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Matt's Original Inverted Planter a.k.a IPlanter.

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Picture of Matt's Original Inverted Planter a.k.a IPlanter.

 
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Step 1: Why.

Picture of Why.
The logical choice for my indoor gardening is 1: container and 2: hanging. So after doing a few searches on the net I had come across a few options. There were of course the usual hanging planters that are really nothing more than a regular pot with strings tied to a ceiling hook. These really didn't appeal to me due to previous experiences where the water flowed down through the soil and filled the overflow basin at the bottom. Another option is hanging inverted planters which have been around for a very long time. Some in a much older design made from terra cotta in a traditional Mexican style and a newer one made of plastic that had internal foam spacers for dirt/water containment.
This naturally put my mind into make it myself mode. Whenever I get one of my project ideas. I start drawing different options in paint. I wanted it to be a conical-type container for water retention purposes. After drawing a few designs the one I decide on was to use a inverted 2 liter soda bottle with a few modifications to make it better suited for planter use.

Step 2: What.

Picture of What.
You will need
1- two or three liter soda bottle.
4- equal lengths of string.
1- hook to hang it from.
1- piece of plastic wrap. (used to cover the opening at the bottom of the planter)
soil
A metal tool such as a pliers or locking pliers.
A scissors, dremel or other cutting tool.
A vine variety plant. Tomato, bean etc.
A heat gun. I purchased mine a while back at Harbor Freight for $10. It also works great for thawing pipes.

So without further rambling here we go.

Arrange your parts and supplies on a level surface in an area where you will be able to hang the planter from to fill it with soil. (Basements are a great place.)

Step 3: Melty

Picture of Melty
Stand the soda bottle upright and heat around the perimeter of the mouth slightly above where the cone portion begins.
photogrlnc10 months ago
Great job. I was just shopping today for a decent hanging planter that doesn't leak on the floor.
jgillette1 year ago
IF YOU CAN FIND ARROWHEAD WATER THEY HAVE A 3 LITER WATER JUG THAT SAVES THE STEPS OF MELTING WITH MINIMAL EFFORT :)
mharkison1 year ago
Finally! A way to have houseplants my cat can't tear out! Thank you! :)
ondoratmo2 years ago
thanks for inspiring me, this is one of answer of urban agriculture technique.
I'll try to develop it.
geckomage2 years ago
hey, does this method work with all plants or just some? because i know many different plants have their roots which grow towards gravity, and the plant which defies gravity. does the inverted thing trick it? >:3 im decent with plants. but my specialty is electronics and being a redneck(what would the world be like without em). so please excuse the sillyness of my question :P
AstralQueen4 years ago
I use this kind of planter to plant my cat's cat nip. This way, he can't knock the pots over and roll around in the crushed leaves and dirt and then later on sleep on my bed with clean sheets leaving dirt marks and soil all over the place. :D
Sounds like some parties I attended in the 70's!
you just HAVE to mess with the order of things, don't you....
mattl (author)  captain Jack2 years ago
Yes. I have two tomatoes hanging off each end of my clothes line poles right now as a matter of fact.
tinic3 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial but I'm wondering why people use this technique: because of lack of space?
thanks
Great job in the instructions, and inspiring, too. thanks.
desya3 years ago
I knit with plarn (plastic bag yarn) could be used to build a harness if you are worried about the support holes...2 for 1 recycling.......
desya3 years ago
ok this is really smart always was annoyed at the amount of water lose to what I had just watered
rpm19603 years ago
yes, I was concerned about string strength as well, especially since the soil will get really heavy once it soaks up water.  I'm putting one together (cilantro seeds in the top) but will suspend it in the red mesh bag my store bought onions came in.  It won't look as dainty as these, though~
For the people worried about the rope splitting the bottle you might find some small grommits that would ease the strain, or thicker string like shoe laces would spread the weight more.
I am going to make a few of these but I am going to poke small holes in the bottom of the bottle, ( the one that is cut off and discarded) invert it and re-insert it. It will be a sprinkler for the soil, so it doesn't just run down the side. and it will retain some moisture, so the soild doesn't dry out too easily.
darrylm4 years ago
This is so awesome. I plan to plant 5 this year alone. Hoping my tomato seeds do better as I only have 2 thriving seedlings and its been 4 weeks! My idea for this will be to try the boiling water method as I do not have a heat gun. I think I will try running string down through the hole and attaching it to the threaded part of the bottle. Then as it is heating up, i can pull upwards and hopefully it will invert. I will let you know. THANKS AGAIN!

