Are you looking for a creative solution to styling your plants at home? Let’s discuss how to create a plant wall for your home!
When it comes to interior design, what do you think of when considering key elements that should be included in any home? Large pieces of furniture might come to mind, like sofas, tables, or beds. When you consider more minor elements, standard pieces of decor might pop into your head, like a groovy lamp or an antique painting.
This brings us to our next point: wall art! No home is complete without it. Wall decor can be canvases or metalwork, but we’re here to talk about living art — specifically an indoor plant wall.
Let’s take landscaping indoors with these unique ideas.
Before we delve into the ins and outs of what a plant wall is and why you need one in your home, let’s talk about why plants are so important in the design world. Using foliage as a design statement has been pretty iconic for decades. Dark leafy greens or vibrant floral bouquets can do a lot for a space, no matter how much space they take up.
Plants do more than just brighten a space or add textural design. Plants are scientifically proven to benefit both your physical and mental health. Indoor plants are natural air purifiers, which is especially great for people living in big cities and more urban areas. If you want our opinion, we think indoor plants can benefit almost everyone. Who doesn’t want a cleaner atmosphere?
Plants can also help boost mental health since they help reduce stress and promote calming feelings. We always recommend adding a few plants to a workspace for this very reason (try making a little plant shelfie moment!), but this goes for the whole home as well.
As straightforward as it might sound, a plant wall could actually be a number of different things, but the commonality is always going to be living plants mounted in some way or another to a wall in your space. Typically when we refer to plant walls, we’re talking about living walls.
What’s a living wall, you ask? Imagine if you made a succulent or plant arrangement in a pot, for example, but you were able to mount it to your wall without plants and dirt flying everywhere. That’s possible, and that’s a living wall!
We also want to talk about another type of plant wall, which is one created from shelving. Plant walls created from shelving usually end up being more like gallery walls that are plant-themed, but they are a gorgeous addition to any home and worth discussing.
Creating a plant wall using shelving is a versatile project because any decor can be added to your shelving, not just plants.
When you create a plant wall using shelving, think about your space, namely the size of the wall. A huge living wall system is a centerpiece unlike any other, but even small spaces can get a big boost from a few potted plants. For small walls, try floating shelves.
Floating shelves are perfect for plant walls because they make the plants look more like a part of the wall and less like the surface decor. We especially recommend long, vining plants like pothos and philodendrons when using floating shelves. It’s the perfect way to bring some interesting color and texture to a small wall or a little reading nook.
But who are we kidding? Pop any plant on a floating shelf, and it’s going to look fantastic.
Considering the floor plan in your room is also important. Floating shelves best serve asymmetrical walls. Placing shelving at different heights and adjacent to each other adds an eye-catching element.
Using large bookcases as planters may sound surprising, but they’re more than just a functional place to store your favorite stories. While floating shelves are a minimalist’s vision, large bookcases would be a vintage or light academia lover's dream. You can create your plant wall with a large bookcase and fill it with plants for a seamless yet removable plant wall made of shelving.
With this type of shelving, protecting the wood of the bookshelf is essential. Choose drainage pots with removable bases to keep the water from leaking into the wood and damaging it. Plants that need more water can pose more of a threat, although you should remember that even air plants need to be watered.
The first step to any eye-catching design feat is the prep work. Whether you’re a planner or a doer, pre-planning your next venture is essential for a couple of reasons. First, planning ahead can save you not only time but also money. Knowing exactly what supplies you’ll need and in what quantity can prevent you from overbuying tools and supplies.
Secondly, pre-planning is a great way to get your vision out on paper (or, in our case, on your screen). Seeing a lifelike render with Spoak’s visualization tool of what you want to implement helps you tweak elements based on preference or experiment with different options you may be mulling over.
Lastly, pre-planning is especially helpful if you know you want to make some design changes, but you aren’t exactly sure what or how yet. You can use visual design aids like our room visualization tool or guides on different design elements in BeSpoak School for inspiration on your next project, including plant walls.
Now that we’ve talked about creating a plant wall with potted plants and shelving, let’s move on to the living plant wall. Creating a vertical garden can be as simple or complex of an endeavor as you want it to be, but there are a few key elements that you should keep in mind.
Like us, plants adore natural light, but not all plants need the same degree of light. For instance, moss walls can grow in relative darkness but need significant humidity. Moss is a wonderful way to bridge the gaps between plants, especially when a plant wall is new, and the plants are younger. (Love moss but no humidity? Preserved moss in pallets can serve the aesthetic purpose you’re looking for.)
In contrast, options like jade plants need direct sunlight to thrive. For jade plants and similar, you can supplement natural light with grow lights, but keep a careful eye on your plants. For instance, jade plants will turn yellow without the sunlight they need, and the leaves on other plants might turn dry and begin to fall.
Watch the space and maybe take photos every few hours throughout the day to compare the light in different lights. To measure humidity, use a hygrometer for the most accurate answer. Compare the number with the plant’s recommended parameters.
Next comes one of our favorite parts: picking the plants! There are never any wrong choices in picking out plants for a plant wall, but we do have some favorites we want to share with you.
We mentioned vining and snaking plants, which, of course, look amazing on a plant wall. Plants like pothos and philodendrons are beautiful and are easy to care for, for those without a green thumb.
Different variations of tradescantia are a way to add some color to your plant wall, and they also grow fast — great for propagation for future projects. Monstera is a popular indoor plant that also grows and spreads relatively quickly, making it an interesting addition to a green wall.
We couldn’t mention a living wall without talking about succulents, of course! Succulents make varied and beautiful additions to a living wall since they come in so many colors, shapes, and textures. Why not take this popular form of home decor by putting it on your wall? It’ll have all your friends green with envy (and possibly inspire them to tackle their own plant wall DIY).
On that note, here’s how to make a succulent wall.
You’re welcome to get as creative as you want with your botanical decor, but if you haven’t been bitten by the DIY bug, you can also always buy the base of your plant wall pre-built. Pre-built vertical wall planters come in seemingly endless shapes, colors, and sizes.
If you do want to take this project upon yourself, buy a pallet that matches the rest of your space. Grab your stapler gun and staple landscaping cloth to the front of the inside of the pallet and again on the outside back. Fill the open front space with the proper type of soil (succulent soil often benefits from added pearlite).
Take scissors or a utility knife to cut little circles just big enough to slide the succulents through. Water the top of the wall hanging (the water will drip down). Don’t overwater — wait until the soil is totally dry before watering again.
After a month, you can hang the pallet. Install eye hooks connected by heavy-duty chains on the back of the pallet. Then measure the space between the hooks and hammer in nails at the corresponding distance. And just like that, you can carefully hang the pallet on the wall.
Congratulations! Your living room is totally living now.
We love ambition, but the key to a successful plant wall is to use plants you know that you can care for. If you’ve got a green thumb, you might want to include some different or more exotic plants in your plant wall. If you’re a newer plant owner, though, you can steer towards plants that are more low maintenance. The longer you care for your plants, the more confident you’ll feel branching out!
If caring for plants is not in the cards, high-quality faux plants can offer a similar aesthetic. However, you won’t reap the same air quality benefits with fake plants.
Consider plant placement versus watering needs. Placing plants that need less watering at the top of your plant wall is a great way to ensure they aren’t watered as often as those that need it more.
We’re a big fan of greenery, inside and outside of the home. One of our favorite ways to create an eye-catching focal wall is through a wall garden or plant wall. You can do this a number of different ways, whether through shelving, a living plant wall, or something entirely different; the options are endless.
Photo Credit: (Left) Shop Curious
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