in the living wall. Since it is relatively more difficult to arrange to water for a vertical garden or living wall, people prefer to plant succulents that can survive longer with minimum watering.
Green wall or living wall should not be confused with the green façade. The main difference between a living wall and a green façade is the placement of growing medium. In green façade, growing medium or soil is placed on the base of the green wall, either in containers or directly in the ground.
This type of green façade mainly has climbing plants. But living wall or vertical garden is grown on the growing medium, placed on the face of the living wall. Succulent plants are the most favorite for a living wall for indoors.
On large scale or commercial basis, there are many famous green walls such as green wall of the historic center of Mexico, green wall at Atocha Station in Madrid and a green wall made in a children museum in Ontario, Canada.
There are so many benefits of making a living wall in your homes, such as providing a pleasant environment inside your rooms and decoration. It also helps maintain room temperature to a lower degree. Green wall or a living wall can easily be made at home, though some pre-fabricated green walls are also available in some areas, in different shapes and sizes.
But as said earlier, making a green wall or living wall at home is quite easy and at the same time is quite an interesting task. So, if you are interested to know how to make a living wall with succulents, at home, this article will be helpful for you.
Type Of Living Walls, Based On The Type Of Growing Medium
Mostly the green walls or living walls are made up of panels that can hold the growing medium or soil. On the basis of it, the living walls are categorized into different types, loose media, structural media, sheet media and mat media.
In this type of living walls, growing medium or soil is packed in bag or shelf, which is then installed on the wall. You can give different shapes and styles to this type of wall, as you may like, with the help of a wooden or steel frame. In this type particularly, you will have to replace the soil at least once a year.
One negative point is their susceptibility against the seismic activities; growing medium or even the plants can be blown away in case of a high magnitude seismic activity. However, it can be controlled with the help of a frame and a shield over the growing medium.
In this type of living walls, growing medium is a coir fiber. It can also be a felt mat. Normally the mats are very thin and are placed in multiple layers. This makes them more reliable that can hold the plants for up to a period of five years.
At this stage, i.e. after five years, roots of the plants completely overtake the mats; hence you have to replace them. But be careful not to replace the entire mat at once. Replace it in parts, cutting one section at one time and replacing it with the new mat. Then wait for some time, enabling the plant to spread its roots in this new section of a mat and then cut the other section.
This type of living wall has a system of semi-open sheet medium (polyurethane sheeting) just like an egg crate. Quite a useful medium for both indoors and outdoors living walls. Water holding capacity in this type of walls is much more than the felt or mat type medium. Its useful life may extend up to twenty years.
It is made up like a sandwich, a waterproof sheet on the backside, two layers of polyurethane sheets over it and covered with mesh or bars that also hold it with the wall. In first urethane sheet, small pockets are made by cutting it, and plants are inserted in these pockets.
As evident from the name, these type of living walls have growing medium in structural blocks that are neither loose nor mats. These structural blocks can be of any size or shape that you may require to give a beautiful and decorative look to your exterior or interior. If properly maintained, such type of living walls can survive for more than fifteen years.
How To Prepare Living Wall With Succulents?
Whatever medium you may prefer for your home living wall made up of succulents, the process is almost the same. However, we recommend that you should start with a loose medium type of living wall in your home.
- Mark the space on the wall where you want to install the living wall.
- Cut the landscape fabric and hardware fabric according to the design or landscape and place it on the bottom of the planting box. Fix the hardware fabric tightly on the base of the box.
- Prepare the outer and inner frame either with wood or with steel sheet. Paint the frame to fit the design of your living wall and the overall ambiance of your room
- Now fix the growing box into the frame. The main purpose of this outer frame is to give a beautiful shape and design to the wall, whereas the plants are planted in the growing box.
- Prepare your growing medium with one part normal soil, two parts sand and four parts potting or gardening soil. Fill your growing box with this mixture and add some water in it. After waiting for a few minutes add some more soil making sure that the box is filled completely up to the hardware fabric.
