Sensational Ideas for Building a Living Wall Outdoors

Brr. If the recent frigid temperatures and snowfall have you thinking of the lush greens and warm sunshine that summer brings, you’re not alone. Did you know that planning improvements to your outdoor living area can help you banish the winter blues? Well, at least it does for us.

One of the coolest outdoor living trends we’ve seen lately is the living wall. Also known as a living plant wall, plant wall, green wall, or vertical garden, this feature adds character, whimsy, beauty, and elegance to your outdoor space.

Just Google “living wall outdoor” and check out all the images that come up. Chances are good you’ll fall in love with one or more of them. We can design and build a replica of any of these for you, or design something especially for you. There are also LiveWall prefabricated systems we can install that come complete with irrigation.

Some clients just want a structure that they can fill with potted plants that they change out over the seasons, while others want a truly living plant wall filled with a variety of rooted plants. In either case, you will need a structure to hold the weight of the plants, and allow them to grow into, up, and around.

These structures can be made with metal mesh, wood, metal shelving, stone, or a combination.

Where to Place a Living Wall Outdoors

You can create a living wall outdoors anywhere you want it. Some people opt to put them next to a longer set of patio stairs, against an unsightly fence, at the edge of a patio, or out in the garden. Not only does a living plant wall look beautiful, but you can also use it to create privacy, or furnish edibles for your family.

Where you place it will also help determine what plants you can or should use in your living wall. You’ll need to take the amount of sunshine the wall will receive into account when choosing your plant material.


Best Plants for Outdoor Living Walls

Which plants you ultimately choose will depend on the aesthetic you are going for, and if you want the living wall to contain plant material through all four seasons. With potted plants, you can of course switch plants out. With rooted plants, they have to do well in the Maryland / DC area climate.

We’re going to discuss rooted plants here because you don’t need suggestions for what potted plants you like.

Climbing Vines

Climbing vines are an excellent choice for a living wall outdoors. Stay away from the aggressive English ivy, which can damage walls. Good options include:

  • Virginia Creeper
  • Boston Ivy
  • Star Jasmine
  • Bougainvillea
  • Clematis
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Wisteria
  • Caroline Jessamine

*Image credits: (1, 2, 3)

Plants with Interesting Foliage

Look for plants with interesting foliage – either variegated leaves or interesting shapes and sizes. Examples include:

  • Caladium
  • Vinca
  • Ferns

Edible Plants

You can also use your living wall outdoors as a vertical herb garden or edible garden. Plant suggestions include:

  • Strawberries
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Nasturtiums

Again, which plants you choose will depend on where your outdoor living wall is located, and your personal preferences. But no matter which plants adorn your wall, it will bring beauty and vibrancy to your outdoor living space.

Dream It. Build It. Live It.

The simpler outdoor living walls could be competed as a do-it-yourself project if you have the time and want to make the effort. A more elegant and involved outdoor living wall requires a firm with design and installation expertise. LiveWell Outdoors has designed and installed numerous vertical gardens and living plant walls as part of our garden design and outdoor living services.

Just schedule a consultation to discuss your project to get started. We work with homeowners in Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia.


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Check out our free luxury Outdoor Oasis Dream Guide with some amazing ideas for building your luxury experience.