Flower pot towers offer gardeners a chance to showcase a colourful array of plants from fuchsias and clematis to sweetpeas and petunias. Novelty leaning flower pot towers are a popular design so read on for how to make one of these for your own garden space.
How to make a leaning flower pot tower
Create a support
The main support for a leaning flower pot tower is a metal pole, which needs to be fixed very steadily into the soil. If you don’t have anything suitable, you can get a metal pole from a local DIY shop. Bamboo poles can also be used but I’d advise metal, especially if you’re using terracotta pots.
Before you fix the metal pole, check that the width of the holes in your flower pots can have the pole threaded through them. If the holes are too small, then carefully drill a bigger hole in the centre of each pot.
Attach the pots
The next stage is to attach lightweight pots to the pole. These need to have a hole through which you can fix your support central pole.
Start by placing the pole through the first pot, this pot is usually placed horizontally. Fill this pot with soil and then add the second pot.
The second pot can be skewed slightly by resting the base of this pot on the first, passing the pole through the hole of this second pot at its base and then twisting it sideways to an angle you like. Now fill this pot with soil to stabilise it leaving 2 inches or so at the top, which will be planted up later.
The third pot will be skewed at a different angle resting on the soil of the second pot, making sure it is positioned with the metal pole going through its base. Fill this one with soil too and leave a clear two inches at the top to avoid soil spillage.
If you are going to go higher than 3 pots, then add a fourth and check the stability of the structure as each new flower pot is added. Don’t add too many pots because it will make the tower quite unstable as well as difficult to water.
Plant it up
Now is the time to decide which flowers to plant in each pot. This is an excellent way to plant herbs in one spot, and you can place it close to the back door or near your kitchen so you can nip out to collect leaves as you need them.
Top the pots up with soil but remember that the angled ones will be prone to water leakage after watering. Make sure to position the pot tower somewhere that won’t be damaged by water.
Once your plants are in, gently water them from the top. Usually, the water will trickle down the tower but it does depend on where you have placed your pots. You can also water each pot individually.
Tip: Outdoor tower pots are very susceptible to gusts of wind so place them in a sheltered spot or against a building for support.
Tall planter pot ideas
Circular obelisk tower
Place a tall, circular obelisk or trellis in a large flower pot and plant it up with a scented climber like sweet peas or roses. Passionflower also looks amazing and the buds will strive to find sunlight and poke their heads through the leaves. When the flowers are pollinated, you will have fresh fruit to eat later in the season.
Read more: How to grow passionflower in a pot
If the plant support is sturdy, you can also add light plastic pots full of annual bedding flowers to give it some extra oomph.
Bamboo flower pot tower
Secure several bamboo canes into a large pot and attach a circle made of wire or plastic halfway up the canes to create a tight structure (an embroidery wheel is perfect!). Use two for a taller structure.
You can grow climbing plants inside or outside the canes and they will climb beautifully, hiding the bamboo supports as they climb. Lupins will look good at the base of this tower with their decorative tips of colourful flowers, accompanied by star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) planted on the inside. This gorgeous evergreen that enjoys full sun or partial shade can grow as tall as 90cm. The lupins will usually flower first, leaving the star-shaped jasmine flowers to shine from June to October.
Flower pot tower planting ideas
Hardy evergreen tower pot
Hardy fuchsias are perfect pot plants because of the duration of the flowering period. As well as the traditional red and purple fuchsias, you can choose various shades of pink, lilac and purple and many varieties adapt to either sun or partial shade. Purple Periwinkle (Vinca) looks incredible planted alongside fuchsias. This combination of flowers will offer butterflies nectar from early spring until the frosts arrive.
Companion tower pot
Plant beans and some ornamental, climbing flowers at the same time. Most climbing beans have exotic and colourful flowers. By growing different varieties you can enjoy a range of colours from white and red, to purple from the late flowering Purple Queen variety. Beans enjoy nutritious soil so make sure your climber likes the same. Sweet peas favour the same conditions as beans so this combination will provide nutrition for bees and butterflies as well as food for the table.
After the beans are harvested, a late summer planting of dahlias will bloom throughout the autumn or you can add a few pansies.
Indoor flower pot tower
As well as being protected from the elements, placing a tower pot indoors means you can select more exotic, tropical plants. Campsis is a good choice and it will climb rapidly in the right conditions, flowering its trumpet-shaped blooms as it goes. They will continue flowering while the temperature is warm, even in winter. Make sure to feed them every few weeks to encourage flowering.
You can accompany campsis with winter flowering kalanchoes for some floral colour at the base of the tower pot. These tropical beauties will help to keep the winter blues at bay during the colder months.
Choose your plants carefully
- If you’re planting up a pot with a trellis or obelisk, choose climbers so that their tendrils can clasp onto the support a tower gives. Clematis, passionflower, peas, and sweetpeas work well. A really perfect one is Bloom Bells (Mandevilla sanderi), which produces vibrant red flowers and deeply tinted green foliage. Planted in the centre of an obelisk, this is one of my favourites! It happily meanders around the structure and the red flowers appear at intervals.
- Try to choose repeat bloomers that flower over and over again so you have a long-lasting display of flowers. Nasturtiums are perfect and clematis will keep flowering too if you deadhead the blooms.
- There are lots of annuals that will surprise you later in the year if you sprinkle a few seed mixtures in your pots. Cornflowers, poppies, alyssum, candytuft and lobelias will usually arrive at different times. Add these to the base of your tower pot.