You love your garden; your herbs, flowers, succulents, vegetables, and general greenery. But there’s a problem – you don’t have enough space for an elaborate outdoor green area in your home.
But like most problems, there is a solution. Vertical gardens help you maximize your space using wall planters.
Do you have a small porch or apartment and still want an edible or decorative wall plant? A wall planter is the answer.
Read on for tips on choosing a wall-mounted planter for your indoor home garden.
How to Choose Wall Planters
There’s a wide variety of wall planters available. The question is, what makes one wall planter better than the other?
The right wall planters should be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and practical.
So, what options do you have?
Terracotta Wall Planters
Made from unglazed clay, terracotta wall planters are permeable. Their porous nature makes terracotta wall planters lose water and dry out quickly.
While you can plant anything in them, they are best for plants that do well in dry soils. To prevent water-loving plants from drying out completely, they’ll need regular watering.
- Excellent for succulents as they require little water
- Helps prevent root rot as they don’t retain water for long
- Available in a variety of shapes and sizes
- Classic farmhouse appeal rarely goes out of fashion
- Terracotta is fragile and can easily break and crack in cold climates
- Drilling drainage holes will break terracotta pots
- They retain heat and can burn plant roots if left out in the hot sun
- Terracotta wall planters are porous and require more water than planters made from other materials
Wooden Wall Planters
If you’re after a timeless look for your wall, you’ll never go wrong with a wooden wall planter.
Wooden wall planters are versatile for both indoor and outdoor home use. Unlike clay pots, a wooden wall planter won’t crack in freezing weather, and neither will the wood temperature spike when it’s hot outside.
However, wood is prone to rot. To maximize your wooden wall planter’s lifespan, we recommend that you line it with plastic.
Make sure to poke some holes into the plastic to allow water to drain.
- Resistant to temperature changes
- Easy to drill drainage holes
- Rustic natural look and color to compliment any wall
- Prone to rot
- Absorbs water, although you can treat the wood to prevent it from absorbing too much moisture
Galvanized Metal Wall Planter
An untreated metal wall planter will rust when exposed to soil and water. For this reason, it’s best to use a galvanized metal planter to prevent rust.
Metal wall planters come in different styles and sizes, but they are more durable compared to planters made from other materials.
- Metal is very durable
- Available in a variety of styles and designs
- Resistant to extreme temperature changes
- Susceptible to rust if not properly galvanized or treated with a weather-resistant sealant
- Heat-absorbent and could burn plant roots if left exposed to extreme heat
- Rarely have drainage holes and can be difficult to drill
Fiberglass, Resin, and Plastic Wall Planters
A wall planter made of any of these lightweight materials is perfect for use inside your home.
Thanks to advancements in manufacturing, today’s fiberglass, resin, and plastic wall planters feature innovative designs.
Unlike metal wall and clay planters, they are lighter, making them easy to move around.
- Affordable and available in unique designs
- Can be made to look like a clay, wood, or metal planter using color
- Can withstand extreme temperatures better than materials like clay
- Easy to drill drainage holes if required
- Prone to blowing over when there are strong winds
- Gradually degrade and lose color from exposure to sunlight
- Non-permeable, which means they retain water and don’t drain as easily as other materials
Where to Establish the Garden
There’s a variety of factors that affect where you should position your wall planter, including:
Many plants thrive in full sun. When choosing a location for your planter, consider how much sunlight the plant needs.
Choose plants that love the sun if your location is sunny. Alternatively, for locations that get minimal sunlight, go with plants like the spider plant or maidenhair fern that like shade.
Is your plant drought-resistant, or does it thrive in moist and damp soil?
Knowing the water requirements helps you decide whether to place your planters closer to or further from a watering point.
When watering indoor plants, spills and wall splashes become an issue. If you spill or splash water on your walls or the floor, you’ll need to wipe it clean or risk water damage and stained surfaces.
For a more low-maintenance option, consider setting up up your vertical garden on an exterior wall.
Characteristics of Your Plant
How large will the plant grow? Will it grow upright, spread, trail, or mound? Will it grow tall or wide?
