How to Plant Stacked Containers
Bet you won't make just one!
Stacked containers are an easy, space-saving and cost-efficient method for creating gorgeous mixed flower pots perfect for small patios, balconies, kitchens and entryways.
Stacking gives your old containers a whole new look. They can also be less expensive and lighter weight than conventional planters, requiring fewer plants and less potting soil.
A wheelbarrow of fun.
Here's what you'll need to make a stacked pot.
- 2-3 pots in ascending sizes, each with drainage holes*
- 2-3 clean plastic nursery pots to fit inside them
- Assorted plants, including 1 tall thriller, 3 bushy fillers and 3 or more trailing spillers
- Potting soil
*Plastic or ceramic containers, which retain water best, work well for full-sun annuals. For plants that need well-drained soil, such as herbs, try clay pots.
You can buy matching containers of various sizes or just use what you have. Over time, the inner pots will become obscured by plants.
The First Tier
Warning: This is going to be messy.
Make a sturdy base.
Place an upside down plastic nursery pot in the largest container, pour potting soil around it and moisten the soil. The plastic pot should feel sturdy in the pot and rest level.
That's it! You've created the first tier. Now you're ready to build the next level of your stacked container.
The Second Tier
Are your hands dirty yet?
Next, place the second largest pot on the upturned nursery pot. Make sure it's stable and that the drainage holes line up.
Then put an upside down plastic pot inside pot #2.
Pour potting soil around it and add a bit of water.
The Optional Third Tier
One more time with feeling.
If you want to make a three-stack pot, place a small pot on top of the second planter's inner plastic pot. Again, make sure it's stable and that the drainage holes are aligned.
Finally, place an upside down plastic pot inside the third tier, pour potting mix around it and add water.
Whew! Now all of the tiers are in place, you're ready to plant!
Do you like the look of stacked containers?
Thrillers, spillers & fillers
Begin adding spillers and fillers (trailing and bushy) plants to the first layer first. Don't be afraid to manhandle the roots a bit. You're going to have to in order to cram—er, plant them in the bottom planter. You'll have to add more soil, too.
After planting the bottom pot, you'll probably have to adjust the pot at the second level. (Things tend to shift a bit as you're "cramming.") Keep going, adding in more spillers and fillers, more soil, and adjusting the pots.
Plant the thriller (the tall show-stopper) in the top pot along with any additional fillers and spillers until all of your plants are planted.
Be sure to leave a small un-planted area in the top pot to serve as a watering spot. This will allow you to water the entire stacked container from the top.
Budget Two-Tier Stacked Container
Created for a sunny corner, the budget-friendly stacked container below has only two tiers and contains just six plants: a Martha Washington geranium thriller, Dusty Miller fillers and snowdrop spillers.
To keep costs down, the plants are located on the front side only, and the thriller is planted against the back of the top pot.
A 3-Tier Stacked Pot Instructional Video: White Garden
The three-tier stacked container above is planted with sun-loving, drought tolerant plants. The bottom tier contains Oenothera berlanderi siskiyou 'Pink' (evening primrose) and Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple'. The second tier contains the same as well as Sedum 'blue spruce.' At the very top is a small dracaena.
What are you waiting for? Get to it!
Links to More Flower Pot Projects on HP
- Making Beautiful Mosaic Flower Pots
I love this project and have really been happy with the results! Warning: While it is time consuming, a bit dirty, and hard work, it’s fun and you will learn to create beautiful one-of-a kind pots.
- From Flower Pots to Styrofoam Balls, 5 Fun, Easy and...
Holidays are a great time for kids to get crafty. But what should you make? And what if you're short on cash, or your little one doesn't have a long attention span? No worries! The following crafts are not expensive or difficult - plus they're fun!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Jill Spencer