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.

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


Topsy Turvy Planters Put your garden on the Slant

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. 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.   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 Ztopsy turvy planter in plasticWhat a lovely entry planter.  This grouping uses plastic pots in one color and a more uniform size and dresses up the corner of a front porch nicely.  source Mama’s Nooktopsy 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?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  25 comments for “Best Topsy Turvy Planters – Creative Gardening Tipsy Pots

  1. cathy o'neal
    07/16/2013 at 8:02 pm

    I tried this for my garden and I got a lot of nice respond from family and friends. I like to thank you for this ideal.

    • admin
      07/16/2013 at 8:52 pm

      Glad to hear it worked for you!

  2. Lisa Green
    04/17/2014 at 9:44 pm

    These are so awesome! But I don’t understand how they get “topsy turvy” with one long piece of rebar. It seems like they would be going up straight, just graduated. Is the rebar bent someway? What am I missing? (Besides some brains maybe) LOL

    • admin
      04/18/2014 at 8:47 am

      HI Lisa. No, the rebar is straight. Each pot is smaller then the one below it, so it is easy to angle it slightly sideways and then plant. Cook aren’t they? Carol

    • Cindy
      04/16/2016 at 10:04 am

      Lol…I thought the same but it really works! I guess because the top is open you adjust it! It reall looks great when done! If you do it right, when you water it the water drips from the top container to the bottom! Just give it a is so cute!

    • Connie Herrera
      11/28/2019 at 4:37 pm

      Bottom of pot is big rebars are small in diameter so their gonna slant 😀 try it

  3. Joan
    08/25/2015 at 12:32 pm

    I made one, but every time I water, both it and the soil runs out. (even after taking extra soil) They didn’t do well at all. Although I am disappointed, I will definitely be trying this again! Any suggestions? 🙂

    • admin
      08/25/2015 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Joan. All I can suggest is that they use less soil and the soil must be kept moist. If you allow it to dry out, you will keep losing it when you water it. Carol

    • Deb
      06/08/2016 at 2:03 pm

      Try putting a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot.

    • Marty
      07/20/2020 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Joan,
      I used a few coffee filters…so far so good.

  4. kathy
    05/03/2016 at 1:15 pm

    I don’t see how just soil in the bottom planter can hold up the weight of the pots? Did you put something else in the bottom of 1st pot to secure the rebar? Seems as wind and weather blows, it would eventually tip over? Any suggestions? I was going to put a 2X4 with a hole drilled into to help secure it. What are your thoughts?

    • Carol
      05/03/2016 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Kathy. Use a piece or rebar that is long enough to go fairly deeply into the soil though the hole in the bottom planter. That will stabilize the whole thing. Carol

      • Diana C Alvarez
        12/24/2019 at 8:23 pm

        Mine is on patio so rod dosent go through bottom . I used rocks on bottom of first pot and an upside down pot . Saw it on 1 of the way to do it. Pots sit on its edge so its supported. I dont think it will tip over unless someone dies it purposely. No ill have to try and see if it budge lol

  5. Angel
    04/13/2017 at 10:46 pm

    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.

    • Carol
      04/14/2017 at 11:23 am

      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

  6. Tracy
    04/13/2019 at 7:56 pm

    What size pots are used?

    • Carol
      04/16/2019 at 9:45 am

      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.

      • Bonnie Phillips
        04/19/2019 at 10:39 am

        Carol: I know looks are deceiving, but, you say use different size pots in Graduated size. A few of the photos look like they are the same size after the larger base pot. Such as the polk dot ones, and blue stack. Can the tops ones be all the same size?
        Thanks Bonnie

        • Carol
          04/20/2019 at 10:18 am

          Yes, they can be done both ways. I would personally use gradually smaller pots so that the whole structure is heavier on the base than the top.

  7. Paulette
    05/08/2019 at 10:16 am

    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

    • Carol
      05/08/2019 at 12:07 pm

      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.

  8. Lesley
    05/26/2019 at 5:40 am

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

    • Carol
      05/26/2019 at 10:35 pm

      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.

  9. Justine
    05/26/2019 at 5:21 pm

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

    • Carol
      05/26/2019 at 10:34 pm

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

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