Stories sometimes surface about green infrastructure installations failing due to the untimely death of the plants. As anyone who has done any gardening will know, a plant can easily fail without the right approach to its care.
Here are five reasons plants die in green infrastructure projects, and how this can be avoided.
1. Wrong plant species selection
While a certain species of plant may be hardy and thrive well on the ground, it does not necessarily mean it will do so in an elevated garden.
For this reason, it’s important to consult with experts in vertical garden systems before deciding on the plant species for your green wall or facade.
2. Mismatched design with site needs and climate
Plants often fail if a vertical garden has been installed without adequate consideration for the regional climate, micro-climate and site aspects.
Site considerations such as the level of sun, shade and wind need to be factored in at the design stage to avoid plant failure down the track.
3. Inadequate irrigation or drainage
The Growing Green Guide says the “vigour” of many climbing plant species means regular irrigation is needed to maintain foliage density year-round.
How often plants need watering depends on the species, the growing medium and the climate conditions. Another consideration is ensuring there is enough pressure to deliver water to elevated plants.
It’s also important to ensure the plants have good drainage to avoid waterlogging – another factor that could lead to failure.
4. Failure to understand maintenance needs
It’s important to be aware of plant maintenance requirements for your project from the start. This includes not only irrigation but also weeding, pruning, plant feeding and good access for maintenance personnel. For the project to succeed, its ongoing maintenance needs should be factored in at the design phase.
5. Not engaging experts in elevated horticultural care
Green infrastructure installation companies should provide maintenance for the first 12 months after project completion. This helps to get the plants established. Once this period is up, it’s important to engage a company that has expertise in caring for vertical gardens for ongoing maintenance. Specialist knowledge is required to keep a green wall or facade thriving.
Get in touch with us if you are considering a green infrastructure installation, or would like to discuss green facade maintenance to prevent plant failure.