best plants for wall planters

Best Plants for Wall Planters to Create a Living Wall

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Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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Houseplants have many health benefits, including improving your mood and keeping your spaces allergy-free. You can use hanging planters if you want to enjoy these benefits but have little floor space. A wall planter arrangement or vertical garden allows you to grow more plants in a small area, but you need to find the best hanging plants. In this article, we'll show you the best plants for wall planters since not all plants can grow well in a hanging planter. But first;

What is a Wall Planter?

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A wall planter is a container you can use to grow plants in while hung or mounted on a wall inside or outside your house. You can use many wall planters in the same area to create a verticle garden, and when you use real plants, you can enjoy more health benefits like improved air quality and mental health. Besides the health benefits, wall planters also improve the aesthetic appeal of your spaces.

As you look for the best plants for wall planters, you will first need to understand your planter. There are five main types of wall planters distinguished by construction: plastic, wooden, glass, metallic, and ceramic. These different materials can affect how your plants grow, especially how often you will need to water them in any weather season. In addition to construction, you also need to find plants that will fit in the planter. Thus, you also need to consider the size of your plant pots.

Additionally, you will need to consider various growing conditions before choosing the best plants. For instance, understand your hardiness zone and where to put up the vertical garden to determine light requirements. Once you consider all these variables and get the right wall planters, here are the best plants to grow on a hanging planter.

1. Succulents

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Succulents are common garden plants that grow all year round. They are characterized by their thick and fleshy leaves and stems. The fleshy tissues help the plants retain the most water in dry conditions. In addition, succulents have enlarged roots that preserve hydration even when the soil conditions are dry.

You can plant succulents in your wall garden as they improve the appearance of your walls. Because of their botanical characteristics, succulents are somewhat low-maintenance plants in any season, and you can plant them as outdoor or indoor plants. Here are some succulents you can plant.

a) Echeveria succulents

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A vertical garden is the most prominent feature in a room or space. When looking for the best plants, it is imperative to also look for attractive plants to grow. Echeveria succulents are colorful plants you can grow on any wall planter.

The family offers over 10 colorful species of plants with different characteristics. For example, the species' leaves are spoon-shaped. In addition, the leaves come in various colors like green, lavender, and grey, and the succulents are flowering plants with colorful white, orange, red, and pink flowers.

Echeveria succulents are native to the Central American regions and grow in semi-desert conditions. As such, they are easy to grow as they require little watering; you should only water them when the potting soil begins to dry and crack. In winter, you may need to water your Echeveria succulents only once a month.

Light requirements are the next feature to consider when looking for a plant for your wall planter. As semi-desert native plants, Echeveria succulents require direct sunlight for at least six hours daily. If not exposed to direct sunlight, these plants will lose their beauty with the leaves and stems stretching. So, if you want to plant any Echeveria succulents, you might also look for the best grow lights to provide artificial sunlight during the winter.

b) Sedum morganianum Burrito

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The Sedum morganianum Burrito is another succulent you can easily grow on a wall planter. The plant has green, bead-like, fleshy leaves and is a trailing plant. You can grow this succulent indoors or outdoors, with the latter best for creating a thick privacy screen.

The Sedum morganianum Burrito is a native of Southern Mexico. As such, it is a micro-endemic species, meaning it is quite delicate to handle and grow unless you can replicate the specific conditions it naturally grows in. For example, you can grow the Sedum morganianum Burrito in ample sunlight, but you also need to protect it from extreme heat. So, you can design your wall planters next to a window so the plant can get enough sunlight while being protected from the extreme rays.

On the other hand, the Sedum morganianum Burrito does not demand a lot of watering. You can treat it like any other succulent and water it a few times each month. However, we advise you only water the pot once the soil gets dry to your touch.

2. Ferns

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While we can tell you to opt for succulents for low-maintenance and colorful vertical gardens, ferns are the best option when you need a very green vertical space. Ferns are characterized by their green, non-flowering fronds that engulf a pot in no time. You can choose your best fern species for your indoor hanging plants or an outdoor garden.

Unlike succulents, ferns need more watering as they only thrive in humid conditions. In addition, you will need to guarantee some good amount of light, preferably near a window if growing them indoors. If you plant your ferns in an outdoor wall planter, ensure the plants get dappled sunlight as too much sun, and heat can kill them.

It is also best to feed ferns every summer season using the best liquid fertilizer for healthy results. Avoid feeding your ferns in the winter as they mostly pause growth in extremely cold conditions. Here are some ferns you can use as hanging plants.

a) Kimberly queen fern

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This fern is a native of the Kimberly region of Australia. It is an evergreen fern with sword-shaped fronds, thus earning it the nickname sword fern. It has a bushy growth habit, leaving you with a fast-growing green living wall in no time. Like other ferns, the Kimberly queen fern does not flower, but its fronds will remain green throughout the year.

