Plants on a wall

Hang-A-Pot ~ FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How much weight can it hold?
  • Can you hang pots on stucco, brick, or concrete walls?
  • What about high winds?
  • How will it hold up in the cold and sun?
  • Is it difficult to install?
  • Other questions

How much weight can it hold?

The Hang-A-Pot hidden hanger will easily support even a heavy terracotta pot with a fully potted plant. In stress tests, the pot holder has supported 90 to 100 pounds — far more than the weight of a 10 inch pot with soil, flowers, and water!

Can you hang pots on stucco, brick, or concrete walls?

Yes, you can easily install the Hang-A-Pot PotHanger on any of these surfaces using the technique described on the Easy Installation page. Hang-A-Pot attaches securely to stucco, brick, and concrete.

What about high winds?

The Hang-A-Pot PotHanger is designed to hold pots without a problem in high winds!

How will it hold up in the cold and sun?

The Hang-A-Pot PotHanger is made of a durable outdoor material called polypropylene which is used in roofing, yachts, fire equipment, and other industrial products that must withstand extreme temperatures. It will hold up year after year. It also contains a UV protector to protect from the sun’s rays.

Is it difficult to install?

The Hang-A-Pot PotHanger is easy to install on a wide range of materials, including wood, drywall, masonry, wrought iron, lattice, chain link, and aluminum screened-in enclosures. See the Easy Installation page for details.

Other questions

Do you have a question about Hang-A-Pot that’s not answered here? Contact us and we’ll gladly answer your question.

Wall gardens

Wall gardens – sometimes called vertical gardens or living walls – can turn any wall, fence or vertical space into a living, growing wall of edible garden. Wall gardens are particularly convenient if you have limited space, and will give you the same amount of crop as the same space in your garden, with less watering and weeding required. Include a wall garden as part of your balcony garden, indoor garden or community garden, or add one to side of your building. A wall garden will use space efficiently, cover up an ugly wall, provide privacy and beautify your home and garden.

Wall garden considerations

How much time do you have?

A low effort wall garden is absolutely possible, but your time and motivation should influence which plants you choose. How many times can you water your plants each day? Do you travel a lot? Let your answers help you decide which plants to choose and how you plan to water them.

How much sun and heat does your wall get?

Is your wall outside in direct light or inside away from windows? Does part of the wall get more sunlight than the rest? Is the sun there all day or only in the morning or afternoon? How does this change with the seasons? Although many vegetables need several hours of direct sunlight to grow, greens and herbs can get by with much less sun. Let the amount of sun exposure influence the type of plants you choose. If your wall garden is part of your indoor garden you might like to consider using a growing lamp.

Is water easily available?

Can you easily water the highest parts of your wall garden? Your wall garden may need to be watered more often than an outdoor garden, since they tend to be more compact and have less soil. If your wall is tall, or you have a lot of plants, you might like to consider an irrigation system. Don’t forget to use greywater to feed your garden as much as possible and compost to reduce evaporation.

Which type of wall garden?

There are many different approaches to wall gardens, limited only by your creativity and the size and strength of your wall. If you are new to wall gardens, you might try a series of containers mounted to the wall in some way. Fill your containers with soil and seeds or seedlings and you have an instant wall garden. Containers can range from traditional pots and planters to recycled gutters, pallets and picture frames. Pocket gardens feature plants tucked into pockets made from material such as felt or canvas. Other simple options include trellises and pre-purchased mountable hanging gardens.

Top 5 wall garden tips

1. Build a solid frame

Most wall gardens consist of a solid frame, plastic sheeting to stop water leaking onto the wall, and a fabric foundation for the plants. Choose a material such as felt, which retains water and allows roots to grow through it. It is generally best to build the entire structure before hanging it on your wall, rather than adjust and tweak once it has been mounted. Building a frame to hang on your wall, whether big or small, means you can take it down more easily if and when you want to. The type of material you use for your frame will depend on the strength of your wall, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, and the flooring beneath the wall.

2. Establish roots

Where your wall garden uses containers with panels rather than upright pots, take the time to grow your plants horizontally for a few weeks before planting them in your wall garden. That way the roots have time to establish themselves and will be more likely to hold the soil in place.