The general recommendation is to choose wall plants that don’t grow too big. Otherwise, they might take over your space and be too much work to easily maintain.
For plants that grow upright and tall, you’ll want to position your planter lower. For those that hang as they grow, a wall-mounted planter well above ground level gives a better ‘flowing’ effect.
Decide What You Want to Plant
Not all plants take well to vertical gardening or thrive in wall planters. Among the best plants for indoor or outdoor wall planters are:
Succulents are the most common plants for wall planters because:
- They adapt well to different environments
- They’re resistant to fluctuating temperatures and varying climates
Some popular succulents are:
Echeveria succulents feature a rosette structure with flower-like heads. In summer, they produce long flower stems that can be pruned.
Typically, they only grow to a length and width of about 12 inches, making them a perfect indoor plant.
While they will tolerate some moisture, Echeveria prefers desert-like conditions.
Also known as Crassula, Jade Plant is a common indoor succulent. It’s distinguishing characteristic is its fleshy, triangular leaves.
Because they grow best in spring and summer, they require a bit more water during these seasons.
Nevertheless, Jade Plant will still thrive with little water and care, making them perfect for wall planters.
Herbs are excellent for wall planters. These edibles will add character to your home and flavour to your cooking.
However, some herbs such as mint can overtake others. So, it’s best to plant only one herb variety in each wall planter. Popular wall planter herbs include:
Basil is always a great culinary addition to any kitchen. It’s easy to grow, making it an excellent wall planter herb.
As it likes warm weather and full sun, place your planter on a southern or western window (or northern window if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). This will ensure it gets enough warmth and light to thrive.
Alternatively, you can use a grow light if you still want to enjoy basil in your kitchen.
Basil only grows for a few weeks before the stems become woody. If you want a constant supply of fresh basil, you’ll need to plant more seeds every few weeks.
Nothing beats a rosemary-infused drink or dish, especially when it’s cold. A great addition to soups, meats, tomato, and cream sauces, rosemary is a must-have herb for your wall planters.
Rosemary prefers cool temperatures but will still grow in hot, sunny, and dry climates.
But for it to thrive, it needs strong light throughout its life.
Highly-adaptable and resistant to humidity, ferns are a favorite for wall planters. They are easy to grow and will engulf a wall planter in no time.
Unlike with herbs such as mint, you might want to grow ferns with a covering plant. This is because naturally, ferns on wall planters generally grow downward.
Bromeliads are excellent if you want to add a pop of color to your living wall. Other than their colorful flowers, most boast shallow roots, making them ideal for shallow planters.
How to Care for a Live Wall
Although a wall planter is easier to maintain, you still need to give it some TLC. The main things you need to do for your wall planters to thrive include:
Watering – Unlike with regular gardening, watering a wall planter is very easy. Still, the rules of watering don’t change for a wall planter.
Whether your galvanized metal wall planter or wooden wall planter is indoors or outdoors, always make sure you water plants at the base of the plant.
Watering at the bottom keeps mildew and fungus growth at bay and reduces weeds as the plant gets the bulk of the water.
Ensure adequate drainage to avoid waterlogging your plants. Mulching – This helps with water retention and prevents soil-borne bacteria from infecting your plants.
Tying & Training – most gardeners prefer vining plants for their vertical garden planters. While vining plants climb well on their own, some will need a little help.
Training is best for those plants with twining systems or tendrils, while tying is best for plants with pliable branches. When tying, be gentle, and leave room for the branch to expand as it grows.
Feeding/Fertilizing the Plants – feeding your plants regularly ensures they thrive. This is especially vital for hanging planters. Any hanging wall planter in your home will be relying on you to get their nutrient fix.
We recommend that you only use organic fertilizers and steer clear of synthetic ones. Synthetic fertilizers burn your plants and damage the soil over time. On the other hand, organics enrich the soil’s nutritional content.
Learn More About Gardening
At the Gardening Channel, we’re all about improving your home gardens. We champion optimal productivity while still keeping things fun.
Here you’ll find all you need to know about gardening – whether in small spaces or large ones.
If you want to learn more about vertical gardens and planters, check out our: