In urban areas where there doesn’t seem to be enough green to go around, consider turning your own wall space into a living garden. If you’re bored with hanging baskets and tired-looking ficusses, consider a wall-hanging in your house or apartment that lives and breathes.
Creating a living wall isn’t as difficult as it might sound, and it can be done quite simply, with a kit or from scratch in your own home. Here’s how, in five easy steps.
1. Build or buy a frame
Frames can be purchased at craft or home improvement stores, or online at Amazon or speciality shops. These frames are essentially wooden boxes with the top cut out and replaced with small metal wire grating. Succulent garden shops are a great place to hunt for these.
2. Gather your succulents
Succulents, or drought-tolerant, fleshy plants like cactuses and desert flowers, are perfect for these living walls. Cut some from your garden, and let them dry out until the stems (at least 1/4 inch long) are dry and callused.
3. Add soil to your frame
Tuck some dry, cactus-friendly soil into your frame, through the grating.
4. Plant your cuttings
Take the callused-over cuttings and plant them in your frame. The stems should be tucked into the little grates so they can reach the soil, and the heads of the succulents should be above the grating. Let these sit for four to 12 weeks so the succulents can take root.
5. Build a frame
Build or buy a frame to fit your planter box — these are typically just two-by-fours. To add some spice, paint the edges, or get an interesting wood to frame your box. This outside frame allows you to hang your new garden up on the wall.
Building from a kit
If you don’t have succulent clippings in your garden, or even a garden to speak of at all, consider getting yourself a DIY living wall kit. These kits come with frames, soil, and clippings, and follow the same steps listed above.
These beautiful pre-made kits have the same health benefits that a homemade living wall provides: the boost in spirits from a job well done, cleaner air from the processing of carbon monoxide and output of oxygen that all plants can perform, and the psychological benefits of living amid greenery, which can help fight illnesses like Seasonal Affective Disorder, anxiety, and depression.