3. Keep it simple at first

With time, your wall garden can be a big contributor to your daily meals, but it’s best to start slowly and give yourself time to learn as you go. Get started with a basil plant, a cherry tomato plant and a ‘cut and come again’ lettuce. Begin with the side dishes then move onto the mains after some trial and error.

4. Choose the right plants

The type of plants you choose will depend on whether your wall garden is indoors or outdoors, how much sun it gets and your lifestyle. There are many climbing varieties of fruits and vegetables – such as beans, peas, passionfruit, berries and tomatoes – that are suited to a simple trellis. Others – such as capsicum, eggplant and cucumbers – can be trained to grow up a trellis rather than sprawl over the ground by cutting off lower shoots to encourage top shoots. Speak to your local nursery about which plants will suit your wall garden’s conditions and your lifestyle. Remember that your wall garden can be as small and simple (herbs in the kitchen) or large and sophisticated (full vegie patch) as you like.

5. Get your watering system right

If your wall is tall or you have a lot of plants, you might like to consider an irrigation system. Generally this involves a tube across the top of the wall that drips down throughout the entire structure. Plants that don’t need as much water should be placed at the top of the garden, since that part will dry out quickly as gravity pulls the water down. Plants more suited to wetter conditions should be placed at the bottom of the garden. A fertilising system can be included in the irrigation system. Speak to your local hardware store or nursery about the systems available.

There is likely to be some runoff from your wall garden. If your wall garden is outside, you could plant a flower bed underneath it to save water. Don’t forget to use greywater to feed your garden as much as possible and compost to reduce evaporation.

A sustainable diet

For a variety of reasons, including lifestyle and ethical choices, some people choose to eat a plant rich diet. To find out more visit the Better Health Channel.

Bring a little green indoors, and create the perfect conversation piece, with some advice from the experts on the latest fun trend of growing vertical gardens.
By Kristan Zimmer

Add drama and whimsy by growing a garden up your wall instead of outside your window. What has been predominantly a corporate trend of late is now becoming increasingly popular in residential design, says Colin Coogan, co-founder of Green Up, a design firm and garden center in Stamford, CT. A vertical garden can be a show-stopping full wall of greenery separating one room from another, or a simple decorative element. Even more than that, it’s a great way to improve your indoor air quality, and to grow your own fresh vegetables or herbs, especially when you live in town or in a city.

How The Concept Grew

Vertical gardening was popularized partly by French botanical designer Patrick Blanc, says Robin Plaskoff Horton, founder and creative director of urbangardensweb.com, a blog that focuses on city living, innovative design and nature. “Blanc brought a somewhat old concept into the design realm,” says Horton. “They add color and texture to a design scheme, creating a focal point or camouflaging a flaw.”

What is a vertical garden?

All vertical gardens are essentially made of either pockets or shelves so plants can be stacked one on top of the other while still leaving room for them to grow. Woolly Pocket is a popular choice. This company makes thick felt panels of pockets that can be hung on the wall. You can put the plants in potting soil in these pockets, or wrap the plants’ roots in felt and feed them with an automatic tube. For those who don’t mind a little dirt in their house, you can opt for shelves that store potted plants.

What You Need

Growing a living wall is easy if you have the right elements, says Coogan. His garden center in Stamford can install a vertical garden for clients or provide all the tools. Be sure to have four simple elements:

1. Great light

Create your vertical garden in a space with lots of natural light or plan to provide artificial lighting, says Coogan.

2. Plan for Pests

Even indoors your garden is susceptible to pests, so plan for good maintenance controls such as beneficial bacteria and fungi, or nontoxic pesticide soaps that are safe for your family, pets and plants.

3. Water Source

Hand water or use an automated watering system. Hydroponic watering is popular with indoor vertical gardens because it eliminates the mess of dirt and makes care easy. Wrap your plants’ roots in something like a Woolly Pocket. Don’t add soil! A tube and electric pump feed water and nutrients through the back of the plant pockets.

