Easy Vertical Gardening Ideas

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Are you looking for unique ways to spruce up your garden? If so, you may want to consider vertical gardening. Vertical gardens are a great way to add interest and dimension to your space. Plus, they’re perfect for small yards or spaces where traditional gardening is not an option. Keep reading for some great vertical gardening ideas! 

Vertical Garden of flower pots on a wood pallet

What is vertical gardening? 

Vertical gardening is a type of gardening where plants are grown up instead of out. This can be done in a number of ways, including trellises, wall planters, and hanging baskets.  

Vertical gardens are perfect for small spaces or yards where traditional gardening is not an option. They can also add interest and dimension to your garden. 

What grows well in a vertical garden? 

Just about anything can be grown in a vertical garden, although some plants will grow more successfully than others.  

Best plants for vertical gardening  

  • Vines like ivy, grapevines, and morning glories 
  • Climbing roses 
  • Flowering plants like morning glories or clematis 
  • Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, or strawberries 
A vertical herb garden in a small urban garden space with range of herb varieties

Best herbs for vertical gardens 

While there are many edible plants that grow well in hanging planters, growing an herb garden in hanging pots is a particularly attractive green space for your backyard.  

Fresh herbs that do well in a vertical garden are those that don’t need a lot of soil or space.  If you are new to growing herbs, check out my herb gardening guide for beginners for more information.

Some examples that do well in hanging planters are: 

  • Basil 
  • Cilantro 
  • Chives 
  • Mint 
  • Oregano 
  • Parsley 
  • Thyme 

If you’re not sure which plants will do well in your vertical garden, ask a staff member at your local nursery or gardening center. They’ll be able to give you specific plant recommendations for your area.

More Herb Growing Tips

Check out my post on how to grow fresh lavender from seed!

vertical garden of wood pallet and flower pots with text overlay 'Vertical Gardening TIps'

Vertical Gardening Tips 

Maintaining vertical garden planters is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:  

Maintenance is key 

  • Water regularly and fertilize when needed  
  • Prune your plants as needed to maintain their shape  
  • Inspect your garden regularly for pests or diseases  
  • Be sure to support heavy vines or blooms to prevent damage to your plants or materials  

Consider the amount of sunlight your garden gets when selecting plants, as some will require more sun than others. And don’t forget about watering! Be sure to water your plants regularly, as they will dry out faster than plants in traditional gardens.  

Finally, once your plants have started to grow, you may need to train them onto their supports using plant ties or clips. This will help ensure that they grow vertically rather than horizontally.  

Be frugal by upcycling it 

One of the great things about vertical gardens is that they can be created using a variety of materials.  

For example, you could repurpose an old ladder, empty plastic soda bottles, cabinet doors, or even wine crates.  

Get creative and think outside the box! If you’re looking for something a little more low-maintenance, there are also many premade vertical planters available for purchase online or at your local home improvement store. 

cucumber growing on a trellis near a fence

Vertical garden design ideas  

Check out these vertical gardening ideas to get started. 

1. Grow Climbing Plants Up a Trellis  

One of the most classic vertical gardening ideas is to grow climbing plants up a trellis. This can be anything from a simple wooden frame to an ornate metal one. Some popular climbing plants include roses, clematis, jasmine, and grapevines.   

If you choose to grow perennial vines, keep in mind that once they start growing, it will be difficult to move the vertical frame without damaging the vining plants. Water regularly so the plants don’t dry out. You might want to trim the plants occasionally to improve air circulation and reduce disease. 

flower pots on a ladder mounted on a fence

2. Place Clay Pots on Racks or Ladder Shelves  

If you love having potted plants around but are running out of horizontal surface space, try placing them on racks or ladder shelves instead to create vertical interest.  

This looks especially attractive if you use uniform pots in different colors or sizes. Repurposing an old ladder as a plant stand is also a great way to add some rustic charm to your outdoor area.  

a typical spanish balcony with geranium flowers

3. Use Hanging Baskets to create a vertical space 

For an impressive DIY vertical display that will really make your neighbors do a double-take, try hanging baskets from your porch or balcony railing.  

