Green Living Walls: What to Consider

By Jonathan Senneff

green living wall

Have you heard about green living walls? They’re also called “green walls,” “living wall gardens,” or “vertical garden walls.”

A green living wall can be professionally installed indoors — office, meeting room, hotel lobby, elevator lobby, etc. — or outdoors — hotel pool, at a building’s entrance,  or in a courtyard area.

They can grow flowers, greenery, leafy plants of all kinds, and even herbs and other edibles.

Once you’ve seen one and the possibilities, it begs the question: Can I support and maintain a green living wall?

Good question.

What to consider when installing Green Living Walls

benefits of plants in the office

Green living walls are great if you want to experience the benefits of indoor plants, but don’t have enough window, shelf or floor space.

  • Better air quality
  • Sound control (great for offices and noisey cubicle spaces)
  • Temperature control
  • Relaxation, soothing
  • Increased revenue per guest
  • Increased productivity

Are there children, dogs, or clumsy roommates around who might topple any planters? Is there really only one part of your living area that gets good light? Or do you simply want to add more life and color to a room? These are all great reasons to consider installing a green living wall.

There are plenty of ways to build your own green living walls, according to Pinterest. Of course, while green living walls are wonderful and greatly beneficial to your work environment, a poorly or hastily constructed one can be frustrating and even dangerous.

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That’s why it’s great to have a professional install and maintain your green living wall. Plus, this takes the burden off of you. Learn how to maintain green living walls

The right installation requires minimal maintenance and can turn any wall—inside or outside—into a beautiful living work of art.

Finding a vendor for your green living wall is an important step. Insist on a company that sources its own plants and can tell you where each one originates. The plant specialist you choose should be upfront about costs and time frames and should offer a written guarantee. They should also have an expansive selection of indoor and outdoor plants, and should be able to help you select plants that work together in your vertical garden wall to create the exact look you desire.

Green living walls are a beautiful and natural addition to any décor in a hotel, building, or office.

Download this ultimate guide on Green Living Walls to learn more. 

To learn more about pricing and installation, call Plant Interscapes at 1-888-745-7868.

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How to Maintain Green Living Walls

By Jonathan Senneff

how to maintain green living walls

Green living walls may be placed indoors or outdoors, and can host many types of greenery depending on your needs and preferences. Best of all, they can be installed and maintained by professionals, which takes the burden off of you.

Since the 1930s, this type of hydroponic vertical plant display has been around in some form. However, modern green living walls are designed to last longer than their earlier counterparts. Some plants can last years before needing to be replaced.

In green living walls, plants only need replacing if they die — a rare occurrence with proper maintenance — or when the roots run out of space.

how to install green living walls

Sometimes plants are inserted into a panel; these panel systems can be used indoors or outside, as long as the plants are meant to grow in your local environment. On the other hand, tray systems have small receptacles where the roots grow, allowing the plants to flourish and bloom outward and upward. Tray systems are most often used inside.

Green living  walls are increasingly popular, especially in the business world. We already know that a lush supply of office plants leads to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and the breakdown of “sick building syndrome.” Read more of the benefits of green living walls.

What you may not know is a multitude of LEEDs (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) credits are available to business owners who install plants in the workplace.

Surprisingly, green living walls use very little water since they are hydrated using a drip irrigation system or a recirculating system that continually reuses the water with almost no waste.

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As a result, water conservation and efficiency credits, energy and atmosphere credits, sustainability, and innovation credits can add up to big savings.

One of the main questions about green living walls is whether they are difficult to care for and maintain.

The honest answer is that yes, they can be—but this doesn’t mean that vertical growing is beyond your reach.

The best vendors and suppliers will help you select the right plants for your space so you can purchase or rent with confidence. Ideally, plants grown locally should be used to ensure they thrive in your environment. The right vendor will also care for and maintain your plants, especially during that all-important early stage that can be crucial to a successful vertical grow structure. The vendor you choose should guarantee your satisfaction and replace any greenery that isn’t up to your standards.

When you consider how much money you can save while improving your environment, you may wonder why you waited so long to install green living  walls.

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The Benefits of Green Living Walls

By Jonathan Senneff
living green walls

If you’re a fan of indoor plants, you probably already know many of their great benefits.

Plants increase the oxygen in the air and scrub out impurities and airborne toxins like benzene and formaldehyde, which are found in furniture, wooden shelves, and other home products. The right indoor plants can also help workers relax, focus, and become more productive. In hospitals, plants have even been shown to speed patient healing times.

But what if you don’t have room for plants? Does that mean you have to forgo all their perks?

Of course not! More people than ever are enjoying the benefits of green living walls.

Green living walls are also called eco-walls or vertical garden systems.