4. Hearty Plants

Choose plants that are easy care and don’t require a lot of sun and water. Consider texture and color. Coogan prefers ferns and tropical plants because they last longer than flowering plants. However, if your kitchen has a lot of natural light, then herbs and vegetables make a beautiful and convenient garden.

Get Growing

Try your hand at vertical gardening with one of these quick DIY products, from elegant kitchen gardens to plant systems perfect for your outdoor patio.

For Inside

Chalkboard Wall Planter, $139.95, williams-sonoma.com

Free Standing Vertical Garden, $399.95, williams-sonoma.com

Gronomics Vertical Garden, $229.99, walmart.com

Ikea PS 2012 Plant Stand With 3 Plant Pots, $39.99, ikea.com

For Outside

Pamela Crawford Living Wall Planter with Liner, $34.95, kinsmangarden.com

Palram Plantscape Hex 2 Pack, $79.99, sears.com

PlantScape Vertical Garden, $79.99, target.com

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Woolly Pocket

Do the vertical gardens pose any potential damage to walls behind them? Will water seep through and damage the walls, or maybe the plants we plant climb into every nook and cranny of the living room? If you’re scared of damaging the wall behind your vertical garden, let me walk you through the ways and methods that will protect the wall – while your vertical garden flourishes.

Wall damage will depend on the protective methods you use in the initial construction of your vertical garden. If you take care to isolate the wall from water and from the plants themselves, you should have no problem. Proper maintenance of the plants is a good way to ensure controlled growth – with no damage. So, yes, it is completely possible to make vertical gardens last for years without hurting any walls at all.

A damaged wall in the home is a nightmare owing to the expense of repairing it. Read on as we explain how to make sure you get a beautiful vertical garden – with no damage to your walls.

How to prevent wall damage from a vertical garden

The two major things you need to do in order to protect your walls from any damage are –

  • Anchoring your vertical garden at the right spot
  • Protecting the wall from water damage

The first will make sure your wall will be able to hold the weight of your vertical garden. The second will prevent rot from setting into your wall. Both are equally important. Let’s break them down into easy-to-implement chunks.

1. Find the right spot to anchor to

Planning is everything. Very much the single most important aspect of the construction of the vertical gardens in our homes involves the successful locating of the framework studs. These form the support of everything overhead.

Typically, a modern home building composed of wood use upright 2×4’s at approximately 16-inch spacing. On two-story homes, these studs would still be 2 inches wide, but they would be 6 inches thick – even stronger.

This means from the center of one upright 2×4 to the center of the next one should be from 16 inches too, possibly 18 inches. The entirety of the new vertical garden structure will depend on rooting the edifice into these boards. They are certainly strong enough to hold up even heavier items if the attachments are secure. Once located, we use these upright lines to determine where we attach our new structure.

How To Find The Studs Behind A Wall?

The simplest method of locating studs is to try and locate just one, to begin with. Experienced carpenters can detect studs by tapping on walls and listening for the hollow-turning-to-solid sounds.

Naturally, corners are obvious locations for upright studs, so it is possible to measure 16 inches from a corner and assume one is close. Holding a flashlight at a sharp angle to this spot should reveal indentations where nails secured the wall material (sheetrock, etc) to the studs. In any case, it is not a disaster to sink a small nail long enough to penetrate the wall and become embedded to locate the first stud.

Stud Finders – The Easy Route

There are also electronic “stud finders” readily available which locate the studs in a wall by detecting metal or even mass density behind the wallboard. These are pretty unerring and give completely reliable results.

Once secure about the first stud placement, measure 16 inches, and re-verify. These are the foundations of our vertical garden walls. Everything is built out from there.

2. Protecting the wall from water damage

The walls in the house will need substantial protection from water and the accidents of watering.

No system is perfect. Especially if we use timed automatic systems, we lose an element of control and gain a potential for disaster. And it can happen more than once.

Also, we need to consider the amount of water the plants require. This water sits at the base of planters, so we need a barrier of some kind.

A barrier will protect from condensation seeping backward through to the wall. The most important recommended barriers are just pretty much common sense, in the end. First, a barrier of a material which will protect seepage or condensation through our construction and leak onto the wall. Secondly, an air gap to allow the drying flow of air between the construction and the wall.

