Plant Escape | Denver, CO

Living Wall FAQ

What are the benefits of green or living walls?

Living walls are truly living art. They not only make a statement to your guests and employees, they offer several health benefits as well. Green walls have been proven to purify the air, reduce ambient temperature and noise levels, increase productivity and enhance the feelings of wellbeing. When most people come across a living wall, they are stopped in their tracks. The beauty of the walls and the scent of fresh plants make for an instant conversation piece.

What structural requirements are necessary for a living wall?

  • Backing: To support the weight of the system, plants and water,  ¾” plywood is usually ample;
  • Water supply: If there is an irrigation system being installed, a standard ¾” water supply line (typically copper) works great; 
  • Drainage will be necessary for excess water to be removed from the wall. A 2”-4” drain pipe (depending on the size of the wall) works well;
  • Power: A standard outlet will be necessary to plug in the irrigation control clock;
  • Lighting: We recommend a minimum of 150 Foot Candles in an even flood over the entire wall in a 4300 k color temperature range for promoting optimal growth of the green plant foliage.The lighting system should NOT be on at all times; only 10-12 hours of light are required each day. Plant health issues will arise if the lights are too close to the wall, if the light levels are insufficient, or if the light is too direct or focused on the wall. We typically suggest installing track lighting approximately 5 feet back from the living wall.

Why use a green wall for branding?

Living walls have significant customer impact. Green and living walls add a lot of value to a building and enhance the building lobby, some say that they are more valuable than a piece of art. Customers are amazed that the wall itself is real and are in awe of how it is put together and thriving! They act as talking pieces and are used extensively in press articles and reviews. Most importantly, a green wall speaks for itself. If a customer questions your Green initiatives, just walk over to the green wall to start the discussion. As such a living wall provides a tremendous return on investment.

What plants can you use?

For indoor green walls we use tropical plants because they are able to thrive in an interior climate. While there are several varieties of plants of plants that can live in a wall, it is necessary to only install plants that require similar amounts of light and water. If one plant requires more water than another, one is likely to be overwatered while the other is dry as they will all receive the same amount of water. Another consideration is how each plant will mature over time, If you add an arboricola to a wall, it will look great when it is small but once it starts to grow it will become top-heavy and begin to tip out of the wall system. We like to add several varieties of Pothos or Philodendron Cordatum to wall systems. Marantas are another nice option to add color as are ficus elastica (rubber trees – little ones).

What are the maintenance requirements?

Ongoing maintenance is key to having your living wall thrive for years to come. As some walls have automated irrigation systems and others are hand watered, the maintenance will vary from wall to wall. For walls with irrigation systems we send out a Plant Technician each week for the first 4-6 weeks after installation to ensure the wall is acclimated to its new space and there are not issues arising from the installation. After that period, we shift the visits to every other week. At each visit the Plant Technician will ensure the wall is receiving ample water and the plants are healthy. They will pull any yellow leaves, trim the plants so they don’t get ‘leggy’ and make any necessary replacements. 

For walls in which an irrigation system was not installed (typically walls less than 50 square feet), the Plant Technician will be out weekly to hand water the wall and check the health of the plants. With all Plant Escape ongoing care, we offer a 100% Plant For Life Guarantee that if a plant fails or just begins to get old, we’ll replace it at no additional cost to you, the Client.

What do living walls cost to install and care for?

For complete wall coverage you can expect to invest between $175 – $200 per sqft for a living wall. This expense includes the living wall system (we use the Gsky at Plant Escape), Irrigation Components, assorted tropical plants and installation labor. Other expenses you will incur include having a plumber bring water supply to the wall and provide drainage from the wall. If water or drainage are not possible, we have wall systems which utilise a tank system. Other expenses you’ll incur will be having an electrician install an outlet near the wall (or wherever the water supply for the wall is located) for the irrigation timer and track lighting above the wall to ensure the plants thrive.  Other expenses include delivery of materials, trip charges (bring the guys out) and dump fees if materials need to be removed.

When you think about ongoing maintenance for living walls, expect to pay between $5-$7 per month, per square foot for care and guarantee on the plant material.

How much does a green wall clean the air?

Indoor Green Walls significantly improve indoor air quality and remove harmful VOC’s. Just 50 sq. ft. of Green Wall can consume as much CO2 as a 14’ high tree in a year! As much as one pound of dust can be removed from the air per square foot per year! No matter which way you look at it, a Green Wall can significantly improve your indoor environment for years to come.

What is a living or green wall?

A living wall or green wall is a living wall of plants. The living wall system is a life support system for the plants. It is comprised of an irrigation system, a support structure to hold the plants vertically, a drainage system and a fertilizer system.

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For more than 40 years, we’ve practiced and applied our green thumb within the Denver, CO community, delivering the following services with a homegrown passion for plants

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