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When Winter Is on Its Way: Can Living Walls Survive in Colder Temperatures?

Living walls can be described as pre-vegetated panels fixed onto an external or internal wall structure, or free-standing. The plants are grown vertically using hydroponics to provide greenery and to optimize the benefits of plants in a number of ways, such as dampening noise, purifying the air, increasing energy efficiency and creating a stress free environment. One of the concerns that you may have about living walls is whether or not they can stand up to cold temperatures. Can they survive during the winter months?

Living Walls Can Survive in Cold Temperatures: How?

A living wall, like Sagregreenlife living wall, can be used on a seasonal basis. Before winter shows up, the panels can be stored for away. The other option is to create a winter cover, preferably one that has lights that can provide and maintain the appropriate temperature needed to protect the plants from the frost. It helps that the planters are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET), the most commonly used thermoplastic polymer. So, can living walls survive in the winter elements? The simple answer is, yes.

Plant Selection

The plant selection for your living wall can be a significant factor that will determine if it will survive the winter. With proper maintenance and watering, certain living wall plants can survive in colder temperatures and emerge from the winter season looking pleasant. The mondo grass is an evergreen perennial that requires minimal care once established. This grass is frost hardy, and although the leaves may look ragged after a winter storm, they can be trimmed minimally to spruce up the appearance.

Sedum is a low growing, versatile and resilient group of plants. You have to know the specific varieties that can best stand up to colder temperatures. Freeze-tolerant sedum varieties that are winter hardy tend to have fine, small leaves, like sea star (Sedum pulchellum), which acts like a winter annual and the stonecrop (Sedum sexangulare), which features green leaves that turn a copper tone in the winter, but returns to their green color in the springtime. Planting all-season, evergreen plants in the living wall panels with other plant species could be beneficial when winter comes around, helping plants avoid recessing into the cells of the panels.

Frost Protection

Winters can bring harsh temperatures, and sometimes, even hardy plants can succumb to the cold, especially when the living wall is outdoors. You can take certain measures to protect your living wall from frost and ensure that the plants survive, like covering it with lightweight plastic sheeting. If on an interior wall, the heat from the house will be sufficiently warm to keep it above freezing, but an outdoor living wall would need to be heated to give the plants the warmth it needs to stay alive.

When winter shows up, you want your living wall to survive the cold temperatures. You can add hardy, winter tolerant plants to your panel to anticipate the change in temperature. If not, preparing for the winter with lightweight plastic sheeting is also another option that can help to ease your worry. Living walls can survive colder temperatures with the right plants and preparation.

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