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Best Plants for Growing in Vertical Gardens (2023)

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best plants for a vertical gardenHello fellow gardener,

You’ve stumbled upon an oasis – a vertical garden overflowing with life’s vibrant hues. Like ivy climbing brick walls or grapes dangling from pergolas, vertical gardening allows us to transcend the confines of horizontal beds and experience the thrill of growth unbound.

With the right know-how, even the most compact apartment can become a living Eden. From herbs to vegetables, flowers to ferns, the possibilities are endless when you plant vertically.

All you need are sunlight, soil, water, and the willingness to nurture new life within confined spaces.

The journey begins with a single seed. With patience and care, you’ll watch each tender green shoot reach for the skies. Soon leaves will unfurl, buds will blossom, and you’ll stand beneath a living masterpiece crafted by your own green thumb.

So let’s delve in and learn how to build the vertical garden of your dreams!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose plants that trail, climb vines, or have vining growth like string of pearls, morning glories, and black-eyed susan vine.
  • Match plants to the proper sunlight exposure, soil drainage, and moisture needs for the location.
  • Add trellises and vertical supports for climbing plants to grow upwards.
  • Plant a mix of herbs such as thyme, oregano, and basil that can be frequently harvested.

What is Vertical Gardening?

What is Vertical Gardening
You’ll quickly find that a vertical garden lets you grow in tight spots. Consider climbing vines, trailing plants, and compact varieties bred for containers when planning your vertical garden. Choose climate-adapted varieties to match your region. Pepperomias, ivies, and succulents like jade thrive on vertical supports.

Vining tomato and cucumber plants save space while producing. Try vertical gardening with a trellis, hanging pots, or living wall planters. Mix sun-lovers like petunias with shade plants like begonias based on light exposure.

With the right plant picks, your vertical garden opens up small areas for beauty and fresh flavor.

Vertical Garden Benefits

Vertical Garden Benefits
Vertical gardens allow you to maximize every square inch. After discussing the fundamentals, let’s highlight the many benefits of going vertical.

With the right setup, vertical gardening opens new possibilities. Suddenly, you can grow herbs on a balcony, vegetables in a narrow bed, or a living wall of flowers. The compact footprint lets you tuck edibles and ornamentals into tight spots. This convenience pairs perfectly with container gardening.

Just position vertical planters against sunny walls or on decks. The vertical dimension accommodates vining and trailing varieties in less horizontal space. For urban gardeners and anyone with limited room, vertical gardening expands your plant palette.

With a bit of creativity, you can cultivate beauty and fresh flavors in the most unlikely places.

Best Vertical Garden Plants

Best Vertical Garden Plants
Let’s put that vertical space in your garden or balcony to work! You can populate your living walls with trailing, climbing, and vining plants that cascade down while taking up minimal ground area. For trailing varieties like string of pearls, position hanging planters along the top of your vertical garden.

Climbing plants like English ivy can cling to trellises or walls with their aerial rootlets and adhesive pads.

You’ll also want to include vining plants like black-eyed Susan vine that happily wander upward when given a support structure. With the right mix of downward-growing plants, your vertical garden will soon be dripping with ornamental greenery and flowers.

Trailing Plants

Consider miniature tradescantia and creeping jenny for their trailing purple leaves that delicately drape over the edges of your vertical garden. To add depth, opt for ivy geraniums, sweet potato vines, trailing lobelia, verbena, and calibrachoa.

Their cascading nature shines when allowed to tumble over ledges. Let these beauties drape freely to maximize visual intrigue.

Climbing Plants

Morning glories and moonflowers unfurl their vibrant blossoms as they eagerly ascend your vertical garden’s trellises and mesh panels.

The vibrant blooms of morning glories, moonflowers, and cardinal climbers unfold overhead as they ascend mesh and trellises. Their eager climbing vines and heart-shaped leaves add verdant foliage and bountiful summertime flowers.

Vining Plants

Discover how trailing plants like pepperomias and English ivy spill lushly over the edges of your living walls. Select vining varieties that will cascade down your vertical gardens. Pothos’ heart-shaped leaves can trail from high windows.

