How to create a living wall
Love the idea of a living wall but don’t know where to start? Well, this ‘How To’ guide gives you everything you need to know about creating your very own living wall in your home.
Living walls have become a huge trend thanks to the rich colour, texture and natural connection they can bring to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Here we look at how to create a living wall in your own home, whether it’s for herbs, vegetables, succulents, or perennials.
What are the options?
Living walls are a brilliant way of using an otherwise redundant space to provide a sanctuary for nature. Not only do they look great, but they are great for the environment. It’s worth having a think about what you would like your living wall for. Do you want to use it to grow vegetables? Or do you want to create an Instagram-worthy flower wall? Whatever result you’re going for, there are lots of different options to match your style and space.
You can have a go at creating your living plant wall on your own. Decide where you want to have it and then think about how you’re going to attach it, the frame you’re going to use and the plants you’re going to use. Remember to think about the plants and what conditions they will thrive in. If that’s something you’re not that knowledgeable about, then it’s probably best to get in a professional landscaper as they will be able to advise on the best possible combinations for you which will ensure a living wall that looks great and lasts.
Don’t forget about the logistics of watering your living wall either. Depending on the type of living wall kit you choose, will depend on how it can be watered. Some DIY kits can come with a built-in watering system, such as a simple top box for filling with a watering can, or, you could have a drip irrigation system fitted to the mains.
For a simple hanging wall vertical planter, prices start from as little as £14.99, although you will have to water this yourself. For a living wall kit with a built-in watering system, expect to pay around £300 for a kit that can hold 20 plants.
How to make a living wall using pallets
Pallets are a great budget option and also a sustainable way of reusing materials. They’re cheap and easy to pick up but still guarantees impact and style. Follow the below steps for how to make a living plant wall using pallets:
Tools you’ll need
- Small pallet
- Claw hammer or crowbar
- Measuring tape
- Weed control matting
- Blu Tack
- Staple gun
- Potting mix
- Sand down pallet
- Measure a piece of weed matting to fit the back of the pallet, cut it to size, and tack it to the back of the pallet with a staple gun.
- Cut your weed matting to create pockets to fit inside the vertical supports on either side of your pallet. Tack them with a staple gun in place on the inside of both the front and backboards.
- Fill each pocket of your living wall with soil, pressing it down firmly so loose compost doesn’t fall out of the sides.
- Make small holes at the bottom of each pocket for drainage using your scissors. Keep the holes small so the soil doesn’t spill out.
- Now the fun part! Plant out your living wall with your chosen varieties and give them a good water with liquid fertiliser to start them off well.
- Your pallet should be able to stand on its own or lean against a wall. Alternatively, you can hang it on an indoor or outdoor wall to free up floor space.
If you’re not confident attaching your pallet living wall to the wall itself then it’s a good idea to get a handyperson involved. They can ensure it’s firmly in place and looking the best it can!
Top tips on how to make a living wall indoors
Whether you decide to create a living wall using a kit or a living wall using pallets, water drips and soil spills are likely, and could cause damage to walls, carpet, and other types of flooring. Carefully consider where you want to install your living wall before planting it out. A carpenter or handyperson will be able to advise and build you a secure frame for your indoor living wall to ensure no damage is done to your walls.
For a successful living wall, the plants you choose should be relatively compact growers, 50cm or less, or be able to cope with regular pruning so you can maintain the shape of your living wall. To create an eye-pleasing effect, plant them in a vertical formation, not horizontally, and then you can interlink your vertical lines for a tapestry-like effect.
Top tips on how to make a living wall outdoors
Be sure to select plants that will thrive in the conditions of the location of your living walls. A good tip is to start with small-sized plants (ideally as plug plants), as this will make it easier for them to get established.
Once all of your plants are in place, give them a good watering with a liquid fertiliser to help them get properly established.
If you’re at all unsure at any stage of creating your living wall and would like some expert advice, then use our free search feature to find a professional near you.