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Partial Greening - Partial House Greening

Most facade-greenings fall into the category of 'partial greening.' This means, of course, that only certain parts of the wall become green (thus a counter-design to full greening), which leads to an intriguing relationship between greened and ungreened areas. Plants which require climbing supports are primarily used... in this way, one can guide the plants, rather than having them 'colonize' entire walls. In some cases, self-climbing plants-- when maintained properly with regular pruning-- are also a possibility. For the architectural beauty of a building, it is often preferable to cover only a few square meters of the facade with climbing plants, so that the shapes of the building are highlighted. Climbing roses, vines, clematis, and winter jasmine will generally not 'leave' the area they have been assigned to. Read on for suggestions and examples.

Greened facades
Greened facades

Vertical and Horizontal Fields

If the height or width of a building is to be emphasised, vertically or horizontally oriented green 'bands' of any width can be formed; the support systems can be arranged into vertical or horizontal fields. Climbing plants with a vertical orientation, i.e., annuals and twiners, are particularly suitable. For horizontal greening, grapevine and any plant that lets itself be easily formed (trained and shaped) are suitable.

Square Fields

Our wire rope trellis systems offer a wide variety of options for larger spaces on walls that want to be greened. These systems usually have four or more ropes or laths and, depending on the growth habit of the plant, different mesh sizes.

Single Green Lines (Strands)

For façades with many windows or other openings, a solution can be to use linear strands between the openings... a combination of horizontal and vertical strands of green. Usually only one or two wire ropes are used. The desired thickness/dimensions of the plant may then be created and maintained by regular pruning.

How High?

Façade greening -- especially in the private sector -- shouldn't be higher than 5 metres. That is about as high as a ladder will get you to be able to care and prune the plants. High greening does come with risks. If the entire greening is meant to reach 5 m, then the support system needs to be correspondingly lower than 5 m (depending on the climbing plant; see below).

Climbing Systems: Plan Narrow!

Surfaces that are to be greened should always first be considered as gross fields. They should have about 25-40 cm distance from house corners, windows, doors... The climbing plant support systems are then located within the green area and are regarded as net-fields, i.e. narrower and smaller than the gross fields. In systems with several parallel tensioned wire ropes, the ropes are often arranged narrowly, at a rather small distance from each other, producing a more attractive visual.


But just how big should the difference be between the gross and the net field? Some plants can cover and grow over any climbing system in summer. Others simply follow along the wire rope strands and produce a graceful pattern together with the system. Clematis, annuals, and some less vigorous climbing roses are easy to control and will not exceed much of their support. Here the difference between the gross and net fields is less than for vigorously growing plants that grow far above the given net framework of the climbing aid. Some rather vigorous climbers, where this is specifically indicated, may even need up to 2 m distance between the climbing aid and the eaves (and down pipes). In most cases, the ideal dimensions of the green fields are set and kept by pruning in summer, and if necessary, are redefined several times.

Choice of Plants

If you click on the individual climbing plants on our website, you will find a recommendation at the end of each page showing you which systems are suitable and which are not. Grapevines, for example, can be trained to fit almost any form/layout your support system provides. However, ivy and wild vines (Boston ivy, for example) aren't suited for partial greening and often have to be removed again. Check the section on building damage for tips.

Different possibilities, partial house greening
House greening - Ideas!
Reliable greening method with linearly guided fruitless grapevine
Time-tested greening method with wild vine
Grapevine about 3.5 m high. A tip for designing: A wall provides more contrast when the greened elements are offset with the architecturally- relevant lines-- in this case, the lintel of the garage doors.
House greening with grapevine
For architectural reasons, FassadenGrün recommends keeping climbing fields narrow. Almost every climbing plant (here, clematis Montana) enlarges the respective field by simply outgrowing the dimensions of the cable system.
Climbing Plant Support
Small house greening with clematis
House greening with clematis

Photo Gallery

Here you can see further examples of partial house greening with climbing plants

Greened facades in Naumburg / Sachsen-Anhalt
Small espalier with grapevine
Mandevilla-pyramid on a shopping center
Morning glory on wire rope
Vertical greening of house with vines
T-formed greening on houses is possible with climbing plants. Here, grapevines with annual morning glory
Wisteria on wire rope strands
Vines as a narrow, horizontal house greening
Horizontal greening, vine
Roses are well suited for entryways or for flanking doors. They are often set on systems 4050, 4060, or 4010.
Square greening field. Vine on wire rope system 5040.
Three-lobed Boston Ivy (self-climbing plant)
Large-scale house greening with wisteria- almost a full greening