String of pearls’ spherical foliage can dangle from wire frames. Philodendron’s satiny leaves can spill from wall planters.

Choosing the Right Plants

Choosing the Right Plants
When designing your vertical garden, carefully consider the sunlight, soil, and water needs of your plants. Start by taking stock of the light exposure in the space where your living wall will reside – is it shaded or does it receive direct sun? This will guide your plant selections, as certain varieties thrive in bright light while others require shade.

Also, research the soil needs of candidate plants, as some do best in moisture-retentive soil while others prefer quick drainage.

The right plant picks matched to available sunlight, amended growing medium, and your commitment to a watering routine will ensure your living wall thrives.

Sunlight Needs

You’ll paint your vertical garden in shades of green when you match sunlight needs to plant selections. When choosing varieties, opt for container-friendly, dwarf and smaller-sized plants that thrive in the sun exposure your vertical garden receives.

Miniature sedums and hens-and-chicks will flourish with ample sunlight, while shade-loving ferns and ivies tolerate lower light.

Soil Needs

Opt for plants with shallow root systems when selecting varieties for your vertical garden’s soil needs.

  1. Directly seed plants that thrive in vertical soil conditions.
  2. Use a row cover for protection and moisture retention.
  3. Select varieties that need good drainage and frequent watering with ample air circulation.

The right plants will flourish when you match soil needs in your vertical garden design.

Water Needs

Pick plants that thrive with the watering frequency your vertical garden allows. Select varieties with low water needs like succulents and cacti. Or, choose edibles with shallow root systems – radishes, lettuce, herbs. Match plants to your vertical garden’s light and water conditions for success.

Vertical Gardening Tips

Vertical Gardening Tips
Welcome to your vertical garden guide! As you design and install your living walls and hanging gardens, a couple helpful techniques will ensure your plants thrive.

Firstly, set up trellises, strings, or other structures for vining plants to climb and creep upwards.

Secondly, when planting successive crops each season, rotate placement of plant families between containers. Moving vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and greens around prevents soil nutrient imbalances and discourages pests.

Applying these fundamental methods for supporting and rotating vertical crops will optimize the health and productivity of your living walls.

Now let’s dive into the key details of trellising and rotating to make your vertical garden flourish!

Trellises and Supports

Add structure and allow climbing vegetation to freely grow up walls on trellises. Weave flexible plant walls with vertical elements like metal rods or wooden slats. This support system gives indeterminate varieties space to keep producing while defining your aesthetic.

Let vines wander or train stems for an orderly look. Thoughtfully designed trellises maximize vertical growing space and personal panache.

Crop Rotation

Rotate crops seasonally in your vertical garden to renew the soil and prevent pest buildup.

  • Directly sow quick crops like lettuce and radishes in early spring.
  • Sow warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers after the last frost.
  • Follow with cool weather crops like kale in late summer.
  • Herb gardens thrive with basil in summer and parsley in fall.
  • Rotate plant families – avoid planting related plants in the same spot.

Vertical Herb Garden

Vertical Herb Garden
See the bushy, aromatic basil and parsley tumbling abundantly from your wall planters. With just a few vertical supports and varied planting options, herbs thrive in small spaces. Picture frames, DIY living walls, or simple stands display disease-resistant varieties.

Compact mints, thyme, sage, and oregano suit vertical cultivation. Thrive on the excitement of harvesting vibrant herbs without large beds.

Vertical Vegetable Garden

Vertical Vegetable Garden
See ripe cherry tomatoes peeking between creeping vines as cucumbers curl down trellised walls. Vertical vegetable gardening allows you to cultivate fresh produce in tight spaces.

  1. Grow vining tomatoes, cucumbers, peas against mesh walls.
  2. Try compact lettuce varieties and spinach in vertical planters.
  3. Strawberries trailing from hanging pots offer sweet treats.
  4. Plant quick-growing herbs like basil to harvest all season.

Growing up maximizes flavorful veggies and herbs in urban corners and porches. Discover expanded horizons for homegrown sustenance in innovative vertical cultivation.