The great thing about them is that they can be installed on existing walls, or they may be freestanding structures in which plants grow with little to no soil.



Green living walls are beautiful, innovative and interesting. They are great “zebra” pieces to a room, a statement piece that stands out and captivates the eye.

For hotels and multi-tenant buildings, large walls can be installed as a great piece of art work.

In an office, smaller walls can be installed in the break room or meeting spaces. This adds to the aesthetics of a room, bringing color, texture, and a wow factor.

Increased Productivity

Research shows that live indoor plants help increase productivity in the workplace.

Studies conducted by Washington State University showed a full 12% increase including faster response times compared to those who worked without plants.

Increased Revenue Per Guest


Hotel managers actually see an increase in revenue per guest when live plants are added to the hotel, rooms and elevator lobbies.

Biophilia refers to the innate and uncompromising requirement for humans to seek nature. Plants are inviting and bring comfort. Humans are drawn to nature, and therefore, want to stay in a hotel longer if they feel welcomed and comfortable.

Green living walls also help with sound, temperature and pollution control. Read about more benefits in this free Guide for Green Living Walls and learn how to maintain them

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Case Study: Plant Design Meets ADA Standards

Design by Casey Shmaltz

Live plants help non-profit meet ADA standards.

Plant Interscapes works with organizations to not only add live plants and containers to look great, but meet their bottom line.

Benefits of plants in the work place

For property managers, live plants increase productivity and the well being for their tenants. Office plants not only add to the aesthetics of the environment, but lowers workplace stress. Hotel plants actually increase revenue per guest.

Plants have many great benefits for the workplace in all types of environments. In addition, plants help organizations meet building standards like in this next case.

Case Study: Avenida Guadalupe meets ADA standards

live plants improve multi-tenant building standards

In this case, I collaborated with the building architect to ensure the plant design matched with the interior architecture features of sharp, geometric shapes.

The orange color of the crotons highlight the interior paint colors with a pop of orange and yellow.

In the end, the design needed to be approved by the appropriate agencies to ensure meeting ADA (Americans with Disabilities) standards. The non-profit had ADA standard issues with their staircase. I put a design together that created a safety barrier for vision-impaired visitors by using our earth walls, while displaying colorful crotons that matched the interior décor.

The multiplicity of plants are endless – – functionality, beauty, and even for safety purposes!

Need help getting your building ready for inspection or just want to revitalize? Get a free plant design when you submit a photo of your space!

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Workhorses and Zebras: Office Plant Design Made Simple

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By Mike Senneff

In every area of life, we have the ordinary—the base…and then we have the extraordinary—the distinctive.

It could be in how we dress.  For men, plain trousers, complementing shirt and then pop it with a colorful tie or blazer. For women, a beautiful dress, matching top and then pop it with jewelry.

For chefs, we know it’s all about presentation. We have the courses plated, but served dish will always have that special garnish to top it off.

And in interior design, it’s often a neutral base, complementary hues, and then that 10% pop of color.

The base is the workhorse. It substantially gets the job done. In dress, culinary plating, design and all things visual, the workhorse is the background.

And then comes the zebra — that unique element that distinctly stands out. It’s that pop that gets our attention. In a field of buckskin horses, what stands out? Where would your eye be drawn?  To the zebra of course. That striped, dramatic and unique member of the horse family.

This concept applies to horticultural design as well — both interior and exterior.

We have our workhorse background plants, those that fill the space. These plants may have height and breadth, which provides an interesting texture and coverage, but they don’t provide that unique attraction.

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They don’t provide that focal point; the spot your eye is drawn over any aspect of the background.

Then comes the attraction. The extraordinarily unique and dramatic specimens or floral elements. It’s the intended focal point. It’s the zebra.

This plant or arrangement is Intentionally selected to be that spot your eye is drawn. It may be a plant with distinctive and interesting branching habits, or it could be colorful flowering plants, those that capture draw attention. It could even be a unique decorative container or combination of other dramatic elements such as rock or cut class. But its purpose is clear — I am special, look at me!

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We couldn’t design with all zebras, nor could we design with all workhorses.  It would be too homogenous and not provide the intended visual interest.

So next time you’re dressing, cooking, painting, or designing with plants, consider the base and consider the dramatic—that place of interest, the focal point.  And place a zebra or two.

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Why We Really Need Plants in the Workplace

By Mike Senneff

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What’s new in the realm of interior plant design?  We’ve actually come a long way!

History of interior plant design in the workplace

We can arguably say that contemporary use of interior plants in the building environment goes back decades, even before the 1960’s.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, indoor plants were originally used for purely aesthetic purposes.  We were spending more time at work, and wanted our spaces to reflect nature.

We not only wanted nature in our workplace, but also at home and near the places we relax.

