How to Make a Container Garden Display Rack

DIY stepped plant container display rack made from stair stringers.
DIY stepped plant container display rack made from stair stringers.

Container gardens are a great way to grow flowers and other plants in your yard.
Here’s how to make a DIY stepped container rack from precut stair stringers to display them.

To make a stepped plant container display rack:

  1. Buy two precut, pressure-treated stair-step stringers with as many steps as you have containers to display.
  2. Cut two 2-by-4’s to length (3 to 6 feet shorter than the length of the containers).
  3. Attach the end grain of the 2x4s to the top and bottom sides of the stair stringers using screws.
  4. Place the tops of the stringers against a fence or wall so the steps are level.
  5. Put a plant container on each step.
  6. When the growing season is over, remove the screws and disassemble the display rack for easy storage.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Joe Truini: Container gardening has become popular with do-it-yourselfers, and it’s the practice of keeping plants in either large pots or trays as I have here. But the challenge is when you display them, they’re all typically on one level, which isn’t that attractive. So I thought, “How can we create a tiered planting system?”

Here’s what I did. I went to the home center store and bought some precut stair stringers—these are made for building deck stairs. And I attached them to a couple of short two-by-fours—one at the top, one at the bottom. Then I’m just going to set it in place against this fence.

And now, where the steps would ordinarily go—the treads—I’m going to put a planter tray. In this case I have enough for three trays. You can cut these stringers longer and store four, five, even six trays of plants; but here I just have three.

And the weight of the trays holds the stringers in place, so you don’t even have to fasten them to the fence. There you go. Isn’t that great?

So you have three tiers, and because this system is completely portable, at the end of the growing season, you just break everything down and put it in the shed.


  1. Great Idea… With the type of deck rail planters you have, you could add a 2×4 across the top of each step stair level (between the step stair stringers ) to act as a locking mechanism under the pots to keep them from sliding off on a stormy day.


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