- Now plant the succulents in this box. Placement of plants depends on your aesthetic sense. Remember you are preparing this wall to add some beauty and decoration to your room. So, fill this box with succulents to give a beautiful look.
- Now you have to hang this box along with the outer frame fixed with it, onto the wall. Use strong brackets and hooks to hang it on the wall, ensuring that it doesn’t fall.
- Keep a close watch on your succulents. Whenever you see the soil drying out, give some water to them. Avoid too much of watering.
If you like my article about ‘How To Make A Living Wall With Succulents?’ and you’re interested in reading more related articles you may visit the ‘Household‘ category at TryArticles. Please leave a comment below that how much you find this article helpful. You may also hit your queries in the comment section below if any.
13 Outdoor Succulent Wall Garden Ideas
Image Source: DIG Gardens
One of the greatest qualities of succulents is that they can grow really well in a variety of settings. Possibly the most tempting place to plant succulents these days is in a vertical display. Planting vertically offers a unique perspective and is a great use of space if you’ve already covered all your windowsills, patio, and table spaces with containers. As with all succulent designs and arrangements, you can incorporate a variety of textures, materials, plant types, and shapes to create a one of a kind succulent wall garden. Check out some of these ideas for creating your own vertical succulent garden!
Source: The Succulent Gardens
Wall Gardens aren’t limited to square or rectangular shapes. In fact, more and more vertical gardens are emerging that stray from the ordinary form. Take this cactus shaped wall garden for example, created by the Succulent Gardens.
This installation outside the shop Pigment in San Diego is a stunner! Comprised of 88 White WallyGro Wall Planters and a wide variety of colorful bromeliads and succulents, this wall garden is well known for it’s striking qualities! These containers are composed out of 100% recycled plastic and are fairly easy to install.
Source: Dalla Vita
Source: Thomas J. Story
Square/Rectangular Framed Garden
The framed rectangle or square garden is probably the most popular vertical succulent garden type. This wall planter style is generally easy to plant and is a fun play on the typical picture frame wall display.
Source: Dalla Vita
Wall boxes are another really captivating way to display succulents vertically. You can create all sorts of configurations with this planting style and fill a blank wall up nicely. One of the great things about planting in wall mounted boxes, rather than forward facing frames is that you are able to incorporate a wider variety of plants with differing heights. You can also use succulent types that spill over as well, which will create a cascading or waterfall effect.
Source: Land Studio C
Source: Kristen Lowe
Source: Dalla Vita
Source: Dalla Vita
In this piece, we used driftwood to frame the garden, which gives it a nice, beachy appeal. Reclaimed or recycled pieces of wood are a great material to incorporate or use to build wall gardens.
Source: The Succulent Gardens
Source: E. Spencer Toy
Source: Harvest to Home
Create your own picture frame planter blooming with a mosaic of live succulents and moss. This DIY project isn’t nearly complicated as you’d think — you can get everything you need to make a vertical garden at your local craft store. The textures and colors will make any space (indoor or outdoor) come alive — and even gardeners with the blackest of thumbs can care for succulents.
Succulent Wall Garden
- wooden picture frame (8” x 10”)
- wooden box/tray (12” x 12” or any size that’s slightly bigger than the opening of your frame)
- ½-inch wire mesh (a.k.a. hardware cloth)
- tin snips (or any heavy-duty wire-cutting shears)
- staple gun
- paint or wood stain (optional, any color)
- wood glue
- frame hanging kit (with hanging wire and two screw eyes)
- moistened succulent/cactus potting mix soil (enough to fill the box)
- array of 2-inch succulent plants (For example: hens and chicks, stonecrop, Aeonium, Dudleya, leatherpetal, panda plant, tiny aloe, etc. You will need about 15 small succulents, depending on the size and type.)
