plant wall with light

Wall Shrubs: A Guide to Living Walls, Green Screens, and Botanical Billboards

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for new ways to turn your garden into a verdant paradise, so check these plants out for the garden and outshine everyone around you! Today, we’re going to talk about one of the absolute best ways to add colour, texture, and life to your garden using wall shrubs! These fantastic plants will transform your boring old walls into living works of art. So, grab your trowel, put on your gardening gloves, and let’s get started!

Living wall with shrubs

Wall shrubs – A fusion of Beauty and functionality

Wall shrubs are an exceptional addition to any garden, offering a delightful blend of aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. These versatile plants go beyond merely adding colour, texture, and life to your outdoor space. With their unique features, wall shrubs bring a host of advantages that elevate the overall garden experience. Imagine transforming your ordinary walls into living works of art while enjoying increased privacy, natural barriers, and the enchanting presence of wildlife. Here are some of the key benefits that a living wall can bring to any outdoor or even indoor space.

  1. Vibrant Beauty and Visual Delight: Wall shrubs are nature’s brushstrokes, infusing your garden with vibrant hues and eye-catching foliage. With a wide array of species to choose from, you can select wall shrubs that showcase an assortment of stunning flowers, striking leaves, or colourful berries. These botanical wonders create a visual spectacle, turning your garden into a captivating haven that never fails to impress.
  2. Privacy and Natural Barriers: Transforming dull walls into living tapestries, wall shrubs offer an elegant solution for enhancing privacy in outdoor spaces. Whether you wish to shield your garden from prying eyes or create secluded areas for relaxation, these plants act as natural barriers. The climbing or spreading nature of wall shrubs enables them to cover fences, walls, or trellises, forming a lush green backdrop that offers seclusion and tranquillity.
  3. Wildlife Haven and Ecological Harmony: Embrace the harmony of nature with wall shrubs that entice a diverse range of wildlife. As these plants flourish and bloom, they become inviting havens for birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. By cultivating wall shrubs, you not only create a picturesque garden but also contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and the essential ecological balance.
  4. Versatility and Adaptability: One of the remarkable aspects of wall shrubs is their adaptability to various garden settings. Whether you have a small urban balcony, a sprawling estate, or a cosy courtyard, there’s a wall shrub species that suits your space. They can be trained to grow vertically on walls or fences, cascading down from elevated planters, or sprawling elegantly along trellises. Their versatility allows you to utilize every inch of your garden creatively.

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of wall shrubs, where nature’s beauty meets functional brilliance. By incorporating these remarkable plants into your garden, you embark on a journey that combines aesthetic enchantment, privacy, ecological harmony, and the joy of attracting wildlife. Join us as we explore the diverse species and practical tips to create your very own living masterpiece. Let your garden thrive with the captivating allure of wall shrubs!

The Wonderful World of Wall Shrubs: Meet the Stars of the Show

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of planting and maintaining these fancy wall shrubs, let’s take a short moment to introduce you to some of the most popular species in this horticultural category. Each of these plants has its own unique features and growing requirements, so pay attention to finding the perfect fit for your garden’s specific needs.

Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)

If you’re a fan of showy flowers and dramatic foliage, climbing hydrangea is the wall shrub for you. This deciduous plant boasts large, heart-shaped leaves and clusters of white flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. One of the best parts is that it can grow up to 50 feet tall, making it perfect for covering unsightly walls or adding privacy to your outdoor space to keep away pesky peeking eyes.

Climbing Hydrangea

Growing Tip: Climbing hydrangea prefers partial shade and moist, well-drained soil, so plant it in spring or fall, and be patient as it may take a few years to establish itself before it starts to climb.

Pyracantha (Pyracantha spp.)

Also known as firethorn, pyracantha is an evergreen shrub that produces vibrant red, orange, or yellow berries (as the name may have already given away) in autumn. It’s an excellent choice for creating living walls as a barrier or adding a pop of colour to your garden during the colder months when everything seems dark and gloomy.


Growing Tip: Pyracantha does best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, so plant it in spring and watch out for its sharp thorns when pruning unless you like the sensation of being pricked repeatedly.

Ivy (Hedera spp.)

Ivy is a classic wall shrub that’s been used for centuries to cover buildings and create lush, green backdrops with its glossy leaves and evergreen properties that can grow in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it a versatile choice for any garden.

Ivy in the garden

Growing Tip: Ivy prefers partial to full shade and moist, well-drained soil, so plant it in spring or fall, and be prepared to prune regularly to prevent it from becoming too invasive.

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a true gem in the world of wall shrubs. This remarkable plant is celebrated for its mesmerizing fragrance and delicate white flowers, which exude a captivating aroma that fills the air. As an evergreen climber, star jasmine possesses a remarkable versatility, able to gracefully adorn walls, trellises, or fences. It thrives in environments with ample sunlight, though it can also tolerate partial shade.

