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“Living walls” are the easiest way to create a lush, indoor garden


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Photo: Unsplash/ Scott Webb
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Union square isn’t exactly the type of place you’d typically label as “lush”, but if you step into the K-beauty haven Innisfree, you’ve probably noticed there’s a whole lot of pretty greenery draped throughout. As wellness becomes more integrated into the home (and beauty shops), plants are a natural way to bring a calming environment indoors. And these days they’re not relegated to pots, they’re actually being hung like works of art.

“Living walls” AKA plants that grow on walls are an aspect of biophilic design being incorporated in homes and offices alike. Homepolish interior designer Justin Huxol recently decked out Nike Communications with a Naava living wall that brings the great outdoors inside, paying off both mentally and physically for employees. The living wall can be seen from each employee’s vantage point, and has become the gathering place for brainstorms. “Ideas just flow in that area,” says Nina Kaminer, president of Nike Communications.

It’s easy to see why: Plants are known to create new oxygen, optimize humidity, and could even make employees smarter. And while a smart Naava wall would be the ultimate way to indulge in floor-to-ceiling greenery (a team member will even come trim it once a week), they’re a bit of an investment. So, I tapped Huxol for a few easy tips if you want to create your own living wall at home—minimal maintenance necessary.

Keep scrolling for three key tips to create a living wall.

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Pothos is your friend

The climbing pothos plant grows rapidly, and is easy to tend to (no green thumb necessary). “Those have always been really fun, especially if you’re growing a wall from scratch,” says Huxol. “For a recent client, we got some dipped stainless steel pails to hang on the wall, placed some pothos plants in them, and just let them go.”

Opt for tall plants

Lofty plants such as birds of paradise, monstera, and palm can fill up a wall and still offer biophilic benefits. They do so by covering up space on the walls so that you don’t need a full-on installation. You do have to care for these however, but an element of self-care can come into play here. “The whole ritual of being aware of the needs of plants is comforting,” says Huxol. 

Consider a sweet-smelling wall

“Moss wall panels are also appealing for their tactile presence,” says Huxol. “They have that natural smell that lasts a long time.” Create your own panels by picking up some floral glue to attach live moss to a cork board, and enjoy the physical benefits of the easy-to-care-for plant.

If you want to turn your shower into a lush garden, these are the plants to gather up and these are the ones to get if you have a pet.