What Do You Attach To The Wall?

To protect the wall from water damage and from prying roots, you need to cover it. Essentially, creating a barrier between your vertical garden and the wall itself.

What material do we attach to the wall in order to support the containers holding our plants which we attach to it? Let’s take a quick look at the available options.

1. Plywood

Plywood is the most commonly used material in vertical garden construction because of its size, shape, and strength.

Cutting down or adding to 4 by 8 feet sheets of plywood offers the customized size and shape we look for. Plywood is great for protecting the wall behind it. It’s thick and water-resistant, at least where condensation is the problem. It can be a great separator between plants and wall.

Plywood also takes paint well, giving us beautiful color options to play with. The paint itself can also beef up a waterproof base. And we have options here – when painted with Marine Enamel or designated waterproof paints, plywood becomes almost waterproof.

2. Manufactured Fabric Pouch Systems

You can buy self-contained vertical gardening systems made out of fabric. Pouch systems inside durable fabric material are a great option.

Using these systems requires a basic constructed wood framework which attaches to the wall. The frame supplies a waterproofing overlay between planters and wall. It protects the walls by maintaining an air-gapped distance between the fabric and the wall itself.

3. Alternative Wall Boards: Greenboards and Cement Boards

There are a couple of options for you in the construction department that can offer great support and waterproofing for your vertical garden. The upside of both materials is similar to that of plywood. It can also be painted to offer enhanced color to a room behind the works.

Greenboards:

Greenboards are essentially gypsum-centered wall boards with water-resistant finishes. They are, however, best used as a cover for the plywood.

These products are used in home construction in bathrooms and utility rooms where washers run copious amounts of water. They can also be used in kitchens. Structurally, they do not offer much in terms of support but they’re great as an additional layer which isolates the “real wall” from your vertical garden.

Cement boards:

Cement boards are basically waterproof surfaces. They are often used on the back side of tiles in applications in bathrooms and kitchens.

The downside, for our purposes, is in their weight. They tend to add a substantial amount of weight to the vertical garden game. Also, like greenboards, is not a structural asset on its own.

Cement boards can replace the wall boards themselves or be attached on top of them. It’s a good solution if you’re looking to add climbing plants that stick to walls to climb and flower.

Watch out though. Those climbing plants can be amazingly invasive unless restricted to the appropriate backing. I would recommend coating the cement board with appropriately-colored marine enamel or using good waterproofing paint before planting. Tiling over the cement boards could offer a striking alternative wall.

4. Pre-Built Metal Constructions

Recent interest in vertical gardening has generated a variety of commercially-available metal structures for both indoor and outdoor gardens. Various hanging baskets arranged in sets on such a metal construction can provide an absolutely gorgeous vertical wall of plants.

Some custom made items not only allow plant pockets but also look extraordinary on their own. These feature all the artistic and practical skills applied to metalwork with decorating flair.

Outdoors, vertical gardens are wired or welded in series with galvanized metal and/or artistic wrought iron. They are more expensive but they are impressive on their own in patio applications as well as the practical interests of food growing.

The Air Between The Wall and The Garden

A vertical garden attached directly into a wall should include some sort of gap between the wall and the construction. This vital separation allows potentially trapped water molecules to disperse and gives them a way to accomplish that.

Trapped moisture can cause molds and deteriorate sheetrock walls. It doesn’t even require a substantial gap.

When we use plywood, spacers attached to the back of the plywood used to secure the wall are all that we need. They can be of any substance or length. They should match in size, of course, but it is entirely possible to produce a slant if desired.

How to Waterproof a Fabric Pouch Vertical Garden

Interestingly, these Fabric Pouch systems tend to be more waterproof than any others. But even so, you should create a waterproof barrier behind the system.

In the case of these manufactured wall systems, bear in mind there is no sheet of plywood involved. Rather, we construct a frame onto the wall itself and then deal with protection.

Many systems recommend attaching a greenboard at this stage, but others recommend attaching a waterproof barrier and then the green board. Others do not require greenboards and simply place a waterproof sheet behind the construction.

