Phalaenopsis orchids and other air plants eventually attach to wooden plaques without support.

How to Display Plants on the Wall

by Amelia Allonsy

Plants are typically grown and displayed in flowerbeds, hung from porches or placed in containers around patios, but they can also draw attention upward when you display them on an interior or exterior wall. Perhaps the biggest benefit of wall displays -- beside changing up boring picture frame displays -- is you don't have to worry about destructive kids and pets uprooting the plants or playing in the dirt. There are numerous ways to display different types of plants, whether you want to grow epiphytes on wood plaques, hang succulents in balls of peat moss or display a wall-mounted potted plant.

Place a handful of moist peat moss on a cork or wood plaque that measures at least 3 by 3 inches. Spread the roots of a Phalaenopsis orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.) evenly over the moss and cover the roots with another handful of moss. Wrap fishing line around the plaque several times to hold the orchid and moss in place. Attaching a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of the plaque and hang it on a nail that is anchored to a wall stud. Use a 6-by-6-inch plaque to mount two plants or a 9-by-9-inch plaque for three plants.

Cut a staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) pup from a larger plant, using a pruning saw. Place a large clump of moist peat moss in the center of a 12-inch-square piece of plywood or similar board. Place the fern pup on top of the moss with the hard, brown shield facing out. Wrap natural twine or fishing line around the board and fern to hold the plant in place. Pack more peat moss between the shield of the staghorn fern cutting and the lumber backing. Use a sawtooth picture hanger or picture hanging wire to hang the fern plaque on a wall that receives filtered sunlight.

Assemble a box from 1-by-3-inch lumber with 2-inch wood screws installed at each corner. Attach a piece of 1/2-inch plywood to one side of the frame. Install a sawtooth hanger or picture hanging wire to the back of the plywood. Cover the opposite side of the 1-by-3-inch lumber box with 1/2-inch diameter hardware cloth stapled to the sides. Use wood glue to attach a real picture frame to the front side of the box, if desired. Fill the box with moist potting soil for cacti; add the soil through the holes in the hardware cloth. Push small succulent cuttings through the holes in the hardware cloth to fill in the frame. Hang the picture frame succulent planter on the wall in about two weeks, after the succulents take root. Remove the planter from the wall once monthly to water.

Clump together moist peat moss to form a ball of any size. Wrap fishing line around the ball, wrapping in several directions to hold the shape of the ball. Tie another piece of fishing line to the moss-ball planter with a loop at the opposite end. Slip the loop over a nail or screw to hang the planter on the wall. Use a skewer or chopstick to poke holes into the ball and insert small succulent cuttings. Do not add cuttings where the ball touches the wall. Remove the ball when the moss dries out and submerge it in water. Allow excess water to drain before replacing it on the wall.

Cut a piece of 2-by-6-inch lumber to 17 1/2 inches long, which is long enough to extend from the outside edges of two wall studs. Increase the board length by 16-inch increments for a longer display. Install 6- to 8-inch diameter hose clamps -- 2 inches larger than the pots you'll use -- to the board, using 1-inch wood screws inserted through one of the many holes in each clamp. Install two to three clamps to the board to grow multiple plants. Use 4-inch wood screws to mount the 2-by-6-inch board to two wall studs. Slide 4- to 6-inch diameter pots into the hose clamps. Turn the screw to tighten the band and hold the pots in place. Use planters that have built-in water catching basins. Use a lightweight, soilless potting mix, such as 2 parts peat moss to 1 part perlite, and grow your choice of small plants.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cork or wood plaque
  • Peat moss
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • Fishing line
  • Sawtooth picture hanger
  • Screwdriver
  • Pruning saw
  • Staghorn fern pup
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Natural twine
  • 1-by-3-inch lumber
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Power drill
  • 1/2-inch diameter hardware cloth
  • Staple gun
  • Picture frame (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Cacti potting mix
  • Succulent cuttings
  • 2-by-6-inch lumber
  • Power saw
  • 6- to 8-inch hose clamps
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 4-inch wood screws
  • 4- to 6-inch pots
  • Perlite


  • Phalaenopsis orchids grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12. Staghorn ferns grow in USDA zones 9 through 12.

About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images