Earlier in the summer, I posted about beginning the realization of a longtime dream of mine... constructing a living wall. It started out with a birdnest fern mounted on a tree cross section, and then I mounted some small staghorn ferns to hang on either side across from a big picture window in our living room. It's a pretty slow process, but adding to the wall is very satisfying - like finding the perfect piece for a gallery wall. For my birthday in August, I got some Woolly Pocket Living Wall Planters to add to the mix. I've had my eye on these for a while - they've got a nice modern design and address some of the issues that I have always had with indoor plants (particularly those that hang). How do you avoid water overflow? How can I mount the planter so that it is adequately supported? To hang, you mount an anchor in the wall and the planter slips down over it. I really like this feature, because it makes for easy replanting if necessary... you know, if you're still getting used to the ins and outs and accidentally kill something... Ahem. For watering, there is a reservoir on the wall side that you fill and it percolates through tiny holes into the soil. All of the water is contained, but the roots do not sit in saturated soil unless you just water way too much. I've found that I need to water less than I anticipated that I would (which wasn't very much to begin with), so that's been something to get used to. Unfortunately, as I figured this out the string of pearls there in the center became a casualty. The pothos are doing great though!
I installed my planters at the top of the wall so my vining plants can hang down. At some point I would like to trellis these across the ceiling or further out on the wall, but it won't be that necessary until I add more to the installation. Around the time that I was adding this phase, my birdnest fern started to look pretty sickly, and after some research I came to the conclusion that the temperature in the room was just too high for it during the day. We use an energy conservation thermostat and participate in a program through our local utility that basically leaves the house pretty warm in the afternoon. Since that area is exposed to sunlight more than other parts of the house, it tends to be the warmest. Sadly, the fern didn't make it, but I plan to get a larger staghorn to attach to its mount and hang in its place.
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