Fern bars were hung in baskets and Ficus trees were added to the office. Wicker baskets, greenery and all elements of natural surrounding indoors was considered cool and aesthetically pleasing.

At that time, commercial use of indoor plants was equally cool. We had atriums, ceramics and plants everywhere. Whenever it came to an empty corner in a building lobby, design was easy. Adding plants in a group of three always did the trick.

Workplace plants included a tall element plant, medium height filler and a lower focal point of either interesting variegation or a pop of seasonal color. Plants were everywhere!

The 1990’s and early 2000’s ushered change.  No longer were plants cool, but a trend that had been around for a while.

Contemporary building lobby design became contemporary, austere and cold.  Interior atriums gave way to hard stone materials, statuary and art.

No longer were plants an important part of design finish out.  If there were any botanicals in the interior space, they were often relegated to a small color bowl or orchid arrangement.

Then we got real again. We realized what we wanted and what we needed. We realized as humans, we have an innate and natural affinity for life and for nature.

As our cities became more built, as our lives became more urbanized, as we spent more time indoors than ever before in human history, we began to realize we need a connection with nature.

We need plants.

This truth is known as Biophilia.  It refers to the innate and uncompromising requirement for humans to seek nature.

Where do you go on vacation, or where do you go when you need some down-time?

Most of us look to the outdoors.  It could be a visit to the mountains, oceans, deserts or forests.  We crave nature.  Often an after-work walk, a weekend hike or outdoor barbeque will satisfy that craving.

When we’re around nature, it grounds us.

Interior Plant Design Today

So now we’re recognizing plants in the building environment are not all about aesthetics, but about a need.  Maybe they always were, but we didn’t know why.  Now we know it’s because of our biophilic need.

Offices, banks and other commercial buildings rely on interior plants to humanize the work environment.  International research has consistently proven indoor plants help us reduce stress, allow greater creativity and make us more productive while indoors.  And our indoor hours are only increasing.

Plants are now an integral part of contemporary building spaces.  Whether as dynamic freestanding focal points, fascinating living walls or expansive of roof-top gardens—plants are needed for our own health.

Design your building environment with plants.  Plants work!

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Custom Plant Design Creates Productive Building Environment

Hotel Lobby Plants

By Casey Schmaltz

Would you rather have a fresh, green, vibrant and living commercial space or cold, bare and empty?

What type of building environment are you operating in?

The description evokes an emotional response just reading it.

Imagine involving all your tenants’ senses the moment they enter the building. Plants create an interactive environment with the largest impact for the investment.

Visual Experience

People are drawn to an environment when plants are present. Effective plant design can convey your ideal image and brand message.

Appearance and condition of the property is a top category of evaluation among tenants. The atmosphere communicates upscale, modern and established.

It influences prospective tenants to think, “This is a great place to office.” Visitors want to return to conduct daily business.

Custom plant design gives you a competitive edge and helps increase your bottom line.

Long-term Occupancy

Time spent between work and personal time has become fluid.

Employees spend more hours in their work environment conducting personal business and engaging on social media. They look for a space that offers a place of relaxation and privacy.

Plants accomplish both of these things and are considered an added benefit employers can extend to their staff in your building.

Increased Productivity

Tenants who work in plant-filled areas experience less workplace stress and increased productivity.

Studies conducted by Washington State University showed a full 12% increase including faster response times compared to those who worked without plants.

Being connected with nature raises comfort levels and facilitates teamwork.

Green Building

Plants reduce operating and maintenance costs by balancing the building internal temperature and humidity. They reduce levels of carbon dioxide, dust, pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene and nitrogen oxide. The wellness benefits are proven, and they help Property Managers meet LEED standards too.

Connecting with nature at its roots (yeah…we meant that) allows for healthier, happier tenants and guests.

This is what interior landscaping is all about. It utilizes the power of plants to achieve the goals of building owners and managers.

Ready to experience the benefits?

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How Live Plants can Enhance the Hotel Guest Experience

By Cathy Lathrop Sutherland

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Every hotel has an ambience that is created by the room’s decor, furniture, and color scheme. The colors, tones, textures, and embellishments all tell a story and actually send a message about the hotel to guests and employees.

How does your hotel space make guests feel?

Whether the message your hotel communicates is luxury, trendy, boutique, or relaxation, the aesthetics is a major part of the guest experience.

The ability to convey the right feeling can come in many forms from adding art or even moving the furniture around. But there is one addition that is not often utilized to its full potential — live plants.

Benefits of Live Plants in Hotels


Live plants contribute to the distinct style and feel hotel managers try to convey in their hotel. Like other types of hotel decor, plants and their corresponding vessels can significantly alter the look and feel of a space.

