Succulents, otherwise known as those “cute little desert plants,” have become especially popular in recent years — and it’s no surprise why. These low-maintenance plants are easy to care for and come in a wide assortment of colors, shapes and sizes.
While individual succulents make for beautiful home accents, adding an entire succulent wall to your home, office or business will truly make a statement. An artfully designed succulent living wall can provide the perfect backdrop to any space, enhancing everything from patios and pool areas to storefronts and hotel lobbies. And, because they’re comprised of this hardy species, they’ll last for years to come — with proper care, of course.
If you like the look of succulents, read on to learn why they make great plants for living walls and vertical gardens.
What is a succulent?
Succulents are plants defined by their ability to store water in their fleshy, thick leaves and stems. In fact, the word “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus,” which means juice or sap. Over centuries, they’ve adapted to exist in harsh, dry climates, which is exactly what makes them so easy to care for today. In fact, it’s better to under-water a succulent than to over-water one!
There are over 60 different plant families that contain succulents, including cactaceae (cacti) and xanthorrhoeaceae (aloe vera calls this family home). The beauty of succulents is that they come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Here are a few common types you might find at your local garden store:
- Aloe Vera (aloe vera)
- Dudleya (echeveria)
- Hens-and-Chicks (sempervivum tectorum)
- Pig’s Ear (cotyledon orbiculata)
- Stonecrop (sedum)
- Zebra Plant (haworthia fasciata)
- Zwartkop (aeonium arboreum)
Because succulents are drought and pest-resistant, these plants are an easy choice for both indoor and outdoor living walls. They require little maintenance and moderate-to-bright sunlight to thrive as vertical wall garden plants.
When it comes to living succulent walls, they are generally comprised of modular panels that allow for customizable sizes and easy replacement of individual plants. Each panel contains a small irrigation tank at the top, along with a tray at the bottom that’s designed to hold water and retain nutrients. Panels can also be designed to attach drip lines for easy outdoor maintenance.