When planting this fern in your wall planters, ensure you place your garden in a low-light area where the plant can get partial sunlight. So, if you grow it as an indoor plant, keep it near a window that blocks out most direct sun rays, and if you grow it outdoors, ensure your wall planter receives a good amount of shade daily.

The Kimberly queen fern needs enough moisture to thrive. So, plant it in well-draining soil and water it every two or three days. For best results, ensure the pot has damp soil at all times. Finally, avoid feeding your Kimberly queen fern hard water.

b) The Boston fern

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The second best fern is the Boston fern, which, like the Kimberly queen fern, also comes with sword-shaped fronds. However, the Boston fern is a slow grower and sports a blue-green color.

The Boston fern is a native of America, Africa, and Polynesia. The perennial grows similarly to the Kimberly queen fern above, needing ample moisture, partial sunlight, and well-draining soil. Additionally, due to its tendency to grow downward, we can advise you to use a covering plant if you need to enjoy the best greenery on your wall.

3. Bromeliads

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A wall planter is a space-saving garden design. But, while saving space, you may also want to add a pop of color to your space, and that is where Bromeliads come in. These are showy plants with very colorful leaves and equally colorful flowers. While there are many plants from this family, we found the best two types that make a great addition to your wall setting.

The first type of Bromeliads we suggest are air plants. These plants grow on top of other plants, so they do not necessarily need soil and a lot of maintenance. The second type of bromeliads you can try is terrestrial plants that come in the most colorful and flowerful versions.

a) Air plants

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As we indicated above, air plants or epiphytes do not need soil to grow. They do not get nutrients from the soil, but they need the best quality air and water as that is where most nutrients come from. Tillandsia, like the Spanish moss, is a common type of air plant you can plant on your wall.

Tillandsias do not need any soil to grow; you can easily glue or wire them on the wall or planter. They demand bright light but may not do so well in direct sunlight. So, you can plant them near a south, east, or west window. Then, depending on how dry your garden soil is, you can water the tillandsias with a mister at least twice a week. Finally, feed them a diluted low-copper liquid fertilizer every month.

b) Guzmania spp

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The Guzmania spp is a beautiful species family from the Bromeliad family that is also home to pineapple. You can find up to 120 Guzmanias species, which will add a wonderful pop of color to your wall planters. The tropical species grow well on well-draining soils, and you will need to water them occasionally.

Guzmanias only thrive in humid conditions, so ensure to water them each time the top layer of the soil starts getting dry. In addition, you can use a mister to feed more hydration to the leaves in between watering sessions. For a healthy living wall, you can also feed your Guzmania spp the best fertilizer every two months and ensure to grow it in a bright area without exposure to direct sunlight.

4. Asparagus plants

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Asparagus plants work well as potted plants though you can also plant them in wall planters. They are flowering plants and worldwide natives. Some of the best Asparagus plants you can grow as hanging plants are dracaena and spider plants.

a) Spider plant

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The spider plant is an ornamental plant that will improve the appearance of your walls. Also called the ribbon plant or the airplane plant, the spider plant is characterized by long leaves with white and green stripes. Though not always produced, spider plants can also sport beautiful white flowers that shoot from the stem.

The spider plant is your best option if you want a vertical garden that can withstand different conditions. We advise you to start with it if you are a newbie gardener for these reasons. Firstly, the ribbon plant will thrive with less frequent watering sessions. However, ensure you plant them in well-drained soil and indirect sunlight.

Finally, they produce beautiful flowers that also turn into baby spiderettes that you can transfer to small pots, thus improving your wall garden.

5. Herbs

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Do you enjoy consuming fresh herbs? If so, you can also grow your ideal herbs in your hanging planters. Some of the best herbs include basil, rosemary, and sage. Unlike most other plants we have reviewed in this article, herbs are non-toxic to humans and a great way to improve your home's food sustainability. In addition, all your plants will improve your house's air quality if you plant the herbs indoors.

6. Other hanging plants to consider

As you look for the best hanging plants for your walls, we can suggest two more plants from the Asteraceae and Araceae families. These are the string of pearls plant and the devil's ivy plants.

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The string of pearls is the perfect plant for beginners creating a hanging garden for the first time. It is a delicate cascading succulent but also one that thrives in a warm and dry environment, thus easy to care for. It is characterized by bead-like leaves that spread fast to provide the best green coverage over your walls. Grow it in well-draining soil, water it once a week, and provide it with at least six hours of light.

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The devil's ivy, though mildly toxic, is a beautiful houseplant that can add a good pop of color to your hanging planters. The plant comes with heart-shaped leaves with different striations that grow perfectly in warm and mildly humid conditions.

The devil's ivy is a low-light indoor plant, so you don't need to stress creating your vertical garden near a window or in especially bright conditions. Additionally, water them when the top layer of the soil starts getting dry and feed them diluted liquid fertilizers once a month.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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