Some people have plenty of room to build a teeming garden. Others have to make do with the little space they have. If you’re among the latter, the best way to make the most of your small garden space is a vertical planter. Instead of growing plants side by side, you grow them on top of each other, allowing you to fill erstwhile empty space with herbs, flowers, and vegetation of all sorts.
From porches and balconies to patios and small backyards, these vertical planters allow you to have a veritable garden teeming with plant life, all while using a fraction of the land space such an assortment of greenery would otherwise require.
This planter set comes with five individual layers that can be stacked in a specific configuration, giving you 15 individual pots for growing your choice of vegetation. Built in cutouts at the base of each planter allow excess water to flow off to prevent overwatering, while filter screens can also be installed in the bottom of each pot to keep more water in. A large dish is included for the bottom pot, so you can collect any muddy water for cleaner disposal. It takes up no more than 12.5 inches in diameter, so you only need a small area to grow up to 15 different plants, making it an ideal. In case you have no more floor space, it also offers the option of hanging using the included chain, although the outfit recommends stacking no more than three layers if you plan to hang it.
Greenstalk makes two kinds of stackable vertical planters: Original and Leaf. Original uses deep 10-inch pots that give your plants a lot more room to grow their roots, while the Leaf planters are shallower at seven inches deep, allowing you to use vertical space more efficiently. Both Original and Leaf modules can be combined, so you can put an Original on one layer and a Leaf module on top of it, letting you put together the exact kind of gardening setup you need. A five-layer stack of modules gets you a total of 30 individual pots, so you can grow a pretty large garden while using just a small amount of floor space.
The top layer of each stack is an open tray that’s integrated into the design’s watering system. Basically, any water you put in the tray is slowly and evenly distributed to each layer, so each pot is watered in equal amounts, eliminating the need to water each pot individually. Do note, it’s not a hydroponic system, so you’ll have to put water in the tray each time you want the plants watered, but it does simplify the job of watering a veritable garden. Each tier comes with integrated drainage holes, too, so any excess water can easily seep out.
This ladder-style planter rack comes with five levels, each one holding a 22-inch wide planter box. The rack is made of metal, so it should be sturdy enough to keep those five planters stable, with the planters cut in food-safe plastic that’s BPA-free, lead-free, and mercury-free. Do note, these planters don’t come with drainage holes (apparently, there are people who don’t want them), so you will need to drill your own holes if you want excess to drain out (maybe add a tray underneath to keep things clean, too). We really like the rack’s straight lines, which we find to be a lot more stable compared to curvier garden racks, while the four-foot height is just right, as well, allowing any adult to easily reach the top planter without having to use any steps or stools. While the rack does appear to have powder-coating, this will eventually rust over time, especially since it’s regularly exposed to the elements, so be mindful of that and the added maintenance it will require.
All those four-foot or taller vertical planters a little too tall for your deck or balcony? Maybe you’ll find this three-foot tall unit a little more suited to your liking, which comes with four levels of 33-inch wide planters, making it ideal for growing herbs and small plants. Each planter comes with built-in drainage at one end, although it’s really small, so you’ll probably want to drill additional ones or just hold back on the water to make sure you don’t risk drowning out the plants. It’s all plastic, too, so there’s no worries of rusting or rotting from constant exposure to the elements. You can also order a pair of additional planters that can be mounted on the sides of the top layer, in case you need more room for plants.
This tower-style planter comes with space for 50 individual plants on the seven layers of planters, allowing you to grow a whole lot of vegetation on just a single structure. The planters are designed to rotate, too, so you can set this right up a wall and easily access all the plants by simply spinning the upper layers. Even better, it comes with a compost tube that runs straight down the center of the tower, allowing you to recycle compostable materials directly into your garden. No need to mix in the compost with the soil, either, as the roots of your plants should be able to make their way through the tube via integrated holes.
A drawer tray at the base catches any muddy water that drips through the planter, allowing you to get rid of it without the mess, while optional casters make it easy to move the whole thing around. Why would you need casters? Because when filled with soil, the whole thing can weight upwards of 200 pounds (it holds 5 cubic feet of potting soil). If you prefer more automated systems, they also offer accessories that can be easily integrated into the tower. These include an irrigation system, grow lights, moisture sensors, and more.
If you prefer not to bother with regular watering, then this vertical planter’s integrated hydrophonic system should make your lazy gardening dreams come true. In this planter, the plants grow directly on water rather than soil, with fertilizers providing the necessary nutrients they’d otherwise get from dirt. Do note, it does require weekly maintenance, in which you’ll add water and fertilizer through the hole in the base. The system will take care of circulating the water and nutrients all by itself, so as long as you keep up with the weekly refills, your plants should grow fine. They even offer optional grow lights, in case you plan to use it indoors.
The base model comes with 12 planters, although they offer the option to put in as many as 36. Do note, you simply stack additional modules on top to add planters, so it can get pretty tall (over six feet) when you want to go for the full 36-plant route. The basic 12-plant version stands just under four feet.