Vertical planters come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but all share in common the idea that we should be growing skyward to make the most of all the space we have available.
Vertical gardening is all about making use of the vertical space as well as the horizontal space in our gardens. There are many different ways that we can do so. And plenty of DIY projects we can take on to achieve similar results.
But if you don’t have the time to make your own vertical gardening structures and solutions, there are plenty of options available that you could buy. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best vertical planters for growing skywards that you could consider. As you will discover, the solutions for growing upwards are many and varied. Here are just a few very different solutions that we would recommend.
We’ve chosen our recommendations based on a range of factors – always keeping the environment and sustainability in mind. We’ve also picked top solutions in different categories of vertical growing – to demonstrate the many great ways you can make the most of vertical space wherever and however you choose to grow.
Last update on 2021-04-22 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
See our top six picks below:
Recycled Plastic Vertical Garden
Cost: Price not available
Our best pick, this demonstrates one key idea in vertical gardening – hanging planters with a series of pockets that you can plant into. Such structures are often called ‘vertical gardens’ and they are one key way to grow skywards and make the most of vertical space. Vertical gardens can be made from a range of different materials and, as mentioned above, you could make your own using reclaimed materials or things that might otherwise be thrown away.
But if you do not have the time, this vertical garden, made from recycled plastic, is a cut above many of the other similar products on the market. It will always be more eco-friendly and sustainable to make your own. However, this lightweight and durable product will make it easy to get started right away.
Though it has the same benefits in terms of durability as other plastic products, it will not carry quite as high an environmental impact as other plastic vertical garden products on the market because it is made from recycled plastic.
- Allows 56 plants to be grown in pockets, making the most of the space of a vertical surface.
- Made from recycled PET – so somewhat more eco-friendly than other plastic products.
- The fabric is durable yet breathable, with two-chambered design so roots grow strong.
- Though recycled plastic, this is still plastic. It will last but unfortunately will not be recyclable at the end of its useful life.
- Can be tricky to hand water at the top, depending on how high it is hung. (So adding an automated drip irrigation system could be a good idea.)
- You can only grow smaller, more shallow-rooted plants in pocket-style gardens.
Recycled Wood Pallet Planter
Cost: Price not available
Another common type of vertical garden is one constructed from a wooden pallet. An entire planter bed can be created inside the structure of a wood pallet. This can then be filled with growing medium and planted up with edible herbs, vegetables, fruits or flowers. Once established, this can be placed vertically against a wall or fence in your garden.
Alternatively, a series of shelves or planting pockets can be created within the structure of a wooden pallet and used to grow some smaller, more shallow-rooted plants. Since creating this kind of structure takes time, you might agree that buying one ready made at this price offers great value.
Whether you think this is great value all depends how highly you value your own time. Of course it will be far cheaper, or even free, to make your own. But if you do not have the time, this is our value pick to help you get your vertical garden started. It is a simple planter that you could use inside our outdoors in your garden.
- Made from wood – which can be a relatively eco-friendly material, especially when reclaimed.
- An attractive planter with several lined troughs for planting, one above another. (Allowing more to be grown in a small space).
- Time-saving alternative to the DIY options that could be created.
- Potentially could be made at home, and the money saved altogether.
- Wood trough planting areas are only small – so only small, shallow rooted plants could be grown in them.
- Plastic linings for the planting areas are practical, but not eco-friendly.
Space Saving Tier Hanging Basket for Indoors Gardens
Vertical planters are not all vertical gardens that are placed or affixed against a wall or fence. Making the most of vertical space can also involve using hanging baskets or other hanging planters.By hanging planters from the ceiling inside your home, you can dramatically increase the space available for an indoors garden.
Again, there are plenty of upcycling opportunities and it is relatively quick and easy to make your own using natural or reclaimed materials. But if you do not have the time, or want some attractive planters so you can get started right away, we think this double plant hanger made from seagrass is a lovely choice.
- Attractive planters allowing one plant to be grown above another, making the most of vertical space indoors.
- Made from seagrass, a pretty, natural and eco-friendly material.
- Gives a cute, retro look to an indoors garden.
- Only suitable for an indoors garden.
- Still a relatively limited growing area – so should be combined with other ideas to make the most of a space.
