5 easy ways to grow a vertical garden and save space

Living wall in garden
Living wall in garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re a keen gardener, but lack the outdoor space, then vertical gardens are becoming a more popular option. Vertical gardening is essentially a clever technique of growing plants and veggies upwards, rather than taking up precious horizontal floor space. 

Whether it’s making use of walls or creating modular/tiered planters, there are easy ways to grow a vertical garden to suit any space and budget. In fact, this is particularly useful for those growing plants on a balcony. Plus, just think of the money you’ll be saving on grocery bills by growing your own vegetables!

Not only will vertical gardens elevate your space, but are super easy to maintain, and offer a creative way to showcase your beautiful blooms, succulents or herb garden. 

So, if you want to transform your small, outdoor space into a lush, plant oasis, here are the 5 easy ways to grow a vertical garden and save space. 

Plus, here are 7 clever ways to upcycle wooden pallets in your yard.

1. Create a living wall 

Living wall fabric for vertical garden

Living wall fabric for vertical garden (Image credit: Amazon)

Living walls are a clever use of vertical space, and can make a stunning backdrop for any home. The more common way to create a living wall is to use fabric pocket planters that can be securely fixed to any wall, fence or even shed. In fact, even if you don't want to cover the entire wall, you can find living wall planters with different numbers of pockets to suit your space, much like this Active Gear Guy Vertical Hanging Outdoor Wall Planter ($23, Amazon), for compact spaces. 

If you are buying several wall planters, remember to space them out evenly on the wall or surface of your choice, ensuring each row is neatly tucked underneath the one above.

First, fill a suitable-sized pot with soil before adding your chosen plants, before simply dropping the pots into your plant pockets. When hand-watering, start with the top plants so that water will drip down to soak the plants underneath. 

The best part is once they all grow, your living wall will look lush and vibrant all year round.  Plus, you can easily swap out, and rearrange your favorite plants without hassle. 

2. Wooden palette planters 

Wooden palette planter

Wooden palette planter (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Palette garden wall ideas are a great option if you want to add rustic charm and character to any outdoor space. What’s more, wooden palettes are eco-friendly and super versatile — so you can repaint it, locate them anywhere, and add your own style to it.  

Simply create 'troughs' from the sections of wood that form the base to put your plants in. For this, you’ll need three extra pieces of pallet wood nailed on to create the boxed in ‘pocket’ areas.

Then, line the troughs with a durable, black plastic such as old compost bags, before creating drainage holes. Once you’ve done that, fill with compost, ready to plant away! When the plants start to grow, they will come through the palette slots and make a striking feature. 

Wooden pallet planters are ideal for herb plants, or displaying your succulent collection. And they can either be securely fixed to the wall, or even propped up against a flat surface, if you want it to be ground-level.  

3. Trellis planters 

White trellis with plants

White trellis with plants (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want something low maintenance, trellis planters are a great choice for vertical gardening. These can be positioned against a south-facing wall or fence, and come in various sizes.

Trellis planters support climbing plants, particularly vine vegetables such as juicy tomatoes or green runner beans that can be ‘trained’ to climb up the panel. If you opt for a freestanding trellis planter, this also comes with a box that allows you extra space for a flower bed, veggies or a herb garden. You can also add hanging baskets onto the trellis panel if you want to add a decorative touch.  

4. Hanging wall planters 

Wall-mounted planters on garden wall

Wall-mounted planters on garden wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wall-mounted planters have become a popular choice for compact spaces. Whether it’s hanging pots, wicker baskets, or circular planters, secure these to any wall or flat surface to create a beautiful, vertical garden.

Unlike the efforts of maintaining a big garden, wall planters are easy to care for, and much more versatile. You can easily swap plants out, or change the wall arrangement to suit your moods. What’s more, wall planters will instantly bring glamor and style to a boring space. 

5. Stackable fruit and herb planters

Stackable planter in kitchen

Stackable planter in kitchen (Image credit: Amazon)

Another great space-saving option are stackable planters. These can be placed indoors or outdoors if you want to create a mini vertical garden. Typically, each planter is made of five stackable pots that can hold up to 15 different plants. 

In addition, they come with handy soil separators, a bottom tray, and drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. 

You can find stackable planters in different styles, shapes and colors much like this Amazing Creation Stackable Planter ($39, Amazon), to suit your home. These work well to maximize on space, and also an eye-catching way to display your plants, herbs or other homegrown treats.  

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!