DIY Tiered Planter

DIY Tiered Planter

I wanted something colorful and pretty at our back door, so I decided to make my own tiered planter out of cheap plastic planters from Wal-Mart.  The largest one on the bottom (18″ basic resin planter) was around $11.97.  There are a few things I’d do different if I were to make another of these.  I did this one about 2 1/2 years ago in April 2016.

DIY tiered planter

I am pretty sure I used an 18″ planter for the bottom and inserted a 12″ planter ($2.50) upside down.  I did this for several reasons: 1) I didn’t want to fill the entire planter with soil when I was only planting in the front part.  2) This also made that tier lighter, which would make it easier to move it if I ever wanted it somewhere else.  3) It would add some stability when stacking the other planters.  I also put another smaller planter upside down on the 2nd tier (the yellow planter).

diy tiered planter instructions

The planters I purchased at Wal-Mart were either red (like the one inside the planter above) or a rather unattractive green (in my opinion), so I decided to spray paint my 4 tiers.  I could have left the large red one as-is, but I wanted to use the same color I’d used when re-doing other planters on my back deck so they would match.

spray painting plastic planters

This is the most important thing I would do different if doing it all over.  The paint eventually started chipping, so if I did another tiered planter like this, I would most definitely use some kind of sealer over the paint to help prevent that.  Since it’s outdoors, I tend to lean toward spar urethane.

Below are some pictures from the first year of use.  Green (top) tier: fuchsia; Blue tier: petunias and impatiens; Yellow tier: 2 varieties of sweet potato vine and dracaenas.  Red tier: asparagus ferns, petunias, and ONE coleus plant.  I’m terrible about planting too close because of my impatience with things filling in the spaces.  And I had no idea that one coleus plant would get so ginormous!  😮  Within 4 months time, you can’t even tell there’s a 2nd or 3rd tier!  😐

Last year wasn’t quite as extravagant.  Green tier: pink cyclamen; Blue tier: eventually planted trailing petunias; Yellow tier: volunteer viola, but pulled out & left empty for summer; Red tier: Swingtime fuchsia.  This is another thing I would do differently.  I picked trailing varieties for upper tiers, and if things were planted below, they would cover those flowers.  That’s why I left the yellow tier empty last summer.  If I were doing it again, I would definitely stick to trailing flowers on the bottom (red) tier, and use low-growing, non-trailing flowers for the yellow and blue tiers.  The green one could have a taller, upright flower in it.

Earlier this year at the end of winter and beginning of spring, I had a lot of pansies and violas left over that I’d started from seeds, so I planted them in my tiered planter.  First, I’d like to point out the chipping paint.

chipping paint on tiered planter

I wish I’d used the spar urethane to seal it.  It was much more obvious this year, and I honestly didn’t want to touch up the planter and re-do it.  I already had another project in mind to take its place, so I eventually wound up giving the tiered planter to a friend of mine.  Here are a couple of pictures of the planter with pansies and violas from this spring.

And there you have it!  The main things I would do differently would be to use spar urethane to seal it and to pick flower varieties that do not trail for the top 3 tiers.  What have you used to make a tiered planter?

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