Tip-Top Flower Pots: Maximize limited space to grow plants and flowers!

Picture of Tip-Top Flower Pots: Maximize limited space to grow plants and flowers!
This cool project will allow you to take advantage of even the tiniest place to grow flowers and plants- on patios, decks, balconies, etc. These supplies are easy to find (some recycled from your friends, family, and garage) and the final product is unique and spectacular. Your friends will be asking you "How did you do that?"
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Step 1: Gather your materials.

Picture of Gather your materials.
OK, either dig through your stash of flower pots or make a trip to your local home improvement store (or your mom's house) and gather what you need:

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)
Potting soil
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

Picture of Cut the stake to the desired length
Cut the stake to an approximate length of 42". I used a small, fine-toothed saw for this.

Step 3: Cut the PVC.

Picture of Cut the PVC.
With a mitre saw or other saw, cut the PVC into the desired lengths. Depending on the shape of your 12" pot, you may need to experiment with this a little.

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.

Picture of Drill holes in the exact center of the PVC.
These holes will hold the stake in place, so make sure they are nice and perpendicular. A drill press would work best here, but I used a hand drill.

Start with a small drill bit, then gradually change it out to get large enough for the stake to fit through but still snug.
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scoutsbff1 year ago
I wonder...could this work with a Shepherd's hook style hanging basket stand? I'm gonna try that.
mduncan8 scoutsbff11 months ago

Hey I read this ... did the Shephard hook work

racoontnn1 year ago

From the outside it seems somehow trick. And in fact, turns out to be simple and functional. Thank you!

I live in a ground floor apartment in Reno, NV, zone 7, (I believe), my neighbor cut down the large shrub that was shading my west wall, I can only plant in a long, narrow container
Very nice I'm also trying to grow flowers in pots
love2die1002 years ago
thx4sharing,my neighbour has one the same assembled here but instead of using plants can you convert it into fountain,when yes how.
emad_sh4 years ago
Very Nice and Easy
thanks for sharing.
ismailkumar4 years ago
i.m.p.- point
alanfindaly4 years ago
Wow, this is a great way to use all of the clay pots I have laying around. I'll have to go out and buy some shop flowers , but it will be worth it if it turns out as nice as the pictures here look.
I bet that if you used sturdy pvc for the center post, and drilled holes intermittantly along its length, you could use a funnel to water all your plants through the center. No evaporation loss! You would arrange your most water-loving plants on the bottom, with the more dry-climate plants on top. From mint on the bottom to cacti on the top!
taia824 years ago
To make this more sturdy, I would recommend that you got a threaded galvanized pipe and a floor flange. You could then attach it to a piece of small board, or you can screw it right to the floor. It would keep it upright, so you would just have to re-arrange the pots if they get blown around.
chalky5 years ago
heres mine:)
use plant pot.JPG
Nancy525 years ago
Ok!!!!!!! Like daaaa Nancy. That does make a lot of sense. There is one of the tip-top flower pots here in town and they are always rearranging it after the wind blows hard. Also could you just put the vertical pole through the drain hole in the bottom 12" pot and into the ground and just skip the dish under the bottom pot? If so, would you still need the PVC in bottom pot? I was thinking of using an electric fence post to run through the whole thing. It fits through the holes. I already tried that fit. Thanks for your replys.
jholland (author) 5 years ago
UPDATE: While away on vacation, high winds swept through town, bending my pole, and sending my flower pots crashing to the ground. At least that's what the neighbor told us. Fortunately, she re-potted the flowers and saved them. I'll make another one I suppose- and may anchor this one a little better- and may use a more sturdy pole!
Nancy525 years ago
What is the purpose of the PVC pipe in the bottom of 12" pot?
jholland (author)  Nancy525 years ago
That holds/anchors the vertical pole in place. Without it, the pole will slide around in the loose dirt.
jaded307205 years ago
I really do like this project. One lady made hers into a herb garden which is what I would like to do. Kudos.
aklesh35 years ago
Here's the one I made. Being in Florida, it drys out really fast, so that when you water it, you have to water it sloooooooooow, or the water just runs off.
blackturtle5 years ago
This is so awesome! I think I need one (or 7) for around my house! thanks for sharing!
jeffrey19655 years ago
I did one for my wife for Easter. Everything is growing well and it looks nice.
IDmom5 years ago
How do the holes need to be drilled for the stake to go through causing the pots to lean? I'm sure the hole and stake placements have something to do with making the pots lean, but I can't picture it. Please explain for this newbie, thanks!
jholland (author)  IDmom5 years ago
I used pots with drainage holes already since drilling these holes in terra cotta may prove difficult to do without cracking the pot. If you are going to drill the holes yourself in terra cotta, I would suggest soaking the pot in water for a couple hours before hand and using a small drill bit working your way up to larger bits. The holes should be in the center of the pots on the bottom. As long as the holes are large enough, the pots will naturally lean. Does that make since?
wgoble5 years ago
Awesome! I think we'll be building one of these over the weekend.
RoBear6135 years ago
I could see getting a lot more strawberry plant in this (and therefore more strawberries) than a "strawberry pot" for the same price. Take your bowl of corn flakes out to the patio and enjoy.
luckysuzy5 years ago
Love it! I made mine into an herb garden. It is awesome and very easy to do! Thanks for the instructable!
fleurdejava5 years ago
very nice and clever! I did it yesterday, it costs only 8 euros for the 5 pots (I leave in France). Thank you so much.
In my garden, in France
jholland (author)  fleurdejava5 years ago
That turned out great!
gaz94485 years ago
built one over the weekend thanks to your instructable. i used stuff which i'd saved from previous fun and used these instead so might not be as sturdy. I used a metal pole, that used to be part of one of those cheap canvas marquees you can get, as the canvas didn't hold up to a full season. the pots weren't all terracotta, but looked nice and have the drainage including an old wine cooler with the bottom partly drilled out. fantastic mate.
jholland (author)  gaz94485 years ago
I'd like to see a picture of that- sounds interesting!
alphaseinor5 years ago
I'm in the contest as well, and I voted for you! Very nice instructable, and a good use of space!
Maureclaire5 years ago
Fabulous ! Gotta do it ! I'm thinking if I put it on the ground, won't need pvc pipe at all, and just have stake go well into ground, won't even need to cut it.. Even easier ! Thanks for idea !
lady4feet5 years ago
I love it! I saw something similar at the flea market but they wanted $22 for just the pole. Now I can make my onw, thank you.
yngla5 years ago
Great instructable! This idea is so cool and the end result is stunning!
majeral5 years ago
This is great!!! and easy and cheap ( Can't spell inexpensive ) I saw something years ago on a home improvement show that took a tomato cage and made it into a stand to hold poinsettia They never showed how to do it. Thanks again Vie !
Great instructable! I just bought a kit for this at the Philadelphia Flower Show - such a cool idea to stack flower pots! Your instructions/photos are really clear - good work!
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
very clever!
Rustar5 years ago
Reminds me of something out of Alice in Wonderland.
Broom5 years ago
Great idea! I'm betting you meant a 4' stake, and not a 4" pole.
jholland (author)  Broom5 years ago
I did! And as soon as I figure out how to edit that step I will change it. Thanks for pointing it out!
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