Step 1: Gather your materials.
1 12" flower pot
1 saucer to go under the base pot (optional)
4 8" flower pots*
1 4' garden stake (sturdy- steel covered in plastic- I got mine at Wal-Mart)
20" of 1/2" PVC or similar (look around in your garage- you don't need much)
Flowers/plants- I planted 3-4 four-inch flower squares on each tier
- I used plain terra cotta pots- I wouldn't recommend using the azalea terra cotta pots. Your pots MUST have the drainage hole on the bottom.
Step 2: Cut the stake to the desired length
Step 3: Cut the PVC.
You will need two lengths of pipe, one slightly (1" or so) larger than the other. I ended up cutting mine to 8.5 and 9.5 inches. I also cut these at an angle so the ends would taper slightly to fit more snugly in the pot.
Make sure your shorter pipe fits in the bottom of the 12" pot (without touching the bottom) and make sure the longer pipe fits over (and perpendicular to) the shorter pipe without touching it.
Step 4: Drill holes in the exact center of the PVC.
Start with a small drill bit, then gradually change it out to get large enough for the stake to fit through but still snug.
Step 5: Assemble the stake and PVC.
Make sure the stake is standing as straight as possible. Adjust as needed.
Step 6: Decide where you will assemble your stacked pots!
Step 7: Alternately stack the pots.
Place the first 8" pot by inserting the stake through the drainage hole. Let the pot rest on the dirt and the edge of the 12" pot. Continue filling the 12" pot, packing soil around the 8" leaning pot. Leave a 2" gap between the soil and the edge of the pot.
Add soil to the leaning 8" pot. Leave a 2" gap between the soil and the edge of the pot. Pack the soil around the stake (you may need to add a little water).
At this point (contrary to what the picture shows) it is advisable to go ahead and plant the flowers in the large 12" pot.
Plant the flowers in the 8" leaning pot. Then add the second leaning pot onto the stake. This pot should lean 180 degrees in the opposite direction from the pot beneath it and should rest on the edge of the one beneath it.
Continue adding soil/flowers then add the leaning pots.
You may need to adjust the position of the top pot to negate any leaning of the stake.
Step 8: Enjoy- and be prepared for questions from curious friends and family!
Total cost for this project, including flowers:
PVC: $0 (I had some short pieces laying around the garage)
Total time: about 90 minutes
You can vary this by adding only 3 top pots, painting the pots, or getting fiberglass pots (with drainage holes).
When your friends ask you how you did it, just direct them back here!