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

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.
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jgillette3 years ago
mattl (author)  jgillette13 days ago
A larger bottle will certainly produce larger happier plants. There are also a few generic brand 3 liter soda bottles out there.
LeaL21 month ago

I've been reading on and on about hanging tomatoes & other various garden ideas, trying to find the best option for my situation. I have to say that your Instructable was the best yet. Not only is it a great idea, but it was an entertaining read as well, complete with easy-to-follow instructions and random humor! I loved it; thanks so much for sharing!

mattl (author)  LeaL213 days ago
Thanks for the kind comments, happy planting!
Tannius13 days ago

Cool concept. I've been using soda bottles as planters for a while myself. One thing I've learned is if you use the green plastic, you don't have to worry about algae or root burn inside the bottle. I also use an old soldering iron to cut the plastic. Make sure you do it outside in a well ventilated area, fumes are toxic..

Also if you cut a smaller hole in the bottom of the bottle (now the top) you keep the ribs which would give you more structural stability and you can put the rope at the ends of the ribs in the plastic.

mattl (author)  Tannius13 days ago
Green bottles work great. Of course you can paint as well. Your suggestion of cutting a smaller section off is a good one.
xllskippyllx3 months ago

that very smart

crochetbug113 months ago
Seriously cool!
Bought a topsy-turvy planter, only lasted one season! Too much to try again!
Can use a hairdryer, as I use for embossing and it works!
Will send pics if plants survive!
bbullet5 months ago

Very nice project, I will make one with my kids to plant tomatos. Thanks for sharing it.

AbdulQ11 months ago

This is a great and unique idea

I loved!!...

photogrlnc2 years ago
Great job. I was just shopping today for a decent hanging planter that doesn't leak on the floor.
mharkison3 years ago
Finally! A way to have houseplants my cat can't tear out! Thank you! :)
ondoratmo3 years ago
thanks for inspiring me, this is one of answer of urban agriculture technique.
I'll try to develop it.
geckomage3 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
AstralQueen5 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 Jack4 years ago
Yes. I have two tomatoes hanging off each end of my clothes line poles right now as a matter of fact.
tinic4 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial but I'm wondering why people use this technique: because of lack of space?
Great job in the instructions, and inspiring, too. thanks.
desya4 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.......
desya4 years ago
ok this is really smart always was annoyed at the amount of water lose to what I had just watered
rpm19605 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.
darrylm5 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 darrylm5 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.
joeymmeezz5 years ago
 im new at this but don't yon need something to support the plant
(if it was a tomatoe plant)
mattl (author)  joeymmeezz5 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
joeymmeezz5 years ago
laresekae6 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)  laresekae6 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...
Kaber5 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)  Kaber5 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.
HolyTracker5 years ago
Love it! 3 done and more in the way! Thanks for sharing the idea
TheJman6 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.
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