DIY Vertical Fern Wall 

Plants on tin planters on a red pallet

Everyone is anxious to get outside in spring, and this project is easy enough for one afternoon and will make your backyard space more inviting. Recycle a wooden pallet to create a lush fern wall.

Things You'll Need:

  • Pallet
  • Landscape fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Potting soil
  • Ferns (or other trailing annuals)
  • Shower spout watering can for gentle watering


  1. Wooden palettes* can be found at many grocery or hardware stores, or at garden centers. Choose one in decent shape, though you can always nail loose boards at home. Keep in mind you’ll be covering the back, bottom and sides with landscape fabric (and leaning them against a wall) so it needs to only be attractive on one side. Sand any rough edges to avoid splinters.
  2. Measure approximately how much landscape fabric you will need to cover the back, bottom and sides. You’ll want two layers of fabric. Fold the excess around the corners like you might wrap a present -- we don’t want any soil spilling out. Staple along one edge and pull tight as you go to create a sturdy backboard.
  3. Start planting! Fill in the top row first, and tightly tuck in your plants. Now that all four sides are closed off, you can now pour potting soil on top of the palette to fill the inside. Be sure to tuck all the plants in nice and snug. Give everything a gentle and thorough soak with a shower spout watering can, and leave them to rest on the ground horizontally for two weeks. This helps the plant babies nestle in their new home and gives them time to take root.
  4. After a couple weeks, you’re ready to prop the palette vertically and enjoy the green wall you’ve made! As the season progresses, your plants will grow to cover the palette more and more. Keep in mind when watering the vertical garden, water will flow downward to the plants on each subsequent level. It’s best to check moisture levels in the soil to avoid over/under watering each row.

Ferns make a uniform, abundant green wall, but succulents would also be adorable in their place. Do you prefer more color? Use flowering, trailing annuals like morning glory. Using only flowering plants, you could make an ombre design or rainbow stripes. This basic project is very straightforward, but the design possibilities are endless. Have fun with it; make several!

*If you choose to use edible flowers or herbs, be sure to verify the palette was not treated with chemicals.