Building a wet wall !!! You got to try this

Louisville, KY

I have seen some great ideas on growing plants and tricks of the trade over the years. But this has been one of the most interesting easiest and probably most rewarding systems I have seen. I have thought about adding one of these inside my mothers were she has a perfect area for it. I could go into the detail of how to build one but this site goes into detail and has great photos of the whole process. I did not follow the directions exactly I used pond liner and nailed this to the area I wanted it and sealed off the nails with silicon. I also used the silocon to hold the capilary mat in place. The same idea but I have to change things to fit my growing conditions.

In this pic you can see were I just finished the wet wall right over top of the door way to my greenhouse. The water is caught in a small trough at the bottom and then recycled using a very small pump. The water drips down and is put back up. I added fertilizer to the water to get the plants moving. I will add photos as this matures. Before long this whole area should be over grown. I think by mid summer I should have a major difference if not sooner in the way it looks.

Here is the website on how to construct one and were my basic idea is from. Their seems to be a french guy named Patrick Blac who has used this in massive scale.

Thumbnail by bwilliams
Louisville, KY

Here is a closer picture of the plants on the capilary matting. I used velcro to hold the plants in place once they take root the velcro can easily be removed. This system seems to replicate what you see on wet cliffs were tropical plants thrive. It acts much like a hydroponic system but looks more natural. Growing them hoizontally also give a different look. As the moss starts to grow the whole area should look more like a terrarium masterpiece than a wall area.

Thumbnail by bwilliams
Louisville, KY

As you can guess I would not stop at this small area for the wet wall. The main reason I found it was because of a area of the greenhouse that I could not seem to work with. It was high up and the cat walk was not very wide. I had tried to think of what to do with this area and how I could use it for growing plants or at least cover it up so it would not take away from the rest of the greenhouse. I had looked into covering the whole thing with longfiber moss expensive and difficult to work with but it would probably work well. Also artificial rock which after looking into it seemed to be a mess. After looking this over I believe it is by far the cheepest and most rewarding way I could go with this area.
This photo shows to the left my rock wall which is about 10feet tall it also shows the small wet wall right over the doors. The top of this greenhouse is 22ft tall in the center and the cat walk is only a few feet wide. This whole area should look like a giant wet wall once done. Hopefully I will have more pics in the next few days.

Thumbnail by bwilliams
Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Just lovely!

Athens, OH

That is wild!
Can't wait to see pics later on in the year.

Beaumont, TX

oooooooooo I think this is just too cool. I remember years ago seeing a what they called a living wall either in a magazine or book where they'd used sphagnum moss stuffed under chicken wire on a wall because the lady had very little space in her side yard. It grew vertically and she even had blooming plants.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Ooooh, and we just happen to have a big piece of plexiglass going spare! Now where can I put it? :-)

Mesa, AZ(Zone 9b)

that's really cool!

Lick Creek, IL(Zone 6b)

WOW!! that is just exactly what I've been wanting and I didn't even know I wanted it. That just blows my mind, I've been lucky enough to spend time in the cloud forests of the Andes and seen things like this in its nature state...Absolutely serene. I'm thinking some kinda marriage between an interior rock wall I have and some Hypertufa. Wow, my poor old brain just got a new playground, THANKS, BWilliams, thats great.

Louisville, KY

I am glad you enjoyed it. My mother has a large area in her house with a indoor pond. I am thinking of removing the pond and all and putting one of these in its place that will also be a pond at the bottom. I ran it by her today and she seemed very interested in it. She has a hard time keeping house plants looking good and she loves orchids. I think this would be something she would love.
The larger one I am building on the top portion of my greenhouse should be done soon. I will post photos as I finish it up.

Thumbnail by bwilliams
Lick Creek, IL(Zone 6b)

Good for you, I'll bet your mom is just plain pleased as can be with that kind of stuff. Say, I ain't a mom but would you be interested in being adopted...I got a birthday comin' up an' I know just what you could get me. Actually I've already tried to rope one of my sons into helping with this kind of thing but he just changed his phone number, again. Great idea again, thanks , Steve

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Photo Of the Day!

Louisville, KY

Its been a long time sense I got photo of the day. LOL

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Thank you so much for starting this thread!!


Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

I think this idea is superb!

Victoria BC, Canada(Zone 9a)

Wow that is just an awesome idea. Now where can I put one hmmmm:)
Thanks for shaing the ideas.


Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

Wonderful addition to your wall..looks to be a great use of the space.. and an update on Maidens memory of the sphagnum mosss and chicken wire ..
I build a moss and chicken wire appliance back in the 60's..that's1968... not a temperature... I called it my vertical strawberry wall.. it had a shaped aspect to an elongated W along the top with the rest squared off on the sides and bottom.. and hung on the wall with 1" white and gold yacht braid..[high end docking line ] the shape had meaning of it's own.. somewhat a homeage to a part of female anatomy.. which bore fruit.. the strawberries.. this was a part of a bunch of plant/art pieces.. from back then..but it was filled with the moss Maiden suggested 6 " thick and 8 feet long and grew strawberries inside.. well they were suposed to grow better than they the cropping of strawberries is very seasonal... I finally removed the plants.. and painted the moss.. to give it a diferent but similar look..
But I do love the idea of vertical growing .. such a spacesaver.. and much better viewing ..over looking down on the plants...... far fetched...but none the less beautiful... I know... pictures... I've got to digitalize a million slides ..soon as I have a million minutes to devote to it.. I bought a scanner a bunch of years ago.. that was suposed to do it .. but the quality was so poor I stopped.. but the new ones will do much better..I'm sure.. better to devote today to doing something for today..anyway keep up the future there.. Gordon

Lick Creek, IL(Zone 6b)

BWilliams, or any one, How much water flow do you have to use to keep the wall wet? Is there some kind of formula to figure out how big or small a pump to use? Also the capillary mat, where do you get these at...I'm really new to this idea but I want to play with it some. What type of plants/epyphites are you using? I appreciate any pointers you might want to share. Thanks, Steve/Yarapa

(Zone 9a)

Gordon, if you ever find a scanner that does work well for your slides please start a new thread and share the info with us. I have many very old slides of my parent's gardens on LI and like to use them when I am presenting but using a slide projector is passe these days; I need to start using power point.

Louisville, KY

The flow of water is not extremely important but you do want it to drip and you do not want a huge current going down the wall. I had talked to the store were I got my pump I told them that I wanted it to drip and that it was about 3 feet tall and 6 feet long. They picked out a small pump that had an adjustable rate on it so I can make it more or less powerful. You can do this with most pumps by adding a Y piece and a on and off valve. I would just make sure the pump is atleast powerful enough to get the water to the highest point. As for the capilary mat here is the place I got mine from.

Also I found that silicon does not work near as well as roofing cement used on rubber lined roofs. It is made to stick to rubber roofs and it is extremely tough and usually the same price. For larger projectes I recommend using treated wood to hold the capilary matting up at the top and on the sides. A little glue on the nail and wood will help prevent a leak. But for a larger project keeping a lot of plants stable up their needs a bit more support.

Thumbnail by bwilliams
Lick Creek, IL(Zone 6b)

Thanks, I'll be starting small for the first project just to see how it all works. I appreciate your time in responding to the questions, Take care, Steve/Yarapa

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

I can't wait to see it as it fills in. What a great idea. I have never even heard of such a thing.

Key West, FL(Zone 11)

Brian, maybe i missed something, but whats between the fabric and the Plexi/Backing board. I see that the plants are attached by velcro now but what will give them support when they get bigger.

Louisville, KY

On my wall I am useing a pondliner for the back and frame it to the wall so it will not go anywhere. The next is Capilary mat I am useing roof glue for rubber roofs to hold it in place. Then the plants are attached with velcro this is just to keep them in place till they take root to the capilary matting. Once in the mat the velcro is removed and the plant will stay attached like a epiphyte does on a tree branch.

Thomasville, GA(Zone 8b)

Thank you so much for a great idea! I was able to visit Callaway Gardens a few weeks ago, they had a fantastic greenhouse that contained :

dry stone wall gardens (succulents & bulbs)
a waterfall with wet walls on either side with orchids/epiphites receiving the splash & heavy mist,
and an upper area with tillandsia receiving the humidity.

All of those habitats in a single greenhouse...and done to perfection so that you could see them from above and below. I was absolutely blown away! Next time I will bring a camera.......


Key West, FL(Zone 11)

I thought you might like to check this out

Winnipeg, MB(Zone 4a)

Wow!!! Thanks for the link, Celt! That is amazing!!
:) Donna

Miami, FL

I recently returned from Tokyo where at the Prada store I saw this plaza wall covered with what look like tiles of moss. Upon further inspection, the tiles are created by squares of steel mesh holding in dirt upon which the moss is growing. The building was finished back in 2005 and the growth is still not very lush or full. I wonder how efficient the system is. I wonder if anyone might have any information on this system or methodology? Thanks...

Thumbnail by macleod5000
Miami, FL

Here is a closer look...

Thumbnail by macleod5000
Decatur, IL(Zone 5b)

OH WOW My brain is going wild as to what and where to do this. I cant wait to get started. Thank you so much for the idea and keep the pictures coming want to see your progress.


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