I'm quite excited by a recent discovery that I have been testing in my studio that I am now ready to share with you. Affordable, easy to install Living Wall Planters that make it possible for you to place them anywhere that you wish. Kitchen (Brightly lit kitchen? Herbs perhaps?), Bathroom (Great humidity for ferns). Living Room (Blocked together to form a Living Wall), Office, Study, Den, Retail Window or Display, Inside, Outside, Low Light / Bright Light. I have even seen them planted with every large plants (yes, even Monstera), and they are dramatic and terrific.
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If you're considering a Living Wall remember:
1) There is never the wrong plant, just the wrong light conditions for THAT plant. Pay attention to the light. How much? How many hours? Bright? Direct? Indirect? North/South/East/West facing. Know the answer to this key-to-success question: How much light does it get?
2) Choose plants with similar watering conditions for the same planter. You can't put a cactus with a fern. Either the cactus will go mushy then rot, or the fern will lose all of its leaves, go brown and hate you. Extreme example, but you get the point.
3) Overwatering is a bigger crime than under watering. What I do is water on Sundays. Some plants need it every two weeks, some plants every week. But Sundays, coffee, walk the dog, water the plants, that's my Sunday morning routine. They seem to like it.
4) Only one person should be in charge of watering. We recently lost 4 gigantic Basil plants because my husband developed a fondness for them and gave them a little bit of water every day. Goners.
5) WARNING: These things are addictive. The more Living Wall Planters you get, the more Living Wall Planters you want. They are a ton of fun with endless design possibilities.
The Ten Easiest Plants to Grow in a Living Wall Planter
In order for me to call a plant 'easy to grow', the plant must be forgiving. Meaning, able to keep looking good for a long amount of time with neglect. I don't like plants that make me adhere to their schedule. One day they are fine, the next day they are gasping for Life. Too fussy. I prefer a plant that will let me know over about a week that I should probably get out the watering can. Soonish.
#10. English Ivy
Everyone's favourite, English Ivy loves to climb, which makes it especially lovely in wall planters. Water: frequently until grown, and let it run! Care: prefers a rich, compost-added soil and needs very little maintenance once established. Which means, be patient - your patience will be rewarded.
#9 Ferns (Kimberly Queen)
May shed leaves for the first few months, which is why it isn't higher on my list. Beautiful but messy. At first. Easy-to-care for in a bathroom because it LOVES humid air conditions. In fact, it's the only place I would consider planting one unless you want to mist nearly daily especially in the Winter months. Sure, there are outliers that are decades old, doing well and maintenance free, but by and large, this is the rule of thumb.
Light: requires high indirect light. Water: these plants love moist (but not too wet) soil.
#8 Japanese Aralia
Japanese Aralia, is a fast-growing plant that can grow quite tall, although it usually won’t produce fruit indoors. If you are inclined towards instant gratification, this might give you the drama you want. Imagine this in a planter on your living room wall and the look on your Dad's face the first time he sees it. Oh now, don't play innocent, you thought it was that other plant too. Heh heh. Light: bright, indirect light. Water: to keep soil moist, and slightly drier in the winter. Fertilizer: twice monthly during spring and summer. Care: keep it small with regular pruning; it may require drastic cutting back in spring.
# 7 Sansieviera (Snake Plant)
All varieties. Shown here is Sansevieria Laurentii. This is the plant that is in dentist's offices being ignored by everyone, no light, no water, no love and somehow it continues to maintain its beautiful graphic shape. It's also called Mother-in-Law's tongue - the name always makes me laugh. Light: Prefers high light, but will tolerate medium and low light. Water: when top inch of soil is dry. Fertilizer: This slow grower should be fertilized a couple of times in the Spring and Summer.
#6 Calathea Rattlesnake
Like most Calatheas, the Calathea Lancifolia (Rattlesnake) is simple to care for and makes a bold statement. Its bushy, compact growth pattern makes it an ideal tropical accent.
Calathea are commonly called prayer plants because their leaves close at night. Light: medium to bright indirect light. Water: when soil is dry 1-2” down. Care: Mist periodically to maintain high humidity. Another great plant for the bathroom.
I cannot believe how quickly my Monstera grows with so little care. I had mine on the patio last Summer brought it inside in the Fall, and then I basically ignored it throughout the entire Fall and Winter. I didn't water it from September to April, and it continued to grow!
Light: indirect bright light. Water: the guides say, don’t let the soil dry out but my personal experience was very different. Now outside again, it is in bright shade but gets watered when it rains and it's very happy!
#4 Rubber Plant - Burgundy
Another plant I am currently enjoying watch grow quickly with very little care, and a lot of tolerance for my forgetting to water it from time to time. Rubber trees can be enjoyed as either medium-sized house plants or grown to become focal point, beautiful indoor trees.
Light: direct high light brings richest color. Water: only when soil is dry. I believe this is the key to my success with this plant.
Most varieties. Shown here are Philodendron Scandens, Cordatum (Heartleaf), and Brazil. I love them for their random showy bright colours and their fast easy care, and flirty way of spilling out of every container in an imperfect perfect way. Light: prefers medium and bright light, but does tolerate low light. What it DOESN'T tolerate, I have learned is too much blazing sun. Outdoors, place them in partial sun and shade. Water: take care not to overwater, as they rot easily.
The vines can be cut back at any time to keep it compact.
#2 Spider Plant
The second easiest plant in this list to grow. It is great in any and all planters, macrame hangers, small planters on a desk, but be prepared for more soon. The 'pups' are prolific and give the plant its timeless boho vibe. Not to mention, give you enough new plants for everyone on your Holiday list. Light: prefers high light, but will tolerate medium and low light. It just won't grow as quickly or create as many shoots! Water: deeply once a week.
#1 Pothos All varieties. Shown here is Golden Pothos. Also known as Devil's Ivy.
This air-purifying plant is very popular for its low-maintenance nature. So much so, that if you are indeed successful in killing a Pothos plant, you might want to think about giving up houseplants as a hobby for good. Light: all levels.
Water: when soil is dry or when the leaves start to look sad and wilted-ish
Fertilize: every six months. If you remember. Care: To keep it looking fabulous, please trim back long thin scraggly shoots to encourage a dense, think, lush looking plant.
In summary, please know that this is by no means a complete list. It is a start, a nearly fool proof way for you to try your hand at houseplants, or if you've not been successful in the past, to try again. Remember to choose the right plant for the right light - make sure the pot always has proper drainage (despite what they like to tell you online and at some retailers), and let the plant dry out between waterings unless you have a plant that requires high humidity.