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Left: a living wall made of live plants with built-in water system. Right: A moss wall made of preserved plants that are securely attached and do not need access to water or light.

Living walls and moss walls are an interior design trend sweeping the nation in offices, schools, homes, and HOAs. But what is the difference between these trends and how do you know which type of wall to choose? 

Both living walls and moss walls are beautiful and unique additions to any space, but they have more benefits than just being aesthetically pleasing—they are an important aspect of biophilic design.

Biophilia refers to our innate need to be connected with nature. Our busy, crazy, and overcommitted lives lead to stress, poor health, and the constant need to relax with little time to do so. When we do get the chance to take a break, many of us prefer to seek peace in nature in order to slow down for a moment—something we undoubtedly crave throughout the work week. But why should that peace, balance, and relaxation only be available to us outside of work or home? Daily doses of indoor nature in the built environment can provide the same effect as being outdoors. It can clear our minds, reduce stress, and increase our energy levels. 

So, you have officially fallen in love with these green wall ideas, but which one do you choose? Here are some differences between living walls and moss walls:

Living Walls

living wall
mobile sliding living wall
living wall closeup

A living wall is a vertical garden that contains living plants. Each wall is customizable and completely unique in the way that the plants are placed and how they grow. With so many design options for a living wall, they are the perfect natural addition to an office, lobby, school, and even hospital. Living walls provide several benefits.

An Eye-Catching Display

Living green walls are impactful and dramatic! Anyone walking into that space, whether it’s employees or visitors, will marvel at the lush greenery, striking textures, and stunning design. Creating and installing a living wall requires design expertise and in-depth knowledge of plant species that work together and thrive in the environment of the space. With proper selections, the results will be extraordinary!

Physical & Emotional Benefits

Employees in office environments with elements such as plants, greenery, and natural light:

  • Report a 15% higher level of well-being
  • Are 6% more productive
  • Are 15% more creative

Because of its strong association with nature, the color green often symbolizes tranquility, health, and freshness. Thus, it is an emotionally calming color, making it quite successful at helping people adjust to and feel comfortable in new environments. It also correlates with broader thinking and creativity, making green the perfect color to incorporate in any building environment.


Living walls can make buildings more energy efficient. They can provide a buffer from harsh summer sunlight, as well as create insulation during the cold winter months. This helps reduce a building’s use of energy and thus, the carbon footprint. 

Maintenance Needs

Living walls require routine maintenance from professionals. They have a complex watering system, need a lightsource that reaches all tiers, and we recommend using a professional plant care service like Urban Plantscapes to protect your investment and keep it looking as beautiful as the day it was installed.

Moss Walls

moss art
moss art
moss art

Similar to living walls, moss walls are a stunning natural art display. However, moss walls are created using preserved moss and ferns—the moss and plants are no longer living organisms. This means that unlike living walls, moss walls require no watering and very little maintenance!

Low Maintenance

Preserved moss walls require almost zero maintenance, which can save you ample costs compared to a living wall. There are just a couple of simple guidelines to keep a moss wall looking its best. Moss must be kept out of direct sunlight and in normal indoor humidity levels (40 to 60%) to retain its color and texture. If not kept in the proper climate, the moss may dry out and become brittle or even discolored in the sun. Occasionally, small touch ups may be needed depending on the environment of the art, but the typical lifespan of a piece is upwards of 8 to 10 years!

Eye Catching

Much like living walls, moss art walls can be extraordinarily eye-catching and become a central statement piece. Incorporating additional texture through preserved ferns and other foliage adds a lush magical quality, and moss art serves as a focal point that elevates brands with green values.

Noise Reduction

Many offices and buildings must provide spaces for their employees and clients to meet in a quiet space. Moss walls actually contribute to overall noise reduction by absorbing, diffracting, and reflecting sound waves. This results in comfortable, quiet spaces that contain noise and reduce the chances of disturbing other workers and customers.

Biophilic Design

Like living walls, moss walls also bring the elements of nature into a space, creating the same benefits for our physical and emotional well-being.

Interested in learning more about what might be best for your space? Call us today to set up a consultation, or take a look at OUR PORTOFOLIO to get inspired!

Our team will design a custom moss or living wall for you to elevate your space. Contact us for a free quick consultation, or get in touch with our commercial plant care service team to bring life to your office.


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