Bamboo Planter with Support for Vertical Growing
Cost: Price not available
Here is another interesting option to think about. Vertical growing does not need to involve elevating the actual growing areas for the plants. It can also involve finding ways to make sure the plants themselves are trained to grow vertically, rather than spreading and sprawling out over the ground. There are plenty of trellises or other support options that you could consider.
But why not consider a super easy and convenient all-in-one solution like this one? You can buy the planter and the support together, so you do not need to worry about setting up support systems and planters or growing areas separately.
We like this bamboo option because bamboo is a very strong, durable and eco-friendly material. And the design of the support structure on this option means that you could use it in a range of different ways for a range of different plants. This product, and others like it, not only allow you to grow climbing or vining plants up it. You could also use the support structure to hang some containers, and make another kind of vertical garden. There are plenty of flexible options that mean you could use a structure and planter like this one all year round.
- Make from bamboo – a practical and eco-friendly material.
- Planter and support structure all in one.
- Could be used to support plants in the vertical plane in several different ways.
- Limited space in the planter at the base.
- Somewhat more expensive option – especially when compared to DIY options.
Stackable Raised Bed Frames To Make Tiered Garden Beds
Cost: Price not available
This idea is a little different again, and offers a lot of flexibility surrounding how you actually use this product. These stackable raised bed frames are another time-saving and effort-saving solution and could allow you to make custom beds.
One idea that could allow you to grow more food in less space is using these stacking frames in different sizes to make a tiered garden bed. In other words, you could make one raised bed in the largest size by stacking 2 of these frames, then use 3 more frames to make a smaller, higher bed inside that larger one. And perhaps even a third even higher bed within that. Creating tiers within a raised bed can allow you to grow more, and create more vertical height and drama in your garden, whether growing food or flowers.
You could also use these stacking frames to create a series of terrace type beds up a steep slope, which could be another way to make the most of each and every inch of your garden. Again, these ideas are all about thinking upwards as well as outwards when planning your garden.
Choosing these stackable frames could be a good compromise between buying ready-made and doing it yourself. So it could be another possible solution for those short on time or DIY knowhow.
- Flexible stacking frames that can be used in a wide range of different ways.
- Can be used to make beds of sizes, shapes and depths to suit you and your particular needs and wishes.
- Relatively easy to put together, so good for novice DIYers or those short on time.
- Will likely need to be given an eco-friendly treatment to last longer.
- Some assembly skills required.
Hydroponic Vertical Garden
This final option on our list is all about exploring another key idea in space-saving or vertical gardening – growing food in water rather than in soil. There are a range of ways to set up a hydroponic system (or even an aquaponic system, growing fish as well as plants). But some of the very best are those that think about minimising horizontal footprint and growing skywards.
We like this example because it is neat, clean, practical, and a relatively simple setup for hydroponics beginners. It allows those interested in the idea to start growing food in water for the very first time. And the structure is small enough that it could work just as well in a sunny spot indoors as it could in a greenhouse, polytunnel or garden.
One thing to note is that you will need an adaptor to use this in the UK.But everything else is straightforward and gives you the information and equipment you need to get started with this type of home growing in an easy way.
- Easy and space-saving way to get into hydroponic (or aquaponic) growing.
- Allows you to set up a hydroponic system which can allow you to save water, and grow more food, more quickly, in less space.
- Non-eco-friendly plastic etc.. used in construction.
- More complex as a growing technique than other options on this list.
- Adaptor required for UK use.
Things To Remember When Growing Vertically
Remember, the options listed above are just a few of the excellent options out there. And if possible, we’d still recommend that you take a DIY approach in your garden and home whenever you can. But by adopting one of the above approaches and choosing one of the products above, you can get started right away with:
- Vertical gardens.
- Pallet shelf type vertical planters.
- Hanging baskets or containers.
- Planter with trellis or other plant supports.
- Tiered / terrace type garden beds.
- Or hydroponic/ aquaponic vertical gardens.
All of the above are examples of the ways in which we can start growing skyward. Once you get started, you will soon discover that you have the space to grow far more than you may have originally imagined. The yield of a space is theoretically unlimited, or limited only by your imagination!
A permaculture garden designer, sustainability consultant and freelance writer, Elizabeth works as an advocate for positive change. She aims to inspire others to reconnect with nature and live in a more eco-friendly way. She also tries to practice what she preaches as she tends her own forest garden, polyculture beds and polytunnel. See her personal website here.