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 concrete 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 these metal flashing squares and some landscape adhesive.  Here’s our DIY cinder block planter instructions.



DIY Cinder Block Vertical Planter


DIY Cinder Block Planter Supply List:

  • Cinder blocks. We used both dual and single blocks, as I mentioned above, work out your own design, or copy our photos. We used 5 duals and 2 singles.
  • Metal flashing rectangles, precut that we found in the roofing dept for 59 cents a piece. Be careful their edges can be a little sharp.We heard there are such things as cinder block caps, but good luck finding them.
  • Landscape adhesive and caulking gun. We used Loctite PL 375 heavy duty construction adhesive – good for masonry and metal (Found in the paint department at Home Depot). Worked like a charm.
  • Plants.




Cinder Block Planter Instructions

First, adhere the caps to the bottom of the sections that will be planted. This is where your photo from your original design session will come in handy. Insert the adhesive tube into the gun, and squeeze a generous 1/4″ bead onto the block, then press on the cap. Wipe away the excess, as this stuff does not dry clear… you don’t want a goopy mess all over the outside of your finished project. (Additional note: We originally thought that we should only adhere two of the sides so that it wasn’t completely sealed and water could drain out. But quickly found out that all four sides of the metal needed to be adhered to the block to be secure enough to stay attached.)




We felt like they need some weight on them as they dried, so we simply flipped them over onto a piece of newspaper, so that the cap was on the bottom. That way, the weight of the block worked for us. Yes, some of the adhesive sticks to the newspaper, but it peels off later with water really easily.



Assembling the planter definitely takes two. Again, use your original design photo to assemble, and make sure the planter sections with the bottom caps are in the right places.  Apply a bead of adhesive, then place the block. Have the second person hold it in place until the weight of the upper blocks stabilizes the lower ones. Hopefully your original design allowed for gravity. :)



Plant with a lightweight potting soil and 4 inch plants. We used sedum (and one lavender!) because they love the porous nature of the cinder blocks. Also, ours will be in sun much of the day and these will thrive there. If yours is in shade, how about ferns and mosses?



We love the way it turned out. It has a cool urban garden look!


DIY Cinder Block Vertical Planter


Pin a photo to share, or just to make sure you save this idea for yourself, for later! If you enjoyed our DIY Cinder Block Planters, you will love our DIY Concrete Projects and 5 Ways to Use Cinder Block in the Garden!


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  3. Jeffrey Smathers May 27, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Once assembled, good luck moving it around ad it will be extremely heavy…make sure your placement is chosen wisely.

  4. BobA April 25, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    What were he small pieces of sheet metal for? I am either blind or you completely omitted the purpose of using them

    1. Kathy Woodard May 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      They are attached to the bottom of each block. Cinder blocks are open on both ends, so the metal creates a bottom for the “pot” if you will… Hope that helps!

      1. Kim S Caldwell June 24, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        Hello. It doesn’t look like there are drain holes in the metal plates. Do they drain?

  5. Sherri Stewart April 18, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Would definitely use a length of rebar into the ground to stabilize the tower..
    I wouldn’t want to take a chance that after years in the elements that the adhesive could fail. It just takes one unsupervised child trying to climb it to cause a catastrophic injury.

  6. M. J. March 5, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Would a 4×4 work as an anchor down the middle of the blocks along with the metal flashing? Looks like it would make a great herb planter or a strawberry one.

    1. Kathy Woodard March 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Could you explain a little more detail? How would you attach the blocks to the 4×4… and are you suggesting it for extra support?

      1. Carolyn Mathewson August 14, 2017 at 5:14 am

        I think M. J. meant to place a 4 x 4 into the ground then “thread” the blocks onto it through the holes in the blocks that are lined up on one side. (maybe as more support). Not sure if I helped.

        I love your design!!!
        I’m trying to figure a way to incorporate a mailbox onto it and have it look good. Any ideas?
        Thanks for sharing!

  7. Traci February 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

    so how’d it hold up over winter?

    1. Kathy Woodard February 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Still going strong, and we got record snow for our area!

  8. Daniel May 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Easy-peasy, and easily under $15, maybe even $10, as some of the items I got gifted. Turned out as pictured. This is a total DIY anyone can do — but do it with a friend/your mate for sure to stable the blocks as they pile upward.

    Thanks for the instructional!

  9. LeAnn January 21, 2016 at 4:58 am

    I have looked everywhere for these types of cinder blocks and cannot find them with all four edges being flat. Where did you get these blocks?

    1. Kathy Woodard February 2, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      We got them at Lowes…

  10. Quentin August 17, 2015 at 12:32 am

    A great Idea. Work well. Had the kids stencil animals on each of the blocks and the had them plants that resembled/related/ Catnip etc

  11. Patty July 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Absolutely love it. Love the vertical and smaller version, than what I have seen before. Plan to make one soon. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Kathy Woodard August 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Patty! It was fun to make, and it’s still going strong!

  12. Iara June 25, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Muito criativo ,amei vou fazer um igual.

  13. Stace May 27, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I will be borrowing your idea in Madison, WI!

  14. fernanyi April 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Wow This is such a clever Idea! I love how the gray from the big brick goes so well with the green of the plats. I wish I had the space for something like this!! HUGS

  15. Tanya LaMont March 24, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I love this look. It’s very balanced, yet edgy with great lines. Contemporary yet feels earthy for an interesting container. I wanted to paint some on the blocks, but wondered about the porousness of them. Would it work or just rub off and fade quickly?

    1. Kathy Woodard April 10, 2015 at 8:18 am

      We haven’t tried that, you might want to try a concrete stain?

  16. Kirsten Veneziano February 14, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Great idea, I love succulents and will try this. It would be fun to paint different colors.
    If you put a piece of rebar through the stack into the ground it would reduce the risk of falling over.

  17. Jean January 11, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Does the adhesive pose any toxicity issue with using this design for growing herbs?

    1. Kathy Woodard January 22, 2015 at 8:43 am

      The adhesive is on the outside of the container, so the roots would never be in contact with it…

  18. MINNIE November 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I really like this idea, just moved to a house and I want to try this.

  19. NH Gardener October 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Any idea how this would weather with a load of snow on it? Would the balance be thrown off? Would you need to disassemble it each winter?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 31, 2014 at 6:40 am

      We will let you know, as we do live in an area with snow… however, it is pretty sturdy,I’m not too worried about it… Will update!

    2. Dianne Carrol July 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      I do not think that snow would be an issue. Not enough could accumulate to make a difference. I live in Canada and we use concrete blocks for many projects here.

  20. Mary Lee September 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Is the concrete so porous you don’t need to drill holes in the metal for drainage?
    Cool idea!

    1. Kathy Woodard September 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

      We have had no problem with drainage… the answer to your question is yes! Our sedums are growing great, and sedums don’t like wet feet…

  21. Janet Hickman August 29, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I think this would be awesome!

  22. WrightWords August 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm


    To keep the flashing/glue from sticking to the newspaper, it might work to put a sheet of parchment paper under the block as its drying.

    Thanks for a great idea!


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