A Guide to Vertical Indoor Gardening

Indoor vertical gardens are a fantastic addition to any home. Not only can they serve as a gorgeous centerpiece for your living space, they’re also capable of improving your home’s overall wellness with the least possible amount of space needed.

There’s no wonder they’re all the rage these days – it allows designers and homeowners to maximize living spaces while introducing an element of sustainable design.

If you live in smaller spaces and want to introduce a bit of greenery in your living area, building a small indoor vertical garden may be perfect for you.

vertical plant arrangement

Here are a few things to consider when building your own indoor vertical garden:

Choose your plants wisely

Keep in mind that only certain types of plants can be used for vertical gardening. Ideally, you should pick plants that require less sunlight and can thrive in dry conditions (e.g.: sword fern, pothos, peace lily).

It’s also important to decide what functions you’re looking for to avoid mixing between plants that require completely different levels of care.

Here are some examples of plants with certain functions that you might consider for your garden: 

a. Edible plants. Gardening is a pleasure, especially if it ends up on your plate. If you’re looking to grow consumables, there are certain varieties of herbs and vegetables that are suitable for indoor vertical gardening. Mint, oregano, thyme, and lettuce are popular varieties for vertical planting.

b. Air plants. Also known as tillandsia, these plants are low maintenance and do not require a lot of hydration. They absorb nutrients through their leaves and can live as long as there is proper airflow in their environment.

c. Air purifying plants. Nearly all common houseplants are capable of filtering air through their basic function of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. However, some plants are more efficient in this department, which includes peace lilies, dracaena, and philodendrons.

Placement is crucial.

Although a vertical garden can be placed almost anywhere, choosing a location goes hand in hand with the type of plants you have in mind.

Sun exposure should be your most important factor when choosing a space. Brian Sullivan, Vice President for Gardens, Landscape and Outdoor Collections at The New York Botanical Garden considers an area with a ‘half-exposure’ as ideal, as compared to a full shade or full exposure.

hanging planter

Pick the right planters.

Designing your indoor vertical garden is probably the most exciting part of the entire building process. You can choose between wooden pallets, bamboos, recycled bottles… basically, any object that is a viable planter. Planters come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to pick one based on your plants of choice and the space you’ve allotted.

Here are some examples of planters that you may want to include for your indoor vertical garden.

Glass Wall Planters - a guide to indoor vertical planting

Glass Wall Planters

Glass Wall Planters are perfect if you’ve picked a spacious wall for your indoor vertical garden.

Ideally, the color of your wall should be of a neutral color to complement the planter’s translucency. Suitable for plants that demand a little bit more hydration and sunlight. 

hanging planters - a guide to indoor vertical planting

Hanging Planters

These beautiful geometric planters are perfect for plants that require moderate amounts of hydration and sunshine.

These planters are versatile in design and are suitable for both wide or small spaces. Ferns, succulents, or mosses would fit perfectly in these planters.    

hanging terrariums a guide to vertical indoor gardening

Hanging Terrarium

This hanging glass and copper cocoon for your plants is a fun addition to your indoor vertical garden. Perfect for plants that are low-maintenance.

You can even create a miniature garden to fit inside this glass terrarium!

Preparation is key.

Before you start planting, you might want to consider using potting soil – vertical gardens tend to dry too quickly and potting soil is great at retaining the moisture your plants need. 

It is also advised to plant horizontally beforehand. This allows the roots to establish itself in a stationary place, as opposed to a vertical position that will keep pulling your soil down.

Proper irrigation.

Now that your indoor vertical garden is all set up, picking the right method of irrigation is important to keep your plants alive (unless they’re air plants). Simply watering with a can might not be sustainable for some plants, so you might want to consider installing a drip irrigation system.

Related: 9 Creative Ways to Stylize Your Tilandsias


For an in-depth guide on installing a drip irrigation system, Garden Culture Magazine has made an excellent tutorial that you can read here.

It takes a lot of work to create your own indoor vertical garden, but the beauty and wellness it will contribute to your living space make it worthwhile.

Let us know of your experiences with indoor vertical gardening in the comments down below!


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