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Really you can grow almost anything you want to on a living wall. Therein lies the beauty.

Strawberries grow particularly well if you’re looking for a berry-bonanza. Ferns and succulents are hardy, tidy little plants that provide greenery and coverage all-year round. And perennials are beautiful when in flower. 

What Plants grow best on a Living Wall?

  • Sedums and succulents
  • Ferns
  • Perennials
  • Annuals
  • Tropical plants
  • Edibles
  • Herbs

Plants that need more water typically survive better at the top of the garden as they receive extra run-off from the plants above.

Flowers and vegetables need significantly more water than herbs. And the greater the water demand, the heavier the green wall will be. 

Sedums and Succulents

Ideally you need suitable succulents for smaller areas. Ones that are happy growing together. This is why the hen and chick varieties – with the rosette shaped growth – are so good for living walls.

Sempervivums in a tray


Sempervivums (always living) are really hardy succulents, typically grown in alpine regions and is used to growing in small spaces and tough conditions. The perfect option for living walls.

Whilst it dies after flowering, it will be – naturally – replaced. 


Crassula the jade plant – is probably a succulent you’ve seen growing in many homes indoors, but it has clumps of triangular leaves pointing upwards that help give your sedum crop a little height.

They require a little extra water during their periods of sustained growth (spring and summer), but like most succulents they’re very easy to grow and maintain.

This also happens to be the perfect trimming period.


Ferns are best known for growing in shady, typically sub-par conditions.

And using shade-tolerant plants is ideal if your wall gets less than half a day of sun in the height of summer.

Because they vary so much in shape and size you can choose a variety that will add stature and size – like a Royal fern – or a lower growing Shuttlecock. 

The fact that ferns are ubiquitously un-loved by anything slug and snail related is a real bonus.


Adiantum prefers bright-ish, indirect light – like something filtered through a net or curtain – which makes them a fantastic choice for indoors as they don’t do well in direct sunlight.

And your soil must be kept moist – daily watering is fairly common – and they only like a small amount of fertiliser.


Sedge is a mostly evergreen, grasslike plant with small, almost unnoticeable flowers that grow well throughout temperate and colder regions. Perfect for those UK winters where not much else grows.

Whilst they’re most commonly thought of as weeds, sedge is a great option for an outdoor, low maintenance living wall due to its ability to thrive in most conditions.

One thing you’ll need to be wary of with sedge is it’s potential rate of growth. They can grow to 4 foot in height, so you’ll need to trim it effectively


Perennials – ‘Through the Years’ – are plants that live for 2 or more years and inject a glorious dash of colour into your wall when in flower. 

After planting they’re typically very low maintenance, which always gives them an edge over annuals or biennials in our eyes. Even though their flowering period is typically only a few weeks at a time. 

Deep purple ajuga


Ajuga is a deep purple perennial that is perfect for filling a large area quickly. It’s a brilliant, cost-effective solution to cover up a larger wall.

And this member of the mint family spreads fast – so if you have other plants you want to prioritise, ajuga could be problematic. So make sure you pick surrounding plants carefully. 

It is also very attractive to pollinators, so if you’re looking to encourage biodiversity – which you should – ajuga is a great option.

Violas in flower


Violas are pansy-esque perennials that are super-easy to grow if you provide them with part shade – full sun and low-ish nutrient, moist, porous soil. Hence their popularity in living walls.

They have beautiful purple, lilac, yellow, white and blue flowers and as they grow back year after year it makes them a significantly low maintenance option.

They just need a little trimming in the summer months and watering regularly.


True annuals are plants that germinate, flower, set seed, and die all in one season.

They’re looking to reproduce themselves (set seed), which makes them perfect for green walls as they flower like mad until their mission is accomplished. 

So whilst they don’t grow back, their flowering is wonderfully dramatic. 


Vincas‘Greater periwinkles’ – are an annual, evergreen plant with beautiful violet flowers. They’re perfect for green walls because they require such minimal maintenance – they don’t even need deadheading.

Ideally they grow best in full sun – maybe with a little shade – and can tolerate some drought, but they flower best with regular watering.

They do grow and spread fairly quickly through runners underground – and weed suppression can help reduce root clumping here, as they do grow large underground networks which can be a little problematic for living walls

Tropical Plants

Tropical plants typically thrive in indoor environments because they’re used to relatively warm, humid conditions – much like our own room temperature.

Typically the more light you can provide the better – and if the wall is across from a window and there’s minimal light, then you’ll be better off supplementing with LED spots or fluorescent floodlights for healthy plants.


Anthuriums are tropical, air-purifying plants native to Central and South America, growing best in bright, indirect light.

They do have beautiful red leaves in some cases and need watering every 1-2 weeks, but let the top couple of inches dry out before watering again. They need free-draining soil that retains some moisture.

And when properly cared for they can bloom year round, each bloom lasting for a few glorious months.

They are toxic to pets however, so please be careful. 



Calathea is a plant native to the tropical Americas with beautifully ornate green and red leaves. They thrive in moist soil, ideally watering every 1-2 weeks and – like most tropical plants – they definitely don’t like the cold.

They also need sufficient misting every few days to keep their leaves moist and they prefer bright, largely indirect lighting – although they can tolerate moderate light.

Rather amazingly their leaves close at night and opens them again in the morning as light moves the joints, which can cause a rustling sound.


Generally edibles need significant sunlight (8 hours + per day) and can require additional fertiliser to put them in an optimal position.

Whilst this may not sound ideal for a green wall, the opportunity to be self-sufficient and more environmentally-friendly is – we believe – a wonderful opportunity. 


Strawberry plants have particularly shallow roots, which makes them absolutely ideal for vertical green walls.

They favour a sunny (8 hours plus each day), sheltered position in a free-draining soil – typically the soil edibles like is a little more fertile – so you could look at setting up a separate vertical wall if you’d like to grow edibles because they have slightly different requirements

Typically they need 1-2 inches of water daily and usually some additional liquid potassium feed

Summing Up: What to grow on a Living Wall

From perennials to edibles, we’ve covered some of our favourite green wall plants. But it doesn’t stop there.

Living walls are incredibly versatile and you can grow almost anything you desire. You just need to consider:

  • Weight
  • Aspect
  • Application – what is it you want form your wall.

Then you’re all ready to start building! 

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