Vertical gardens require a minimal amount of space and they look really cool, but there are also some drawbacks to using vertical gardens. Let’s explore the pros and cons of vertical gardening and how you can avoid some of the drawbacks.
Advantages of Vertical Gardens:
A Work of Art – First of all, gardens that hang vertically are fun and interesting to look at. They can double as artwork or home decor on a bare wall (inside or out).
More Options for Those with Limited Space – Secondly, homeowners (or renters) can display plants where they might otherwise not have the space. Urban farmers typically have limited growing space to work with. In this case, vertical gardening is their only option if they want to grow food.
Reduce Clutter – Third, even if people have the space for potted plants, they may not want them cluttering up their tabletops or floors. Vertical gardens are conveniently out of the way, which also results in a cleaner, more organized look. Some minimalists prefer vertical gardens for this reason.
Cleaner Air – Fourth, plants can help “clean” the air indoors. Many people think that having a living wall in a living room or other area of the home provides a great health benefit. Indoor plants have a tendency to collect and show dust, but when vertically grown, they collect and show less dust – but they are also easier to clean.
Disadvantages of Vertical Gardens:
Limited Growing Space – Vertical planters generally don’t provide a whole lot of space for roots to grow. Unless the planter is a heavy-duty structure, larger plants will not be able to be supported. This means that gardeners are more limited to smaller varieties or that grow more slowly.
Dries Out Quickly – Some planters that receive a lot of sun can dry out easily, weakening or killing plants. For this reason, it is important to look at the materials used when building your planter. For instance, if you want to make a gutter garden to grow herbs and lettuces in a sunny space, use a white plastic gutter that will help reflect light and heat – instead of a dark grey metal gutter that will heat up faster.
Can Be Expensive – Many pre-made vertical planting systems cost more than traditional pots. They are specially-designed for easy set-up, easy maintenance and easy watering, which are all great benefits. However, with a little elbow grease, you may be able to create your own structure for much less money with materials at your local home improvement store.
Potential to Be Messy – Containers where the plants grow out to the side rather than up present the problem of dirt falling out. A few ways to get around this issue are to:
- Use a chicken wire or other wire mesh material through which to insert the plants.
- Place your plants close together to almost form a “seal” where the dirt cannot escape. Succulents are good for this.
- Keep your planter in a horizontal position for several months before standing vertical. This gives roots time to grow and take hold, which also helps keep the soil in place.
Watering and Drainage Can Be a Problem – This is an important issue to think through, especially if your plants will be indoors. A simple solution that many growers use is choosing succulents or other drought-tolerant varieties.
Smaller containers can also be more easily moved for occasional watering. Some larger structures include a catch basin at the bottom.