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If you’ve got a green thumb, but only have a smaller outdoor space like a patio or balcony, then you’ve probably considered building your very own micro garden. Without much space to move around, there is only one way for your plants to grow — up! That’s why today we’re discussing the best plant types for your vertical micro garden and why certain plant types will work better for your garden than others. Join us as we explore how you can choose the best plants for your vertical garden.

Succulents

Hardy and capable of handling extreme temperatures, succulents are perfect for a vertical planter

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Succulents are a great way to add color to your garden.

There is a reason why succulents are so trendy right now for both indoor and outdoor gardens — they are nearly impossible to kill. It is, of course, possible to kill a succulent, but more often than not it is because the succulent is receiving too much water. That’s right, succulents tend to thrive without much water and can withstand very warm and very cold temperatures. So, if you are designing a vertical planter for your outdoor garden, these plants are excellent options and are tolerant of most weather conditions. Not to mention, these little plants have a cool, sometimes even alien look to them that has definitely caught on in terms of garden design.

Ferns

Intricate and easy to grow vertically, ferns are one of your best options for your vertical planter

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Place your ferns high up in your garden as they tend to grow downward.

Just like succulents, ferns are able to grow in a variety of different climates. However when caring for ferns, keep in mind this plant prefers a wet, humid climate, unlike the dry climate preferred by succulents. Ferns are perfect for a vertical garden due to their growth patterns. Ferns tend to grow outward and downward as their leaves extend far out from each individual frond. This means that just one fern can easily fill out and change the look of your vertical garden.

Vines

It may seem obvious that vines are ideal for vertical gardens

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Vines are the perfect plants for your vertical garden.

We can’t talk about the best plants for your vertical planter without discussing vines. Vines, as opposed to ferns, grow upward and outward. Vines are also good options for reasons other than the fact that they grow directly upward and like to cling to walls. Vines are surprisingly durable in hot and cold climates and grow quickly enough to cover a large area of your vertical garden. There are a lot of different types of vines you can choose from based on your aesthetic preferences including wisteria, hydrangea, or clematis.

Bromeliads

Though they may require a bit more care, bromeliads bring a variety of color and visual interest to your microgarden

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Bromeliads are best suited for warmer climates.

One of the best features of bromeliads, as it relates to your vertical planter, is that they do not require deep roots to prosper. That means, no matter how small of a space you have in your planter, you can feel confident that there is enough soil for your bromeliad to take root. Bromeliads, however, are not as durable as some of the other options we’ve listed here. Before you plant one either make sure that you can either bring it inside during the cold winter months or make sure you buy one of the few species that can tolerate the cold.

What Are Some Other Things to Consider When Designing Your Vertical Planter?

Beyond the best plant species for your vertical garden, there are a few other points to consider before you begin arranging your planter

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An example of a vertical succulent garden — perfect for the hot sun.

Even if your microgarden consists of only a few planters, you still need to make sure your plants will be happy all year round. To ensure your vertical garden is a success, consider the following points before you start planting your balcony garden.

Weather and Location

Before you begin purchasing your plants, you first need to fully scope out your growing area. Depending on where you live — for example, whether you are living in a duplex or a high rise apartment building — temperature changes, sunlight, and wind patterns will be drastically different. So beyond considering your overall climate, make sure you survey your planting area to determine the best plants for your garden.

Biodiversity

Even in your microgarden, biodiversity is important. You don’t want to overwhelm your space with one type of plant — otherwise your garden could be unstable and you’ll run into issues with insects and disease.

Appearance

The last thing to consider is arguably the most fun. Think about which types of plants visually inspire you the most. Maybe you prefer ferns over succulents because of their size and lush appearance — that’s great! It’s your garden, so choose plants that make you happy.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran gardener or a beginner, a vertical planter is a great idea to add some more green to your living space. If your garden design isn’t perfect right off the bat, that’s fine! You can add and subtract plants as you feel fit. Now that you’ve begun thinking about your new micro garden, you are one step closer to making it a reality.