Vertical growing techniques have been pioneered by growers who were driven to solve agriculture-related problems pertaining to land use, efficiency, food miles and water availability. Ornamental vertical growing, however, demonstrates that these strategies can have big benefits for the commercial production of decorative plants, like industrial floriculture, as well as for the beautification of homes and public spaces.
Here, we’ll share a sampling of some of the reasons florists, decorators and city planners alike are intrigued by the possibilities of vertical growing.
Commercial Applications for Vertical Growing
In addition to the production of fruits and vegetables, vertical growing could be beneficial for the floriculture sector as well as for the cultivation of other ornamentals.
Why Would We Move Floriculture Out of the Greenhouse?
While commercial greenhouses are currently the norm for industrial floriculture, vertical farming trials for flower production have met with some success. An exploration conducted by researchers at Philips led to insights about lighting recipes that could be used for a variety of annual and perennial ornamental plants.
Why would florists be interested in this kind of cultivation? The researchers noted that, by moving flowers from the greenhouse to a daylight-free indoor environment, they could eliminate the effect of sunlight on temperature and humidity for plants. Indoor vertical farms could improve floriculture by more tightly regulating these factors, as well as by controlling exposure to disease-causing pathogens and other issues.
Floriculture’s Place in Vertical Food Farming
Vertical farming could also someday play a role in the commercial cultivation of edible flowers. A Euronews report explored how researchers in Europe, in order to help promote the floriculture industry, are studying several methods for expanding the viability and use of edible flowers. One of the techniques they’re investigating is the use of LED lights.
If these efforts succeed, edible flowers may become an important part of vertical food farming efforts in the future. Such initiatives are intended to increase the availability of locally produced food, limiting the need for regularly storing and shipping large amounts of fresh produce across vast distances. Edible flowers grown indoors may be one way to add some unique flavor to dishes, alongside other locally grown ingredients.
Ornamental Vertical Growing: Beautiful Gardens in the Air
In addition to using vertical farming techniques to raise edible and ornamental flowers and other plants in the commercial sector, these methods also have a place in beautification efforts. Whether at home or in public spaces, ornamental vertical growing is on the rise.
Ornamental Vertical Growing at Home
Home ornamental vertical growing is a bit different from the kind of industrial applications discussed above. While those operations run without daylight and generally require the use of hydroponics, home vertical gardens usually still rely on sunlight, and they make use of soil and planters.
Vertical gardens can be hugely beneficial for those who live in dense neighborhoods without access to much outdoor space. By using trellises, vines and hanging pots, these gardens not only add a touch of color, but, as Better Homes & Gardens pointed out, they can also provide extra humidity during drier winter months.
Ornamental Vertical Growing for Businesses and Public Places
Ornamental vertical gardens are a trend that’s also taking root in businesses and public plazas. Trendy hotel lobbies now sometimes sport lush green walls where plants provide a welcome sense of liveliness.
Recently, as the Liverpool Express reported, a large green wall was slated to wrap around the St. John’s Shopping Centre. This is in keeping with local and regional efforts to increase biodiversity, improve air quality, promote sustainability and add green spaces to enhance the physical and mental well-being of urban residents.
Vertical growing, whether in the floriculture industry or practiced on apartment balconies for simple home enjoyment, can help provide further solutions that maximize the use of limited space and other resources. These techniques can also help us grow more plants with greater efficiency as processes are further developed and refined.