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Trellis Green Walls Vs Pocket Based Green Walls

What are Jakob Trellis-based Green Walls?

You may be familiar with residential trellis systems such as those in domestic gardens, where ropes run vertically across horizonal rods (available here). Essentially rope and rod Green Walls are professional, larger scale versions which enable clients to create unique designs even before schemes are fully planted. The combination of stainless steel rod, rope and fixings provide elegant design options; and with its unique customizability, Jakob Webnet wire mesh can also be introduced to the system to support a ‘fuller’ coverage of plants – giving additional texture to facades and providing strong shadow definition.


What are Pocket-based Green Walls?

Simply put, pocket based Green Walls, are planter boxes or pockets, which are mounted to a wall. They hold natural soil and plants. Unlike rope and rod Green walls they do not use ground water and tend to require an irrigation system for plant maintenance, offering a full coverage when initially planted.

There are many benefits of both systems with just a few main advantages below:


Benefits of trellis-based Green Walls:

Benefits of pocket based Green Walls:

  • Thanks to the use of high quality 316 stainless steel, our green wall structure looks great with or without plants this is beneficial as the plants can take between a few months to multiple years to grow, meaning once installed you will not be left with an unattractive façade.


  • Rope and rod Green Walls are extremely cost-effective due their initial low cost and low maintenance requirement. In most cases an irrigation system is not required, so there are low water costs.


  • A great advantage of our Green Wall systems is that all of the stainless steel parts are fully recyclable; meaning the components can be reused or recycled. 
  • Due to the tens if not hundreds of pockets fixed to the wall, plants can be instantly planted meaning an almost immediate full effect.


  • Once installed these green walls look fantastic, hosting many different varieties of plants and greenery. In some cases, shapes or even pictures can be designed with the different colours/plant types.

Green Wall Sustainability

Like most systems however, pocket based green walls come with their disadvantages. Due to their design, where pockets/boxes are directly fixed to the wall, they can be extremely heavy, especially once the soil and plants are added as well as large amount of water need to keep the plants alive. As a result, additional structural support may be required, making the system very expensive – typically 2-4 times more expensive than a trellis-based system.

Behind Jakob Webnet Green Wall Shading

Unlike pocket based green walls, trellis systems are fixed away from the wall which means the plants grow up a trellis not directly against the wall. This allows for an air gap which prevents the wall from being constantly damp and the plants from becoming heavy (once fully grown).

Maintenance is extremely important when it comes to keeping a green wall healthy, some systems require more upkeep than others. Most trellis systems do not require an irrigation system as the plants are grown from the ground up, meaning natural rainwater or manually watering of the soil around the roots is sufficient.

Pocket systems tend to require a full recirculating, or direct irrigation system where water is operated by a timer or controller with a corresponding tank of water. It is important that pocket based systems are properly maintained and that irrigation is effective as a planted wall can fail quite quickly.

However, given sufficient budget is available to cover the initial installation, including structural support and regular maintenance, then pocket-based system can work well.

Jakob Trellis Green Walls have been installed across hundreds of projects worldwide for both residential and commercial applications, with one of its projects being Sihlcity in Zurich. Here, Jakob installed a 23m high by 25.5m wide trellis system to one of Switzerland’s largest and most advanced shopping and leisure complexes. The result is a striking, living green wall which delivers an elegant aesthetic solution to the car park façade.

Used both internally and externally, Green Walls not only look fantastic and are helping bring flora and fauna back to our towns and cities, but deliver a wide range of operational, cost and sustainability benefits for building owners.

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01761 419427 is part of the MMA Architectural Systems family, together with solutions for Car Park Safety, Animal Enclosures and Bridge Safety. We are also exclusive UK suppliers of Jakob Rope Systems and Geggus Entrance Matting Systems.