Green Walls: Design, Installation, and Maintenance

Transform Your Space with a Stunning Green Wall

As urbanization expands the need for eco-friendly and sustainable environments increases. Green walls are an excellent way to improve the health of urban developments without taking up space. With our expertise in green wall design, installation, and maintenance, we offer a comprehensive solution that transforms ordinary walls into captivating living works of art. If you’re new to green walls, continue reading to learn about the different factors that go in to creating them. If you just want to see the green walls we have installed and maintain, click the button below.

Green Wall Varieties

Modular Panel System:

Pre-planted living wall systems that are installed onto a wall as complete panels. The panels are made up of a metal or plastic frame and contain a growing medium, irrigation system, and plants. Modular panel systems are often used for outdoor installations.

Modular Tray System:

Tray living wall systems can be super simple or very complex, but the plants are grown in grow pots and placed in the trays that are affixed to the wall. The trays can be easily replaced if needed and are often used for indoor installations. This system is turn-key meaning it will be vibrant and beautiful from day 1.

residence with an indoor living green wall modular tray system
apartment complex lounge area with exterior artificial green wall

Faux Green Walls:

Also known as artificial green walls, are a popular alternative to living walls for those who want the aesthetic benefits of greenery without the maintenance requirements. These walls are made up of artificial plants that are attached to a wall or grid panel.

Moss Walls:

Moss walls are made from preserved moss and can be used to create a green wall effect with very little need for maintenance. There are many varieties of moss to create with. Their low maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in various indoor settings make them a versatile and sustainable choice for transforming any space into a visually stunning and revitalizing oasis. Check out our custom preserved moss walls by Clicking Here.

What are the benefits of green walls?

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1. Increased Productivity

According to a scientific study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, green walls have been shown to significantly reduce stress levels and enhance cognitive function, leading to increased productivity among employees.

Source: Physiological and Psychological Affects of Green Walls on Occupants

2. Reduced Energy Costs

Green walls can help to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by buildings, reducing energy costs for cooling. A study by the International Council On Materials and Energy found that green walls can reduce the surface temperature of buildings by up to 25%.

Source: Green wall impacts inside and outside buildings: experimental study

3. Noise reduction

Plants can absorb sound waves, reducing noise pollution. A study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that green walls can reduce noise levels by up to 8 decibels.

Source: Green Walls Reduce Outdoor Ambient Particulate Matter, Noise Pollution and Temperature

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Green walls can add beauty and visual interest to buildings and public spaces. A study by the Environmental Science Pollution Research Institution found that green walls can increase the perceived attractiveness of a building which then increases foot traffic.

Source: Living walls enhancing the urban realm: a review

5. LEED & WELL Points

Green walls can help meet several LEED criteria, such as improving indoor air quality, reducing energy consumption, and promoting biophilia. Additionally, green walls can contribute to the WELL Building Standard by enhancing indoor environmental quality, providing opportunities for physical activity and relaxation, and creating a visually appealing and biophilic environment that supports occupant well-being.

How are Green Walls Designed?

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Planning and designing is a crucial step in ensuring the success of a green wall project. There are several factors to consider when planning and designing your green wall:

What is the purpose of your green wall?

Understanding the purpose for your green wall will help with choosing a location.

  • Are you using it for it’s health benefits?
  • Are you trying to enhance your brand image?
  • Are you wanting to use it as a background for social media moments?

What are the environmental conditions of your space?

The environmental conditions will dictate which green wall option will work best for your space. Live plants require specific amounts of light, temperatures, and humidity. Moss walls require no direct sunlight along with a moderate humidity level. Artificial green walls may get damaged in high traffic areas and can fade over time in extreme sun conditions.

Estimating maintenance costs

Whereas moss walls and artificial green walls require little to no maintenance, living green walls require weekly to quarterly maintenance. This includes pruning, monitoring moisture levels, fertilizing, and pest control. Living walls over 15ft tall will also require an aerial lift or scissor lift in order to reach all of the plants.

How are Green Walls Installed?

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The first step is to install the necessary framework or support structure on the wall or building façade, considering load-bearing capacities (10-25lbs/sqft). This framework serves as the foundation for the green wall and provides the necessary anchoring and stability for the plants. Afterwards, the irrigation and drainage systems are incorporated to supply water and nutrients to living walls. Finally, the chosen plant species are carefully installed, ensuring proper spacing, layout, and growth conditions. For artificial green walls and moss walls the process can be as simple as hanging a picture.

exterior living green wall being professionally installed by foliage design systems expert green wall installers

What are the Best Plants to Use for Vertical Gardens?

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Based on the conditions of the space, our team will select plants that are well-suited to the environment and can thrive in the vertical growing conditions of the living wall. We will also consider the design aesthetic and color scheme, selecting plants that complement the overall look and feel of the space. Additionally, the team will consider the maintenance requirements of each plant species, selecting those that are easy to care for and can withstand the stresses of vertical growth.

