How to Make a Simple Stacked Garden
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How to Make a Simple Stacked Garden

The worst thing you can do while having a garden is make it look ordinary. One way to avoid this mistake is stacking pots in which you can grow colorful flowers, vegetables, or herbs. You can place these beautiful ornaments on patios, balconies, decks, or any other small space that needs a touch of vegetation and color.

To make your life easier, in this simple guide, we will show you how to create them in just a few hours with the proper materials. Chances are you may already have much of what you need tucked into a potting shed or garage. If not, a quick trip to the store will help you get on your way.


Terracotta clay flower pots
Image credits: teatian via Shutterstock

The fun part is you can use any color to decorate your pots. Other than paint, here are the essentials you’ll need:

  • 2-3 pots or containers of varying sizes and heights
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Non-decorative river rock or pea gravel
  • Spray paint
  • Potting soil
  • Plants

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Make A Stacked Garden

Step One: Gather Your Pots And Determine How You Want To Stack Them

Empty earthenware terracotta flower pots
Image credits: stockcreations via Shutterstock

You’ll want at least one large pot for each stacked garden, with increasingly smaller sizes as you stack. Be sure to have an idea of which pots go together if you are making more than one so you don’t get confused later when putting it together.

Other containers make great top planters as well. Use cracked watering cans, tea kettles, mixing bowls, or lamps as creative planters.

Step Two: Paint Your Pots And Other Containers

Woman hand holding a brush or paintbrush and painting a decorative plastic pot or flowerpot.
Image credits: Cagkan Sayin via Shutterstock

After you have gathered your pots, it’s time to paint them. With spray paint, change them into something really interesting. Remember, you want your ornament to catch the eye, so don’t be afraid of using various colors. The more colorful, the better!

Step Three: Place Your Pots And Create Supports

Big empty clay pots in the garden
Image credits: benzmj via Shutterstock

Once you know where you want your garden to go, instead of filling your bottom pot with rock and soil, use an old growing pot, gallon bucket, or any other type of ‘filler’, such as stacked bricks, to create a core. It keeps you from wasting soil while leaving plenty for your plants to grow. It also provides a stable base for your next pot level without worry that it will sink.

Make sure that whatever support you use allows for enough space for plants to grow. Too tight a fit, and you may have problems with your roots later on.

Step Four: Fill With Rocks And Potting Soils

Snow white pebble stones inside a flower pot as a garden decoration
Image credits: cas.tula via Shutterstock

Make sure your pots have good drainage and are large and deep enough to help take up space. Also, provide room for water flow by using gravel or other rocks. Once your rocks are in, fill the rest of your pot with potting soils. Pat it down and let it settle into the rocks to help keep any sinks from occurring later.

Don’t fill too deeply with rocks. You want to provide a place to allow the water runoff and loose soils to settle, not use them as a majority filler. If you fill too deeply, it may keep your roots from growing as they should.

Step Five: Stack Pots

Garden pots
Image credits: AlterYourReality via Canva

When you stack it in your first pot, make sure it is well upon your support, and cover the bottom a few inches with dirt. Continue stacking until you are happy with your results. Fill them to keep water draining, and allow your plants to take root.

Due to watering and soil compaction, your upper pots may begin to sink. Don’t be afraid to water your soils well and help press them down before placing pots within one another to keep this effect to a minimum.

Step Six: Lay Out Your Plants

Mini gardening - several pots with plants stacked
Image credits: weruskak via Canva

Lay out your vegetation before planting to make sure you’ve given them enough room and space around your hidden supports. Once you’ve determined your placement, get them planted and watered well. It shouldn’t take too long before your plants begin to put out new growth and provide you with the tiered garden effect.

Annuals grow quickly, so provide them with good watering daily until you begin to see new growth. Also, when you grow herbs, keep them well-trimmed to promote new growth and healthy roots.


If you are looking for a quick way to add some fun color and height to your garden, this project is for you! If you want it to be even more fun, do it with your kids! The best thing about it is that by choosing different pots painted in various colors and planting diverse flowers, veggies, or herbs, you can make your stacked garden ideally suited to the unique style of your landscape.

Let us know what you think about this project in the comment section, and as always, please share!