Which plants to use for a vertical garden?

I’ve recently built this retaining wall and would like to create a vertical garden by planting in and around the sandbags. Could someone please advise me what plants to use? I am based in Durban so they would need to be suited to our climate.

4 replies on “Which plants to use for a vertical garden?”

You could create an edible / salad wall (various coloured lettuce, spinach, watercress, nasturtiums, rocket… add strawberries… add herbs such as: parsley… thyme… cilantro / corriander.

Biggest challenges: keeping the soil /compost in its space (that mesh type stuff they use for hannging baskets would be quite good) – there needs to be enough space for the each little plant and its soil; you would also need to ensure there is adequate drainage and adequate water coverage because plants are prone to drying out ~ a lot of wall gardens use moisture mats to hold more moisture for each plant ~ would be a good idea to set up the irrigation first to ensure each plant has its own dripper… of you could just rig one across the top with drip wire to guide it down… to each plant through to the next and so on. Feeding would also be a challenge unless you regularly feed with liquid fertilisers… or you could make your own (comfrey leaves… seaweed).

Alternatively you can go for more waterwise / groundcover type plants try: perlagoniium peltatum (ivy leaf pelargonium); flowering vygies are quite hardy (Lampranthus and Drosanthemum) will to well in hot dry conditions… you can try groundcovers such as Ajuga reptans… erigeron karvinskianus… Ganziana rigens… osteospermum jucundum… Lamium maculatum “Roseum”.

Personally I would go with the edible option… it will be a little harder to manage but so much more rewarding particularly when you are getting a fresh salad everyday!

Hi Helen, a lot of importants comments were listed in the reply above. There are so many vertical garden options now days, and different types of vertical gardens, from edible to succulent and shade loving plants. I think a big deciding factor would be how much sun the wall is getting, this will also help determine which plants will grow well in your area and therefore determine which plants to plant in your vertical garden. A garden is also quite a personal thing so its up to you on which plants you want.
For your area i think i would try an edible and a succulent vertical garden (assuming there is enough sun) as you have a lot of vertical space to cover. The succulent garden once setup would be quite low maintence which is great, succulents are very beautiful and we have so many awesome indigenous succulents which would encourage insects and birds to your garden. You could use the mesh method for this. There are also various succulent ground covers that could be planted inbetween bigger plants to keep moisture in. As succulents do no require too much water i dont think you would need an irrigation system, a simple spray every few days with the hose should be enough water.
Edible vertical gardens are fun, beautiful and very rewarding (my vertical garden just keeps on growing :)) For your edible vertical garden I would suggest using our Minigarden vertical garden modules. Each module has 3 perfect sized spaces for most vegetables and herbs. The problems listed in the above post are solved, such as containg your growing medum/soil. The minigardens are designed to be very user friendly and are irrigation ready to setup a drip irrigation system. Each module has independent drainage so drainage problems are solved. You also have easy access to the soil to add slow release fertilisers or hand feeding with water soluble fertilsers, ( i use a slow release fertiliser and then once a week feed with a water soluble fertiliser for an extra boost, all are organic fertilisers) The minigarden system also does not allow excessive evaporation as the soil is mostly covered, except at the base of the plant where you would add your fertilisers. You can also keep adding to the minigardens, as they are modular you simply stack another layer on. If you would like more information on the minigardens please contact and you can also visit or follow us on FB
I hope this information helps 🙂
Warm regards
Jamie Garner

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