Rooftop Airplant Vertical Garden Hides Solar Panels

August 7, 2015 by


When the homeowners added solar panels to the roof of their spectacular Ray Kappe designed house in Los Angeles’s Rustic Canyon, they wanted to screen the panels with a design that celebrated their passion for airplants without sacrificing their view of the surrounding landscape.



Landscape architect, Josh Rosen–aka Airplantman–transformed the residents’ rooftop space, hiding the solar panels with a living airplant wall of tillandsias. Rosen arranged sixteen lightweight AirplantFrames on a trellis planted with a soilless textured backdrop of Spanish moss tillandsia usenoides.


Tillandsia, or airplants, live suspended in air without the need for soil or any growing medium. Airplant leaves absorb water and nutrients directly, their roots used only to secure the plant.


Allowing air and light to pass through, Airplantman’s transparent vertical gardens can be either wall mounted or built as living screens like the ones camouflaging the solar panels on the Rustic Canyon home.


Built in Los Angeles of rustproof powder-coated aluminum and hand strung stainless steel cable, the modular AirplantFrames system encourages air circulation and easy watering to ensure plant health in a variety of environments without challenging technological or structural requirements.


The tillandsia genus is extremely diverse, exhibiting a wide range of colors, textures, and forms, with over 600 known species found in ecosystems ranging from rainforests to deserts across the southern United States and through Central and South America.

Photography by Josh Rosen, aka Airplantman.

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