Container gardening is a popular way to add color and greenery to your outdoor space. But with so many options for outdoor planters, finding the perfect flower pot can be challenging. Here is a guide for finding the best outdoor planter for your space and plant needs.
Last year, we moved to this soon-to-be-beautiful old farmhouse in Germany. It has a lot of land around it. There is so much free space that I can finally realize any garden dream I ever had. So far, however all that space is empty with meadow grass and flowers growing there.
While working on the renovation, we live in a temporary apartment that we created on the house’s first floor. The apartment is cozy and comfortable but still has a lot of unfinished touches. That’s OK. It will get its final makeover one day. If you’d like to follow our renovating adventures, watch them on our Youtube Channel: Lex and Marianne.
The garden’s planting will have to wait because we will still need to be able to drive heavy machinery around for some time. But my green thumb was itching, so I threw myself into some container gardening.
I mainly used what I had on hand and had used in previous years. But if you want to try out some container gardening of your own, I have some helpful tips for finding the perfect outdoor planter for your space and your plants’ needs.
How to Pick the Perfect Outdoor Planter
The key to outdoor planters is to find the perfect spot between embracing your uniqueness and personal style and the more mundane needs of the plant you are planting. So, let’s dive into the world of garden decor and discover the perfect vessels to elevate your outdoor space.
1. Start With the Aesthetics
Begin by considering the colors and styles that complement your existing outdoor decor. Whether it’s the vibrant hues of the flowers in your garden or the serene tones of your patio materials, harmonizing colors will make your planters feel like a natural extension of your space.
2. Functionality Matters
Think about what you need from your planters. Do you want something to hang on a vertical wall, rest on the floor, or perch on a stylish plant stand? Perhaps a chic macrame hanger for a ceiling-suspended masterpiece? It’s all about blending style with purpose.
Also, consider the needs of the plant you are planting. Is it of the thirsty kind? Then, make sure the container has lots of room for holding water. If your plant likes a dry climate, then terracotta and clay pots are a good choice.
3. Get Creative with Materials
If you’re an eco-conscious decorator, why not explore unusual, repurposed options? From upcycled lamp parts to vintage teapots, or from crates to toolboxes, a world of inventive possibilities is waiting to cradle your favorite plants.
4. Size Matters
Your plant selection plays a pivotal role in determining the size of your planters. Remember, plants need room to grow, so choose containers to allow them to flourish.
5. Material Magic
The material of your planter can set the tone for your outdoor space. Concrete exudes durability and modernity, while terra cotta brings a touch of tradition.
If you have access to scrap wood, then a DIY planter is a perfect way to use some of that up.
And it is always possible to personalize any planter through painting or other decorative touches to make it fit your style.
6. A Splash of Color
If you’ve found the perfect planter but not the right color, don’t fret. A can of spray paint can work wonders, especially for plastic and metal containers. Just keep in mind the weather exposure your planters will endure when selecting your paint.
Popular Types of Planters
Urn Planters are considered one of the most classic styles. Often, they are arranged in sets, holding plants such as colorful flowers, small shrubs, or tall topiaries. You may already have a pair of urns on your front porch that can be moved to your backyard or patio to enjoy them more.
Pedestal Planters can add height and dimension to your patio as they elevate your plants to create more of a focal point. If you don’t have a pedestal planter, you can repurpose a small ladder to display several plants.
Hanging Baskets are reasonably priced and will add color to your space. Replace the plastic hook included with your hanging basket by purchasing or making a decorative macrame hanger. You can easily find the directions for this project online. Choose a bright color hanger if your plant is greenery.
Vertical Succulent Options can include repurposed and upcycled items like shutters, pallets, and a shoe holder or similar over-the-door organizer.
Boxes or Troughs can be made of wood or metal and placed strategically in your space to divide areas or create a path. Making wooden boxes yourself is a great weekend project that will give you many years of service.
Flower Pot Materials
Stone or Concrete options are durable, work with various plants, and work well with contemporary and traditional designs. In addition, you can update these materials with paint to match your decor.
Terra Cotta or clay pots may bring a little nostalgia to your environment. This age-old material has been around for centuries and is available in all sizes.
Ceramic items, including novelty vintage pots such as animals, boots, busts, and more, will add some whimsy to a small plant shelf tucked into a corner.
Hand Painted Pottery will elevate the look of any plant you add. You can find these pots online and at discount department stores. The colors are generally bright and cheery.
Metal Flower Pots often have patterns stamped on them. They may or may not have drainage holes, something you should consider when buying any new pot for your plants. As mentioned above, don’t be discouraged by the color. That’s easily changed with paint.
