Living walls have increased in popularity over the past few years and while many people would love to put up a wall in their home or office, the same people tell us that the thought of doing it themselves is too intimidating, that they wouldn’t even know where to start. Let’s take a closer look at what it actually takes to get a living wall installed.
As we look at a sample indoor project, the first thing we want to know is, where is this wall going to go? If we cannot visit the site personally, we will try to get pictures from as many angles of the area as possible. For an indoor project, we always want to consider the lighting. Unless there is a great deal of natural light near the wall, we will need to consider bringing in special living wall lighting to keep the plants healthy and happy, as well as highlight the wall itself. GrowUp offers a modular growlight that is specifically designed to keep living walls healthy and make them look great.
Next, we want to make sure we have access to power nearby. This is mandatory, as we must be able to plug in the pump. If we are looking at a new build or a remodel, then we also want to look at the possibility of bringing a water line to the wall. The best-case scenario would be to have power, water, and a drain line all brought to the wall.
Once we have the space finalized, we can then give a formal estimate of the equipment costs based on the height and width of the wall. This will also tell us the number of plants that are going to be needed. Plants should be sourced with as much lead time as possible to ensure you get the plants you want. GrowUp offers a list of plants that been successful on previous installations and can be found HERE. We can also help source and even supply plants in many parts of the country.
Once we have approval for the project, we create a CAD drawing that gives you the exact layout for the wall. We also offer and encourage you to book a meeting with us online to go over some of the tips and best practices of installing the GrowUp system to ensure your project goes smoothly.
Now that all the planning is complete, the installation now comes into play. This is where many people can feel overwhelmed, but the reality is the installation is quite simple, especially if we take in in small steps. Let’s take for example the 6’ 1” tall x 6’ 3” wide wall in the drawing and break it down into steps.
- Installing the plywood base. Our recommendation is to put a plywood base onto the wall and mount it to the studs for support. For those without a table saw at home, places like Home Depot have saws and will cut your plywood sheets to the exact dimensions for no added cost. Purchase two 4' x 8’ sheets of plywood and have them cut to the dimensions on the CAD drawing. Using a stud finder attach the plywood to the wall.
- Next, you can choose to apply a waterproof membrane onto the plywood. Something like Subseal40 works well as you just peel and stick it onto the plywood sheeting. You can then choose to run your black plastic sheeting (included with the GrowUp system) over the waterproof membrane as another layer of protection.
- Following the GrowUp directions and using mostly a level and a drill, you can install the system quite easily.
- Hang the plants on the rails making sure to start at the bottom and take the time to hang each plant straight so water flows down through each pot.
- Run the system and make sure the water is draining through each of the pots and is being collected back into the catch tanks at the bottom of the wall.
GrowUp provides support on a number of levels from instructions, videos, phone calls and even video meetings. We will also stick with you after the installation and do our best to help you with any plant maintenance questions that come up. Our goal is to prepare you for a successful living wall that you can enjoy for years to come.