New Digs For Your Plants

Plant Traps require just four inches of space to allow you to display your flowers from a balcony or porch railing. /Photo: Lilly Kubit

Plant Traps require just four inches of space to allow you to display your flowers from a balcony or porch railing.

Residents who walk past  Crescent Drive in early fall may be lucky to spot a house giving away dahlias in Mason jars with a note to  “keep the flowers and kindly return the jar.” The homeowners,  Deborah  Holtschlag  and her avid gardener husband, David, have always been surrounded by foliage of all types.  But when their side porch began looking  overgrown with plants  last summer,  Holtschlag  started  to  “think  outside the railing.”  She could not find a railing  planter  that  would work on her  “teeny iron railing,” so she was left to invent a solution.

Over the past few months, Holtschlag  has been developing a product called  Plant Traps, a sleek “floating garden shelf”  that helps gardeners display their plants  on the ledge  outside  their  railing,  as long as there’s at least  four inches  of space. Holtschlag focused on three criteria during the design phase: she wanted gardeners to be able to use their own planters; the device had to be compatible with any railing; and she wanted installation to be tool-free and “easy enough for my mom to do.”

The resulting design features a bottom shelf that vaguely resembles a monstera leaf and  acts as a cantilever, a back that barricades against the railing for support and a stake that secures the plant and planter to the Plant Traps.

Once she developed the prototype, she found two local manufacturers, one in New Kensington and one in Canonsburg, to make the patent-pending product with rust-resistant galvannealed steel. So far, the response to  Holtschlag’s product has been positive.

Plant Traps sales really started to bloom after an interview with Pittsburgh Today Live. “I get orders for up to 12 at a time on the internet from people,” Holtschlag  said.

By the end of May, Holtschlag’s 3,000th Plant Trap was manufactured.

Plant Traps are available nationwide, and you can find them online and in local stores such as Rollier’s, Trax Farms and Bedner’s Farm Market, all personally delivered by Holtschlag. “I do everything except the heavy lifting, which David does,” said Holtschlag.

You can find more information about Plant Traps at