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.
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