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Full Wall Greening

"Full greening" refers, as you would expect, to full-surface coverage of a facade with climbing plants. This greening choice is supremely ecological. While some plants can cover an entire facade without the need of a climbing support / trellis, it is also possible to attach grids and trellises to the wall, and to combine several climbing plants to create contrast, what we call 'mixed greening.' Take inspiration from the examples on this page if you are thinking of covering your entire facade. If you are considering a larger scale greening, this section can support you in making a decision.

Vine-covered farm wall near Dresden / Saxony
Vine-covered farm wall near Dresden / Saxony

Pros and Cons

Full-surface greening can actually improve the microclimate in summer, especially in densely populated urban areas. Birds and insects welcome the extra room ~ so you are indeed supporting biodiversity / animal protection / wildlife conservation when you fully green! The vegetation filters out particles like dust or exhaust fumes and reduces ambient temperature through evapotranspiration.


Covering a facade with a climbing plant is generally a simple affair with very low initial costs; costs arise when the plants reach the roof and need routine trimming. And depending on the plant, a considerable amount of foliage must be disposed of in autumn. Structural damage is quite possible when certain vigorous climbers go unchecked. Overgrown growth (with potential little critters) reaching towards windows has also been known to provoke the ire of residents / tenants. Regular maintenance is the key. 

*A design tip: leave the facade un-greened in some places to create contrast and maintain a facade's elegance.

Self-Climbing Plants

Self climbers (plants with adhesive 'organs' that climb naturally) almost never need a support, so they can be used to cover the facade at low cost. This is especially true for ivy, which keeps its leaves all year round. Boston ivy and Virginia creeper are usually fast-growing and have bright red autumn leaves, though in winter are less impressive.

Plants with Climbing Support

Most climbing plants need climbing support to completely cover a wall. In the past, the classic full greening was done with espaliered grapevine because greening was seen and valued in terms of yield. But grapevines need regular care, and specific know-how is required (which we offer in our climbing plants section). Larger green areas can also be created with climbing roses, for example, and team up well with clematis and other annuals.


Full-cover greening method with Boston Ivy
Greening method with Boston Ivy
Full-surface combination greening: Virginia creeper, Dutchman's pipe (yellow) and fleece vine Mixed planting on a fire wall, autumn colours, climbing system similar to our 5040, design and installation: FassadenGrün, 2002.
Multi-greened facade

Photo Gallery

Here you can see green facades with a wide variety of plants in various states of care, with and without trellises, and at different times of year.

Large-scale wall greening with trumpet vine
Full-surface facade greening with wisteria on an climbing supports, town hall Riesa / Saxony
Three grapevines
Vintage wall greening of espalier fruit (pear), castle Hasselburg / Schleswig-Holstein
Surface greening of overhanging 'evergreen honeysuckle' on trellis wires in an alley, Konstanz / Baden-Wuerttemberg
An outbuilding greened with vigorously growing climbing plants (clematis Montana)
The wall of a shopping centre planted with clematis vitalba (and wisteria)
Building greened with ivy, winter photo
Greening with ivy
Building greening with ivy, Boston ivy, and flowers (window boxes), Überlingen near Lake Constance / Baden-Wuerttemberg
Lush silver lace vine on wooden trellises
Climbing plants (climbing hydrangea) in autumn
Three-lobed Virginia creeper in autumn
Greening with a three-lobed Virginia creeper in winter