Plastic may be the most frugal option. If you think you will be changing up your decor often, it’s a good choice. Because plastic does not absorb moisture, you must water your plants more often. You can cover cheap plastic flower pots with handmade plant koozies.
Upcycled and Repurposed Garden Containers
An article about outdoor planters would only be complete with ideas for upcycling and repurposing household items to contain your favorite plant or flower.
You can turn practically anything you have at home into a plant pot. The next time you’re at a thrift store or yard sale, look at things differently, with a gardener’s eyes.
Teacups and saucers are perfect for small flowering plants in groups or on the shelf with those novelty animal planters mentioned above.
Pots, pans, colanders, and coffee pots make great conversation pieces in your home or patio. To add color, paint the containers or plant colorful foliage.
Glass coffee pots make cute terrariums using soil, rocks, and succulents.
Metal watering or gas cans make fun and unique succulent planters. It would be best if you drilled holes for drainage before planting.
Shoes, boots, and galoshes are a fun and whimsical way to break up the monotony of gardening. Putting holes in old leather boots is a fun way to plant succulents. Hang a bright collection of children’s galoshes on a privacy fence with pansies or marigolds.
Chandeliers make delightful hanging flower arrangements. You can retrofit the chandelier by adding small dishes such as bowls and teacups glued to the chandelier to hold a small or succulent plant.
Wooden drawers, chairs, ladders, and pallets lend great ideas for creatively displaying colorful plants and flowers around your patio or yard. Broken chairs used as garden chairs are quirky in their own way. Any wooden ladder will easily display potted plants and flowers. Stack unwanted wooden drawers for a show of beauty.
Wheelbarrow planters, either upright or tilted as though they are spilling over, are perfect for ground covers and vines.
Vintage bicycles and wagons make playful displays. Generally, the bike has a basket on the front or back overflowing with fanciful flowers as it leans against a tree. Little red wagons can be used as a planter or filled with potted plants complimenting each other. You might consider throwing in an old boot or shoe full of succulents.
Planters. Yes! Planters of all kinds are plentiful at thrift stores and yard sales. Don’t pass them up because of the color or material. You can modify a glass pot with paint and plaster to give it a new look. You can transform a metal flower pot by wrapping it with sisal rope. While shopping, look for a basket for your new container to reside.
Unexpected Garden Containers
Using old tires for flowers has existed since the 1940s. The tires can be painted, cut into designs, or stacked. Stacking the tires can produce a deep planter, wishing well, or elevated structures.
Plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, or bathtubs in the garden bed may sound odd. If you live in a rural area, you have seen these types of garden ideas. Granted, they are not for everyone but done right, they sure can make you do a double-take!
Planter Ideas From The Recycling Bin
Tin cans being FREE, make awesome planters or starters as is. Large tin cans used for olive oil or canned tomatoes are perfect for a Mediterranean-style terrace (ask your local restaurant to save some for you before they toss).
Glass jars and bottles. Jars are so easy to turn into a hydroponic garden with the kids. Didn’t you watch a potato grow in a pickle jar held in place with toothpicks as a child? Glass bottles can become a quick bud vase holding that last rose you received in a bouquet. A large jar turned on its side filled with small plants is suddenly a terrarium.
Milk jugs, toilet paper tubes, and egg cartons are given new use as seed starters indoors before planting outdoors.
Choosing Your Greenery
Once your planters are in place, it’s time to select the perfect plants.
Petunias are great for beginners. They enjoy full sun and bloom all season and are great for container gardens or hanging baskets.
Geraniums are one of the best classic container options (official name Pelargoniums). They are generally low maintenance and prefer full sun to partial shade.
The perfect full-sun happy flower is the marigold. The blooms are vibrant and bold.
The choice for a beautiful hanging basket is fuschia, with cascading bell-shaped flowers. They prefer partial shade.
Coleus tolerates the shade and has colorful foliage. Add this to your shade container garden option.
Another excellent shade plant is impatiens. It blooms profusely in shades of white, orange, pink, and red.
Assorted succulents are for those with less than a green thumb. They are low maintenance needing less water than flowering plants.
Lastly, for those of you who are brave enough, African violets or orchids. African violets are generally easy to keep alive but need the perfect conditions to bloom. Orchids need a lot of bright indirect light, similar to the African violet. Watering each of these plants correctly is the key to making them thrive.
Care and attention to your plants’ needs are key to success. Your outdoor space will transform into a personalized oasis with the right planter and the perfect flora. So, go forth and create a garden that’s as unique as you are! Happy outdoor decorating!
I hope you find the perfect outdoor planter for your needs and green space.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself! Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. Gail will guide you step by step with each tutorial as she hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.