DIY Vertical Gardening

Who knew? You can turn those leftover soda bottles into a vertical garden with some supplies and a bit of crafting skills. This is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) vertical gardening.

This concept come to us from Brazilian design firm Rosenbaum, as part of their partnership with TV producer Luciano Huck. According to This Is Colossal, this is part of a series where “teams went through dozens of Brazilian homes” in an attempt to execute “dramatic makeovers of interior and exterior spaces.”

This urban garden, which was featured in their 48th home in the series, was such a hit that Rosenbaum released these instructions so anyone create their own. The instructions are in Portuguese, so here is a version translated into English:


•    2-liter plastic bottle, empty and clean
•    Scissors
•    Clothesline rope, twine, or wire
•    Washers (two per bottle if rope or wire is chosen)
•    Dirt
•    Seedlings (herbs, vegetables, or other plants are all OK)


To secure the bottles, you must make two holes at the bottom of the cylinder and two at the top of the bottle. See the pictures for an example.

In addition to the holes to pass the rope, you need a small hole in the bottom of the bottle. The water used to irrigate the seedling needs to drain.

After that, thread the string through a hole and pull out through the other.

Note: Many people have asked how to make sure the bottles do not “slip” on the rope (or string or cordage). Either tie a large knot in the rope or tie the knot around a washer.

Then simply stretch and attach the rope to the wall.

This guest post is by Phil Stamper, ASLA PR and Communications Coordinator, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

Image credits: Rosenbaum, via This Is Colossal

37 thoughts on “DIY Vertical Gardening

  1. scientiste 08/13/2013 / 7:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Mental Flowers and commented:
    Make your space a little greener, using recycled materials.

  2. Kent G. Worley, ASLA 08/14/2013 / 9:09 am

    There have to be more creative ways to introduce plant material to wall surfaces than this.

    • Gail 08/28/2022 / 1:12 am

      Obviously you are way too sophisticated to see the big picture of how this.could be a positive idea for inner city or third world communities who don’t have unlimited resolves for incorporating beauty and heathy foods into their lives. Seems like a perfect way get people started on a better way of life.

  3. Joshua cook 08/15/2013 / 6:02 pm

    This is not appealing at all. Clever doesn’t automatically promise success. Furthermore, how much time and/or wasted water is required for this wall? I’d be curious to know.

    • Letitia Lourens 10/19/2017 / 3:55 pm

      Using hanging plants will eventually coverup the bottles. I don’t think anyone would try to water these one by one. Ever heard of the new invention called a hose?

    • Lindsay 04/26/2023 / 12:40 am

      Appealing to who? And if you haven’t noticed the plastic problem which is suffocating our oceans and harming wildlife everywhere. So although it might not be appealing to the eye, if you care about the planet Earth, making use of plastic bottles without clogging up waterways, choking out the planet, maybe you should spend more time on educating yourself on perspectives on how different they can be depending on how you look at it. But ignorance, the last thing the planet needs. The reason the world is in chaos is because people were made to be loved and things were made to be used but instead people are being used and things are being loved.

  4. lawn care Calgary 08/20/2013 / 11:50 am

    I LOVE IT! I think this is totally appealing and unique. What an excellent and creative idea

  5. Lt 09/26/2013 / 12:22 pm

    This would be a cute project for elementary school kids.

  6. Natalia 06/03/2014 / 2:39 pm

    This is such a great idea! We are actually putting this wall in at our elementary school as a part of the green living program.

  7. yvonne perkins 01/07/2015 / 3:44 pm

    how do you attach rope to concrete walls?

    • Brittany Smith 02/10/2017 / 1:57 pm

      You either have to use tape or use a nail.

  8. Priscilla D. Brown 02/05/2015 / 10:55 pm

    Great for the ecosystem. Helps keep plastic bottles out of landfills and waterways.

  9. PS 03/17/2015 / 6:24 am

    how do you attach rope to concrete walls?

    • thylacine 04/24/2015 / 7:52 am

      Probably not concrete, but rather rendered blue board or the equivalent. In which case hooks or screw in loops. If it were concrete, use a masonry bit, wall plugs and galvanised screws

      • Katherine Y Ikehara 08/06/2022 / 10:56 pm

        Yes that is what you need to do for concrete drill concrete drill and plug and screw with anchors.

