Monday, January 7, 2013

Turn a Shoe Organizer Into a Vertical Planter

These colorful hanging shoe organizers are the perfect way to make use of your vertical gardening space.  I hung these from the wooden fence that encloses my patio.  I bought them from Dollar Tree, which is my local dollar store.  I'll have you know that Dollar Tree is a virtual wonderland for bargain gardening supplies.  They've got everything: metal hanging baskets with coco liners, planters, gardening gloves, peat pods, floral moss, and more.  And it's $1.00 is a steal, if I do say so myself.  But I digress.  I'm sounding like an infomercial again.  You can get these shoe organizers at a lot of places: grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.  Plus they come in varying sizes.  These particular organizers will fit six plants, but I've seen some that will house as many as 20 plants.  

  • Hanging shoe organizer.  Make sure it's made of a mesh-like material to allow for drainage.
  • Items to hang the shoe organizer with, which will depend on the surface you want to hang it on: hammer/nails or screw/screwdriver.  The shoe organizer should come with an over-the-door hanger, so you could sling it over a door, too, if you're so inclined.
  • Potting soil
  • Plants with similar light requirements.  (My patio gets dappled/part sun throughout the day, so I used variegated creeping fig ivy, alyssum, creeping thyme and elfin thyme.  I had been ogling these varieties of thyme for a long time, so I am happy to finally have some in my garden :).  I chose plants that would eventually fill out and mostly conceal the pocket that encloses them.
  • I'd recommend hanging the shoe organizer up first before you plant.  Let gravity work in your favor.
  • Plant starting with the bottom pocket, working your way up to the top pocket. 
  • Don't overstuff your pockets with soil.  It'll add too much weight to your shoe organizer.

Up close

Above is a picture of my patio fence. VoilĂ ! Nothing beats two planters for $2.00.


  1. Hi Vertical, hehe, have you imagined that someone will call you vertical! That style is really lovely, but will not last long in our hot climate. I am now contemplating on making hooks on the outside walls above my plants, near the aircon ledge, will attach dextrose bottles in them so my plants will not die when i leave on long weekends! Do you know why rosemary here doesn't flower?

    1. Hi, Andrea! No, I never thought anyone would refer to me as "Vertical." But you can call me Val if you like :). Thanks for the compliment.

      As for the rosemary, possible causes could be: lack of full sun; soil that does not drain well; and high humidity, among others. At my last apartment, my rosemary got full sun, and it's always had well-draining soil, but has never flowered either :/

      So my guess is the humid conditions in our regions of the world. Houston has humid subtropical climate, similar to the northern regions of Philippines. The tropical climates further south are likewise very humid (as I'm sure you're aware). I remember visiting Manila as a teenager, and the air being so thick with humidity, that I thought I was suffocating! That's saying a lot for a native Houstonian; the "H" might as well stand for "humidity." That's my long-winded answer.

  2. Great Idea!! I went to our Dollar Store today and bought two. Have one question though, do you have to make drainage holes in each section or do they drain alright?

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