- The principle of the plant wall
- Substrates for a plant wall
- Maintenance of a plant wall
- The cost of a plant wall
- Technical questions for a plant wall
- Open or closed irrigation circuit?
- Advantages and disadvantages of a plant wall at home
- The best plants for an indoor plant wall
Tips for installing a home wall at home:
The vertical culture is naturally necessary in the interior where the available surface is often reduced. In addition, an interior green wall is particularly decorative in a living room, and can also constitute a productive vegetable garden in a kitchen. It can be installed on a well-lit wall (but not in direct sunlight), or coupled with artificial lighting.
The principle of the plant wall
The plants being arranged in rows placed one above the other, one almost always adopts a hydroponic system with a tank at the bottom and a pump to lift the nutrient solution.
This one then circulates in all the pots and returns to its point of departure by gravity. We mainly use the drip or periodic irrigation (as for the tide table).
The proposed kits usually consist of a wall panel with a number of pots (with cells), each being provided with a sealed lid, allowingavoid leaks - essential aspect in this case. The reservoir is most often coupled with the water pump, which obviously must be powerful enough to propel the nutrient solution to the top of the panel. The kit also includes the tubes, pipes and fittings necessary to form the circuit.
Substrates for a plant wall
We use those recommended for the different hydroponic systems, clay balls being often an excellent solution. Moisture retaining substrates certainly act as "buffers" in case of pump failure, but they are heavier.
Maintenance of a plant wall
It is the same as for the other hydroponic systems used. Obviously you have to make sure that there is no leak.
The cost of a plant wall
Contrary to what one might think, a green wall does not cost very much, at least if one realizes it himself, because the tariffs of the specialized companies are sometimes high. The stand itself is affordable. We must add the hydroponic equipment, with the pump and timer, and of course the lighting equipment. The purchase of plants, however, is often a significant sum.
The electricity bill for the consumption of the pump and lamps is not excessive - about 50 € per year for a wall of 3 m² (the amount varies depending on the electricity supplier, but there is no big difference). And there are also, of course, fertilizers and other products for the nutrient solution.
Technical questions for a plant wall
It is probably less difficult to maintain an aquarium of exotic fish. For its installation, it is necessary to respect a certain number of rules.
Heavy, a green wall? No, this is a misconception. With substrate cultivation, no soil, and hydroponic installation drip, it weighs less than 15 kg per square meter, less than a book shelf. Nevertheless, it must be fixed firmly, by pegging and screwing, after drilling. If you are a tenant, you can opt for a self-supporting wall resting on the tank of water reserve.
There is no theoretical limit. However, beyond a certain height (3 or 4 m), it is necessary to use a very powerful pump which risks being a little too noisy. On the health side, there is no problem. We can line the plant apartment, there will be ano negative impact on the quality of the breathed air, on the contrary. But it is necessary to provide good ventilation of the room.
Unless it is placed in front of a large bay window or under a canopy, lighting is essential. It takes 1,200 to 1,500 lm halfway up. On the other hand, if the wall is exposed to the direct sun, a blind must be provided. The installation of a plant wall is possible in a very dark room, even in a cellar!
This is usually a hydroponic system drip. The tank is easy to hide and can be placed in a nearby room. There are self-filling tanks, which allows you to go on vacation for several weeks, in peace. Of course, the water must be supplemented with suitable fertilizers, as for any hydroponic installation. In addition, pH and EC must be adjusted.
Open or closed irrigation circuit?
As a hydroponic greenhouse plant, the wall can be irrigated in closed or open circuit.
- In the first case, the water is collected at the bottom of the panel and then fed back into the circuit by the pump.
- In the second, the pressure of the distribution circuit is used to raise the water in the pipes (with the preliminary addition of the nutrient solution). It is then recovered at the bottom of the panel and then discharged to the sewer.
Advantages and disadvantages of a plant wall at home
- The hydroponic wall is highly decorative in a living room and allows to grow many plants, even in a small apartment.
- It is possible to have several panels side by side to create a large area.
- One of the interests of hydroponics, for a plant wall, is that it helps to reduce weight, with light substrates.
- In addition, an interior green wall has a slightly positive impact on the quality of the ambient air, in particular if one favors the depolluting plants.
- A plant wall requires a very regular maintenance. In particular, it is necessary to prune a number of plants to limit their growth, especially since they grow faster with the hydroponic system.
- If it is an open green wall, wasted water and fertilizer are important.
The best plants for an indoor plant wall
- Adiantum (capillary): many species such as A. Caudatum, A. Fragrans, 'Fritz Luth', A. Microphyllum ;
- Asparagus: many species such as A. Falcatus, A. Plumosus, A. Nidus ;
- Cyrtomium falcatum (fern-holly);
- Nephrolepis (Boston fern): many species such as N. Cordata, N. Exaltata, N. Sonata ;
- Pallaea cordata, P. Rotundifolia ;
- Pteris: many species such as P. Cretica, P. Faurei, P. Parkeri, P. Serrulata.
- Anthurium ;
- Begonia: many species such as B. Masoniana, B. Rex, B. Ricinifolia ;
- Calathea (C. Makoyana, C. Rufibarba) ;
- Croton: all species;
- dieffenbachia: the D. Camilla, D. Compacta, D. Veerle ;
- Fittonia: all species;
- Maranta tricolor ;
- Peperomia: many species such as P. Argyreia, P. Caperata, P. Prostata, P. Rotundiifolia ;
- Pilea microphylla ;
- Tillandsia: all species.
- Ceropegia woodii ;
- Cordyline glauca (shrub);
- Hedera (ivy): all species (but sometimes invasive);
- Philodendron like the P. Monstera, P. Scandens ;
- Rhipsalis (cactus-mistletoe) as the R. Cereusculata, R. Pilocarpa ;
- Syngonium: many species such as S. Andrea, S. Brenda ;
- Tradescantia: all species.
This construction is extracted from the book "Indoor cultivation: hydroponics, lighting, ventilation, fertilizer" published by Rustica.