How Can You Design a Living Wall with Tropical Plants in a Temperate Climate Home?

February 12, 2024

Are you yearning to give your home a nature-inspired upgrade? Living walls, also known as green walls or vertical gardens, are a trend catching on fast. These walls of greenery bring a slice of the tropics to your living room, hallway, or even your bedroom.

This guide will help you design a living wall with tropical plants, even if you live in a temperate climate. The task may sound daunting, but with the right tips and tools, you will soon be basking in your indoor tropical paradise.

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1. Planning your Living Wall

Before you dive into planting, you must design and plan your living wall. You might be wondering, how do I start? This section will guide you through the process of choosing the right location, selecting the appropriate wall, and deciding on the plant layout.

Firstly, identify a wall in your home that gets sufficient light, as most tropical plants require ample sunlight to thrive. If a naturally well-lit wall is not available, you can supplement with grow lights.

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Next, think about the design of your wall. Do you want a full wall of greenery or a smaller section? Will you use a ready-made vertical garden kit or build your own? Understanding the size and scope of your project will help you determine the resources you require.

Lastly, consider your plant layout. Create a sketch to visualize the final result. Try to mix different types, colors, and sizes of plants for a diverse and balanced look.

2. Building your Living Wall

You’ve planned your living wall, and now it’s time to get your hands dirty. This section will guide you through the process of building your wall, installing a watering system, and adding your plants.

Start by preparing the wall. This might involve attaching a vertical garden kit or constructing your own frame. Ensure the frame is securely fastened to the wall to support the weight of the plants and soil.

Next, you will need to install a watering system. A drip irrigation system is a popular choice for living walls, as it provides even watering without over-saturating the plants. However, watering requirements will vary depending on the type of plants you choose.

Finally, it’s time to add your plants. Carefully insert them into the pockets of the vertical garden frame, ensuring they are securely in place. Remember to follow your design layout to achieve the desired effect.

3. Choosing your Tropical Plants

The plants you choose will make your living wall truly unique. Many tropical plants can adapt to indoor conditions and even thrive in temperate climates. This section will provide some tips on selecting the right tropical plants for your living wall.

Firstly, consider the light requirements of the plants. Many tropical plants require bright, indirect light, but some can tolerate lower light conditions. Ensure the plants you choose are suitable for the light conditions of your chosen wall.

Next, think about the maintenance needs of the plants. Some tropical plants require higher humidity, regular watering, or specific soil conditions. Make sure you are prepared to meet these needs to keep your plants healthy and vibrant.

Finally, consider the aesthetic appeal of the plants. Tropical plants come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Choose plants that complement each other and contribute to the overall design of your wall.

4. Maintaining your Living Wall

Now that your living wall is set up and flourishing, it’s crucial to ensure its upkeep. Regular maintenance will not only keep your wall looking lush and beautiful, but it will also prevent any potential issues such as pests or diseases.

Begin with a regular watering routine. The frequency of watering will depend on the type of plants and the climate in your home. Monitoring the moisture levels in your wall is key to maintaining healthy plants.

In addition, regular pruning and trimming will keep your plants looking their best. This is also an opportunity to check for signs of pests or disease. Prompt treatment can prevent these issues from spreading to other plants.

Lastly, winter conditions can pose a challenge for tropical plants in temperate climates. You may need to adjust your care routine during the colder months. This could include using a humidifier, adjusting your watering schedule, or even moving your plants to a warmer location.

5. Enjoying your Living Wall

Creating a living wall is not just about the end result. It’s also about enjoying the process of designing, building, and caring for your wall.

Take time to appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility that your living wall brings to your home. You will find that the effort you put into cultivating your wall is rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and a space that feels more vibrant and alive.

So, let your creativity run wild and create your own tropical paradise at home. With patience, care, and a bit of a green thumb, you can design a living wall that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also a testament to your love for nature.

3. Caring for your Tropical Plants

Tropical plants can often be a handful to manage, requiring a set of specific conditions to thrive. But don’t worry, this section will guide you through the process of caring for your tropical plants, helping to keep your living wall vibrant and healthy.

The first step in caring for your tropical plants is understanding their light requirements. Most tropical plants favor bright, indirect light. If your living wall isn’t located in a well-lit area, consider using grow lights to supplement natural light.

The humidity level is another critical factor in maintaining the health of your tropical plants. These plants are used to high humidity levels, so consider using a humidifier or misting your plants regularly to mimic these conditions.

Watering is equally essential. However, too much water can be harmful. A good rule of thumb is to water your tropical plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Lastly, remember to fertilize your tropical plants regularly. Most tropical plants benefit from regular feeding, especially during the growing season from April to September. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer for the best results.

4. Troubleshooting Common Problems

Despite your best efforts, you may encounter some issues with your tropical plants or living wall. This section will help you identify and address common problems.

One common issue is yellowing leaves, which could be due to overwatering, inadequate light, or a nutrient deficiency. If you spot yellow leaves, adjust your care routine accordingly and make sure your plants are getting enough light and nutrients.

Another common issue is pest infestation. Monitor your plants regularly for signs of pests such as aphids, spider mites, or mealybugs. If you spot any pests, treat the infestation promptly with an appropriate pesticide or natural remedy.

Lastly, if your plants are wilting or losing leaves, they might be experiencing shock from a sudden change in environment or care routine. Try to keep conditions as consistent as possible and adjust your care routine gradually.


Designing a living wall with tropical plants in a temperate climate home may seem challenging, but with the right planning, building, and care, you can create a beautiful, lively space. Living walls not only enhance the aesthetics of your home but also improve air quality and create a calming environment.

Remember, the key to a successful living wall is choosing the right plants, providing them with the correct care, and regularly monitoring them for any issues. With these tips, you can turn your home into a tropical paradise, regardless of the outside climate.

So, don’t wait any longer. Start planning your living wall today and bring a piece of the tropics into your temperate climate home. You’ll be amazed at the transformation, and you’ll enjoy the process every step of the way.