In these cases, the structural frame determines the finish, using two different frames, one over the other. This is to secure the waterproofing material to the structure and then build out to attach the next payers of fabric material.

Which should you choose?

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions but also use your common sense. If in doubt, waterproofing is always better than neglecting to do so.

Are There Exceptions To These Rules?

Yes, there are exceptions. Not every vertical garden requires this amount of wall protection efforts.

Smaller constructions can involve much less fuss. This post deals with whole living green walls – not necessarily smaller vertical gardens. By “smaller”, I would typify this as anything one or two people could lift on and off a wall by hand. Akin to painting and photographic art hangings, small vertical gardens used as accents require far less planning and installation issues.

Naturally, the same caveats apply – plastic or some sort of waterproof barriers are always required for positioning on walls. Watering is always relevant and necessary for growing things. Protecting walls is always recommended. And these structures also most certainly require hanging on or between the same wall studs.

It’s just going to be on a smaller scale and involve less construction work.

In Summary

There is a wide range of possibilities available for creating lasting and gorgeous vertical gardens for both indoors and outdoors. Whether you build yours alongside your living room wall, or possibly an outdoor fence, you can and should protect the supporting wall.

Follow the suggestions I made in this post for a beautiful vertical garden – and a dry, strong wall behind it!

Planting On Walls: How To Create Outdoor Wall Gardens

Vertical gardening has become all the rage. This may be due to a decline of single family housing, a desire to do something different or an attempt at whimsy and the unexpected. What vertical gardening does is maximize space and utilize areas that are not traditional planting spaces, increasing the growing square footage. Planting on walls is only one way to garden upward, but it is a good use of an already existing structure and there are tons of ways to make it really pop. We have some great ideas on how to create outdoor wall gardens and give the eyes plenty of beautiful dimension upon which to rest.

Using Walls in the Garden

Garden walls may be adapted to be more than just a barrier but to also accent the garden and soften or enhance these privacy structures. Garden wall plants create a conduit between the manmade structure and the garden that they protect. They may also form a symbiotic relationship with the wall as it supports them and provides them with a foothold. Planting on walls is also the equivalent of a gardener’s “tag.” It gives you an opportunity to express your uniqueness and the way you view life.

The first thing to consider is the type of wall or structure you have in the landscape. Is it sturdy? Does it have anything from which to hang plants? Can you drill into it or attach support assists, containers, hooks and other items in any other way? You can overlook this if you have a temporary or moveable support against the wall.

Often, the simplest idea to utilize a wall is to plant at its base. Garden wall plants that climb can clamber effortlessly over the wall, dazzling the eye and adding a counterpoint to brick and mortar. You may have to use some string or other support at the onset to help the plant up.

While considering plant strategies and effects, your zone, site conditions and the amount of maintenance you wish to do are all additional things to deliberate. Next, decide if you want evergreen or deciduous, climbing or hanging, flowering or foliage and add these decisions into your theme.

If you opt for climbing plants, make sure you have enough height for the maximum size at maturity the plant will become. Additionally, if you will need to prune the plant, the height of the wall may be an issue unless you want to get up on a ladder annually.

Hanging plants may be in baskets, planter boxes affixed to the wall, in pots that are tucked into cracks and niches, or artfully and discretely planted on the top of the wall. Hooks that fit over the top of the wall can hold a container disguised by the plants and some moss tucked in around them to hide the supports.

When growing plants on walls, avoid climbing plants that affix themselves to the wall with sticky pads. These scar masonry and can rip up mortar if damaged or if they need to be pulled away.

Types of Plants for Walls

Using walls in the garden as planting areas expands your options in the home landscape. This type of gardening should be easy to maintain, have low maintenance and still provide a screen or add lushness to a manmade structure.