- preserved lichen/moss (any color — we used a mixture of reindeer moss and forest moss)
- chopstick (or pencil, wooden dowel, popsicle stick, etc.)
- spray bottle
Tips before you get started:
- Flatter succulents will work better than taller, more tendril-like plants.
- If you end up with extra moss, use it around the base of a potted plant for decoration and to help retain moisture.
- Since waiting for the glue to dry takes up the majority of time in this project, you can speed up the process by attaching the box to the frame with screws instead. Make sure that the box is really flush to the back of the frame so that no soil falls out.
- If you want to make a bigger hanging succulent planter, we recommend reinforcing the box with screws because the soil will be heavier.
- You can also leave the planter horizontal and use it as a dining table centerpiece. (In this case, don’t attach the eye screws and hanging wire to the back of the frame.)
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money on succulents at the nursery — forage succulent cuttings or “pups” from your backyard.
- Remove the glass from your picture frame. Using the tin snips, cut the wire mesh to the fit of the opening on the back of the frame. (If you have it, measure the size with the paper backing.)
- Fit the wire mash onto the back opening of the frame and, using the staple gun, staple it into place.
- The wooden shadowbox will be visible from the side of the planter, so if you don’t like the way the unfinished wood looks, paint or stain the box. Let it dry according to the instructions.
- Apply a liberal amount of wood glue around the rim of the box, and place it over the opening on the back of the frame. Weigh the box down with books or any heavy object (or clamp it together). Some of the glue may seep out when you weigh down the box, so wipe away any excess while it’s still wet). Let the glue dry according to the instructions. When it’s dry, check the seams between the frame and box to make sure that it’s well-sealed–if there are any gaps, fill them in with more glue and let that dry.
- Attach the screw eyes one-third of the way down from the top of the frame (about 3 inches down, if you’re using an 8-inch x 10-inch frame). You want the screw eyes placed high enough to that when you hang the planter, it won’t flop forward and spill out the succulents. Attach the hanging wire to the screw eyes securely.
- If your cactus potting mix is completely dry, moisten it so that it’s damp. Fill the box with the soil, shaking it side to side and pressing the soil down through the mesh with your hands. Add enough soil so that the box is full and the soil is packed in pretty firmly.
- Take your succulents out of their pots and gently knock off any excess soil from the roots. You may want to separate larger plants into individual shoots. (To get an idea of how you want to arrange the succulents, you can lay them all out on top of the mesh before proceeding.)
- Use the tin ships to cut an opening in the wire mesh just large enough to accommodate the roots of one succulent. (Some are small enough that you can just poke them through the half-inch opening in the mesh without cutting it.)
- Use a chopstick to create a small hole for the succulent in the soil, and gently press the plant into place.
- Repeat this process to plant all of the succulents in the soil.
- Fill in the spaces between the succulents with the moss, using the chopstick to gently press it down into the openings of the mesh.
- Hang your vertical planter on the wall, or lean it against the wall on a shelf. Display it indoors or outdoors. (If you hang it outdoors, you’ll want to use a frame that can stand up to the weather.)
How to care for your succulent wall garden:
- Succulents can survive without a ton of light, but it’s best if you can hang your planter in a spot where it will get moderate to bright sunlight.
- The moss likes to be misted weekly. If it starts to dry up and harden, give it a thorough misting and it will soften up again.
- Once a month, take your planter down and lightly water it to moisten the soil — but keep in mind that the box doesn’t drain, so do not overwater it.
- If you notice that any of the succulents or moss aren’t thriving (or if a succulent outgrows the frame), you can always pull them out and replace them.
Vertical Gardening with Succulent Plants
By Robin Stockwell, The Succulent Guy
In order to garden successfully with plants growing on a wall, it is important to recognize the difference from traditional gardening. I never thought about gardening on the ground or in pots as gardening horizontally, but that is exactly what you are doing. Of course there are variations in the slope, but by and large, traditional gardening has been horizontal. Succulent plants are often found growing on cliffs in the crevices of rocks or on the cliff edges, clinging to what soil they can find purchase in. This ability to eke out a living in little soil makes them pretty good candidates for vertical gardening.
