Green Social Distancing: Growing Plant Walls For Social Distancing

Social Distancing Sign On Green Shrubs
social distance
(Image credit: Tisomboon)

Social distancing may be the new normal for a while, so why not make the best of it? Green dividers are much friendlier than other types of physical barriers. They are more attractive and plants are good for overall health. Whether you want to discourage your neighbors from getting too close or have a business that could benefit from boundaries, try social distancing with plants.

Green Social Distancing at Work and Home

If you have a business or workplace that will be opening up again after the coronavirus lockdown, keeping workers and clients or customers appropriately distanced is important. We are all aware of the need, but it isn’t natural for us to stay 6 feet (2 m.) or more apart at all times. Physical barriers come in handy as reminders and guidelines. Here are some ways to use plants as social distancing barriers in an office, store, or restaurant:

  • Instead of a tape X on the floor, use potted plants. Mark out 6 feet (2 m.) between each one and people will know where to stand while waiting in line.
  • Use potted plants as walls that you can move as needed to separate groups or people.
  • In a restaurant, planters between tables not only mark appropriate spacing but also provide a little extra protection between groups.

Plants as social distancing barriers can also be useful at home if you don’t already have privacy screens or plantings between your and the neighbors’ gardens. Especially helpful are plant walls, climbing vines on trellises or fences, and planters if you are in a tight space. Apartment balconies that are close together, for instance, can use a green screen for social distancing.

Plants to Use in Green Dividers

Creating plant walls for social distancing can be a fun, creative project. Just be sure you pick the right plants for the setting and purpose.

For indoor spaces, you’ll have more to choose from because weather and climate are not factors. Tropical houseplants that grow tall are great for inside. These may include:

Tropical bamboo is also a great plant for indoor screening. Just be sure you grow it in large containers, as the roots will break free if constrained too tightly. It isn’t picky about soil but requires regular watering. Bamboo will grow tall and fast into a plant wall. Be careful growing bamboo outdoors, as it can grow too vigorously.

For your yard, garden, or balcony, try a climbing vine. Use a trellis, or even string that you attach to the top and bottom of a balcony for a growing structure. Some vines to try include:

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.