Star Jasmine

Growing Tip: To ensure its flourishing growth, star jasmine requires well-drained soil that allows its roots to breathe. With its exquisite blooms and adaptability, star jasmine is a delightful addition to any garden, infusing it with elegance and an intoxicating scent.

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a radiant presence in the winter garden, bringing a burst of vibrant colour when most plants lay dormant. This deciduous shrub showcases a profusion of cheerful yellow flowers that gracefully adorn its bare branches, creating a captivating sight against the winter backdrop. With its ability to thrive in full sun, winter jasmine welcomes the sunlight and basks in its warmth.

winter jasmine

Growing Tip: Well-drained soil is essential for this plant to flourish, ensuring proper moisture management. Winter jasmine’s versatile nature allows it to be trained to climb walls, lending a touch of vertical beauty, or it can be allowed to spread along the ground as a charming and resilient ground cover. Embrace the winter wonderland with the radiant allure of winter jasmine, a stunning addition that brightens the garden during the coldest months.


Clematis, a beloved member of the Ranunculaceae family, is a breathtaking flowering vine renowned for its stunning blooms and graceful growth habit. With its diverse range of flower shapes, sizes, and colours, Clematis offers an enchanting display that can transform any garden into a floral paradise. From delicate bell-shaped flowers to large, showy blossoms, there is a Clematis variety to suit every gardener’s taste. This versatile vine can be trained to climb walls, trellises, or pergolas, adding vertical interest and a touch of elegance to any outdoor space.

Clematis climbing post

Growing Tip: Clematis thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil with good organic content. With proper care and support, Clematis can become a true showstopper, showcasing its radiant flowers and creating a captivating focal point in your garden. Embrace the beauty and charm of Clematis, and let its vibrant blossoms weave a tapestry of natural artistry in your outdoor sanctuary.

Succulents: Bringing Unique Charm to Your Living Wall

If you’re looking to add a touch of uniqueness and low-maintenance beauty to your living wall, succulents are an excellent choice. These plants are known for their fleshy, water-storing leaves and stem, making them well-suited for arid environments and vertical gardening. Incorporating succulents into your living wall can create a stunning display of textures, colours, and forms that will captivate the eye.

succulent plant wall

One of the key advantages of using succulents in a living wall is their ability to withstand drought conditions. Due to their water-storing capabilities, succulents can thrive in dry environments with infrequent watering, making them an ideal choice for vertical gardens. Their resilience to neglect and ability to survive in shallow soil or containers make them versatile option for various living wall designs.

When selecting succulents for your living wall, consider their growth habits and aesthetic appeal. Some popular choices for living walls include Sempervivum (also known as hens and chicks), Sedum, Echeveria, Crassula, and Senecio. These succulents offer a wide range of colours, shapes, and sizes, allowing you to create visually striking patterns and arrangements on your vertical canvas.

To incorporate succulents into your living wall, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Right Containers: Choose containers or pockets that are specifically designed for vertical gardening. These containers should have good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil. Alternatively, you can use a living wall system that provides individual pockets for each plant, allowing for proper root growth and water flow.
  2. Choose the Appropriate Soil Mix: Succulents prefer well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. Use a specially formulated succulent or cactus potting mix that provides excellent drainage. You can also amend regular potting soil with perlite or coarse sand to enhance drainage.
  3. Plan Your Design: Before planting your succulents, plan the arrangement and layout of your living wall. Consider the growth habits, colour combinations, and textures of the succulents you’ve chosen. Experiment with different patterns, alternating shapes and sizes to create an appealing composition.
  4. Plant and Install: Gently remove the succulents from their nursery pots, loosen their root balls, and plant them into the prepared containers or pockets. Ensure that the soil is firmly packed around the roots to provide stability. Install the containers or pockets onto your living wall structure, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Maintenance and Care: Succulents in a living wall require minimal maintenance once established. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Succulents are susceptible to overwatering, so it’s better to underwater than to overwater. Provide sufficient sunlight based on the specific light requirements of the succulents you’ve chosen.

Incorporating succulents into your living walls not only adds a touch of natural beauty but also offers a practical solution for water-wise gardening. Their unique forms and colours, coupled with their adaptability to vertical spaces, make succulents a standout choice. Enjoy the fascinating textures and architectural appeal of these resilient plants as they grace your living wall, creating an eye-catching and low-maintenance vertical oasis.

