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Living Wall Thrive Rate

Living Wall Thrive Rate

Thrive rate is a measure of the relative health of plants. Our stewardship team scores each living wall’s thrive rate on each visit. This page illustrates and describes thrive rates to clarify terms and set expectations.



Living Wall Thrive Rate: Healthy

Healthy living wall plants are always our goal. Indicators of health are vigorous roots, new growth, absence of pests, tissue turgidity, appropriate color, and attractive foliage.

Living Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:Orchid, Philodendron, Tradescantia, and Calathea. (The yellow ‘question mark’ flowers are silk.)

Vegetated Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:A diverse mixture of green foliage plants, with prominent birdsnest fern.

Green Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:Vigorous, large-leafed Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’ (top left); Begonia ‘Rex’ (red, top right); Philodendron ‘Lemon Drop’ (yellow, diagonal center and near bottom right); Spathiphyllum (lower right edge). All these diversely colored plants are very healthy. The Begonias and Spathiphyllum have a few spent yellow/brown leaves that need to be remove, which is normal; occasional spent leaves is not a sign of stress.

Living Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:A diverse mixture of green foliage plants, with striped foliage of Calathea ‘Burle Marx’ (lower right) and a few Anthurium ‘Red Hots’ at the top.

Vegetated Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:The healthy plants here were selected for their diverse yellow, red, purple, and variegated foliage.

Green Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:A mix of green foliage plants, with a yellow-striped spider plant (Chlorophytum) at right.

Green Wall Plant Health

Healthy Living Wall Vegetation:A diverse mixture of yellow-green, dark-green, purple, and variegated foliage plants.

 


Living Wall Thrive Rate: Stressed

Living wall plant stress can be caused by a number of factors: too much or too little light, too much or too little nutrient, too much to too little irrigation, pH imbalance, etc. Pests can also cause stress, but more often pests are a result of stress. Our goal as stewards of living walls is to prevent stress, and if it does occur quickly identify and correct the stressful conditions so that the living wall can return to health. Stressed plants often bounce back.

Living Wall Plant Health

Stressed Living Wall Vegetation: These maidenhair ferns are stressed, observable as brown tips. In this case, the stressor was inadequate light.

Vegetated Wall Plant Health

Stressed Living Wall Vegetation: Some plants in this wall exhibit transplant shock, a temporary stress. This area needs a few more plugs, removal of brown foliage, and patience for about 3-4 weeks before it appears full.

Green Wall Plant Health

Stressed Living Wall Vegetation: Tip burn can be caused by too much light, too much or too little water, nutrient imbalance, or other factors. Our Stewardship team assesses stress conditions to resolve the problem in a sustainable way.

 


Living Wall Thrive Rate: Declining

Unfortunately, living wall vegetation can experience decline. The difference in stress and decline, is that plants can usually bounce back from stress, but plants in decline almost certainly warrant replacement. Decline is usually the result of prolonged stress, and decline can be avoided altogether with proper design, a continual stewardship program, and cooperation between all parties.

Green Wall Plant Health

Living Wall Vegetation in Decline: In the photo above, these Aglaonema were attacked by mealy bugs after prolonged lack of adequate light. The lack of light stressed the plants; then the stress allowed pests to attack. The weakened plants then entered decline, as they are not strong enough to bounce back; so they must be replaced (and the pests must be treated). Decline such as this is uncommon, so we have very few examples.