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Picture of Vertical Planter Box

I’ve seen vertical gardens in public places and they’re always pretty impressive. But mostly they’re done with many containers on a framework. I got the idea of a compact, picture frame type planter. But you can’t just turn a box of dirt up on end. It’ll all schlump to the bottom. Also, there are the problems of how to water the plants and where does the run-off go. So here’s what I came up with.

It’s a mini succulent garden in a frame. Dirt is held in place with plastic baffles. The succulents don’t require much water. I just hit them with a spray bottle every once in a while. I think it looks pretty good and fits into the small space available for it.


  • 1/6” plastic panel – Home Depot
  • Redwood slats – mine were ½ x 2”, 2 at 20”. 2 at 19”
  • ¼” plywood - cut to 20x20”
  • Redwood fence board – rip to 5” wide, miter to 27” outside
  • ½ x½ redwood sticks - to align frame to box
  • ¼” galvanized eye bolts, nuts and fender washers. – I used 4 but only w are needed
  • 18 gauge staples – 1 ½ and 1” to fit pneumatic staple gun
  • Galvanized angle brackets - 4 to hold frame to box
  • Chicken wire – about 19” by 22”
  • Preserved Spanish Moss, Cactus planting mix, Plants

Step 1: Box and Frame

Picture of Box and Frame

The Box

I had a lot of redwood slats about ½ inch by 2 inches “in inventory” (left over from some other project). So these formed the basis of the project. The box is 20” by 20” with a piece of ¼ inch plywood on the back. I stapled it together with galvanized 18 gauge staples. (After time the plywood back has started to de-laminate. I should have chosen something more waterproof).

The Frame

The frame face is ¾ inch redwood fence boards ripped to 5” and mitered, with square strips tacked on the back to allow invisible attachment to the box. Overall it’s 27” square. Again, all attaching was done with my 18 gauge staple gun. I lined the box with black heavy duty garbage bag plastic sheet. I painted it all later.

Hanger Bolts

I had the idea that I might want to turn it upside down later if the plants started to migrate either up of down. So I put in eye bolts on two ends of the box. They are ¼ inch galvanized with nuts and fender washers on the inside. Experience tells me that it’s not necessary to turn the box over. So only one set of eye bolts would have been necessary.

cool! it looks great, good luck in the contest!
bambiix24 months ago
This looks really cool
jessyratfink5 months ago
That looks great! Using the plastic grid on the inside is a really smart way to keep the soil evenly distributed too :)