IN NATURE PLANTS CAN BE FOUND GROWING ON VERTICAL SURFACES LIKE CLIFF FACES OR TREE TRUNKS. UNDERSTANDING THIS GROWING ENVIRONMENT IS KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY REPLICATE IT IN VERTICAL GARDENS.
Vertical growing locations such as rocks, cliffs or tree trunks are normally soilless and well drained, yet offers a stable support for roots to attach to. VGD’s cultivation technique replicates these conditions creating an ideal vertical growing environment.
Epiphytic plants grow on other plants and are most common in humid and rainy tropical climates. Typical epiphytic houseplants are Asplenium nidus (bird's-nest fern), Platycerum bifurcatum (Staghorn fern), Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick plant), and aroids such as Philodendron, Anthurium, and Monstera.
Lithophytic plants grow on rocks and are also more frequent in places with high humidity, such as on coastal cliffs or next to waterfalls. Saxifragaceae is a family of plants often found growing on rocks, like the Himalayan Bergenia or North American Heuchera.
Outdoor vertical gardens require a plant selection suitable to the local climate and sun exposure. For example a sun-exposed wall in the Mediterranean can be planted with aromatic plants like Lavandula, Thymus, Rosmarinus or Salvia, whereas a shaded wall in the same location can look almost tropical with plants as Arum, Davallia, Asplenium, Begonia and Fuchsia. As with any garden it’s key choosing the right plant for the right location.
Indoor climate normally equals low light levels and around 20° C. Plants for such environments can be found under the tropical forest canopy where little light filters through and life is adapted to deep shade. Common plants used indoors are aroids like Philodendron, Anthurium and Epipremnum, gesneriads like Aeschynanthus, Columnea and Streptocarpus, ferns such as Nephrolepis, Pteris and Cyrtomium.
MORE ABOUT PLANTS
Nature’s vertical landscapes are a great source of inspiration for us. Have a look in the blog for more pictures of plants and landscapes from our field trips.