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How To Plant a Drought Tolerant Living Wall Garden

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Earthbox Living Wall Urban Water-Saving Garden

Your home is small; you only have a very tiny balcony area to grow a garden and you dream of a brightly colored garden filled with herbs and plants that require minimum fuss and care. I have the solution for you — a drought-tolerant living wall garden that requires absolutely no weeding. This garden is created from a bookshelf style unit and several EarthBox® Junior™ gardening systems, which have a special water reservoir in the planting container to help you waterless. Below are a few excerpts from Grow a Living Wall; Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose, my latest book.

Earthbox Living Wall Urban Water-Saving Garden Earthboxes and Plants
Living Wall Urban Water-Saving Garden Earthbox


This living wall has basil, dusty miller, red salvia, rosemary, and sweet potato vine from the J.W. Jung Seed Company. While most of the planets placed in these containers were fairly tough drought-tolerant plants, I was taking a risk with the sweet potato vine – living dangerously – hoping the Earthbox systems would help the sweet potato vines retain water. Happily, it worked. I planted each unit with 8 plants – that’s 24 plants total – in a narrow space less than 29″ wide and 10″ deep.


Plants with silver or white leaves, such as Artemesia or dusty miller are often drought tolerant. Flowering plants such as amaranth, cleome, Diamond Frost euphorbia, lantana, oxalis, and verbena are quite drought-tolerant. Herbs that are drought tolerant can frequently be found in Mediterranean recipes: rosemary, oregano, and sage are wonderfully hardy. Vegetables include cool-season growers such as cabbage, kale, and chards. Summer-season growers that do remarkably well with little water include peppers and broccoli.


This garden was incredibly easy to plant and grow to utilize moisture-retentive soil such as Organic Mechanics Soil,  your favorite combination of herbs and vegetables, and several EarthBox® Junior™ gardening systems. We built the shelf from scratch, painted it bold chartreuse, and hung it directly on the wall. You could easily recycle an old bookshelf. Following the Earthbox directions (see above), I planted up the containers and placed them on the shelf.

Please check out my book, Grow a Living Wall; Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose, on Amazon. I would love for you to learn more techniques for growing beautiful plants in small spaces!

Grow a Living Wall Book by Shawna Coronado
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  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE your book! I love the idea of drought tolerant plants since drought is so prevalent in so many areas lately. I LOVE the living wall in your book with the ferns. It’s so gorgeous! Everyone should get your book. 🙂

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