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My plant wall is doing really well. All the plants look healthy and all have new plant growth. Some are growing at a faster pace than others, but that is the nature of plants. Here are my observations to this point.
I wouldn’t plant the peperomia in a plant wall this small. I may change my mind about that in the future, but for now . . . no.
I wouldn’t plant the gardenia unless the plant wall was an outside-in-full-sun version. I don’t think it’s going to get enough light to bloom, though I do like the shape, color and texture of the leaves.
There are some things in the wall I really like.
I love the ivy, though I would plant more varieties and bunch the individual varieties together. I’ve got a great spikey climbing ivy growing on an alder stump outside that would be stellar on a grow wall. Hmm . . .
I love the philodendron, begonia and nephthytis. Those are perfect for this small plant wall. I’d like to have more than one variety of philodendron. I’ve got a Hawaiian begonia (dinner plate sized leaves) that would be stellar on a slightly larger version . . .
I love the hoja, though I think there’s a chance it might get pretty wild and very leggy. Hojas have a tendency to be leggy anyway, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I can trim it back vigorously once it’s well established to make it bushier. I tucked the cutting in at both the top and bottom of the wall. I can cut out the bit in-between bit once rooting is sufficiently established.
There’s a trailing version of dumb cane in the wall that I think is going to be spectacular. It has some deep purple hues on the leaf undersides that will provide a lovely contrast to all the greens once it’s grown enough to drop and rise.
I’m a little concerned about the spider plants. They grow fairly slowly, and as vigorous as some of the other growth is, they may get overrun. If they don’t, their hangy downy bits (highly scientific term) will add interest to the wall.
The biggest hit is going to be a pair of small vines clipped from a plant in my bathroom. One (green bumpy round leaves with white edges just above the big variegated peperomia leaves and to the right of the nephthytis) is a clingy thing, willing to crawl up walls and attach itself to the outside of its rough textured pot. I’ll be interested to see what that planting does. The other vine has the same shaped leaf without the white edging, but it doesn’t cling.
I think the vining black eyed susan is going to be great. It’s already wrapping itself around other stems and will produce black eyed orange trumpets when it matures. It’s a bit hard to see as it is still so small. You’ll have to look at the big picture to see it. It’s in a pocket just to the left of center and it vines off to the right and slightly down, wrapping around the hoja stem before heading back up toward the top.
The beach oleander is going to be a mistake. I am going to end up cutting it off when it gets leggy. And it likes more light than the plant wall gets, so it will reach for the light, trail on the floor and generally make a mess. I know better, I knew better, I just couldn’t resist.
The biggest lesson, and the one thing I knew before I started; don’t mix all the plants together. Go in with a design, bunch the plants of the same type together, put them where the droopy ones will cover the bottom of the wall and the stretchy ones will cover the top of the wall. Fill in between with sections plants of the same type adding clingy vines in amongst the plants with strong vertical stems to give them a launching point.
This wall will provide color and texture, but it could do so much more. It’s like a salad put through a chopper. All the bits are there, and it’s going to taste like a salad, but the individual flavors, colors and textures are not distinct.