Plants can be used in various ways. They can be the center of attention like a large scale green wall or tall palm trees. Plants can also be used to compliment a small area like in the corner of a sitting area in the lobby or on the welcome desk.

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In addition, adding plants is an economical way to impact and add style to the common areas of the hotel. The feel of the hotel space can be significantly enhanced by the types and sizes of plants and their corresponding vessels, as well as intentional placement.

As much as any other decor item, plants contribute to the overall look and feel of the hotel and the message or tone it’s trying to evoke. Plants and containers come in many sizes, shapes, and colors that will compliment and enhance the rest of the space.

Revenue Per Guest

Guests perceive a hotel space with live, well-cared for plants as more welcoming, relaxed and upscale. In addition, guests are more willing to stay longer and spend more when live plants are in the space.

Increasing occupancy rates is the name of the game for hotel general managers. While many factors can contribute to increased occupancy, studies show that live plants are economical, beautiful contributors. Learn more about increasing occupancy rates

Ready to make the best investment for your hotel?

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Plants Improve Occupancy, Retention Rates

Ren Worth Porte Cache

Why Plants and the Hospitality Industry Make Excellent Roommates

By Brenda Morgan

The hospitality industry is a highly competitive and an ever-evolving market which is all about FIRST IMPRESSION.

Guests want to feel welcomed upon arrival in every sense, therefore, success in the hotel industry is all about having the right look and feel. The appearance and design of a hotel while fundamental are critical to the overall guest experience.

Hotel general managers and owners are finding new ways to improve the aesthetics of their hotels, and one visual component that is increasing in popularity is the addition of live plants, appealing containers and other interior landscaping features from earth walls to living walls, which all add style, decadence and comfort.

Live plants in the reception area create a central focal point in a lobby and are also seen synonymous with luxury. Impressive indoor plants add ambiance to a room and help guests feel more at home and relaxed.

Plant Increase Revenue Per Guest

In addition to aesthetics, extensive research has shown that all plants can have numerous beneficial qualities including reducing stress, improving humidity levels, reducing background noise as well as improving employee productivity.

Because they create a relaxing mood and calm, they actually increase revenue per guest. Guests want to stay longer and return again and again, thus increasing repetitive business and increased occupancy.

The Opryland Hotel (Nashville, TN) enjoys occupancy rates of over 85% each year, which is well above a national average of 68% (Trends).

According to a scientific case study performed by Michael Evans, former associate professor of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the VA Polytechnic Institute, the hotel’s highest occupancy rate is due to the largest investment in indoor gardens in the country.

Currently, there are 12 acres of indoor space with approximately 18,000 indoor plants (and 600 species) valued at well over $1 million. The rooms overlooking the gardens are the first to be reserved and command a higher premium price of at least $50 over rooms that do not offer the garden.

While this is one example, various studies continue to show that live plants can improve occupancy for hotels by as much as 17%!

Interior plants are an excellent design statement and a proven long term investment.  As soon as a guest walks on premises and into the hotel lobby, live plants and foliage will surround them with beauty and provide an overall pleasing first impression.

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Fill Your Vendor List with Quality Business Partners

By Jacob Rodriguez

Hotel Lobby Plants

As a property manager, you work with many vendors from an assortment of industries with varying personality types to ensure your properties look great and remain profitable.

Working with vendors is probably not the most exciting part of your job, but they are important to your business. You need them and they need you.

So how can you save yourself the headache, disappointment, wasted time, uncomfortable conversations, and put simply ineffective working relationships?

Your vendors are not just suppliers. They are business partners that either help keep your business running smoothly or hinder your productivity and become an obstacle that slows you down.

Consider these questions when choosing a great business partner:

  • Do they care about your business and your growth?
  • Are they in it to help you provide better service and/or products to your customers, or are they in it for themselves and the money?
  • Does their product or service solve your problems? – They may have a great elevator pitch, but if they can’t truly solve the problem that you are faced with, they are not a good business partner.
  • Do your values align with theirs?  – What are their core values and do they align with yours? This is so important, and will determine whether the time you spend will be productive, valuable, and enjoyable or ineffective and painful. They don’t need to be perfectly in line, but if you believe in treating your employees well, you should do business with those that treat their employees well.
  • Are they easy to do business with?  Do they invoice the way that you want them to, and do you know who to call when you need something? Are they flexible to work with you and your processes, or do their processes create a headache for you?
  • Do you find value in what they provide?

Ultimately, your business partners should be one that saves your time, money and helps you to grow your business and achieve your purpose.

At Plant Interscapes, we love working with property managers and hotel managers that care about their environment and are always looking for innovative ways to revitalize and refresh a space. Our designers love to work with the client (unless otherwise informed) to produce a design that looks beautiful and works to benefit the environment at hand.

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