Create an Indoor Ladder Flower Display

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Create an Indoor Ladder Flower Display

A repurposed ladder can be the base for a lovely indoor flower garden.

From Indoor Edible Garden by DK

Colorful flowers bring warmth and beauty to any room. Edible flowers pull double-duty, providing ornamentation as well as creative additions to salads, baked goods, cocktails and more. Try using tulip petals with goat cheese, decorating cakes with candied primroses or including pansies in a dinner salad. Lavender can be used in a variety of culinary delights, including lavender bread pudding (visit for the recipe).

Displaying pots of growing flowers on a colorfully painted, upcycled stepladder in a sunny room is an effective way of ensuring the plants all receive enough light and space to thrive. Use a selection of seasonal blooms to create variety and color. The ladder takes roughly two to three hours to paint and assemble pots on, depending on size. Make sure your planter is placed in a bright, sunny room kept between 57 and 72 degrees. Water plants every day or two, and feed the plants weekly six weeks after planting.


• Short wood stepladder
• Sandpaper
• Undercoat and topcoat wood paint
• Paintbrush
• Containers and saucers of various sizes
• Selection of flowers (consider using edible flowers such as pansies, lavender and carnations)
• Multipurpose compost
• Adhesive putty (optional)
• Organic fertilizer

1. Sand the stepladder, apply one coat of undercoat, and allow it to dry. Add one or two coats of paint (we recommend zero-VOC, clay or milk paint), allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly if you add a second coat.

2. Choose short-stemmed flowering plants that will sit comfortably on the steps. Select pots with drainage and place them on drip trays. Use multipurpose compost to pot the plants.

3. If you wish, secure the bases or saucers of the containers to the steps with adhesive putty. Keep the plants well watered, checking on them daily. After six weeks, start feeding flowers with a liquid organic fertilizer using a watering can with a fine rose head.


• Water small pots daily, but ensure they do not become waterlogged.
• Taller plants can be displayed next to the ladder.
• Primroses require good drainage to prevent mildew disease.
• Violas & pansies will flower for several weeks.
• For a lavender plant, choose a large container with a drip tray.

Images and text of Indoor Edible Garden reprinted by permission of DK, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, copyright 2017 by Zia Allaway.