To accommodate plants growing on a wall, it is necessary to decide what kind of container would work best for the type of plants being used and for the structure the containers are being grown on. I have settled on two types of containers for vertical gardening with succulents. The first is a frame I developed in the early 1980’s. The frame is built like a picture frame with a wire mesh front.
This frame is designed for smaller applications where the individual frame is not built larger than about 18” x 24”. Once you exceed that size, the frame becomes awkward and needs quite a bit of modification to prevent things like soil slump. The most common sizes I have used in this type frame are 6×12, 12×12, 12×18, and 18×24. The depth of each of these is about 2”. Placing a grouping of these frames on a wall can solve the problem of attractively filling a larger wall space. These frames are low tech and do not incorporate watering systems, so they must be removed from the wall or hung on a hinge system to make it possible to flatten each frame for watering. The frames can be modified to accept a drip system, especially with today’s wide array of drip materials available.
The other system I use is a plastic panel 19.5”x19.5”x2.5”, specifically designed for vertical gardening. This is the high tech system, which is designed to accept drip and is scalable to whatever size is desirable. Each panel has 45 slanted pockets that allow water to flow from pocket to pocket. This frame anticipates some of the issues for vertical gardening on a large scale. Some of the primary issues would include uniform watering, soil slump, ease of mounting and ease of removal.
There are some differences and similarities when gardening with each of these types of frames, or systems. The following is an attempt to describe each system and how to use them from planting to hanging and maintenance.
Gardening with Robin’s Living Picture Frame
This style of frame is, planted with cuttings only. Because of the wire mesh front, rooted plants cannot be fit into the planting area. The idea is to fill the frame with succulent mix through the wire mesh.
Place succulent mix over screen in small amounts and gently move through screen by running your fingers over the screen and soil.
The tools. Clippers and a nail will work just as well. The fork or nail can also be used when a stem is difficult to push into the soil. Gently push the fork into the area where you want to insert the stem and it will make it easier to insert it into the hole. This is only necessary when the stem will not push in.
Using a fork or nail, carefully raise the screen to allow soil to fall through the screen. Pulling up too hard can result in pulling the screen out of the frame – be careful. While holding the screen up, use the other hand to repeat the process of moving the soil through the screen.
Once the frame is full, cuttings are placed on the top of the mesh. As roots form, they move into the soil behind the wire. Once fully rooted, the soil is held in place by the network of roots behind the wire. If properly planted, the plants cover the entire surface of the wire mesh, preventing soil erosion.
There are many varieties of succulents that work well in my living pictures. Historically, I have worked with rosettes 90% of the time, throwing in a few sedums and crassulas here and there. Now I like to work with many other varieties to create other looks.
Once a frame has been chosen, it is time to decide what varieties of succulents are to be used. If using rosettes, it will probably take about 130 cuttings to fill the frame. Larger rosettes will reduce the number required, but remember the wire mesh is ½ inch in diameter, limiting the size of stem that will fit through the mesh. I’ve cut the mesh to accept a larger stem when necessary, but mostly work with plant sizes that fit in the mesh.
Preparing Living Picture Frame Cuttings
Cuttings are prepared by removing offsets, or stems, of plants like echeveria, sempervivum, sedum and crassula. With rosettes, the diameter might vary from ½” to 2”. The stem is usually cut to ¼” length or smaller. (Rudolf Schulz’s book Propagation of Succulent Plants, provides an excellent overview of preparing succulent cuttings).
Cuttings that have been removed from mother plants and still need old leaves to be removed.
Cuttings that have had old leaves removed and are ready for planting.
