DIY vertical garden water tank

By transforming your water tank into a vertical garden, you’ll create a stylish feature and gain extra planting space. Here’s how to do it

Easy watering

Install a drip irrigation system to ensure that your vertical garden is watered regularly. Choose a system equipped with an automatic valve which waters the plants using water pumped from a water tank or from a nearby tap.

Water tanks allow you to harvest precious rainwater during the rainy season to use during the drier months. This is great for conserving water, but not so wonderful from an aesthetic point of view. Instead of struggling to find a hiding place for your tank, give it pride of place near a patio or entrance and transform it into a vertical garden. A specially made planting bag can be wrapped around the tank and filled with your choice of plants. This is a great idea for smaller gardens where space is at a premium as it also gives you extra room to grow your favourite plants. Justin Sam from Vertical Landscapes shows you how he transformed this water tank on author Jane Griffiths’ patio into a vertical succulent garden, step-by-step.


  • Strong hanging planting bag (this one, made by Geotextiles Africa, is available from Vertical Landscapes)
  • Strong cable ties
  • Planting medium
  • A selection of succulents


Step 1: Position your planting bag.

Step 2: Cut the bag to fit around any piping.

Step 3: Cut small holes along the top – five or six, depending on the size of your tank – through which cable ties will be threaded.

Step 4: Thread cable ties through the holes, attaching them together to form a long chain.

Step 5: Connect the ends of the cable tie chain to form a circle around the top of the tank then tighten.

Step 6: Cut holes in the bag for the tap to fit through.

Step 7: To support the weight of the planting bag, create another row of holes through which to thread cable ties about a third or halfway down the tank. Thread cable ties through the holes and tighten them around the tank, but not too tight as the pockets need some slack to make room for the plants. You can tighten the cable ties again, if necessary, after planting.

Step 8: Half fill the planting pockets with a potting mix (we used a container mix from Talborne Organics containing vermiculite to help retain water, compost and fertiliser).

Step 9: Position your plants in the pockets – this selection of succulents came from Kazimingi Nursery Farm. (Plants that spill over the pockets are ideal.) Fill in with more potting mix and water your plants.