Vertical Flower Garden

Vertical Flower Garden
Watch trailing petunias cascade in vibrant hues down living walls as you inhale the sweet scent of climbing jasmine. Create a vertical oasis amidst urban concrete with flowering vines and trailing plants grown in vertical gardens.

Select sun-loving annuals like nasturtiums and morning glories to climb trellises and mesh panels. Use self-clinging stems of creeping fig and Boston ivy to cloak vertical structures in lush greenery.

Or choose perfumed blooms of star jasmine and passionflower to scent the air. With the right mix of colorful, scented varieties, your vertical flower garden will flourish, transforming sterile walls into vibrant, fragrant havens.

Create a living wall of color and fragrance with trailing petunias, jasmine, and ivy. Grow sun-loving vines like nasturtiums and morning glories on trellises. Creeping fig and Boston ivy will cover vertical structures in greenery.

Blooming star jasmine and passionflower scent the air. With the right mix, your vertical garden will flourish, transforming walls into vibrant, fragrant havens.

Indoor Vertical Garden

Indoor Vertical Garden
Let’s walk through an indoor vertical garden. If the center of gravity is off, the whole structure may tip over. Spider plants are good for a vertical garden because they don’t require much care. The spider plant has long leaves that spill over the sides. Pothos is another good option.

It is fast growing and will quickly fill out a vertical garden. Herbs like thyme and oregano are also a possibility. They will add scent and flavor. Leafy greens like lettuce and kale grow well too. They will give you something to harvest from the garden. Be sure to include trailing plants around the edges.

Trailing plants will soften the look and help hide any walls or infrastructure that holds up the garden. Place taller plants towards the back so they don’t block light from reaching shorter plants. Arrange plants with different textures and colors together for visual interest. Group those with similar needs.

For example, keep sun loving plants together away from shade lovers. Water the plants by hand or use a drip irrigation system. This will keep the leaves dry and prevent fungal diseases. Make sure air can circulate between the plants.

Outdoor Living Wall

Outdoor Living Wall
Looking to bring your vertical garden outdoors? An outdoor living wall adds greenery and fresh flavor to patios, porches, and beyond. Start by choosing a sturdy wall or railing that gets direct sunlight. Use succulents like hens and chicks for drought tolerance.

Radishes and green onions grow quickly. Plant zucchini vines in the middle to climb up a trellis. Include herbs like oregano and thyme for seasoning dishes. Swiss chard provides vitamins and color. Train tomatoes or peppers along the base. Check for pests like aphids under leaves.

An outdoor living wall beats a blank wall any day. Enjoy relaxing amidst nature without leaving home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much sunlight do vertical gardens need?

Sunlight is crucial for vertical gardens. Place your garden in a south-facing spot to maximize sun exposure. Most veggies and herbs need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, while shade plants only need 2-4 hours.

What types of containers work best for vertical gardening?

You’ll want containers with good drainage for vertical gardening. Try fabric pots, self-watering containers, or wall planters with built-in irrigation. Match the depth to your plants’ root systems. For smaller spaces, opt for narrow or tiered planters that maximize vertical space.

Focus on high quality soil and proper watering to keep plants thriving in containers.

How often do I need to water a vertical garden?

You’ll need to check your vertical garden daily and water when the top inch of soil feels dry. The frequency depends on your climate, the plants’ needs, and container type. Aim for moist but not soaked soil by adjusting for weather and growth stages.

What are some good vertical gardening systems I can purchase?

Look into vertical gardening systems from reputable brands like VertiGarden, Green Walls, and Woolly Pocket. These pre-made vertical planters are designed to maximize your vertical space while being easy to install and maintain.

How much maintenance does a vertical garden require?

A vertical garden requires regular watering, pruning, and cleaning to thrive. Check plants daily, provide support as needed, and groom overgrowth to maximize health. With attentive, consistent care your vertical garden will flourish for years to come.


You have many options when planting a vertical garden! Choose varieties carefully based on sunlight, soil needs, and water requirements. Trailing foliage, climbing vines, and cascading blooms are perfectly suited for growing upwards.

With the right selection and proper care, your vertical garden will overflow with botanical beauty.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.