Prepare enough cuttings to fill the space of the frame to be planted. The cuttings will need to heal, form a scab, for about one week before planting. Store the cuttings in a cool, shaded area in a single layer while healing.
Selecting the Varieties for a Living Picture Frame
As mentioned earlier. I have mostly worked with rosettes such as Sempervivum and Echeveria. My primary reason for this is their ability to confine themselves to small spaces. Most of this is pretty subjective and I encourage the uninitiated to experiment. It’s pretty difficult to go wrong. I like to work with different colors and textures and there are many options with these two families. Sempervivum arachnoideum contrasts well with Sempervivum calcareum. Echeveria secunda is a great contrast with Echeveria ‘Pearl von Nuremburg’.
Planting and Rooting the Cuttings
Once the cuttings have been prepared and have healed, it is time to plant. For soil, use a cactus mix. If you need to make your own mix, use a regular potting mix combined with an amendment like perlite, pumice, or crushed lava. The purpose of the amendment is to increase aeration and drainage. The soil should be lightly moist. Screen the soil through the wire mesh until completely full. Settle the soil by gently tapping the frame on the surface it is sitting on. Add more soil if there is space between the soil and the wire mesh. Do not overly pack the soil. Now you are ready to plant.
I begin by placing the cuttings that I think of as the focal points of the planting.
I finish by filling in with the plants that are more numerous. If you look at the lower left corner, you will see a Crassula corymbulosa. There are three cuttings of this. I decided after laying out all my plants to move these to a different location. This is something you can do depending on what looks best to you. In the next photo, you will see the cuttings in a new location.
Lay out the cuttings filling the planting space. A little space between cuttings, 1/8th to ¼”, is about right to be able to hang your frame in about 8 to 12 weeks. Move the cuttings around until you are happy with the way the plants look together. Remember, the plants are a bit dehydrated at this point and will be even more so until they get their roots and begin to take up water. Check for roots in about 7 to 10 days. Some plants root more slowly, so checking a sample of different varieties is recommended. Once roots are showing on all varieties it is time for your first watering.
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Watering a Living Picture Frame
The frame does not have any drainage, so water enough to get the soil moist to the bottom, but not soggy. Place the frame in a partial shade/filtered sun, airy environment. It should take about a week to dry out. You can check it much like you would a cake by putting a toothpick in to check moisture level. If in doubt, give it another 2 or 3 days and then water it again. One or two days after the first watering, the plants should look like they are taking the water in with the leaves beginning to fill and look less dehydrated. Now it is just a matter of watering as the soil dries and letting the roots fill the soil in the frame. After about 4 to eight weeks of the roots growing, the plants should be rooted enough that gently tugging does not move the plants. This is referred to as establishing the plants in the container. Once the plants are well established it is time to hang your Living Picture.
In this photo, you can see the cuttings are more vibrant after producing roots and taking in water from their first or second watering.
This is a group of Living Pictures that have been watered for the first time. The cuttings have taken in water through their new roots. You can see the increase in color and that they are less dehydrated.
Where to Hang a Living Picture Frame
This planter has no up or down other than what you might think is up. In other words, you may hang it in whatever direction you want. Some use a picture frame bracket and some hang it on a nail using the edge of the frame. If you are concerned for the wall surface and moisture, then you need to take appropriate measures to protect your wall. Moisture will collect.
The best exposure is filtered sun or partial shade. An eastern exposure is usually sun that has not yet gotten too intense. An overhang, lattice or patio cover, a nearby tree, or some other method of filtering the sun will make it easier to maintain the Living Picture. Too little sun will result in plants stretching for the light and losing their color. Too much sun will make the plants appear to be stressed. Finding the right balance, will allow for the best results.
Living Picture Frame Maintenance
The Living Picture frame is nothing more than a planter. Of course, it is a very specialized planter, made for hanging on a wall. This is vertical gardening and like any other forms of gardening, you need to attend to your plants needs. Maintenance might include pruning, thinning, or even removing unwanted plants. Again, refer to the Rudolf Schulz book, Care of Succulent Plants, for a more detailed description on maintenance.
