How to Care for Living Walls: The Basics of Maintaining a Vertical Garden

There’s no doubt that plants need some love. However, unless your name is Mother Nature, it can be tricky to know what they want. It also explains why we say some people have a green thumb — or a lack thereof.

Living walls are particularly special. In a vertical garden, the natural force of gravity changes the way soil and water interact with plants. Providing adequate light can also be difficult, unless you’re lucky enough to have skylights or floor-to-ceiling windows.

That is, unless your living wall is designed and built by Sagegreenlife.

First, let’s look at the (problem with) soil.

Plants are, of course, typically rooted in soil. It supports root growth, transports water and provides nutrients. Vertical walls that use soil, however, require some serious attention.

Soil is vulnerable to weeds and mold. It’s also more likely to house pests and other bugs, which is probably the last thing you or your clients want. As a result, regular maintenance means controlling these invaders.

To water or not water, that is question.

In most other vertical gardens, it’s essential to evenly distribute the water. Otherwise, some plants might grow aggressively and deprive nearby plants of oxygen and nutrients. It’s also important to consider that specific kinds of plants might need a lot (or a little) water.

Caring for a living wall also means avoiding too much moisture. Excess H2O can suffocate the roots and seep through the soil, resulting in wasted, unused water.

If your living wall has a tank system, you’ll also need to pay attention to the water levels. This kind of water system isn’t connected to a water source, so you’ll have to manually refill it.

Let the light shine.

Proper light is critical for any vertical garden to thrive. This isn’t a huge concern for outdoor living walls, but indoor versions need an extra hand.

Zachary Smith, Sagegreenlife’s Senior Marketing Manager, recommends LED lights. In an interview with Architizer, he specifically suggested LED lights of at least 1,200 foot candles. The ideal strength for your living wall, however, depends on its size.

Our living walls do the hard work for you.

As you can see, living walls have unique needs. But at Sagegreenlife, we make vertical gardens that are practically self-sustainable. In turn, your design clients save time and money on regular maintenance.

Here’s a breakdown of how our customized gardens take care of themselves:

  • Biotile™ System Instead of soil, our living walls use our patented Biotile™ system as a foundation. Each Biotile™ is created with layers of rockwool, a 100% recyclable growth medium made of basalt rock fiber. Like soil, Biotile™ delivers nutrients and oxygen, but it won’t decay or break down. And since rockwool is antimicrobial, you won’t have to worry about mold, bacteria or pests.

  • Hydroponics In each Biotile™, dense rockwool is combined with vertical irrigation. This hybrid hydroponic system distributes just enough water and nutrients to each plant, so you don’t have to think about each one’s needs. Plus, compared to other living wall systems, our special irrigation technology uses 75 percent less water. Extra H2O is circulated back into the system instead of seeping through the soil.

  • LED Light If your space is a low light area, don’t worry about hunting down the right light bulbs. Our living walls come with their very own light sources. We’ll choose the best ones for your garden’s size and plants. This way, you’ll have endless options when choosing a space for your living wall.

The Sagegreenlife difference: now, taking care of living walls is a breeze.

Sagegreenlife is devoted to designing sustainable and beautiful living walls. Our goal is to make enjoying nature easy, regardless of the type of room or building.

Most importantly, our vertical gardens require little to no maintenance.

Your clients won’t have to learn how to take care of a living wall. Instead, our team will visit twice a month to make sure the plants are happy and healthy. They’ll also check the irrigation system to ensure that everything is working smoothly. For interior walls, all maintenance plans even include a plant replacement guarantee. All your clients need to do is bask in the beauty of plants.

Let’s talk about your next creative project. Contact us today at 312.234.9655 or email us at

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730 West Randolph Chicago, IL