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Ivy or vine-covered indoor wall?

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by jlo on July 11, 2005 02:18 AM
Has anyone here created a vine-covered wall indoors?

I have an ancient cottage-style farmhouse with a large open hall at the top of a staircase. I'd love to grow something on the wall at the top of the stairs that will recreate the look of an old outdoor wall. The room is large and bright, with several windows, but the sunlight is indirect. There is one window (approximately 3.5 ft. x 3 ft.) on the wall where I'd like to grow the vines.

Any tips on what plants would work best for an indoor "living wall" like this? And what is the best way to train the plants to grow up the wall? I love the look of ivy, or course, but I'll consider anything that is attractive and relatively easy to grow.

I've read that mites and other pests can be a problem on many indoor vines. Any suggestions on insect-resistant species and/or tricks to control this? I love the idea of a "plant wall", but an "insect wall" is not so appealing.

One other thing to consider: this is in Germany, where the daylight hours are very long in the summer, and very short in the winter. So I doubt if I'll have luck with anything that is too light-needy.

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Janet
by Will Creed on July 11, 2005 03:50 AM
JLo (Woman of Leisure)! That is very funny! [clappy]

What you are trying to acomplish is nearly impossible. The primary difficulty is finding a plant that will survive indoors and will also put out tendrils that will latch onto the wall. Unless the wall is brick or made of some kind of damp material, then the tendrils will have nothing to latch onto. If you covered the wall with chicken wire, then you might be able to intertwine the vines (by hand) through the spaces.

Hedera ivies latch onto brick quite well, but they need a lot of light. Indoors that are very mite prone. Pothos do well in moderate light, but need dampness in constant contact with their nodes to produce roots that will attach. Ficus pumila is another vining possibility, but it is a fragile plant and also requires good light.
by jlo on July 11, 2005 04:23 AM
Hi Will,

thanks very much for your knowledge (and your enthusiastic approval of my chosen profession [grin] )

The wall in question is mostly very old exposed brick, so there is presumably attaching surface. But it is not damp. Probably a good thing, considering this is the inside of my house. The building is part of a farm structure built in the early 1700s, and there are other parts of adjacent buildings where ivy-like plants from outside have crept inside through relatively small cracks and fissures. But from what you're saying, I assume that it must survive only because the greater portion of the plant it is firmly rooted and thriving outdoors in a more favorable enviromnent.

Nonetheless, I have seen a number of interior spaces here in Europe that have things growing on the walls. I don't know how they accomplish it. Maybe they're fooling us all and useing one of those exotic plant services that replaces the dead plants with new ones each month. I suppose anything becomes possible if you have that kind of money to throw at it. ;-)

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Janet
by weezie13 on July 11, 2005 05:02 AM
Hi Janet!!!
Welcome to The Garden Helper's Forum,
we're very glad you found us, and hope you
stop in here alot, it's always fun to speak
with someone living outside the US.....

Got a question, would it be possible to get
a picture of those places that have those types of things you've discribed for us to see???
Not only would it be fun seeing them,
but a great learning experience for us too...
*maybe we can have a look and see if we can figure it out for you.*
*Get a picture of the types of plants, windows around it, and the container and soil that it's in.*
I think that would alot of fun for us...

We have another member in Germany too, Amy,
haven't seen her in a wee~bit, but maybe she'll pop thru and give you a Welcome.
[wayey]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by jlo on July 11, 2005 06:18 AM
Hi Weezie,

Excellent idea! I'll make sure and take photos for you all next time I'm at any those places. If I'm sneaky, maybe I even can grab a cutting or two.

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Janet
by weezie13 on July 11, 2005 06:31 AM
[thumb] [thumb] [thumb] [thumb]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Will Creed on July 11, 2005 06:54 AM
Hi Janet,

I thought you were Jenny From the Block, but that's OK.

Did you know that you trashed my profession? I own one of those "exotic plant services that replaces plants." But that's OK, too. I am feeling very generous tonight. LOL!

Please do a little research and let us know what they are doing. Once I find out, maybe I can do it too so people will start throwing money at me. Then I can become a Man of Leisure!
by tkhooper on July 11, 2005 07:19 AM
Jlo,

Use the full spectrum lighting in that area that way you have full sunlight and can put up the ivy that you truly want. Then some stratically placed screws and invisible fishing line should allow you to train the vines the way you want. Or at least that's what I've gathered from listening to others on the forum.
by RugbyHukr on July 11, 2005 12:06 PM
Just a thought.

Moss likes dark & damp & will grow on vertical stone/brick. There are a lot of nice mosses.

I saw a garden show once that told how to propagate moss by mixing it in a blender with beer & some other stuff. Then putting it in a mister bottle & spraying it on the vertical surface & keeping it moist.

If you were to try this, you could, also, chip out some chunks & put plant roots in the crevices, wrapped in peat & spaghnum. I have done that to start plants in walls that I built. But, those were outside.

The best you can do is experiment.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!

http://community.webshots.com/user/flugnash
by Gardencrazy on July 11, 2005 01:27 PM
Welcome Jlo [wayey]

You have a cool idea. I did a search and came up with a picture of this idea. It is at the University of Guelph in Canada.

UofG living wall

I thought of another plant you might want to try but it would need a climbing support. Maybe Hoya carnosa? Mine grows like mad and doesn't seem to need as much light as the other Hoya I have. Another neat idea would be to use a wall fountain in the center and the plants going up around it.

Donna [flower]

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by jlo on July 11, 2005 08:05 PM
I just wrote to the people at http://www.ivy.org to ask for their opinion and advice. I'll keep you posted on what I learn from them. Meanwhile, anyone interested in ivies should visit their website. Great resource.

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Janet
by RugbyHukr on July 11, 2005 11:54 PM
Another thought...

You could attach a planter to the wall at the top; like a large hanging pot. Let the vining plants hang down for a similar effect.

This way, the wall is covered but the plants are not attached. That should make pest control easier. And, you could put twinkle lights on the wall behind the plants for a night-time accent.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!

http://community.webshots.com/user/flugnash
by afgreyparrot on July 12, 2005 12:02 AM
quote:
Maybe they're fooling us all and useing one of those exotic plant services that replaces the dead plants with new ones each month. I suppose anything becomes possible if you have that kind of money to throw at it. ;-)

quote:
Did you know that you trashed my profession? I own one of those "exotic plant services that replaces plants."

[Big Grin]  - [Big Grin]

That's funny, jlo!
You're gonna fit right in here! [thumb]
(I like to pick on Will every chance I get!) [grin]

Welcome to the forum! [wayey]

...and, hey...we have something in common...
...same occupation! [Big Grin]

Cindy

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Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by Will Creed on July 12, 2005 04:18 AM
Donna's link and Rugby's suggestion are right on. I am embarrassed that I did not think in that direction, particularly since I once cared for a wall of Pothos planted at the the top and hanging down from there.

That is probably the best solution provided you have good light near the top and you have a way to position or suspend windowbox-type planters at the top and are able to water at the top.

Unless the light is very bright all day long, Pothos are probably your best bet - better than Hedera ivies. Neither of these will actually attach to the wall, but they will give that illusion.

Cindy - I will speak with you privately!! LOL!

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