Fertilizer for Succulents
Succulent plants are very efficient and therefore use less water and fertilizer than most other plants. Also, because you are gardening in a very small space, it is best to fertilize minimally to slow the growth of the plants. I recommend using an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer. Only fertilize about once a month and reduce the recommended dose to ¼.
Over time, the plants are going to grow. At some point, you are possibly going to need to prune, thin, or even replant the frame. Like other plants you may have to replace plants that died, remove infestations of unwanted insects, and take care of any maintenance issues that may arise.
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December 12, 2017
This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.
Website: Spartanol assunzione
I think succulents make great home decor, no matter indoors or outdoors. Unlike the conventional houseplants that we place at the windowsill, on top of a shelf or on the ground; succulent plants can be displayed in many unusual ways.
Lately, I see the succulents are becoming a very popular type of plants for the vertical gardens. While they can be grown in individual pots hanged to the wall, they also cover a whole wall planter; a small framed box or a planter as large as the wall itself. Moreover, these wall planters can decorate both the garden walls and the interiors.
I personally like it quite a lot, when they grow vertically in the wall planters. It is a great idea to display them in a unique position, since these plants are unique by their nature.
Why Succulents are Great for the Wall Planters?
Succulent plants are the particular type of desert plants that store water. The word “succulent” is derived from “sucus“ in Latin and it means juice or sap. So they have thick and fleshy leaves and body which works as water storage through long periods of drought.
Succulents are really popular as houseplants nowadays because they are hardy for though conditions and they require low maintenance. Once they soak up all the water, they use the stored moisture inside their body for a long time.
Roots of succulent plants are disturbed when they stay in soaking wet soil and rot very quickly. The soil of a succulent should be kept slightly moist or dry.
Besides, they are often found on the cliff edges, growing in the cracks and cavity of rocks. Their ability to survive with little soil make them a great choice for the vertical gardens.
Best Types of Wall Planters
Wall planters are the perfect solution for narrow areas where you do not have enough space to accommodate many pots. You can hang a few individual pots on the wall, or you can cover the whole surface with these little green succulents.
Vertical planters that are covering the outdoor garden walls, turn the space into a three-dimensional gardening area. If the walls of your living space feel so empty, succulents will fill the vacancy.
Good to decide beforehand what kind of a planter will work the best for your space and the succulent species you want to grow. I chose some popular containers going well with many types of succulents, in case you need some inspiration.
Hanging Wall Planters
Example from Etsy
Hanging succulent pots are the way you can decorate your walls the most freely. Containers are arrayed on the wall surface vertically, while the plants are not actually growing in vertical. The idea is simply changing the planar which the plants are placed.
As the succulent plants grow in individual planters, you can show your creativity more freely by combining various species on a wall. They do not share a common container, so possibilities are wider since you can choose the succulents that require different maintenance.
Although there are several options of hanging containers, it is pretty basic that you can hang your regular pots by using a cotton rope or a steel string. You need a pot, a string and a hook on the wall. That’s all!
Mounted Wall Planters
Wall planters that are mounted directly to the wall share the same logic as the hanging pots. They are, in fact, individual pots. However, you can arrange them onto your walls in endless compositions.
These wall planters are usually flattened on the one side in order to keep them stable when mounted to the surface. Also, many of them are attached to the wall with a secondary piece between the wall and the pot, sometimes holding more than one pot.
I see a lot of options for these type of wall containers, both sold online and DIY’ed. Mason jars, metal cans, concrete pots, and numerous unusual planters which are going crazy with the idea.
However, I suggest you go for a usual clay or ceramic pot, especially because these planters do not have drainage holes when hung indoors. You should be extremely careful for not to over-water the succulent plants inside.
