Picture of free standing vertical planter
Here's a way to grow plants vertically using limited space and water.   It also allows seedlings to get up high into the sunlight, outwitting the aggressive invasive species in the yard, if you have them like I do.

You could make a flowering fence with these if you were so inclined.

I got the initial idea for this instructable from this one called "bottle towers".  However, mine are a little different in that they are free-standing and have a wicking system


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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of supplies
About 6 empty plastic bottles, such as 2 liter soda bottles, or in this case Fiji water bottles.  The only restraint is they have to be able to stack concentrically once their bottoms are removed.

vapor mask

hot knife and/or scissors


strong stake


Step 2: Notch the stake

Picture of notch the stake
Work a notch into the top of your stake if you can.

Tie the twine to your stake so it passes through the notch to help secure it there.

Step 3: Wrap wrap wrap

Picture of wrap wrap wrap
Wrap the twine around the stake as much as you care to.  Just make sure the mouth of your empty bottle can still pass over the wrapped stake.

This will encourage water to follow the twine down the stake to the very bottom.

Step 4: Cut doors into bottles

Picture of cut doors into bottles
Cut an upside down U shaped flap in the sides of five of the bottles to create little doors.

You can do just one side, or all four sides of the bottle, it's up to you.

Step 5: Cut off the bottom

Picture of cut off the bottom
Cut off the bottom of  all six bottles.  You won't need the bottoms for this project, so you can toss or recycle those if you like.

Step 6: Pound stake into ground

Picture of pound stake into ground
With a hammer or a big rock, pound the stake into the ground so it stands up straight by itself.
Ninzerbean2 years ago
Love this!
foobear (author)  Ninzerbean2 years ago
Sweet! Thank you!
CityGirl62 years ago
Paper bags might work in place of the coco. If you crumpled them up for texture and then used them to coat the inside of the bottle, it would protect the roots and wick water at the same time. You could rip holes for the leaf doors.

I wouldn't worry too much about over watering as the excess should run into the soil.

Great idea, especially for those with limited space.
foobear (author)  CityGirl62 years ago
That could work too! thanks!
What a great Idea :). Thanks for sharing, you could add some coco-peat in the soil to retain moisture.
foobear (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya2 years ago
I haven't heard of coco-peat yet, I will look out for it though. I'm trying not to buy anything to keep the costs down by just using compost started last year as the soil.
I love this! The only problem is that roots do not like sunlight, so maybe Tarun's idea of cocopeat could serve two purposes.
foobear (author)  clarissa_ann2 years ago
Sure, you could also paint the bottles with a plastic adhering spray paint if you were so inclined. Though if it is for food, maybe not. But, yah, we'll see how it goes. I'm thinking there's enough soil in there for the roots to spread out into the center of the bottle as well.
mole12 years ago
Great idea! What if you let the wick irrigate from a larger elevated water source?
foobear (author)  mole12 years ago
that's a good idea too I think