Vertical gardens are an ever-popular way to maximize your space for flowers, succulents, and more whether indoors or out. If you’re thinking about starting a vertical garden at your house or apartment, we’ve got you covered. Check out our tips for starting your own DIY vertical planter project plus some great examples to get you inspired!
What is a Vertical Garden?
Before we start planning your planter project, let’s review exactly what a vertical garden is. A vertical garden, also known as a green wall, is a garden that is built up, not out. There are many techniques that can be applied when building a vertical garden, but generally, gardeners build a structure or suspended panel and use hydroponics to keep the plants alive.
Vertical gardens have been very popular recently, due to their creativity and utility. This new trend is perfect for those that live in a smaller, confined space and don’t have room to cultivate a big, traditional garden. With a vertical garden, homeowners and gardeners are able to express themselves with plants and flowers while reaching new heights.
Planning Your DIY Vertical Garden Project
Whether you’re building your vertical garden on your apartment balcony, home interior, or exterior wall, it’s important you take the time to plan out your planter project. Before you begin building your vertical garden, take these tips into consideration and follow our best practices:
- Choose a wall – Pick an ugly wall to transform with bright plants and greenery, but make sure to think about how much sunlight the wall receives and what plants you plan to cover it with.
- Build your structure – Whether you choose to build a frame or stack containers on top of each other, make a list of what materials you will need before you begin assembling the wall. Some supplies you might need are chicken wire, plastic sheeting, fabric, and pipes. Once you gather your materials, you can start constructing your wall.
- Don’t forget about the irrigation system – Remember that your vertical garden is a garden that needs to be watered and cared for! Your vertical garden’s irrigation system can vary depending on how advanced your wall is. Some vertical gardens can be regularly watered by the gardener, while others may require a self serving irrigation system. Make sure to research tips for building an irrigation system so your plants stay alive. You might even consider adding a fertilizer injector to your vertical garden.
- Add your plants – If your vertical garden is being built outside, make sure to think about the location’s year-round sun, shade, humidity, wind, and cold when choosing what plants to get. Once you’ve chosen your greens and designed the layout of your garden, start planting!
Our Favorite DIY Vertical Garden Examples & Inspirations
Now that you’ve given more thought to the location and logistics of your garden wall, let’s get you inspired with these creative vertical garden examples. These ideas range from beginner to expert gardener level, and they give gardeners endless opportunities for creativity and customization!
Picket Fence Planter
An easy way to add color and character to your yard is by turning a boring fence into a vertical garden planter. Start by determining what container you want to plant your flowers in and attach to the fence. You could use pots, jars, or old paint cans, and you can choose whether to keep them their original color or paint them a new one. Once you’ve gotten your containers, think about what type of plants you want. Anything from bright spring blooms to simple white flowers to luscious greens would stand out against the wooden slats of the fence. After choosing your color scheme and plant types, arrange and fasten the containers against the fence and admire the beauty of your picket fence planter.
Creative Crate Tower
Stacking wooden crates will create a 3D vertical garden, adding extra dimension to your backyard. Start by finding some old wooden crates and reinforce the wood with stabilizing planks to create the sturdy, stacked effect. Next, line the crates with metal trays to hold the individual or grouped plants and catch excess water. One of the most unique parts of this stacked planter is the versatility to mix and match plants that require different amounts of sunlight and shade. The upper levels of the planter are able to hold plants of varying heights that serve to shade the lower levels of the planter. Consider building your crate tower against a fence or use it as a divider in your backyard. Fill your planter with a variety of greenery, from edible herbs to leafy greens.
Modern Floating Garden
For a more whimsical look, consider designing a vertical garden of floating plants. Place your desired succulents or small flowers in small ceramic planters or glass orbs, and tie a string to each planter. Next, dangle your fairy-inspired creations from a bare wall or hang them to fall freely. You can add even more dimension and complexity by staggering the heights of each hanging plant and following a pattern for their display.
Tiered Terracotta Planters
There’s nothing special about the average terracotta planter. But when you fill them with luscious greens or spiky succulents and stack them on top of one another, your garden gets taken to the next level. Use larger terracotta pots as the base layer and keep stacking smaller ones on top to create a pyramid effect. This vertical garden arrangement has plenty of texture and dimension, and will make your yard stand out.
Chicken Wire Backdrop
One of the easiest ways to build a true garden wall is by using chicken or hex wire as the backdrop. Wire ensures good airflow for the plants and your outdoor patio, making you and your guests feel the breeze too. Attach the wire to two cedar posts and pull the wire tight. Next, gather your preferred planting containers and attach them to the wire. Arrange your planters in a creative way and fill them with bright flowers or lush greens. Your final creation will mimic a trellis, but be a fraction of the cost!
Posed Pallets and Paint Cans
Make the most out of your creativity and design a bright, eye-catching paint can vertical garden with recycled pallets and paint cans. First, gather your supplies and decide whether you want to leave the paint cans in their original condition or add a pop of color to their exterior. You can either choose to fill them with bright flowers or simple greens, depending on what look you’re going for. Once each container is decorated and filled, make sure to drill some holes in the cans to allow for easy drainage. When you’re ready to hang your work of art, find a boring fence, attach your paint can pots to the wall with hooks, and admire your finished masterpiece.
Artistic Succulent Plant Frame
If you’re inspired to unleash your inner artist and create a work of art in your yard, you can also make your own vertical garden plant frame. Start by finding an antique or wooden frame and paint it a bright color or leave its original wooden condition. Next, gather your succulents and pack them into the frame. Your finished product will stand out and look visually appealing because succulents look good grouped together. The best part of this artistic garden wall is that you can display it indoors or outdoors; just remember to lay it flat once a week and mist it for longevity!
Stacked Hanging Baskets
If you’re particularly fond of hanging baskets, consider taking this garden trend to the next level by creating a vertical wall of stacked hanging baskets. This garden wall technique is one of the simplest and easiest options, and it also has a classy, timeless look. To display your stacked hanging baskets, thread and knot rope through the corners of some baskets or other containers. Next, add soil and your desired plants, flowers or annuals to the baskets, and hang the finished product with two strong hooks.
Another quick and easy way to arrange a vertical garden is with a ladder. Find an old ladder and add a layer of paint or spray paint to it for a pop of color. Use the ladder’s steps to your advantage and create a stacked, multidimensional grouping. Vary the colors, shapes, and sizes of your pots and your plants for a vibrant display.
Repurposed Antique Drawers
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box idea, repurpose an old dresser and turn it into a vertical garden. Paint the dresser a lively hue and fill it with bright flowers and lush greens for neighbors to see. The drawers of the dresser will make it easy to rotate the plants depending on what’s in season.
Shoe Pocket Planter
Liven up an old shoe holder by transforming it into a vertical garden wall. Take the organizer out of your closet and hang it on a boring wall or fence in the sun. Next, fill each pocket with soil and add a variety of luscious plants and greens. The canvas material of the pocket organizer allows for easy drainage and plant life longevity.