Some useful vine type plants might be:

  • Clematis
  • Dutchman’s pipe
  • Honeysuckle
  • Wisteria
  • Climbing rose
  • Grape
  • Climbing jasmine
  • Akebia
  • Virginia creeper

For plants to place into the chinks and holes in older walls, try:

  • Creeping jenny
  • Campanula
  • Fairy foxglove
  • Rock cress
  • Ajuga
  • Japanese painted fern
  • Self-heal
  • Sedum
  • Sea thrift
  • Yellow corydalis

If you choose to mount a container of some sort, you might use:

  • Succulents
  • Ferns
  • Annual flowers
  • Herbs
  • Lettuce and other smaller non-root vegetables
  • Small ornamental grasses
  • Small perennials

The sky is the limit, or rather the wall is, so try some unique combinations and cover that wall with simple but elegant beauty.

How to grow a vertical garden: Tips for growing a plant wall at home

You may have seen them cropping up in shops, restaurants and even on the side of buildings,b But how on earth do you go about creating your own living wall, a vertical garden if you were that can be planted with flowers, foliage and grass?

The gardening experts at Dobbies have shared their tips for building one in your garden – or even if your house!

1. Choose your space

You can build your wall on any solid wall or fence, or on wood to create a custom wall that can be moved around. The walls can also be build indoors in any room you like – simply screw in rows of battens to fill the space you require.

You’ll need a structurally sound wall, fence or even a sturdy shed. Screw in rows of 2in x 1in treated battens 38cm apart to fill the space, checking with a spirit level as you go to make sure they’re straight.

A post shared by Grow Indoors (@growindoors.garden) on

Feb 5, 2018 at 1:17pm PST

2. Screw in the planters

Using an electric screwdriver and working from the bottom up, attach the plastic planters to the battens. You can then click and lock the planters into each other and build up your wall in staggered rows.

3. Get watering

Starting at the top, water your wall with a hose or watering can. The reservoir system is designed to keep plants watered for up to two weeks.

A post shared by Nick Quay Real Estate Group (@luxuryrealestateforsale) on

Feb 4, 2018 at 9:38am PST

4. Green up your wall

Fill the planters with your chosen plants using 12-13cm pots and either remove the plants from their pots and plant them in the planters, or place the pot directly into each planter, making sure the pot touches the reservoir base.

• If you’re attaching your green wall to the side of a house, it’s a good idea to attach a waterproof membrane to the wall before you begin to prevent damp.

• If you choose to take your plants out of their nursery pots and plant them directly into the planters, try using one of their specially designed filters under each plant, to stop leaves blocking the reservoir outlet.

• This specific system needs watering around every 2-3 days depending on the weather.

• As for plant care, if you’ve chosen flowering plants, you’ll need to snip out faded flowers to encourage more later in the season. Foliage plants such as heucheras and ferns should be tidied up by snipping off tatty leaves, as needed. Annuals will benefit from a liquid feed every couple of weeks in summer, although any display that’s in place for any length of time will need feeding to keep it looking its best.

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardens—think vertical plant wall—are one of the hottest new garden trends and yet it’s one of the oldest (have you ever grown a vine on a fence or trellis?). Vertical garden elements can draw attention to an area or disguise an unattractive view. This style of gardening is a perfect solution for just about any garden—indoors or out. Get started with our vertical gardening guide!

Image zoom Denny Schrock Denny Schrock

Vertical Gardening Basics

In vertical gardening, use structures or columnar trees to create garden rooms or define hidden spaces ready for discovery. Trellises, attached to the ground or to large containers, allow you to grow vines, flowers, and even vegetables in a vertical garden pots using much less space than traditional gardening requires.

Vertical gardening with upright structures can be a boon for apartment dwellers, small-space urban gardeners, and disabled gardeners as well as for gardeners with large, traditional spaces. Indoors, you can grow small-stature houseplants as vertical gardens by creating living walls for a tapestry of color and texture that helps filter out indoor air pollutants.

In cold-winter climates, houseplants grown in vertical gardens add much-needed humidity in months when the furnace runs and dries the air out. Increasingly, hotels and office buildings are incorporating living walls and vertical gardens both inside and outside. Although vertical gardens might need more frequent watering, they contribute to good air circulation.

Image zoom Jay Wilde/The Wilde Project Jay Wilde/The Wilde Project

Vertical Plant Wall

Green walls, another form of vertical garden design ideas, are the latest fashion in gardening. Some are simply walls covered with climbing plants, while others involve a modular system that allows plants to grow inside the structures.

