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How to Start a Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are as beautiful as they are practical, which is probably why you’ve landed at this article. You want to start a vertical garden, but don’t know where or how to begin. Whether you have a tiny city apartment or a spacious duplex house, vertical gardens are stunning and can compliment any home or garden.

Why Build a Vertical Garden?

City Living

A lot of city apartments, especially those located in major cities, could feel cramped and confined when you throw a bunch of plants into the mix of things. I know firsthand, how nearly impossible it is to start a garden in a city home. However, if I had started a vertical garden, I would have had the luxury of having a garden in my city home. That garden being convenient, practical and beautiful.


Vertical gardens are a stunning addition to any home, yard, garden or anywhere else you decide to start yours. Whether you’re starting one to spice up your plain home office or want to add greenery to your living space, vertical gardens are extremely appealing. No matter where you decide to place your vertical garden, know that it’ll be as aesthetic as it is practical.


These gardens are quite easy to get started and maintain. If you can follow a set of instructions step-by-step, odds are you can start a vertical garden. No particular skills are needed to start one of these gardens. Maintenance of your vertical garden may seem tricky initially, but once you figure out the best techniques, your garden should do just fine. And odds are you will find the right techniques because your vertical garden takes up virtually no space which is how you like it.

How to Install Your Vertical Garden

There are actually many ways to install your vertical garden, and this includes building it yourself or purchasing the equipment. However, it’s important to know the who, what, where and when’s before the how’s. That all starts with placement.


You’ll want to decide where your vertical garden is going to go. You then will be able to determine what size garden will fit in your desired area. Your placement will also be determined by the kind of plants you decide to grow, as some plants need more sun exposure than others. So long as you have an adequate area for sun exposure, your placement should be fine both indoors and outdoors. Of course, you could always in supplemental lighting if there is not enough sunlight in the room for your plants.

Garden Type

With your vertical garden comes installing the actual plants. This will determine what kind of vertical garden you build and how the plants will get installed. Also dependent on the plants, you’ll need to decide whether you want a potted/container-styled garden or a pocket garden consisting of canvas or felt fabric. There several other options that you can research, but these two are the most basic and easiest styles to plant and maintain.

Choosing Your Plants

Typically, vertical gardens consist of varieties of succulents, but you can also throw in herbs, vegetables, and flowers to the mix. With container and pocket gardening, you can pretty much grow anything. Choose your plants, but be sure they are “flexible” plants, to begin with, meaning they could be managed with little to no supervision compared to other plants. You’ll also want to be sure all of the plants fall under the same “habit,” meaning they all require lots of sun or little to no sun.

Installing Your Garden

Now that you know the who, what, where, and when’s, you can get started with the how. Depending on the garden style you’re going for, container, or pocket-style, you’ll want to choose the installation best suited to your particular needs.

Container/Potted Vertical Garden

The easiest way to build this garden is to use a rack or shelf. These can be stand-alone or wall-mounted. You can easily build your garden rack/shelf by hand by following simple shelving tutorials or simply purchase one at a local furniture thrift shop. These are pretty self-explanatory. You gather your shelving/rack, mount or place it accordingly, and gather your containers/pots.

You can choose what kind of container you want to use depending on your aesthetic. Gather a bunch of mason jars or other DIY-styled containers to give your vertical garden the look you desire. Consider gathering a bunch of containers and plants to make your vertical garden look much more densely packed.

starting a vertical garden

Pouch/Pocket Vertical Garden

A pocket vertical garden is very easy to create. However, you will need to have an area below your pocket garden that can catch any excess fallen water. Your pocket garden can be handmade using canvas or felt fabric and some nails, staples or a sewing kit. This is probably the easiest vertical garden to make. You can also purchase a pocket holder made out of canvas fabric at any local craft shop.

how to start a vertical garden

Vertical Hanging Planter Garden

To make your own vertical hanging planter garden, all you need are some hanging planters, rods, and rope. For a touch of personalization, you can also use some paint and washi tape. Another option is using terracotta pots with rope and some support discs. If you like extra support, you can use plugs, washers, and rods to hang your terracotta pots. There are many different tutorials online, depending on your chosen aesthetic.

You can hang the pots in various ways; you can layer them in rows supported by vertical rods, one row on top of another. You can also attach a rope from an eyebolt supported by your roof and have a curtain of plants decorating the side of your house.

Modern Vertical Kitchen Garden

Kitchen gardens are an excellent idea for people who live in small houses and apartments. There are a couple of variations that you can use. If you have wall space that gets enough sunlight for those plants, you can use wall planters. When planting inside, plant some herbs; that way, you can have a year-round herb garden, even through those long, dark winter months.

Another option is to install rods above your sink. You can use your curtain rod as support for your hanging pots if you aren’t worried about using a curtain. You can buy hanging pots or macrame hangers to hang your favorite containers. Be careful with the amount of sunlight your plants can get when this close to the window. Some plants may love all the light, but some are a little more sensitive and can burn.

Fence Garden

If you have a lot of fence and no idea what to do with all of that blank space, a fence garden could be the answer to your problems. You can use any container that works for you as long as the fence adequately supports the container’s weight. Some examples of containers that would work are soup cans, paint cans, and coffee tins, but you can get as creative as you want. Just remember to make sure that the containers have proper drainage.

Stacked Crates or Cedar Boxes

It is possible to make a vertical garden without any real construction or installation required. If you have a lot of crates or can find a lot of crates that are the same size, you can stack them so that the top edges of the boxes are topped with another crate, making it a checker-like effect. Make sure the crates are sturdy when stacking or don’t stack too high. You don’t want your garden to topple over and ruin all your hard work.

You can also make your own cedar boxes for your vertical garden. They will require some construction, but the finished product will look beautiful. You can also stack the cedar crates, but they do work well and look gorgeous if you attach them to the fence.

Important Note: It’s vital to remember drainage holes for your planters. It can get messy with the wrong pots, but if there are no drainage holes, your plant may get too much water and die. An option is to line the bottom of the pot with pebbles, but be careful with how much you water your plants.


With container and pocket vertical gardens, you’ll want to maintain it in the standard way you would have if the plants had been planted alone rather than in a vertical garden. So long as you know how your plants need to be maintained by themselves, you’ll be able to maintain them in your vertical garden. This all depends on which plants you decided to plant as well as the organic soil you chose to use.

These gardens are very easy to create and maintain and are a welcome addition to any home, office, yard and more.