A volunteer cares for the San Francisco Botanical Bookstore Living Wall grown in Florafelt Pockets.

The art of gardening

Living walls are a spectacular experience and bring the art of gardening to those without actual ground space or those wanting to being the great outdoors inside. The beauty of a highly dense planting is a delight to behold. Having a garden means you will learn how to become a gardener or you might team up with a landscaper who can express their craft and shape a beautiful living experience.

Learn and grow

When you add a living wall to your space you are effectively creating a very large plot of garden to your space. The Florafelt System makes irrigation and management of the large number of plants simple to irrigate and easy to adjust and craft into a beautiful living wall. All great gardens grow and evolve to become an expression of life. With some success and failures you can lean how to customize and create a living masterpiece.

Maintenance schedule


  • Observe and notice wilting or brown tip leaves.
  • If you notice an issue take immediate action to fix the situation, see below.


  • Check for dead leaves and remove.
  • Make note of soil moisture and make slight adjustments if necessary.
  • Spray with essential oil and detergent mixture. Soak the leaves and also the felt material.


  • In spring and summer months only. Fertilize. Add fertilizer to the irrigation injector feed bin. Use two scoops of fertilizer and top off with water. For the recirculating unit. Add a single scoop of fertilizer to the water tank.
  • For the recirculating unit. Check water level and top off.

Every 6 months

  • Change water in the recirculating tank. use a pump and 5 gallon bucket to remove the water from the tank. Pour used water into the toilet. Refill the tank with clean water.


  • Change out batteries for irrigation timer.
  • Check and clean filters.

Irrigation adjustment

  • For drip systems. Always water frequently every 6 hours.
  • For recirculating systems. Water once a day.
  • Note dry pockets. Wilting leaves. Double watering time.
  • Note brown tips on leaves. Sign of over watering. Cut watering time in half.


Typically in low-light interior situations over-watering can cause roots to rot. This will damage roots and make the plants appear to wilt or droop. Often this is confused with underwatering. If you see suffering plants, often with brown tips on the leaves, check the soil with your finger to make sure it is too wet. If so, take steps to dry out the wall and save the plants as best you can. Root rot can creep up and become fatal to some of the plants without warning.

Don’t be fooled

A drooping or wilting plant does not always mean it needs more water. Our first instinct is to add more water to a plant that is looking sad. But this is the most common way house plants are killed. Always first feel the soil to determine if the soil is moist. This will be your first clue that you should hold off on watering.

Steps to correct for over-watering

  • Reduce watering times by 1/2. Then observe for a week, then reduce again if necessary. Try to keep frequency daily (for recirculating systems) or 4 times a day (for drip systems) to keep the top plants irrigated and the ‘flow’ consistent in the wall.
  • Remove all brown tipped leaves and 1/2 of the wilted leaves. This will help the plant keep its internal moisture as the roots recover and begin to absorb moisture from the soil normally.
  • Provide a fan to help move air and reduce moisture in the wall. The breathable felt will quickly allow moisture to escape from the system.
  • If some plants do not make it, simply remove and replace with plants types that are more successful in the wall. For any number of reasons, some plants may not do well in the exact conditions provided. So it’s best to learn and move on.

Pest control

Weely spraying with an essential oil and light biodegradable detergent mixture on a regular basis will make the plants resistant to infestation. A slight trace of detergent on the leaves disrupts the surface tension for the tiny insects, making it very difficult for them to survive.

Common pests and solutions

Little white fluffy spots.Mealy bugsHand remove and wipe off with a towel. Spray with essential oil / detergent mixture.
Spider webs.Spider mitesRemove webs and clean up leaves. Spray with essential oil / detergent mixture. hand kill spiders as they evacuate.
Little shiny trails on the felt.SlugsAdd slug pellets to the pockets in the area.

Further reading