Tipsy pots, also known as topsy turvy planters, are flower pots arranged in a stack to look like they are tipping over, even though they are sturdy. Once you know the trick, they are easy to make.
This is part of a series featuring creative garden container ideas.
Tipsy Pots: How To Make A Plant Tower
Tipsy pots have been around for years although they go by many names:
- Tipsy pots
- Topsy turvy planters
- Plant towers
- Vertical planters
- Planter tower
What do you call a stack of flower planters that look like they’re falling over—but they aren’t?
The Trick to Making Tipsy Pots
It’s this simple: a long pipe is secured in the ground and the flower pots are threaded through the pipe, with one sitting on the next.
There are countless variations you could make, depending on the choice of pots and plants.
So long as the support pipe is long enough, strong enough, and fits through the holes in the pots, you are set.
You can also use unusual containers like old metal pots or galvanized watering cans if you’re willing and able to drill holes in them.
If you would like the free project tip sheet for making Tipsy Pots, you can download it here:
Tipsy Pot Supplies
1 Support Post
You could use:
- Wood dowel
- Metal fence post
The support post should be:
- Strong enough to hold the weight of the pots.
- Long enough that you can drive a foot or two into the ground.
- The right size to fit through the holes in the pots.
You may want to do a test run. How far the support post will go into the ground will depend on your soil quality (clay, sand, loam, or a combination).
You want it sturdy and long enough (above ground) to hold all your pots with the top ending in the upper-most pot without showing.
2 Pots or Other Containers
Use any pots or outdoor-friendly containers with holes in the bottom. The hole doesn’t have to be in the middle of the container but needs to be wide enough to fit the pipe/dowel through.
- Clay pots
- Old metal teapots
- Coffee pots
- Cooking pots
- Watering cans
- Anything you can drill a hole in (if it doesn’t have one already). The larger the pot, the better the ‘tipsy’ effect – especially if the holes in the pot are off-centre.
3 Plants & Potting Mix
The size of the planting area may determine what you can plant.
When it comes to planting containers, it’s all about fill, thrill, and spill.
You could plant annual flowers, herbs, perennials, or even vegetables—any plant that grows well in a pot— varying colours, texture, shape, and size.
Perhaps your theme is a bold pop of colour and you use favourite flowering annuals.
If you have a winter storage plan, any perennials could also work.
One sweet idea (pun intended) is to plant strawberries or dwarf tomatoes.
Or, how about a mini herb garden tower?
If the containers are interesting enough, you may like it without plants—just potting mix or some sort of art in the pots.
Potting Mix: Use a mix made for your plant choices. If planting edibles, be sure to choose a food-safe mix intended for food crops.
If you would like an excellent resource guide for container gardening, this is the book I recommend:
How To Assemble Tipsy Pots
- Hammer the pipe/dowel into the ground until firmly in place.
- Have your pots, plants, and potting soil ready.
- Thread each pot through the pipe, one at a time, adding soil and plants as you go.
Be sure you can water the plants (without spilling) and the plants are securely in place.
I leave about an inch between the top of the soil and the lip of the pot and water very slowly so the potting mix absorbs the water.
- Each pot will need a sturdy resting place. I add soil and stones to secure each pot in place, sitting on the pot below it.
- So long as the structure is secure, you can build your plant tower as tall as you want.
Enjoy. They’re quirky and always get garden visitors saying, How’d you do that?
Now, get tipsy!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