Green house wall without damage: Find the right climbing plant

Lately there have been repeated reports about so-called vertical gardens, in order to ensure more greenery, especially in large cities. The beds, which are elaborately attached to the house facades, are not only supposed to filter the fine dust out of the air, but also to cool the facades heated by the sun’s rays.

Green walls, however, are not a modern invention. In fact, facades have been adorned with plants for hundreds of years, be it in the form of Flower boxes or Climbing plants. The latter are often so vigorous that almost the entire house disappears behind them! That doesn’t have to happen, however. After all, there is the right facade green for every taste.

Greening house walls without damage: Which climbing plant is the right one?

Climbing plants differ according to their growth types: there are self-climbers, spread climbers, twists and tendrils. As well as Ranker (e.g. grapevines) as well Spreading climber (e.g. climbing roses) need climbing aids around which they can wrap or hook. They are among the climbing plants that are best controlled. So if you only want to green certain sections of the house facade, it is best to use them.

grapevines as a climbing plant
Another advantage of grapevines: the climbing plant produces fruit! Image by Milada Vigerova

The vigorous self-climbers also have disadvantages …

Self-climbers, on the other hand, do not need any external support (at least in the build-up phase). They have adhesive roots or discs with which they hold on to the facade. This Detention organs urge – contrary to the general opinion – not into the masonry. Nutrients and water are only absorbed through the soil roots. Self-climbers grow away from the light (phototropic), as the side facing away from the light provides the life-saving support. Only through regular pruning can the climber be prevented from becoming their best-known representatives of the ivy belongs, in ventilation slots, windows, etc. grows into it.

Is the plaster or masonry ailing, the self-climbing organs of the self-climbers leave traces on the wall. However, these can only be seen when the climbing plant is cut back or completely removed. However, if the walls and plaster are in good condition, the greening promotes their lifespan.

Schlinger also have their pitfalls

Green house wall without damage
Here hops winds up on ropes, picture by RitaE

Now let’s get to the Creepers, also called lianas, the main stem of which winds around ropes, sticks, branches, etc. You are therefore absolutely dependent on a growth aid. Are they annual twists like Morning glories or Beans, the plant will not become excessively large. In addition, it must be re-sown in the following year. Also the hop, another snake, completely regresses in winter, but sprouts again next spring.

Green house wall without damage
Woody shoots of the wisteria

Special attention deserves the so-called Strong lurching, to which the Wisteria counts. They are not only extremely vigorous, their shoots also lignify and can be used for considerable amounts Structural damage ensure, to care. This is the case, for example, when components such as rain gutters are wrapped around (and crushed) too much.

Trellises protect the facade

Structural damage caused by climbing plants can not only be prevented by regular pruning, but also by using appropriate climbing aids. Perennial twists, for example, need a massive rope system, which is mainly attached vertically to the facade.

Rope systems are also suitable to prevent the self-climbing organs from reaching the plaster. But then they must rightly large distance to the wall attached, which makes implementation expensive.

Why modern building envelopes cannot tolerate every climbing plant

Although trellises made of metal, especially the durable stainless steel, harmonize very well with modern houses, they are not suitable for all new buildings. Particularly when the insulation board forms the outer shell of the building and is only covered with plaster (one speaks of a “thermal insulation composite system”), one must exercise caution. After all, the building envelope should guarantee thermal insulation. This is guaranteed for property developers who are building an apartment building because thermal bridges have no chance thanks to an ingenious wall structure. Since these walls are not massive, they can often not carry the additional load that a lush climbing plant represents. Climbers like ivy and wild wine should therefore be avoided.

Of course, such a wall can still be drilled in order to attach a climbing aid to it. There are now solutions that prevent thermal bridges by making them weatherproof. You will be advised in this regard in specialist shops.

Positive influence of the facade greening by climbing plants

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Climbing roses, picture by MW

Climbing plants are often said to have bad properties, above all they are suspected by many people of attacking or even destroying the facade. Therefore, it should be mentioned at this point that climbing plants do not cause any damage to the house wall with proper care, and instead the advantages of a wall greening actually outweigh:

  • Protection of the facade by creating a second “green facade”: protection against UV light (solar radiation is partly reflected), hail, rain
  • Heat regulation: prevents too rapid cooling in winter, in summer, however, the leaves evaporate water and thus cool the house
  • offers animals (birds, insects) shelter and food
  • reduced noise pollution
  • Dust and exhaust filtering

Last but not least, climbing plants have a pretty one Appearance, above all their blooming representatives such as climbing roses, clematis or honeysuckle. You visually enhance a facade – the house becomes an eye-catcher!


Unfortunately, with the vast majority of climbing plants, this is only the case for about half a year. Like almost all plants in this country, they lose their leaves in winter. All that remains is the branches and that can look pretty cloudy. This can be remedied by longer leafy plants with early leaf shoots and late leaf shedding (e.g. kiwi) or evergreen tendrils as the Evergreen honeysucklewhich, in turn, does not have abundant flowering.

Alternatively, a house facade can also be built using Espalier trees be greened. Or – as mentioned at the beginning – with flower boxes and potted plants. Every green on the facade is an enrichment for the house and residents.

LG Anne !!!

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