This is a real space saver for a small garden as well. Buy a sturdy metal hook specifically designed for hanging containers.  

Be sure to use hooks that can support the weight of the basket and its contents, and water regularly so the plants don’t dry out. You should also make sure to use a sturdy rope as well or your hanging planter may end up on the ground.  

Ferns, impatiens, and petunias all do well in hanging baskets. If you are more of a food grower than a flower gardener, cherry tomatoes also grow well in hanging baskets. I love growing food in addition to colorful flowers since you can feed your family as well as improve the visual appeal of your small space.  

4. Make a Living Wall  

A living wall is exactly what it sounds like—a wall covered in green! There are specially made kits that allow you to create a wall garden, or you can get creative and DIY it with repurposed pallets or lattice panels.  

Be sure to choose drought-tolerant plants for your garden space so they don’t require too much maintenance, such as succulents, air plants, or sedum. 

Wooden crates with flowers hanging on the facade of the building. Flower shop

5. Create Vertical Planter Boxes 

If you have a small yard or patio, a vertical planter is a great way to add some greenery without taking up too much space. You can buy premade vertical planters, or make your own out of repurposed materials like old dresser drawers or cabinet doors. Be sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom before adding soil and plants. 

6. Train Vines Up a Fence or Wall  

Another easy vertical gardening idea is to train vines up a fence or wall. This can add privacy to your outdoor space as well as visual interest. Some fast-growing vines that are good for this include morning glories, black-eyed Susans, and hyacinth beans. 

Mini gardening - several pots with plants stacked outdors

7. Make a Clay Pot Vertical Garden   

If you love the look of potted plants but don’t have a lot of space, try stacking them on top of each other! This vertical gardening idea is great for small patios or balconies. Just be sure to use pots that are a similar size and shape, and have drainage holes in the bottom. 

8. Hang Plants from the Ceiling  

For a really unique look, try hanging plants from the ceiling! This is a great way to add greenery to a room with high ceilings.  

Be sure to use plant hooks that can support the weight of the plants, and water them regularly so they don’t dry out. This is a great way to decorate underneath a raised deck.  

Window in traditional half timbered house decorated with a geranium filled window box, lead panel windows, and simple saltire and brick filled walls

9. Old-fashioned window boxes 

Window boxes are a classic way to add vertical interest to your home or garden area, and they’re great for small spaces. Be sure to choose plants that will do well in the sun or shade, depending on where you’ll be placing the window box. Water regularly so the plants don’t dry out. 

10. Stacked Crates 

If you’re looking for a rustic way to add some variety to your outdoor space, try stacking crates or barrels and filling them with small plants to save space.  

This is a great way to repurpose old wood crates, and you can paint them any color you want to match your décor. 

flowers growing on an arch over a gate

12. Train yours over an archway 

Installing an archway over a path or door is a great way to increase planting space in your yard. Be sure to choose a variety of plants that will bloom at different times so there is always something in bloom.  

As they grow, weave them together over the arch and you will always have a beautiful array of colorful blooms arching overhead. 

13. Build a gutter garden 

Gutters make a great space for growing small plants, and they’re perfect for urban gardens. Be sure to choose gutters that are the right size for your space, and make sure they are securely anchored.  

collage of vertical gardening ideas with text overlay 'Vertical Gardening grow more plants in less space'

Final Thoughts on Growing Vertically 

Vertical surfaces are the perfect way to grow more plants in less space. Whether you want to create a garden tower on your patio or living walls in your kitchen, growing UP allows you to use your limited space as efficiently as possible. 

And remember, your garden structure doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy to be functional. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure so grow herbs in a dresser drawer or grow veggies or other plants along a trellis in your backyard.  

Plant flowers in a window box on the porch or an herb garden in upcycled soda bottles.  

If you have a larger space in your garden and have a green thumb, create pallet planters or mount pots on your fence. The number of vertical gardening ideas is endless! 

Vertical gardens are a great way to add interest and dimension to your space. With a little creativity and effort, you can have a beautiful vertical garden of your own in no time! 

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