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Types of Green Wall Systems: Which One Is Right For You?


There’s nothing like planning a custom living wall and seeing it come to life. From idea to installation, the entire process holds so much potential. However, like other aspects of design, it helps to know your options before you begin.


With vertical gardens, this means choosing the right green wall system for your space. This is determined not only by the environment, but by your client’s everyday needs. Plus, different systems require different levels of maintenance.


Let’s look at the three types of green wall systems and how they compare to each other.


Panel/modular systems thrive in any environment.


In panel systems, plants are grown into modular tiles made of non-soil growth medium. At Sagegreenlife, we use our patented Biotile™ system made of 100% recyclable basalt rock fiber, or rockwool. This medium carries the perfect amount of nutrients, oxygen and water to plants. It’s also antimicrobial and doesn’t decay over time.

This type of system is connected to the building’s plumbing system and uses hydroponics with drip irrigation. It’s a self-watering method, so maintenance is minimal. To top it off, drip irrigation recycles unused H2O and saves 85% more water than other systems.


Panel systems are extremely versatile. They can flourish in indoor and outdoor spaces, regardless of the climate. (It doesn’t hurt that our Biotiles are resistant to heat and freezing, too.) The tiles can also scale upward, wrap around corners and fit walls of all shapes and sizes. Essentially, panel systems are only limited by a designer’s imagination.


Plants are grown 6 to 8 weeks before installation. By the time the panels are installed, the plants will be fully grown and ready to steal the show.


Because panel systems don’t use soil, they’re ideal for buildings with strict health codes, such as hospitals and restaurants. They also work well for odd-shaped walls, making it perfect for unique design projects.


Tray systems work best inside.

Tray systems use individual trays that are inserted into a wall. These trays, which use soil as a growth medium, are made to hold a specific amount of water. Plants are also grown in a different location and transferred into the trays.


This system uses a water tank. It needs be refilled by hand, so it calls for more maintenance than panel systems. Additionally, extra water that seeps through the soil isn’t automatically reused.


However, since each tray is an angled plastic shelf, soil and water won’t spill out. This is useful for indoor environments like offices and yoga studios. The trays can also be removed and replaced with ease.


The use of soil is something to keep in mind. Unlike rockwool, soil is vulnerable to pests, mold and other invaders. As a result, the soil should be replaced at least once a month.


Freestanding walls can be moved as much as you please.


A freestanding wall is a portable living wall system. It’s small, compact and the epitome of adaptability. Our Verdanta™ Living Partitions also use soil-free rockwool, so you won’t have to worry about changing soil.


Like tray systems, freestanding walls use water tanks. Routine maintenance includes paying attention to water levels and filling up as needed.


Mobile vertical gardens are an excellent option for indoor and outdoor leased spaces. One-sided fixtures can be placed against a wall, while two-sided versions can be placed in the middle of a room. It’s a beautiful alternative to boring office and apartment dividers.


If you are designing a space that will change over time, this type of green wall system is a smart choice. For example, a retail store with seasonal floor plans will benefit from the portability of freestanding walls.


Sagegreenlife will create a wall that meets your needs.


From serene spas to high-rise balconies, vertical gardens can spruce up any space. It all starts with choosing the best type of green wall system for your client’s requirements.


Not sure where to start? Our horticulture team is happy to examine the space. Next, we can design a vertical garden that incorporates a specific logo, texture or color palette. After all, at Sagegreenlife, we’re ready to make your architectural vision come true.


Contact us at 312.234.9655 or info@greenlife.com to start brainstorming with our team today.

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730 West Randolph Chicago, IL