Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

My New Vertical Jungle Wall

Woolly PocketsSince the first one went so well, I decided to up the ante. Last weekend I attached six Woolly Pockets to my office wall and filled them with two dozen plants to make a vertical tropical garden. The installation was a breeze and, so far, all the plants are still happy. I love it.

If you’re thinking about doing the same, here are a few tips based on my experience.

  • The instructions say to put the holes in the wall 22 inches apart, but I found that my pockets stretched a bit. Err on the wide side, so the pockets don’t sag.
  • Pick plants you know will be happy in that spot. Most of the plants I put in the pockets had lived in my office near that window for months, so I knew they’d be okay there. Once they’re in the pockets, they’re difficult to move.
  • Go for variety. I tried to plant a few different plants in each pocket. Some will grow up, some will grow down. I figured out that having two ascenders or two descenders next to each other didn’t look good, so try to alternate.
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  • If you do buy new plants for the pockets, get small plants, like 4-inch pots. If they’re larger than that, you may have to break them up into smaller pieces, which can kill more fragile plants.
  • Water sparingly. Really, really sparingly. I’m a compulsive over-waterer, so this is the hardest part for me. The instructions say 3 cups per pocket, but even that will leak out the front if you water too fast. I’ve taken to misting them when I feel like watering. I think the plants like it, but I know it’s helping me.
  • If you over-water and the pocket leaks, it may stay wet for a while. One trick I discovered is to put something in between the pocket and the wall, like a piece of styrofoam, for a day or so to increase air circulation. This helped the pocket dry out faster.

So far, I’m absolutely loving my new vertical garden and can’t wait to see how it evolves.

Woolly Pockets

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.