The DIY Wooden Staircase That Is Perfect For The Garden

Plant enthusiasts are obsessed with fitting as many plants into one space as possible. When you've filled up all your horizontal space, you have no choice but to go up. Planting vertically can be challenging, however, since every plant has its own demands for sunlight and water that must be met. Stacking plants can cast too much shade or cause too much water to trickle down into the planter below. This is where the staircase planter comes in. 

This ingenious design uses a stairstep configuration to ensure each plant gets enough sunlight and doesn't receive more water than intended. You can easily build this yourself with the right tools, materials, and know-how to maximize the space you have available in your garden. The design creates empty space underneath that you can utilize as storage. Or, you can place a plant that needs more shade and water than the others since the planters will partially cover it, and drainage holes will drip excess water.

How to build the staircase planter of your dreams

Staircase planters can be built in several ways, so you can adapt them to how you see fit. TikTok user @im.ambreon demonstrated how to make zig-zag diagonal cuts on a piece of wood, so when you stand it up, the planters are held upright, and the bottom is slanted. If you choose this method, you'll need two long pieces of wood, a few small pieces to hold them together, and a tall post in the back to hold up the planter. Measure the pieces so that they'll fit your planter containers, cut the wood to size, screw or nail the pieces together, and set it in place. Then, place the containers on the planter, fill them with soil, and plant the flora of your choosing.

You can also create this planter by using posts on each level rather than a slanted board, which may be the better route if you want it to support heavy plants. The TikTok planter doesn't have a plank going across, but you can do so to create an actual staircase look, and it will allow you to hold multiple containers rather than one long one. You can also opt to build planter boxes into the staircase rather than use it as a plant stand.

Customize the planter to fit your garden needs

Be sure to measure before you begin this project, especially if you're working in a tight space. If you want the planter to hold containers, buy them beforehand so you can measure them or use them as measures as you go. Depending on how sturdy you want the planter to be, you can add as many or as few supports as you'd like. It's common to use two long plants as supports on either end, but you can add another one or two in the middle if you know you're going to push the limits.

You can utilize this planter as a storage unit, too. Rather than leaving it empty underneath, use plywood to create an empty cabinet. Use hinges to create a plywood door, or use curtains to cover up the opening. The taller and wider you build your planter, the more available space you'll have below it.

To be wise about water usage, utilize the stairstep design to create a trickling watering system. Choose planter containers that are deep enough that part of it will be underneath the container above it. The drainage holes will allow water to drip into the next planter. Another way you could do this is to utilize ollas, a self-watering system where you bury terra cotta pots and fill them with water. The water can drip into the olla, and the plants will absorb it.