darrylm darrylm4 years ago
OH YEAH! For those frugal gardeners like myself. Plant some herbs on the top. I was told this is a great method for doubling your planter space. Seems to be quite popular.
joeymmeezz4 years ago
 im new at this but don't yon need something to support the plant
(if it was a tomatoe plant)
mattl (author)  joeymmeezz4 years ago
No, anything you can grow in the container that size should support itself.  You'll notice in a few comments below about how this really isn't a suitable growing method for anything larger than cherry or plum tomatoes and at largest Roma. However they require more growing space and nutrients so a larger container should probably be used.
 ok thank you
joeymmeezz4 years ago
 kool
laresekae5 years ago
if you don't have a heat gun, you could probably dip the top of the bottle in a pot of hot water to soften it enough to do the job...
mattl (author)  laresekae5 years ago
Yes, that should work as long as it is very hot, possibly boiling. A hair dryer may also do the trick.
 Just under boiling is usually fine. I tried to 'sanitize' a soda bottle once using boiling water (this was before I heard of chemical horrors that seep out of them at high temps) and ended up with a wrinkled, deformed lump of a bottle. 
I guess the most tricky thing would be to localize the heat, and get the temp right, not too hot...
Kaber4 years ago
is the string in the holes of the bottle sturdy enough to hold a plant once it is full of tomatoes? I would think it'd be heavy and the holes in the thin plastic bottle would rip. How well does it do with weight?
mattl (author)  Kaber4 years ago
That really depends on the type of string you use and thickness.  The stuff I used had a weight rating of 40lbs.  It never tore through the plastic bottle either.  If you are concerned about that happening I would just reinforce the holes with a little hot glue.  If you use a paper punch to make the holes you will get nice clean cuts.  Circles are Very strong and can support a lot of weight.
HolyTracker4 years ago
Love it! 3 done and more in the way! Thanks for sharing the idea
TheJman4 years ago
Cool planter but I just have a question or two..How well will the plastic bottle hold up when there is a full load of tomatoes on the plant? Will the 3 holes hold without splitting and letting the whole works fall?
If you're worried about the weight of the fruit, I'd just run a piece of duct tape around the top, folding half of it inside as well, then punch a few more holes...maybe 6 in total, to run the string hangers through. And I'd use garden twine, not just any ole string, as the hanger. Just my 2 cents...
oops. I should have waited till this page to ask the same question. I was thinking of running the string/twine under the bottom (or inverted top) as well.
thanks for the further ideas.
rdemunck4 years ago
Wow!  This is great.  What a fascinating idea.  Thanks!
mark4294 years ago
Very Nice Instructable! I am going to be converting some 3 liter bottles this afternoon!!! (maybe some 1 & 2 liter bottles as well) I can't believe my mom paid $15 for a Topsy Turvy when we could've made one of these for free (practically) Thanks Again. Good Job!
coyotehope4 years ago
Thank you this one is not to much work and a Very excellent starting point for me. Thank you so much for sharing!
Ninzerbean4 years ago
This is great because my cat won't be able to dig in the dirt - I haven't had a house plant in 3 years because of him.
zuppod34 years ago
EXCELLANT ! Well written and researched. You must be an engineer or tech.
plum02144 years ago
I can't belive I bought one from the store before I saw your's. Your's does the same thing and is alot cheaper. Great job..
greybunny4 years ago
I like the idea but yours is the only one I've seen that looks nice and feasible. I think I'll make one when I get home with a flowering vine.
demee624 years ago
Great idea!! I know that I can master this one. I can have me a garden this year that the dog can't destroy.
arirang7774 years ago
This detail alone is the responsible for pushing me out of the sofa and moved me into making my own, inverted conical hanger, or as you titled it: iPlanter. Thanks Mattl. Fave'd it already
inverted tomato 004.jpg
bizgold20004 years ago
If your looking for a larger container, We have found heavy thickness One Gallon containers from Apple Juice do the same trick as 2 liter bottles and once again , they are thicker and still work with the heat gun method. Steve Smith
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