DIY Cinder Block Vertical Planter


You may have seen other cinder block planters circulating the internet. Well we decided to post a version ourselves, because they’re just… so. darn. cool. We wanted to try one of our own, but do it a little different. So we went up! We made this DIY cinder block planter go vertical, and we did it in an afternoon. The cool thing about this project, is you can pretty much make it as big or small as you want… Just buy more blocks! We recommend you play with the design…which blocks go which way, how far you can go with weight and stability,etc… then take a photo of the completed idea. We did this right in the aisle at Home Depot, so we would know how many blocks to buy. Buy a couple extra for flexibility. We capped the bottom of the planter section with metal flashing squares and some landscape adhesive. Get all the details on our blog and see our step by step tutorial.
how to make cinder block vertical planter, container gardening, diy, gardening, repurposing upcycling
We capped the bottom of the planter section with metal flashing squares and some landscape adhesive. Get all the details on our blog and see our step by step tutorial.
how to make cinder block vertical planter, container gardening, diy, gardening, repurposing upcycling
Here's what we started with. Bought everything from Home Depot. Ended up being a pretty affordable project!
how to make cinder block vertical planter, container gardening, diy, gardening, repurposing upcycling
An arial view of the finished planter.
how to make cinder block vertical planter, container gardening, diy, gardening, repurposing upcycling
As all the plants grow, it will continue to look better and better as the plants start cascading over the sides etc... More details on our blog. Stop by and check it out!
Kathy&Steve @ TBD•TGG•DYSS

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

13 questions
  • Susan N
    on Apr 19, 2016

    Your idea is so clever! My neighbors will be jealous for sure! My question is whether you considered painting the blocks? I think in some projects it would make the overall look more "dressy" but do you think it would work? Would painting the blocks AND sealing the bottoms of the planters prevent necessary drainage? What a great and inexpensive gift (built at the installation site, of course) Looking forward to your response. Thank you !!

    • Hi Susan! We kind of liked the more raw natural look of the cinder blocks but I could see them looking pretty nice if painted as well - depending on how of course! The cinder blocks are pretty porous so drainage is really not an issue!

  • Sandy Landrum Bartolin
    on May 27, 2016

    I'm concerned about drainage. What if you used weedblock fabric in the planting holes then put the dirt in and plant?

    • The Woodblock fabric wouldn't be strong enough to keep the soil in place unless I am not completely understanding you. Also the cinder blocks are pretty pourus so drainage was not an issue for us!

    • Carey
      on Jan 6, 2017

      I think this is a neat idea. My concern is if there are children around, it could be one of those things that gets knocked over. A piece of Rebar down through all the blocks in opposite corners should make it pretty stable.

  • Duffy Deitz
    on Jan 19, 2017

    How would you use it for an indoor herb garden?

    • Hi Duffy! Im not sure it is a viable project for inside since it is water permeable, and I would also worry about the weight and friction of the concrete blocks on indoor surfaces...

  • T taylor
    on Feb 7, 2017

    hi. what is the metal things i see in the picture by the glue and where do you put them? thanks

  • Cheryl
    on Feb 16, 2017

    What if you painted blocks, would there be enough drainage?

    • If you paint the blocks, I would leave small gaps in the caulking as you place the flashing onto the bottoms of the containers to allow for some drainage. Thanks for the question!

    • Geri
      on Mar 7, 2017

      I was thinking of paint also, but maybe just a stripe and/or stencil, so as not to 'seal' the cinderblock completely ... love the design, great use of space!

  • Judy
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Don't mean to sound stupid but I would guess you would keep this away from busy area as one little bump up against it would tumble everything down, correct??

    • Yvette Huesler
      on Feb 18, 2017

      It is glued so chances are it won't tip over.

    • Judy
      on Feb 18, 2017

      thanks, guess I missed that part!

    • Linda
      on Apr 11, 2017

      Think I would put a 4X4 post down the middle of it...just in case.
    • Bev Morton
      on Jul 22, 2017

      A piece of rebar like they use when building walls
    • Patty Henning
      on Aug 9, 2017

      Yes I'm curious how the dirt stays in also.... this would make a nice bird feeder feature too.... I think?
    • Mar28105181
      on Aug 23, 2017

      They capped the open bottoms with metal flashing and adhesive. Great idea!
    • Katie Nadea
      on Sep 13, 2017

      Linda you just solved my mailbox problem that keeps getting hit. One side of cinderblock down my 4 x 4 post and the other sides alternating down with plants. WOW!!!!!
  • Theresa Duplak Guiles
    on Apr 11, 2017

    This is a GREAT idea! I would love to see this in my small area garden but my first thought is "how hot do the cinder blocks get?" I'm thinking the cinder blocks get hot in the sun and "cook" the plants!
  • Lisa Garrett
    on Aug 9, 2017

    How to keep the dirt in
    • Susan
      on Mar 20, 2018

      She mentioned putting the flat metal on the bottom of the block so that’s what keeps the dirt in.

  • Sharon
    on Aug 23, 2017

    would a piece of re-rod run down thru this help to make it more sturdy? or maybe 2?
    • I'm sure it would, especially if you make one taller or more complex than ours was! Ours actually was pretty sturdy, we were happy with it the way it was, but the layout to everyones project may be different... Great idea!
  • Louise Wortman
    on Mar 20, 2018

    Do you think I could make a water feature with plants? And how? I am a wanna be dyi’er and not very clever. Thanks!

    • Brenda Derby
      on Mar 21, 2018

      It’s not as hard as it sounds... if you used the metal plates she was talking about and fed water tubing through the blocks as you build it would look pretty great. Also sorry this is a long answer. Not the best drawing but...

      Red: are the metal plates sticking out from between the blocks (I would hammer them to direct the water flow once the blocks are firmly set.)

      Green: that would be the water return tubing to brin the water back to the top. It would be hidden inside

      Yellow: base catch basin where pump would be and top basin where flow starts

      Blue arrows show water flow pattern

      Hope this helps! Be brave! Try something new! Best wishes!

  • Susan
    on Mar 20, 2018

    When staggering, how long do you have to stand there and hold it?

    • For us, the landscape adhesive grabbed pretty quickly, but depending on how you do your tower, you may want to prop up any blocks that are hanging out over night with a box or something... Hope that helped!

  • Diane
    on Jun 19, 2018

    Is this safe around small children? I remember hearing about a toddler killed. when a cement bench fell.

    • Louise Gothard
      on Nov 20, 2018

      If I had small children I think I would not do this. But perhaps using two or three rebar stuck into the ground inside the central space might help.

    • Susie
      on Feb 16, 2019

      Ur right, Louise. I would not have around small kids. They love to climb. 😏

  • Anna Sarnes
    on Jul 2, 2018

    I was wondering about the safety issue around children?

Join the conversation

2 of 49 comments
  • Joan Stanley
    on Nov 22, 2018

    I really like this! Brings interest to higher levels than the plants on the ground. I'd use the rebar for safety insurance from roudy dogs. 😀

  • Susie
    on Feb 16, 2019

    I love the look of this. Thanks for sharing.

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