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Purify Your Home with Living Walls

Photo by Christopher Wahl

Purify your home with a living wall to breath cleaner air while California air quality takes time to improve post wildfires.

Photo from Ecohome

When vertical gardens are used on the interiors of buildings, they can help improve air quality not only because plants naturally remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen-rich air, but also because plants can filter the air around them by absorbing and cleaning pollutants. When they’re used inside, living green walls frequently act as a three-dimensional, living piece of artwork, providing an aesthetic component as well as a health element.

Photo by Jessica Antola

Living walls are typically constructed similar to green roofs, where modular panels hold the growing medium that can be either loose soil, mat media, or structural media. In order to create a living wall with loose media, loose soil is poured onto a shelf or into a bag, which is then attached to the wall. While these systems can be straightforward to install, the media must be replaced at least once a year for exterior installations and every two years for interior uses because wind and rain can drain or blow away the soil. Because of this, loose media systems are probably best for small-scale living walls or home gardeners.

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Mat media systems are usually composed of thin-coir fiber or felt mats of multiple layers which are best for interior use and with smaller plants. Because the mats, despite their layers, are not very sturdy, they cannot support larger plants with thicker, longer roots that could potentially rip the mats and compromise their integrity. Although these mat systems are easy to install, the thinness of the mat makes them unable to hold much water, and therefore they aren’t very water-efficient. However, for smaller installations with smaller plants, they can be a great solution.


Photo from Decoist

For sheet media systems, the living wall is made of an egg crate-type of pattern on a plastic sheet that can be used for both outdoor roof gardens and vertical walls. Because of the added depth and texture of the sheet media systems, they are able to hold significantly more water than the mat media system, and can last up to 20 years because the plastic isn’t biodegradable.

Photo:DAN WONDERLY, Rob Report

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