Creating an indoor living wall


Dear Master Gardeners, 
Does anyone have any advice on how to install, build and create a thriving living wall indoors? The wall will have SW exposure, be quite large (it will be in a religious community’s building), and a source of water could be engineered. We are a bit concerned that the wall’s Jerusalem marble might be stained and would like ideas on how to prevent that. We are more interested in flowers than vegetables. Year-round aesthetic appeal is important. Many thanks for any advice you can give me.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners for advice on installing an indoor living plant wall. Living walls help to improve air quality, increase humidity and reduce ambient noise. Plants are grown hydroponically, and water containment is critical. The water is pumped from a catchment basin at the bottom of the wall to the top, where it is allowed to trickle back down through the growing medium, providing moisture and nutrients. In most locations, supplemental full spectrum lighting is also required. Despite the Southwest exposure, there may not be sufficient light in your location to maintain plant health in the winter months.

Tropical plants are most recommended for indoor plant walls, particularly ones that have a wide range of tolerance for light and moisture. Recommendations would be Aeschynanthus (lipstick plant), Aglaonema, Anthurium, Calathea, Codiaeum variegatum (croton), Dracaena, Epipremnum (pothos), Maranta, Philodendron sp. (heartleaf philodendron), Pilea, Schefflera arboricola, and Spathiphyllum (peace lily). Many varieties of ferns would also be suitable additions: Adiantum (maidenhair fern), Asplenium nidus (bird’s nest fern), Davallia fejeensis (rabbit’s foot fern), Pellaea rotundifolia (button fern) as well as various Pteris ferns.

We suggest that you investigate various indoor Living Plant Wall systems. Most are modular and can be configured to suit specific locations and sizes of walls. There are also many YouTube videos that demonstrate these systems. Toronto Master Gardeners do not make recommendations to individual suppliers. Landscape Ontario could direct you to contractors who have experience in this area.

Please contact a professional regarding the Jerusalem marble as it is outside of our area of expertise.

Sept 29, 2022