Plants for Green Walls

According to Mississippi State University, "Green walls are places where plants are growing on the sides of buildings or other vertical structures." These walls include places like fences, garden walls, retaining walls or exterior building and home walls. Green walls accent and enhance the wall and help to reduce the amount of direct sunlight penetrating through, thereby cooling the exterior. They also provide habitat for wildlife.

Carolina Jasmine

Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is an evergreen vine that has a moderate to rapid growth rate and covers the green wall very quickly. It grows 10 to 20 feet high and has a twining climbing method and wiry stems that adhere to the green wall to create an attractive design. As an evergreen, Carolina jasmine retains its foliage throughout the year, where in winter, the dark-green leaves turn bronze. The trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers on Carolina jasmine are fragrant and emerge in spring. Carolina jasmine is a hardy vine variety and is tolerant of both wind and drought, ideal for a green wall that is often exposed to elements like wind and sun. Carolina jasmine grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. It is a suitable vine to grow in USDA zones 7 to 9.

Virginia Creeper

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a rapidly growing deciduous vine that has coarse texture. It is best grown in USDA zones 6 to 9. It grows 30 to 50 feet wide and is ideal for tall exterior buildings or walls. The tendrils on Virginia creeper have adhesive tips that easily adhere themselves to the wall. The bright green, toothed-edged clusters of five leaflets attract birds to the green wall and turn red in fall for a vibrant landscape display. Virginia creeper has blue to black berries that are waxy. It grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil.

English Ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen vine with a moderate to rapid growth rate. It grows up to 50 feet tall and has a climbing growth method. The 4-inch-long, dark-green, thick leaves on English ivy are three- to five-lobed. The umbrella-like clusters of green to white flowers emerge in early fall and are followed by the blue to black berries. English ivy, once established, is a drought-tolerant and very hardy vine to grow along the green wall. It grows best in full to part shade and well-drained soils. English ivy is suitable in USDA zones 6 to 8.

Keywords: green wall plants, Carolina jasmine, Virginia creeper, English ivy

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.