Location, Location, Location: Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your Wall Shrub

Now that you’ve become acquainted with some of the stars of the wall shrub world, it’s time to select the ideal stage for their captivating performance. Consider the following tips to ensure you choose the best location for your new botanical companion:

Consider the Light: Light plays a crucial role in the growth and development of wall shrubs. While most wall shrubs prefer partial shade, it’s essential to check the specific light requirements of the variety you’ve chosen. Some wall shrubs, like pyracantha, can tolerate full sun, while others thrive in dappled sunlight. By understanding your plant’s light preferences, you can select a location that provides the optimal lighting conditions for its overall health and vitality.

plant wall with light

Mind the Drainage: Adequate drainage is vital for the well-being of wall shrubs. These plants generally prefer well-drained soil that allows excess water to flow away rather than accumulating around the roots. Avoid planting living walls with shrubs in areas prone to waterlogging, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other water-related issues. Observe your chosen location after heavy rain and ensure that water doesn’t pool or stagnate in the planting area. If necessary, amend the soil with organic matter or consider raised beds to improve drainage and create a hospitable environment for your wall shrub.

Give Them Space: While living walls are renowned for their ability to cover vertical surfaces, they also require adequate horizontal space to thrive. Ensure that you provide enough room for your plant to spread out and grow without crowding or competition from nearby vegetation. Consider the mature size of the wall shrub and provide sufficient clearance from structures, fences, or other plants to allow for unobstructed growth. This ample space will allow your wall shrub to express its full potential, ensuring it has the freedom to develop its lush foliage, display vibrant blooms, and create a visually appealing impact in your garden.

By carefully considering the light requirements, drainage conditions, and space needed for your wall shrub, you can set the stage for a successful and flourishing display. Choose a location that aligns with your plant’s needs, and provide the optimal environment for it to thrive. With the right setting, your wall shrub will become a focal point, captivating onlookers with its beauty and transforming your garden into a living masterpiece.

Pruning and Maintenance: Keep Your Wall Shrub Looking Sharp

Once your wall shrub is nestled into its new home, regular maintenance becomes crucial for its ongoing health and beauty. By following these essential tips, you can ensure that your wall shrub remains in the best shape possible:

Prune Regularly: Wall shrubs have a natural tendency to grow vigorously, and without proper pruning, they can quickly become unruly and lose their desired shape. Regular pruning helps maintain the desired size, form, and overall structure of your wall shrub. It also promotes better air circulation and sunlight penetration, reducing the risk of disease and improving overall plant health. Prune your wall shrub during the appropriate time, usually during late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches, and trim back excessive growth to maintain a tidy appearance.

pruning plants

Feed Your Shrub: Like any living organism, wall shrubs need nutrients to thrive and reach their full potential. To provide them with the necessary nourishment, apply a balanced fertilizer in spring and again in summer. A slow-release granular fertilizer or a water-soluble fertilizer formulated specifically for shrubs can help supply essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and application instructions to prevent overfeeding, which can be harmful to the plant.

Watch for Pests: While living walls are generally hardy, they can still fall prey to common garden pests, such as aphids, scale insects, or spider mites. Regularly inspect your wall shrub for any signs of pest infestation, such as distorted leaves, sticky residue, or tiny crawling insects. If you notice any unwanted critters, take prompt action to address the issue. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you can use organic methods like insecticidal soap or neem oil, or consult with a gardening professional for appropriate pest control treatments. By staying vigilant and taking proactive measures, you can keep your wall shrub healthy and free from damaging pests.

By incorporating regular pruning, proper fertilization, and vigilant pest management into your wall shrub maintenance routine, you can ensure that your plant remains healthy, visually appealing, and a true standout in your garden. Remember, a well-maintained wall shrub not only enhances the overall beauty of your outdoor space but also provides the ideal environment for its growth and longevity. So, invest some time and effort in caring for your wall shrub, and enjoy the rewards of a thriving and stunning living artwork adorning your walls.

Living wall example


The world of living walls holds boundless possibilities for transforming your garden into a vibrant and enchanting space. As you embark on your journey to cultivate these remarkable plants, we invite you to become an active participant in the community of garden enthusiasts. Share your experiences, tips, and triumphs with fellow gardening enthusiasts by leaving comments, engaging in discussions, or sharing captivating photos on social media platforms. By fostering a sense of community, we can all learn from each other’s gardening adventures, exchange valuable insights, and inspire one another to create breathtaking green spaces. So, let your voice be heard and your garden be seen as we come together to celebrate the beauty of wall shrubs and the joy of nurturing nature’s living works of art. Happy gardening and may your walls bloom with splendor!

Share Your Green Wall Adventures!

Have a favourite variety, a pruning mishap or maybe you’ve discovered the perfect soil mix for a thriving green wall? Well, just remember to research and check out Gardener’s Dream for all your gardening needs. You’ll be able to transform your gardens into lush, living works of art! Happy planting!

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