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Vertical Garden: Three Critical Considerations for Plant Species Selection

If you are interested in gardening but have insufficient outdoor space, you should consider establishing a vertical garden. This type of feature has plants growing in a vertical configuration as opposed to the traditional horizontal. The design can range from a couple of hanging baskets to an intricate wall with attached plants. If you decide to take up this form of gardening, you must evaluate some critical factors, especially the type of plants. The wrong choice of flora will be challenging to grow and can be stressful to maintain. Here are some guidelines to help you through your species-selection process.

Root System

When choosing plants for your vertical garden, you should think about the rooting system of the desired species. This aspect is not critical for a traditional garden because the soil provides adequate space for the roots to extend. However, a vertical garden has limited growth substrate. If a species has long or complicated roots, the containers, frames or panels on which the garden is established will be unable to provide adequate support. As a result, your project could experience premature failure.

Natural Sunlight and Shading

You should evaluate the position of your garden in relation to the sun before choosing your plant species. Some plants thrive in bright sunlight, while others are more suited to a cooler environment. If a flower which prefers light is on a shaded balcony, it will likely shrivel away before you can enjoy the appeal of your garden and vice versa. For example, a staghorn fern will flourish in bright sunlight, while baby's tears requires a shaded area for optimal growth.

Watering Requirements

You should consider the amount of water that you can provide for your vertical garden before choosing your plants. Also, you should evaluate the substrate drainage level. If you are planning on installing a specially designed vertical wall garden, your system will probably come with an intricate irrigation system. In a typical setup, the irrigation network is hidden and delivers water through a drip. With the included advanced controls, you can choose almost any plant. However, if you plan on setting up a simple vertical garden and watering by hand, you should select a species whose watering requirements you can handle. For example, silver falls plants are drought-resistant while Boston ferns will require well-watered substrate. 

Finally, you should consider choosing indigenous plants from your region because they will perform better in the climate. If you are uncertain about the right choices, consult your garden supplies expert.