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Best Topsy Turvy Planters – Creative Gardening Tipsy Pots

I was getting my hair done a few months ago and my hairdresser showed me her latest creation – a topsy turvy planter creation (also called Tipsy Pots.)  At that point I had not seen topsy turvy planters, they they are now appearing everywhere on social media.  

They take the term creative gardening to a new height.

I love the haphazard way that the pots are arranged and then planted.  They give a whimsical look to any garden setting.  The sky is the limit on color, or you can just leave them in a natural terra cotta or galvanized look.

For a very creative gardening idea, try making topsy turvy planters.

The secret to the look of the planter is a long straight rod that is secured in the soil and holds all the pots in place.

To make your own Topsy turvy Planter, you will need a long piece of rebar, a group of graduated sized terra cotta plant pots, potting soil and some flowers.  

Topsy Turvy Planters Put your garden on the Slant

Plastic pots will work too but I like terra cotta because the pots are going to be placed on a slant and plastic might give a bit over time from the weight.

Just start from the bottom.  Place the piece of rebar into the hole of the bottom planter and pound it securely down into the ground.  Then and add your potting soil.  Keep layering the next pots (one size down each time) and try to keep the rebar centered and straight as you go up.  

Sometimes the design features pots that get smaller as you go up for the best effect and to keep the whole thing stable. (but not all tipsy planters are done this way, as the photos below demonstrate.)Making tipsy planters

When you get as tall as you want, cut the rebar off so that it is not visible above the soil of the top pot.Tipsy pots and Topsy Turvy Planters

If you are creative, you can paint the pots before you start with colors of the flowers you plant to add to them. Not all planters use graduated sized pots.

Some really defy gravity by using pots all the same size!

Creative Tipsy Pots

Here are some of my favorite topsy turvy planters.

Tipsy potThis stunning design by Barb Rosen of Our Fairfield Home and Garden is at the top of my list.  

It is just overflowing with plants and almost hides the planters.  You can view Barb’s tutorial at Our Fairfield Home and Garden.

topsy turvy plantersThis design would be perfect near a door close to the kitchen. It is filled with home grown herbs.  Nice color contrast with all green and terra cotta too.  

Source From dates to diapers

topsy turvy planter in blueGot the blues?  Bright blue painted pots against a plain fence make a colorful contrast, and the pretty flowers look so bright against the blue. 

Source Home Stories A to Z.topsy turvy planter polka dotCute as can be and nostalgic too. Reminds me of American Graffiti for some reason. Pink and black polka dot topsy turvy planter. 

Source Imgur.topsy planterThis rustic look has a rustic look since it uses galvanized tubs.  I love the disparity of sizes too. Great topsy Turvy Washtub grouping.  

Source – Cottage at the Crossroadstopsy turvy planter sizes of potsThis image shows the sizes of the graduated pots for building a Topsy Turvy planter of your own. 

The original source for this photo was a website called Copy E Paste which is no longer running.

But the pots could be duplicated by using stencils and paints.  Why not try one today?

Topsy turvy planter tutorialMelissa from Empress of Dirt, also has a tutorial for building her planter. She calls hers  Tipsy Pots.  One can see why.

They seem almost gravity defying, don’t they. Her pansies look right at home in the rustic terra cotta pots of this planter.   Visit Melissa’s tutorial at Empress of Dirt. 

Do I have you hooked on Topsy Turvy Planters yet?  Which is your favorite?

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Sunday 26th of May 2019

I am trying to make this but my pots just seem to fall into each other


Sunday 26th of May 2019

You could try adding some stones in the corner of the pots after you pass the rebar through to hold them securely.


Sunday 26th of May 2019

How long a piece of rebar should I get or is it a standard length please x


Sunday 26th of May 2019

It depends on the size of the pots you will be using. Lay them all out and choose a piece of rebar that is shorter then the total length of the pots.


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

what can I insert the rebar in don't have a garden want to do it on my deck and not allowed to dill a hole for the rebar How can I make it hold please


Monday 29th of March 2021

@Paulette, they do make a tipsy turvy stand that I got for my birthday last year and it sits in the bottom pot.


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Hi Paulette, the pots are more sturdy if the rebar goes right down below them. Alternatives would be some quick dry cement in the bottom of the first pot around the rebar. You could also try surrounding the bar with some rocks in each pot and then adding soil.


Saturday 13th of April 2019

What size pots are used?


Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Hi Tracy, YOu can do them with all sizes of pots. The main consideration is to use a graduated sized arrangement, so that each layer is smaller than the one before. I have mainly seen them with large 10-12 inch pots as the base.


Thursday 13th of April 2017

I would like to know how they did the polka dot one cause as you can see its sitting on a wood porch, so the rebar is not in the ground. This is what I would love to do for my mother-in-law for Mother's day.


Friday 14th of April 2017

Hi Angel. The rebar does now have to be inserted below the bottom pot for the project to work. What IS needed is a very heavy bottom pot, or it will end up tipping over. The pots were just painted and then added to the rebar on an angle and then planted. Carol

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