Vertical Gardening 101: The Basics

With vertical gardening you can make beneficial whatever limited space you might have. Work with Mother Nature, use sturdy structure and support, and you can do vertical gardening with almost any plant! Also, remember that your creativity is a very big plus!

The Basics

  • Vertical gardening simply means to grow your plants in an upward or downward direction.
  • Use pots for plants that grow upward; planters for those that can hang down
  • In addition to saving space, vertical gardening assists your plants to grow healthier. Vertical gardening affords better air circulation, thus helping your plants become less susceptible to ground pests.

Working with Mother Nature

  • You should Know your garden location well.
  • Carefully plan for vertical gardening so that you can protect your plants from too much wind and sun.
  • Building or planting a windbreak in the path of wind can help block some problem winds. You can also check for possible atmospheric zones in your area to ensure better success.
  • If such a microclimate exists, take advantage of it!
  • Working with Mother Nature will serve you well!

Using Structures

  • Position your trellises and similar garden structures so that they do not block the sun from the other plants.
  • If you are utilizing tall structures, you can consider planting beds of low-growing plants at the base. To reiterate, plan your vertical gardening location so that all the plants are receiving their share of sun.
  • Chain link hedges, bamboo fences, window boxes, and balustrades are just as suitable for vertical gardening. With bamboo stakes, check for height at eye level to allow for comfortable pruning, pest control, and harvesting. Also, remember to check the bamboo for brittleness before using it for yet another planting season.
  • Wrought iron is malleable but tough.They are well suited for vertical gardening.
  • Unleash your creativity by fashioning wonderful and attractive obelisks. You may be surprised and pleased with your work of art!

Sturdy Support a Must

With vertical gardening, your construction should be sufficiently sturdy to allow the plants to stretch and to sustain their full weight when grown.

  • If you want to plant melons or pumpkins (small variety) vertically, think sturdy trellis or wire fence.
  • Consider also wooden lattices. They are excellent for vertical gardening. Select those that are made of sturdy material as in white cedar. For safe vertical gardening, ensure that the joints are strongly secured.
  • Metal rebar and sisal hemp make strong and durable support for vertical gardening. Realize, however, that while metal rebar can last for years, sisal hemp decomposes.  It is advisable to use sisal hemp for one planting season and then utilize it as compost.
  • Twine is gentle on plants and can be used for tying vines to the trellis without damaging the stems.

Support Hose

  • Pantyhose materials make good support for your vertical gardening
  • Make a sling of the pantyhose and tie the ends to the trellis


  • Be in control with your vertical gardening where your vines attach themselves.
  • If you do not pay attention to vines, they can go wherever and easily fasten themselves to where you would not want them to do so. For instance: you may have ornamental obelisks and plants that you would want to stand on their own.
  • Uncontrolled vines can also attach themselves to your rain gutter, if in proximity, and drag it loose.

Plants for Vertical Gardening

Many plants can be prepared for vertical gardening. Here are some suggestions on what you can plant vertically:

  • Cucumbers (not bush)
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Gourd
  • Melon
  • Passion fruit
  • Peas (edible pods)
  • Pole Beans (not bush)

An Invitation

Experimentations with structures, plants, and available spaces are wide and varied. We invite you to send your tips on vertical gardening for all of us to share.

Vertical Gardening 101: The Basics - Easy Balcony Gardening

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