Here’s a great project to use up some of those empty pots lying around—it’ll take a couple of hours and only cost whatever you spend on plants (unless you have those lying around, too!). This 3-tiered planter will give you a fantastic focal point for your patio or garden, and works particularly well for those who have limited space, as it’s literally 3 planters in one.
First, decide where you want the planter to go, because once it’s filled with soil and planted, it will be very heavy to move! Take 3 graduating sizes of pots, and add potting soil to the largest one.
If your biggest pot is really large like mine (20” tall), then rather than filling it completely with expensive potting soil, take another smaller pot and invert it inside the bigger one. Make sure it’s a sturdy one, though—you don’t want this project collapsing on you!
Fill the large pot with soil, packing it around the inverted pot, and stopping about 4” from the rim. Then take the medium pot and center it in the middle of the largest one. Fill it with soil—again, stopping about 3-4” from the rim–and then stack the smallest one on the top.
Now you’re ready to plant! You’ll be planting in the rings of soil around the base of the large and medium pots, and then in the smallest pot. An easy way to plant is using 4” pots of flowers—carefully remove the plants from their nursery pots and simply place them on the surface of the soil, all the way around the rims of the pots. Then fill in any gaps with potting soil and fertilizer. Remember that if you choose to use annuals, they will need a lot of fertilizer, so now’s the time to add that in!
Don’t be afraid to really pack these plants in for the biggest impact—annuals only stick around for a few months, so don’t skimp on quantities and wait til they fill in! I used about 2 flats of pansies, violas, alyssum, flowering kale and silver ponyfoot to plant these pots, and I finished it off with sphagnum moss from the craft store. The moss will not only hold in the moisture (like mulch in the garden), but I think it completes the whole look of the planter beautifully.
The finished product
I love this look with the cool weather annuals I’ve chosen here, but I think for the next one I do,, I’ll use succulents and place it out in the yard. This is has become one of my favorite projects in the last couple of years because of its versatility, and I bet it will be one of yours too!
Jenny is a landscaper garden designer from Austin, Texas