Tipsy Pot Plant Tower

How to Make the Original Tipsy Pot Plant Tower

Gary saw this clay pot tower in someone's yard on his way home from work. I found some limited instructions online, and learned that they were called Tipsy Pots. Here's what we did to put one together. This project was also featured in Birds & Blooms magazine.
Step 1

First we cleared a spot in the lawn that was difficult to mow. It's next to the deck on our screen house, which needed some more color to make it more inviting.  The tower also creates a little bit of privacy when we sit next to it.
Step 2

After removing the sod, we drove a 66" long piece of 1/2" re-rod (re-bar) into the soil two feet, then surrounded the rod with newspaper to help prevent weeds from coming up through the mulch. It's important to pound the rod into the soil at least two feet so that the rod will support the weight of the pots when full.  You may need to use more or less re-rod depending on the size of the pots you use.
step 3

Then we placed a 12" round clay pot at the base, threading the re-rod through the drainage hole. You must fill the pot full of soil at this point so that the next pot has something to sit on. Press the soil down and water it in to firm it up a bit.

How to Make a Tipsy Pot Plant Tower

We decided to use 10" pots for the remainder of the tower, although you can also use pots in ascending sizes. Thread the second pot through it's drainage hole and tilt it to one side so that the base of the 10" pot is resting on the soil.

The next three pots were threaded onto the rod and tilted on opposite sides of each other so that the weight is distributed evenly. These three pots will have their bottoms resting on the rim of the pot below as illustrated in the photos.

When planting, make sure you leave a 1" to 1-1/2" space at the top of each pot so that when you water, the soil does not run out of the pot along with the water. I found that mulching the tops of the pots will help prevent this also. I prefer to mulch clay pots anyway to help conserve moisture as clay pots tend to dry out quickly in the summer heat. When watering, water slowly, allowing the water to be absorbed by the soil before adding more water. A layer of mulch on the ground, over the newspaper finishes it off beautifully.

How to Make the Original Tipsy Pot Plant Tower

Note: Depending on the height of the pots you have used, you may need to adjust the length of the re-rod. I've found that some pots are taller than others even though the diameter is the same. I've had to use as much as 76" of re-bar for some towers.
Fun with Tipsy Pots

I also made a variation of this idea by stacking tea pots together on a rod. It's so colorful, it doesn't even need plants.

Important Tips

  • Mulch tops of pots to retain moisture and to prevent soil from running out during rain and waterings
  • Water slowly and thoroughly every day
  • To determine the length of re-bar needed, add up the height of the pots being used and add 24"

Plants used in this tower

Container #1

Container #2

Container #3

Container #4

Container #5

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