    • Rosie 07/18/2023 / 1:14 pm

      They make nails and screws for concrete…easy peasy

  10. Karlene 04/14/2015 / 9:06 am

    What are the best plants for this not much room for roots

    • CharlieVoid 05/04/2015 / 5:12 pm

      Lettuces, strawberries, herbs for example

  11. ANNE 01/02/2016 / 7:30 am

    Succulents would be ideal in these since they don’t need a lot of water.

  12. Mary Mas M 02/02/2016 / 9:55 am

    Love you idea, in Germany we have only returnable bottles. Whenever I´m in the nearby Netherlands I took my old plastic bottles home and this summer I will try out your idea. I hope the bottle curtain will not beat against the wall, when it´s windy or upset on the floor.:-)

  13. Portia 02/10/2016 / 3:22 am

    I dont have enough space for a garden. But i will try this idea its very clever and i love herbs

  14. D Porter 03/31/2016 / 10:31 am

    This would be great for a class science project where each child/student can water and manage their own planting. BUT if this was for home use…it would be too time consuming to maintain, groom, fertilize and water it regularly. Also, when your done with this project, too much water would be needed to clean and recycle the bottles.

  15. amanda 05/11/2016 / 6:03 pm

    This is great and I’m just thinking about when the plastic heats up from the sun and chemicals leaching into the soil…do you have any information on that?

    • DL 07/13/2016 / 6:03 pm

      I’ve always wondered about this, too. It’s not just this case but nursery pots ar always plastic. Irrigation lines are plastic that degrades into flaky bits impossible to contain. But what is the cost effective alternative.

      • Delta Landscape 07/15/2016 / 12:55 am

        I should add that I don’t think PET, which is what soda bottles are made of as far as I know, are known to leach much.

    • Mike N 06/26/2018 / 3:15 am

      I would hope that soda bottles, and other drink containers etc, are food safe and do not leach chemicals !

  16. Deepak Ambli 07/11/2016 / 8:52 am

    Many thanks to Rosenblum for this concept n of course thx to Phil for your efforts. Good project. some people can always comment in the negative but i personally it’s a good one giving place for numerous plants. Seems best for compound walls.
    Have some modification ideas
    1. I feel instead of washers one can use simple pant buttons
    2. One can always wind the lower end of the rope around something heavy like a rock/brick or just nail it

  17. Paul G. Corrado 08/11/2016 / 9:36 am

    Dirt? Really? Soil, soil mix, etc. anything but DIRT! Dirt is what you put in a dust bin, soil or a soil mix, well, if you are really a landscape architect, you know the difference, have specified difference mixes for different purposes, and understand the complex and life giving properties of soil. Enough said.

  18. lk 08/18/2016 / 5:17 pm

    Better not to make plastic bottles in the first place.

  19. TiOsha 11/14/2017 / 12:39 pm


  20. Cass 03/24/2019 / 10:28 am

    Do the bottles have to be 2-liters or could they be substituted for the average 20 fluid ounce bottle?

  21. Troy 08/03/2019 / 12:12 pm

    This is a good idea any size bottle would work from small water bottles to the larger 3 L soda bottles available in some places. Would especially be good in combination with a watering method like some rain catching bottles making a reservoir and a gravity feed using either string or strategically placed holes for plants to get water from above irrigating them virtually self contained the design given with the string going through the bottles could function this way if the holes are not plugged water can drip along the string watering the plant below except to check on them for health and pests etc…and there are some natural ways of avoiding those that could also be added to this making an ideal wall container garden for a small apartment or patio for herbs and possibly berries, chives and many other wonderful items.

    • Carol Hartley 09/09/2020 / 5:23 am

      Or make holes in plastic lids to use in place of washers.
      I brought 6L water bottles back from a visit to Montevideo. They are pale green, a lovely colour. I’ll add our local pale blue 5L ones. Or 2L pop ones, clear, so less attractive.

  22. Shweta Suresh 04/20/2020 / 7:55 pm

    This sounds like just the thing I need to make the lockdown period more productive. Thank you so much for sharing.

  23. Mari SeijasMoraes 06/02/2020 / 9:57 pm

    Great RECYCLING Idea 🤗

  24. John Harper 07/08/2020 / 9:05 pm

    Any way to safely attach this to concrete without damaging the wall??

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