Green or living walls are springing up in unexpected places these days, including inside homes. You can learn more about the benefits of living walls here. The GroVert Living Wall Planter by BrightGreen capitalizes on this trend with a vertical planter you can use to create a living wall.
How It Works
It’s pretty simple – plant a small plant in each of the square cells using a quality potting soil, hang the planter on the wall using the metal mounting bracket, and water from the top. And voila, a living wall!
There are two optional accessories that you’ll want to buy; the Irrigator (a top-mounted water container) and the Collector (a container that fits onto the bottom of the unit and collects any water that drips out the bottom). Both accessories are sold separately or can be bought as part of the GroVert system (which also includes a wooden, decorative frame).
Multiple unframed GroVert units can be mounted together to create a larger installation.
The GroVert Living Wall Planter comes in two sizes: 8” wide x 18” high and a 20” x 20” square.
The larger unit is 2.5” deep and has 45 cells in which to place plants. It’s generally used in outdoor installations and commercial applications and is not often found for purchase on consumer websites or in garden centers.
The smaller unit has 10 cells, each 4” deep, which allows for easier planting; most plants in 4” pots (or smaller) will fit into the unit easily. This is the unit that we reviewed.
Each GroVert planter comes with a metal mounting bracket that’s easy to install.
Use a level to be sure that the bracket is perfectly horizontal before you attach it. If it’s off even a little bit, the whole unit will look crooked and the plants won’t get evenly watered.
Be sure to use the proper hardware to attach the bracket. If you’re installing your living wall indoors, you may need drywall anchors to keep it secure; the unit can be very, very heavy when filled with plants and damp soil.
Once the bracket is attached, the unit simply slides onto it and is held firmly in place.
Watering Your Living Wall
There are three ways to water your plants: manually, using the optional GroVert Irrigator, or using a drip line system. The drip line system (which you will have to provide and install yourself) is best used in outdoor installations, especially when multiple units are mounted together. Watering manually is difficult and time-consuming; it’s done either by carefully pouring water into the small openings at the top of the unit, spraying the plants with a hose or mister, or taking the unit off the wall and watering it while it’s laying on a flat surface. Most homeowners will probably choose to the use the Irrigator instead.
The GroVert planter is lined with a special moisture mat that wicks water from the top down to the plants at the bottom of the planter. It works pretty well; we found that filling the water chamber once a week provided enough water for all of the plants, even those at the bottom. Of course, the frequency with which you water will depend on your local conditions; hotter and drier conditions will require more water.
The planter doesn’t come with the Collector tray (that’s an optional purchase) but if you’re going to be using the planter indoors, or in an area where you don’t want water leaking from the unit, we strongly recommend that you buy it. No matter how careful you are, water will leak out of the bottom of the unit; the Collector tray captures that water and prevents spills. Note that it’s not easy to attach the Collector; we found the best way was to just push it into place as firmly as possible.
Planting in the GroVert Planter
Placing plants into the GroVert is simple; just partially fill each cell with potting soil or a soilless growing medium, put in the plant, and fill in around it with more potting soil.
The trick is keeping the plants in the cells when you mount the GroVert on a wall – when we first tried to do this, most of the plants fell out of the unit, even after we packed them firmly into the cells. If you have shorter plants, you may have more success with this. We had the best success when we let the plants get established for a week before trying the mount the unit.
The GroVert planter is made out of plastic. It’s not as rigid as we expected and we were disappointed to find that the Irrigator is poorly constructed – the sides of the Irrigator are too pliable, the hinges are “delicate” (if you open or close the lid too quickly, the hinges pop off), and the lid doesn’t open or close properly because the frame gets in the way (you have to push the back wall of the Irrigator out of the way to open the lid). The Irrigator is a good idea and we do recommend using it but be aware that you’ll have to treat it gently – you may want to simply remove the lid altogether.
An optional purchase is a decorative frame made out of wood. The unit looks much, much better with the frame. However, it only comes as a single unit so, if you want to dress up more than one GroVert unit stacked together, you’ll have to build your own frame.
We didn’t test the frame so cannot provide any feedback on its quality or usability.
We give the GroVert Living Wall Planter a 3-shovel rating. It works well but we’re concerned about the fit of the lid and accessories, as well as the quality of the plastic used in the unit.
Where to Buy It
You’ll find the GroVert system at most of the big home improvements stores, some garden centers, and online from Amazon where you can buy the system as a whole (planter, irrigator, water collector, and frame) or the individual components. Prices will vary depending on the type of frame you choose.
Disclaimer: We purchased the GroVert unit online through Lee Valley for $34.50, plus the Irrigator for $9.95 and the water Collector for $6.95 (plus shipping).
Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link. Should you choose to purchase GroVert products through this link, GPR will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!