These box containers which are mounted to the walls look super cool although it is incredibly simple to install. They can extend alongside the wall completely, where they can also be a combination of deep rectangular planters. The arrangement is all depending on the taste.
These plant shelves are adding a rustic vibe to space. I found a lot of them made by rusted metal and rustic wood. At the outdoor walls, cracks between the wood pieces work as a drainage hole. This tip will simplify your watering routine quite a bit I believe.
The hanging planters create a living wall in any space you wish instantly. This one is maybe the easiest way to install a vertical garden of succulents. All you have to do is placing the plants inside the pockets of the hanging planter.
Organic material retains the moisture to keep the roots dry. Also, some of the hanging pockets come with a cold protective cover, which may be really useful where the climate is not allowing you to keep succulents outdoors in the wintertime.
But the best thing about these grow bags is that you can swap the plants in and out whenever you wish. Great for changing moods and changing arrangements.
These framed wall planters proposing to grow the succulents on a vertical plane in actual. A shallow box filled with succulents is hanged on the wall just like a picture frame. Sometimes these type of succulent wall planters are called “living picture frames”.
DIY Succulent Wall Planter
For a super easy but attractive succulent frame wall planter, you will need:
- a wooden frame (thrifted, upcycled, or premade)
- shallow wooden box
- metal wire mesh
- wire cutter
- staple gun
- wood glue
First, prepare your frame as you wish to decorate your room. Cut the wire mesh by measuring your frame. Fit the wire mesh on the backside of the frame and fix by using the staple gun.
Measurements of the container box should be slightly smaller than the exterior dimensions of the frame. Fix two of them together with the staples or nails. On the back of your box, you will need a hanging wire or a little hanging piece like in the photo below.
Apply a good amount of wood glue to seal the frame with the box strongly. Fill the wooden seams with glue, and then wait for it to dry completely before you get ready to plant your succulents in the box.
You can use small cuttings or leaves from succulents for this type of planters. It will be easier to place these cuttings inside the wire mesh, rather than trying to fit the roots between the wire and disturbing the plant.
Best Type of Succulents for Wall Planters
The most preferable type of succulents to grow vertically in the wall planters are the short and wide growing rosette shaped ones. Sempervivums and Echeverias have a large variety of popular species which would meet with this aspect.
Another succulent type that is popular for vertical gardening is the species growing veins or tentacles. When time passes, they will grow long out of the container beautifully. You can give a chance to one of these best hanging succulents I listed before.
The arrangement of the different species of succulents is left to your own taste. Use your eye for combining the arrangement also with the type of planter you use and the interior decor you will put it up to the wall.
A lot of succulents would go together really well. But you can try making variations of the same genus as an “Echeveria Garden”, or you can use the contrast of completely different forms. Clustering succulent plants according to their degrading colors will also make a great scene in your living picture frame.
How to Maintain Vertical Succulent Gardens?
When you first plant the cuttings inside a vertical wall planter, make sure that you wait till the succulents give roots and make a solid place in the soil. At the top of the soil, you can fill the gaps between the plants using some moss as extra support. After a while the succulents will grow and cover the surface. You can hang the arrangement when it is strong and stable.
Since many of these wall planters do not have drainage holes, be extra careful when watering. Give water enough to moist the soil, but try not to soak it up. You can check the soil with the help of a wooden stick and see if it is moist or dry.
Place the wall planters at a bright room or outdoor space. Succulents like partial to full sun. So let them get direct sunlight for a couple of hours in the mornings.
Despite the strange position of the wall planters, succulent plants require more or less the similar maintenance. Check out the complete guide of “How to Care for Succulents Indoors” if you have any doubts.
Image from Flickr
The best feature of the succulent plants is that they can adapt to various conditions. These plants can even grow vertically on the walls.
Wall planters provide a great use of space and an interesting display of succulents in many shapes and colors. Combining a variety of species with the unique options of wall containers, create a “one of a kind” vertical succulent garden.