Growing plants upside down can be a space saver and a conversation starter. Cultivating upside down plants takes advantage of vertical space while leaving the floor space open for more plant containers. This is particularly useful in a small patio or rooftop garden. The trick to planting tomatoes and other plants upside down is to hang the planter before inserting the plants and the growing medium. It also helps if you cover the opening around the roots with biodegradable material that will prevent loose soil from escaping.
Measure the drainage opening in the bottom of your planter. The opening should be 1 to 3 inches in diameter, depending on the plants you are cultivating. A 1-inch opening is sufficient for most herbs, while openings between 2 to 3 inches work best for tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Enlarge the opening, if necessary, by drilling the opening with the appropriate type of drill bit. For example, if your planter is terra cotta, glass or ceramic, use a carbide or diamond drill bit.
Drill four 1/2-inch-diameter holes around the perimeter of the planter. Space the holes evenly apart. You should have one hole in the center of each side of a square planter or one hole in the north, east, south and west positions of a round planter. Place the holes 1 to 2 inches below the top rim.
Insert one of the 15-inch lengths of small chain through one of the drilled holes, from the outside to the inside of the planter. Hook the bottom section of an S hook through the end link of the small chain which is now inside the planter. Hook the top section of the same S hook through a link in the chain that clears the rim of the planter.
Repeat Step 4 to attach chains to the remaining three drilled holes.
Gather the loose ends of the four chains together and connect them with the bottom section of a medium-sized S hook. Hook the top section of the S over a shepherd's hook to hang the planter.
Insert the roots of your plant through the outside of the drainage opening of the planter. The base of the plant's stem should be at the opening of the drainage hole.
Cover the open space around the roots inside the planter with coffee filters. Fill the planter to within 3 inches of the top rim with potting soil.