Image above courtesy of Aztec Interiors.

Green walls have increased in popularity over the past few years and the choice between an artificial wall versus the living variety is an important decision. Many of us just don’t have a green thumb so it’s easier to reach for faux but Mark Paul, horticulturalist and founder of The Greenwall Company, warns the hidden dangers of going artificial:

cons of artificial green walls

– Artificial walls provide less environmental benefits. Without the process of photosynthesis, they don’t absorb carbon dioxide nor release oxygen into the air like living plants do.

– Watch out for fire hazards. Artificial plants can be treated with flammable chemicals. Many commercial property managers have banned their use or have had existing ones removed.

– They tend to collect dust. Artificial green walls collect dust which can increase allergies, especially in closed spaces.

pros of living green walls

– Living green walls improves air quality in urban environments. They can filter out harmful pollutants such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and dust rather than attracting them.

– They help to lower power bills. Real green walls help to regulate the temperature of the building they are installed on.

– Living walls provide sound insulation. In fact, they absorb up to 10 decibels of sound!This makes a great option for office environments.

– They are easy to maintain. Living green walls can be fitted with an automated irrigation system so that they can look after themselves.

Of course, it all comes down to your preference. Perhaps you don’t want to deal with hungry snails chewing through your live plants. Maybe you can’t bear the thought of anything fake in your garden.

So, green walls… friend or faux?

To help you figure this out, here’s some great vertical garden inspirations: