5 Best Plants For a Vertical Garden - Backyard Boss
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5 Best Plants For a Vertical Garden

A vertical garden is a great way to maximize small spaces and is a smart solution for those who need a more accessible garden! These unique and customizable greenspaces allow for a variety of plants to grow where they may not have been able to before, like apartment balconies for example. However, to get the best results, you want to first determine the right plants for your space!

What Is a Vertical Garden?

vertical garden
Image credits: By wayra via Canva

A vertical garden is simply the method of growing in a vertical space, instead of horizontally. If you have cages for your tomato plants or a trellis for vines, then you are already enjoying this way of gardening! Other vertical gardens include living walls, do-it-yourself pallet gardens, and ladder-style planter boxes. Whether you choose to have an indoor or outdoor vertical garden, the creative options are endless!

Best Plants for a Vertical Garden

Once your vertical garden design dreams are in place, the next step is to consider the conditions the plants will experience. Extra exposure to wind, sun, and air, for example, can dry the plants out faster. With these conditions in mind, read on to discover the top plants to have in your next vertical garden!


Golden Pothos Vine Houseplant
Image credits: Farhad Ibrahimzade via Shutterstock 

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) makes an excellent addition to an indoor vertical garden for several reasons. As a vine, pothos holds its own in a room and beautifully takes up space. The glossy green leaves climb up walls and trellis or whatever object you are using! Different pothos cultivars provide different shades of green that when mixed, provide visual interest and dimension.

As a low-light perennial, pothos needs only two to six hours of sunlight a day. These light requirements allow for flexibility in where you place your garden. Another low-light vine that works well in vertical gardens is the philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum).


Fern Wall
Image credits: Govind Krishnan via Unsplash

Ferns provide a wide range of beautiful foliage and, depending on the species you select, work well for both indoor and outdoor vertical gardens! Hardy species like the holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum) and the cretan brake fern (Pteris cretica) are easy to grow outdoors, while the climbing fern (Lygodium palmatum) would work beautifully climbing an indoor vertical garden. Their low light requirements allow for location flexibility as well.

Aside from working well both indoors and out, fern foliage is a big reason this plant is one of the best. From large bushy ferns like the male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) to the small round leaflets of the button fern (Pellea rotundifolia), you can fill your garden with the perfect-for-you fern.


Vertical wall pocket garden with lemon balm (melissa officinalis) and rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis prostratus), with name tags
Image credits: Pietro Tasca via Shutterstock

A vertical garden is beautiful, but why not make it functional as well? Planting herbs such as basil, dill, parsley, and cilantro will allow you to do just that! Opt for an indoor vertical garden in your kitchen to have these herbs handy for when you need them or use your outdoor walls or fences to hang baskets with herbs, opening up other garden space and allowing for easy harvesting.

Due to their smaller size, and the beauty and function they provide, consider growing herbs in your next vertical garden!


Living Wall of Succulents
Image credits: Edgar Castrejon via Unsplash

If you want a relatively easy-to-maintain vertical garden, fill it with succulents! These little beauties are visually striking with their fleshy leaves that, along with the stems and roots, store water. Due to this impressive ability, succulents are drought resistant and make them perfect plants for the well-draining environment of a vertical garden.

Succulents require a minimum of six hours of light a day and grow well indoors and out. As a bonus, succulents are air purifiers as well, which would work well for an indoor vertical garden.

Air Plants

tillandsia ionantha
Image credits: allybally4b via Pixabay

The air plants’ unique ability to grow on just about anything makes these small treasures a great choice for a vertical garden. No soil is required and so, let your creative juices flow when adding these to your space!

Air plants can be grown outside after the risk of frost has passed, or inside with bright indirect light. As another air purifying plant, keeping air plants indoors allows you to take advantage of this unique quality. Consider using air plants in the bathroom as the humidity helps them thrive!

It’s Time to Look Up!

Vertical gardening provides beauty and function to spaces that are otherwise overlooked. Vines that twist and turn and give stunning displays of green, to the functionality of an indoor herb garden, these gardens open up a whole new realm of creativity.

Do you enjoy vertical gardening? Share your favorite vertical garden plants in the comments below!

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