Vertical planters: how to DIY a living wall planter

Vertical planters are a great way to maximise garden space and these tick all our green-fingered boxes

DIY vertical planters: an outdoor space with vertical gardening, plants growing up a black painted fence and an outdoor dining set
(Image credit: Dobbies)

Love vertical planters but find the price of them puts you off? Or maybe you've set aside some time this weekend while the weather's nice to do some DIY garden projects?  

No matter how big or small your garden, patio or balcony, you can transform it with a vertical planter really easily. The simplest thing to do is to use ready-made pocket planters that can be attached to your fence, shed, wall or garage, turning a boring surface into a thing of beauty. Simply put plants directly into the pockets, water the top and let it cascade down. 

Whether you go all out and create a stunning living wall or simply hang a few planters here and there for a more subtle garden update, it’s an easy way to add instant impact to any size space.

Find more garden ideas in our ultimate gallery.

Vertical planting in a modern garden with a black painted fence and wooden dining set

(Image credit: Dobbies)

You will need:

  • Wonderwall pocket planters
  • Drill, screws, rawl plugs (for attaching to walls)
  • Hammer and nails (for attaching to fences)
  • Plants in 13cm pots (number dependent on how many pockets you have to fill)
  • Top soil

Step one: Prepare the surfaces

Make sure the surface you're using has a fresh lick of paint and that any weeds or plants growing across it have been removed in the area you want to plant up. If your vertical planters will be hanging above decking, make sure you've treated it appropriately so that water running out of the planters won't cause damage.

Step two: Fix your vertical planters

Fix the planters to the wall, making sure they're spaced equally apart and that each row is tucked snugly underneath the one above. It's best to use screws if you're attaching them to a wall; a sturdy fence might take strong nails.

Step three: Choose your plants

There's a myriad of ways to style your vertical planters. For dramatic effect, use long, trailing plants, like ferns and ivy, which will make your wall look full. Alternatively, pot fruit and veg, like tumbling tomato bedding plants, or create a herb garden with a selection of your favourites. Use these guides to help with your choice:

Step four: Pot your plants

Fill 13cm pots with soil and add your plants, making sure they're planted firmly and that the pots are topped up with more soil. Once you've done that? All you need to do is drop the pots in the pockets, step back and admire your handiwork. Water the top plants when they're looking a little sad and the whole wall will get a good soaking – leaving you to get on with your other garden jobs... 

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