Green walls

Green Wall Plant Identification Game

When I visit my stepmother in Quebec City, it’s my responsibility to take care of my father’s green wall. For those of you who are new to this project, it’s a cork bark wall with tropical plants growing on it… in my parents’ bathroom! Read Green Wall Reboot to learn more about this project that started over 20 years ago.

To tell you the truth, there’s hardly any maintenance to be done. I find that, in that sense, it really is a reflection of my father. You can’t get much more laidback with houseplants. The lighting is automated. There is a basin that fills itself when the water level is low. The whole thing is watered for thirty minutes every day by a pump, on a timer, that takes the water from the basin up to the to irrigation nozzles at the top of the wall. We fertilize with liquid fertilizer by pouring it into the pond, but I find that the organic debris is a suitable source of nutrients. After all, these plants grow on trees in the wild without any fertilizer whatsoever!

Minimal Maintenance

What’s left to do? Every month or two, I check the nozzles for organic debris. A few times a year, we empty the pond to change the water. After a few years, I guess I’ll have to clean the tank by hand. Or not! After 20 years, as was the case with the first generation, we had to replace the cork which rotted, but the wall on which it is glued survived all this time, as well as the basin and the piping.

In short, once the wall is built, it’s a lot less work than having indoor plants that have to be watered almost weekly or risk perishing.

Indoor plants for laidback gardeners, no less!

Always in Evolution

I’m telling you about it today because I’m often asked the question, “How is Larry’s green wall doing?” So I’ll keep you posted on its evolution over the years. Because it’s constantly changing. Plants grow. Some will eventually overtake others. There’s usually one plant or another that’s blooming (right now, it’s an orchid), while others die, unable to adapt.

A Game of Identification

One of the projects my father and I had was to identify the plants on the wall. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and now I find myself with this wall covered with plants whose names I’m not sure of. Of course, I know enough of them to, with great difficulty, manage to identify them all, but where’s the fun in that? Today, I’m offering to help me identify all these plants by playing Larry’s green wall identification game!

I counted 69 distinct plants, but I probably missed a few. The slideshow below contains a close-up of each one. They are numbered so you can leave your answers in the comments. Please try to be as specific as possible as there are some rare plants in the mix. I’ll update the slide show with the names of the plants later.

Have fun and thanks for your help!

Mathieu manages the and websites. He is also a garden designer for a landscaping company in Montreal, Canada. Although he loves contributing to the blog, he prefers fishing.

11 comments on “Green Wall Plant Identification Game

  1. This incredible bathroom concept is by far the most impressive I’ve ever come across, and it was the very project that led me to discover this blog. Whenever I stumble upon articles showcasing opulent bathrooms adorned with vast expanses of marble in the homes of the wealthy, I can’t help but question why they don’t invest a fraction of that money into creating something far more breathtaking.

  2. Bob Watson

    Plant number one is a bromeliad…Cryptanthus bivittatus
    Number seven is also a bromeliad…a miniature neoregelia, likely neoregelia ampullacea
    Number 14, likewise a bromeliad, is Guzmania lingulata minor or a hybrid
    Number 29 in also a brom, cannot ID further
    37 looks like Peperomia obtusifolia variegata
    46 is an Anthurium andreanum hybrid
    55 is Jewel orchid, Ludisia discolor
    56 is another neoregelia ampullacea or a hybrid
    58 is another Peperomia obtusifolia variegata

    Great post!

  3. It’s simply beautiful an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh my! This is not easy. I can identify some of the genera, but that is all. I can not identify many species, and can identify none of the cultivars! For example, 57 is a variegated Hedera helix, but I can not identify which variegated cultivar it is. Many are philodendrons or relatives.

  5. 63 is Philodendron “Redwings” . But “Red Emerald” is so similiar it is difficult to be certain.
    “Redwings” is a much older variety.

  6. plantmatty

    Nice! mostly aroids, which makes perfect sense given the conditions, but aroid ID is not my strong suit, Here’s a few IDs I’m confident on:
    13. Schlumbergera truncata hybrid – Thanksgiving cactus
    19. Hoya curtisii
    28. Peperomia prostrata (string of turtles)
    33. Pilea glaucophylla/glauca/libanensis – covered by Larry here:
    41. Peperomia ‘hope’ (P. deppeana x P. quadrifolia)
    48. Phlebodium aureum, probably ‘blue star’ (still young, hard to be sure)
    20 & 31 & 62. Scindapsus pictus ‘exotica’

  7. Christine Lemieux

    Years ago I had quite a few houseplants. It was fun to see I recognize some of them in the photos. I can only identify the easy ones, like #37 Peperomia obtusifolia variegata. I really love the wall.

  8. jessica crawford

    Wow, just Wow! ?

  9. Bill Russell

    #51 appears to be missing in the slideshow. Did you reckon it was too easy to identify?

  10. Thank you Mathieu
    Read every day
    We are many years plant lovers and share our existence with as many as we have room for.
    Which is a good size herd. These daily posts are very welcome and appreciated.

  11. This is the best bathroom idea I have ever seen, and the project that first brought me to this blog. Whenever I see articles about rich people’s homes and their bathrooms with acres of marble I wonder why they don’t spend a lot less money making something so much more beautiful.

    It’s so valuable to give updates like this – it’s easy to make a project that looks fantastic in photos for social media but for real world success it’s essential to make something that lasts.

    If you have time it might be useful for readers to have some info about the usual temperature, humidity etc of the room but that can wait for the next update.

    Thanks so much.

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