French botanist Patrick Blanc is credited as the father of the green wall movement. He produced his first project on the exterior of the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris in 1988. Dozens of his other works are now installed worldwide, indoors and out. Blanc refers to his projects as living paintings or vegetal walls.

Creating a vertical plant wall or garden using Blanc’s methods requires metal framing, a sheet of rigid plastic, and felt. The frame of the vertical plant wall can be hung on a wall or it can stand alone. The rigid plastic, attached to the frame, makes the wall waterproof. The plants’ roots grow in the felt, which evenly distributes water and fertilizer. Plant selection depends on the light and other growing conditions.

Some plant wall systems include spaces for soilless potting medium so other types of plants can be grown, plus irrigation systems. Besides watering and fertilizing, vertical plant walls require other maintenance, including pruning, dusting, weeding, and, sometimes, plant replacement. Vertical plant walls or gardens are heavy, so check with a structural expert to make sure your wall can handle the load.

Image zoom Ed Gohlich Photography Inc Ed Gohlich Photography Inc

Vertical Gardening Considerations

Take these elements into account when gardening vertically outdoors:

  • Anchor your vertical gardening structure in place before planting to allow you to avoid disturbing the roots or stems of plants. Pair heavy or more demanding plants with sturdier structures.
  • Tall plants or structures cast shadows on the vertical garden that will affect the growing patterns of nearby plants.
  • Plants grow differently on a vertical garden. Some, such as climbing roses, need to be physically attached to structures, while others, such as morning glories, are twining and will loop themselves around trellis openings.
  • Plants grown in a vertical garden might need more frequent watering and fertilizing because they’re exposed to more light and wind.

Image zoom Marty Baldwin Marty Baldwin

Vertical Garden Plants

A wide variety of vertical garden plants are used on a vertical plant wall or garden, with plant selection determined by the light conditions. For traditional vertical planting, consider these selections:

Annual Vines

Annual flowering vines that climb without becoming too heavy include black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), cardinal climber (Ipomoea x multifida), cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), moonflower (Ipomoea alba), scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), and hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab). All grow best in full sun.

Perennial Vines

Easily grown perennial vines for vertical gardens include clematis hybrids, American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), and ivy (Hedera selections). All grow best in full sun; clematis prefer to have their flowers in sun and their roots in shade.

Image zoom Matthew Benson Photography Matthew Benson Photography

Shady Vines

Vines for shade vertical gardening include hardy kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta), chocolate vine (Akebia quinata), Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla), and climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris).

Edible Plants

Edibles that adapt well to vertical planting include fruiting vines such as kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa), Siberian gooseberries (Actinidia arguta), edible flowers such as vining nasturtiums, and vertical garden vegetables such as peas, squash, tomatoes, and pole beans.

Columnar Plants

Columnar plants provide vertical gardening interest. Many can be grown without a supporting structure. Consider planting columnar apple trees, arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), junipers (Juniperus scopulorum), or Lombardy poplars (Populus nigra).

Image zoom

Vertical Herb Gardening

Grow a bountiful herb garden with tons of different species and varieties—even in a small space. Think of growing herbs vertically (rather than horizontally) to maximize your planting real estate. Utilize shelving, wall hangers, or hanging mechanisms to give individually-potted herbs a place to be that’s out of the way.

Image zoom Ed Gohlich Photography Inc ED GOHLICH PHOTOGRAPHY INC

Vertical Garden Structures

Fences, arbors, trellises, tuteurs, obelisks, and other types of structures make it easy to grow vertical garden plants. Hanging baskets can be considered elements of vertical planting because they break the horizontal plane of gardening. Attach a drip irrigation system for easy watering, or add a rope-and-pulley system to allow easier access to hanging baskets for watering and tending your vertical garden.

If you have an existing structure such as a shed or garage, add a trellis in front of one of the walls so vertical garden plants have a structure to support their stems but don’t cause any damage to the wall. Be sure to leave some space between the trellis and the wall for air circulation.

  • By Deb Wiley

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