How to make Wall Mounts for your Houseplants
Constructing wall mounts for houseplants is a fun and easy project that will take your houseplant game to the next level. Here is a how-to guide from a fellow plant geek and Boys With Plants alumni to show you one way to do it. Have fun!
What plants do well mounted on a board? I typically use “epiphytic” plants like orchids, some types of ferns, air plants, and rhipsalis. Generally, epiphytes are plants that attach themselves to other plants or objects with clinging root systems in their natural habitat. Epiphytes typically do not get their moisture from soil, but rather from the specific conditions of the air and ecosystem around them. This makes them ideal candidates for wall mounts because it mimics their growth in the wild. There are many varieties of these common houseplants to choose from that will thrive in the conditions of a wall mount.
I suggest selecting plants that are potted in 4in pots. When you are selecting and buying houseplants try to support your local plant shops! Buying from independent shops is going to get you higher quality growing and care conditions and a more interesting selection. Plus you can ask your local plant purveyor for recommendations, tips, and tricks.
Materials You Will Need
- Flat Wood Plank
- Fishing line (10lb)
- Floral Scissors
- Small finishing nails
- Saw tooth hanging brackets
- Epiphytic plant in a 4’’ pot
- A sheet of live sheet moss
Select Your Wood and Cut
Select a wood that is common in your region of the world or re-use reclaimed wood. I always select cedar because it is mold and water-resistant, and grows here in the Pacific Northwest.
Cut the flat board to your desired width and length. When cutting the board use all common safety practices. I recommend cutting the wood plank to 13’’ by 7’’ (33 by 18 centimeters) as it creates great proportions for the growth pattern of a small, potted 4’’ houseplant.
I suggest embellishing the wood with a design of your choosing. Adding creative elements to your wall mount will enhance the impact of the planter on your wall and add character to your home or office.
Find the Placement of the Plant
Next, place the plant next to your mount and determine where you want the plant be located exactly on the board. You want the plant to interact with the design. This visual placement will determine where you will hammer in the nails on the side of the board.
You will also want to determine the “front” and “back” of the plant placement. I suggest that the bottom of the pot sits above the bottom of the board when considering your placement.
Measure Attachment Points
You will need to determine where your small nails will be located on the sides of the board. Find the location where the nails land in the middle of the root ball of the plant. Mark those locations equally on both sides of the board by gently pressing the nail to make an indentation.
Insert the nails in the side of the board in the place you have marked to a depth that leaves enough to tie the fishing line.
Attaching the Bracket
The next step is to attach the metal hanger on the back of the board that will allow you to hang the mount on a nail on your wall. I suggest using the “sawtooth” brackets sold in most hardware stores. Measure out to the center of the board and attach.
Additionally, I place felt or rubber protector pads on the bottom of the mount so that when the mount is slightly wet after watering it will not touch your wall surface and dry evenly.
Once your board is entirely constructed you will move on to preparing your plant and attaching it to the plank.
Wrapping the Root Ball
You will need 10lb fishing line, floral scissors, sheets of moss, and your houseplant. Also this part gets messy, so an outdoor area or indoor space that you can cover with a sheet is recommended.
This part can take some gentle finesse, as you will be wrapping the root ball and soil of the plant. In my region of the world I have access to live moss that grows thick mats in the forest near my home. I use these mats to wrap the root ball of the plant, which mimics how these epiphytes might grow in the wild.
Select the appropriate size sheet of moss that will wrap entirely around the root ball of the plant. Once you have made your selection STOP, do not begin to wrap the plant. You will need to prepare your fishing line.
Tie A Honda Knot
Prepare the end of your fishing line to resemble a “lasso” knot (the technical term is “Honda Knot”). Once you have this knot prepared, then you will use it to loop around the moss at the top of the soil line of the plant. With your houseplant, moss sheet, wooden mount, and fishing line ready you will work on creating the wrap that your plant will live in.
Start at the Top
First step is to place your hand through the big loop in your Honda Knot. While the fishing line is around your wrist, take the moss and grasp the top of the soil. Make sure to have plenty of moss around the base of the plant to hold the potting soil in. From here you will loosen the knot and loop it around the moss sheet in order to execute your first tie at the soil line. Be sure the knot is facing the “back” of the plant so that it will be hidden once attached.
Gently Wrap the Moss
Begin to wrap the moss gently. You will need to continue to wrap at many angles to achieve the general shape of a cup. Check to make sure you are completely concealing the soil with the sheet of moss. Wrap at sharp angle to secure the bottom is sealed.
As you wrap the clear fishing line will disappear in the moss. Complete your wrapping in the middle of the root ball as this will lead you into the second action which is to attach the plant to the nails on the mount.
Attach the Plant to The Board
To attach your moss wrap onto the board, first place the plant where you want it on the board. Visually place it in the center of the mount and perpendicular to the nails on the sides. From here you will wrap the three times on the front side of the moss cup. Be sure to space your final wrap lines evenly in front of the moss cup so that it is fastened near the top, middle, and bottom sections.
Be sure to tighten enough that there is firm pressure on the moss cup. Tie off the string on one side and clip the fishing line close to the nail. Your plant is now mounted!
Trim the Moss
Additionally you can see where there might be some trimming that needs to happen on the moss cup. Particularly on the bottom and sides. Clip those areas gently with scissors.
Watering Your New Mount
Ideally, you will need to get the entire moss cup wet once per week on your typical watering schedule in your home or office. Additionally, misting as often as possible is helpful for most epiphytic plants, but not required for these plants. When watering your entire mount, place it in a kitchen sink, bathtub, shower, or outdoor location where it can drain for twenty minutes.
I use the shower nozzle at my kitchen sink on a low setting and sprinkle the entire moss cup and top of the soil. It is your job to determine whether your particular epiphytic plant prefers water on the leaves or not. For example, Staghorn ferns typically like to have a rather dry substrate at the base of the plant, but gather moisture in their leaves. So you will want to shower the leaves of the plant, and not soak the base. But, Hare’s Foot Fern prefers dry leaves with a consistently wet layer of moisture around their rhizomes at the base of the plant.
Do some research on plant care for the plant you have selected and water according to the species preferences.
Select a Location
Placing your mount in your home or office is another fun element of the process. I would recommend hanging it on a wall near a window or skylight that will provide bright, diffused light.
Most epiphytes, ferns, and orchids grow best under the canopy of trees in the forest or jungles of the world and do not receive direct sunlight, so avoid that in your selection of placement.
Enjoy your new houseplant wall mount!
These make great additions to a space that is already full of plants, on the wall near your favorite art pieces, in a space that has pets that tend to damage plants, or as gifts for special occasions.
Your project is sure to impress and will take your houseplant game to a higher level.
Please comment below to ask me any questions you might have. You can also refer to my Instagram account to see my own personal designs for these mounts in my Feed posts and Highlights section at @zingiber.officinale.