  • Succulents, such as Echeveria, Sedum, and Sempervivum, which are drought-tolerant and low maintenance.
  • Ferns, such as Boston Fern, Maidenhair Fern, and Staghorn Fern, which thrive in high humidity environments and provide lush greenery.
  • Tropical plants, such as Anthurium, Philodendron, and Pothos, which are well-suited to indoor environments and provide a range of colors and textures.
  • Flowering plants, such as Petunias, Calibrachoas, and Geraniums, which add color and vibrancy to the living wall.

How are Vertical Gardens Watered?

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Proper irrigation and drainage systems are essential for the health and longevity of a living wall. Without adequate irrigation, the plants in the wall can become dehydrated and die, while poor drainage can lead to waterlogged soil and root rot.

Drip irrigation system:

This system involves running tubes or pipes along the top of the wall and using drippers to distribute water directly to the plants. Drip irrigation systems are efficient and provide a steady supply of water to the plants, reducing the risk of overwatering. This system can be particularly useful for living walls in indoor spaces, where it may be difficult to access the plants for watering.

interior living green wall being hand watered by a foliage design systems horticulture technician

Hand Watering:

Hand watering is a simple and effective method for irrigating living walls. This method involves manually watering the plants using a hose, watering can, or other watering device. Hand watering can be beneficial in small-scale living walls where irrigation needs are relatively low, or where there is limited access to electricity or a water source.

How do You Maintain Living Walls?

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Maintaining a green wall is crucial to ensure the longevity and health of the plants. There are several key aspects of maintenance that must be considered, including watering and fertilizing, pruning and trimming, pest and disease management, and troubleshooting common issues.

Watering and Fertilizing

The amount and frequency of watering will depend on the plants used and the type of system installed. Automatic irrigation systems can be programmed and adjusted easily to find the sweet spot for your plants. Fertilization is also important to provide essential nutrients to the plants. A balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 is typically used, and the frequency of application will depend on the specific plant needs.

Pruning and Trimming

It is important to use the proper tools and techniques to avoid damaging the plants. Dead or damaged foliage should be removed promptly to prevent disease and pest issues. For walls over 6ft to 14ft, a ladder should be used to reach the top. For walls that are 15ft and taller, heavy machinery may be required such as a scissor lift or a boom lift. Make sure to add the cost of renting or buying a lift to the maintenance budget.

Disease and Pest Control

Regular inspections of the plants are necessary to identify any issues early on. Common pests that may affect living green walls include spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot can also occur. Proper care and maintenance can help prevent pest and disease issues.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Some common issues include yellowing leaves, drooping plants, mold growth, drain clogs, and leaks. These issues may be caused by overwatering, underwatering, inadequate lighting, nutrient deficiencies, and soil erosion. It is important to address any issues promptly to prevent further damage to the plants.

Artificial Green Walls

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Faux green walls, also known as artificial green walls, are a popular option for those who want the look of a living green wall without the maintenance or expense. These walls are typically made of high-quality synthetic materials that are designed to mimic the look and feel of real plants.

Manufacturers of faux green walls use a variety of materials to create realistic-looking foliage. Some use silk or polyester to create the leaves, while others use plastic or other synthetic materials. The leaves are then attached to a backing material, such as mesh or foam, to create the wall panel. The panels can be mounted directly onto a wall using screws, nails, or adhesive. Some manufacturers also offer modular systems that allow for easy installation and customization. The nuances appear when dealing with the structure itself. Mounting panels on drywall is a very different process than mounting panels on stone or stucco. Over time, the colors may fade due to exposure to sunlight, but this can be easily remedied with a fresh coat of paint or purchasing UV protected product. UV protected material will last longer in the sun than non-protected material but will still fade over time.

award winning custom designed moss wall art installed by foliage design systems in a hotel lobby

Moss Walls

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Moss walls are a unique and eco-friendly way to bring a touch of greenery into any space. These green walls are made entirely of preserved moss and require little maintenance beyond occasional dusting and rehydration. There are several types of moss that can be used in moss walls, each with its own unique texture and color. Check out our hand crafted custom moss wall installations by clicking here.

Our customers love our products

Great customer service is the heart of our business. Hear from our happy customers who kindly shared their opinion.


“Foliage Design Systems really worked with me to help me achieve my goals of having a living wall in my hair salon. Scott is extremely knowledgeable and is willing to help in anyway that he can. This Living wall is the focal point of my shop and I would do it all over again. Thank you so much FDS for making my space beautiful!”

Stephanie Runyan


Amaryllis Salon


“I have been working with you for six years now and have to say that as we are growing, Foliage Design Systems is growing better and better. You have definitely exceeded my expectations of what your company would be able to assist with. After seeing what you can do with our properties, I have compete confidence that there is no job that FDS can’t handle.”

Ms. Teresa Donahue

Director of Administration

Sierra Lodgings, Inc.


“On behalf of SunTrust Bank, I would like to express our appreciation for your many years of dedicated service. With over a decade with us, I never received a complaint with the look of our large inventory of plants. We have always been pleased with your exceptional level of service. Your staff is courteous, professional, and unobtrusive which is invaluable in a large office building setting. This level of attention to detail places you in a class above. I personally thank you for making one aspect of my job easier – the satisfaction of my customers.”

Thomas J. Kurhanewicz

AVP, Corporate Real Estate

Property Management

Foliage Design Systems

Foliage Design Systems