Growing plants vertically is a great way to utilise garden space, especially when it’s is in short supply! Vertical garden plants can be aesthetic and easy to grow. This is our guide to the best plants for vertical gardening.
Flowering plants can look truly amazing when planted vertically, and there are so many different genus and species to choose from. We can’t possibly list them all but here are what we consider the best options.
A versatile genus with many options for vertical gardening. We recommend trailing begonia, which can grow branches of up to 8 feet, which makes them an ideal choice for hanging baskets.
They need fertile well draining soil and that should be watered when it feels dry (be careful not to overwater). Partial shade is best; these plants need light but should avoid the hot sun or risk being burned.
These are climbing plants with many varieties to choose from. Roses are vibrant and fragrant flowers that really capture the feel of an English cottage garden.
Depending on the variety they can grow upwards of 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Most will require full sun, blooming during the summertime into the fall.
Great for climbing in pots and containers, Petunias are very popular flowers for vertical gardens. There are 20 different species and so come in varying shapes and sizes. The flowers bloom in the summer until early fall in beautiful shades of white, pink and lavender.
Climbing petunia can grow up to 6 feet. Petunias need moist, rich well drained soil and ideally full sun.
Produces stunning trumpet shaped flowers in purples, blues, whites, pinks or even mixed colors. Morning Glory (also known as Moonflower) is a fantastic looking flowering vine that is sure to make any vertical garden pop. There are over 1000 varieties to choose from.
Growing up to 8 feet tall, they require plenty of sunshine and bloom in summer to early fall. Soil should be well drained and fertile.
Bright vibrant patterned flowers that are perfect for planting in vertical garden pots. They are edible plants and can also bloom in the colder seasons.
They need partial sunlight in a place where it is not too hot. It’s common to plant Pansies where they have access to direct sunlight in the morning time, and shade in the afternoon when it’s hot.
As you can see, there are plenty of beautiful flowers for vertical garden!
Please note that this is general growing guidance and may vary for different varieties. Always check the requirements for the species you are growing.
Ferns are ideal covering plants for vertical living wall gardens. This is because they grow quickly (generally grow downward), covering large areas of wall, filling it with lush green leaves.
Consider these varieties:
- Sword Fern
- Bird’s Nest Fern
- Blue Star Fern
Bromeliads are ideal for vertical gardens; not only do their colorful leaves look great, but they take up little growing space due to their shallow roots. Consider them if you want long last blossoms in your vertical garden.
They’re also easier to grow due to their humidity resistance.
It’s common to see many types of herbs growing vertically. Here are some great picks for living walls or a vertical herb garden:
It’s also possible to grow vegetables using vertical gardening techniques. Just make sure that your plants are well cared for. All of these options grow best in full sunlight with well drained, fertile soil.
- Scarlet runner bean
- Swiss Chard
They are incredibly adaptive and low maintenance. Succulents have shallow roots that will grow outwards. Great plants for hanging gardens and containers.
- White Mexican Rose
- Jade Plant
Don’t assume all plants need the same amount of light and make sure you choose plants carefully based on their individual requirements. Some plants will need lots of direct sun and others will need indirect light or shade in order to grow.
When researching plants for vertical gardens, you need to consider soil moisture, pH and nutrient levels. So make sure you pay attention to drainage and the amount you are watering.
Plants have different temperature requirements. The best plants for your vertical gardens will thrive in your local climate or be native to your area.
Check the humidity of your environment and the humidity resistance of your chosen plants.
Rate of Growth
Certain plants will grow faster than others. When creating living walls, it’s important to check the rate of growth and ensure that one plant doesn’t outgrow and dominate the others.
We obviously want our vertical garden or living wall to look great! So it’s important not to get lost in our other considerations when creating a design.
To make a vertical garden more aesthetic consider:
- Making sure that you pair plants together with different size leaves. If everything is a similar size it will look unnatural.
- Colorful leaves and flowers
Indoors vs Outdoors
Vertical gardens can be grown with little space, making them ideal for gardening in small spaces indoors. Many houseplants can be ideal plants for vertical planters or a plant wall. If you plan to have. Indoor garden plants will thrive in low light conditions or indirect sunlight.
If you want some more tips for small space gardening, check out our ideas here.
For an outdoor vertical garden we will be choosing plants that require more light. Plant varieties like the many species of flowers we have recommended, will need bright light for most of the day.