Horticulture Magazine

98 Outdoor Planter Ideas For Garden Growing

wooden wheelbarrow planters painted bright blue

Utilising garden planters can be a great way to add depth, texture, structure and colour to your garden.

They’re also very practical. If you have a small garden, and especially if you have no flower beds or soil to work with, then garden planters can make all the difference.

Planters are also ideal for adding appeal to patios and decking, small balconies, or as a way to add a touch of beauty to your driveway.

woman watering tomato planters on a balcony

If you haven’t worked with garden planters before, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start.

That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you with our article showcasing all the wonderful things you can do with planters to bring new flair to your garden, no matter its size.

Outdoor Planter Ideas

There are thousands of types of garden planters, pots and containers, so the options are close to unlimited.

We’ve picked out some of our favourites to help you decide on the perfect planters for you.

1) Plastic

man holding a plastic bottle cut out and used to grow seedlings

Starting with the basics, plastic planters can be seen in many gardens and are a great starting point for novice gardeners.

roses, achillea and other plants in large plastic tubs

Plastic planters are long-lasting and come in an array of sizes, shapes and colours. 

hanging planters made from recycled plastic bottle heads

Affordable and lightweight, plastic planters generally come with draining holes at the bottom.

plastic planters in rows on the wall of a house

Although they should not be used for particularly heavy plants, thousands of varieties can be grown in these planters.

child painting a face on a recycled plastic bottle
three plastic bottles with character faces sat on a bench with plants growing from them

2) Wooden

beautiful tulips and daffodils growing from a wooden planter

As with their plastic counterparts, wooden planters come in many shapes, sizes and colours and are also remarkably easy to build yourself. 

lavender growing from a rectangular planter
pink petunia flowers growing from a rectangular plant pot

These are a great option if you want to give your garden a more rustic appearance and they also have excellent drainage.

hands planting in a barrel plant pot
three large wooden planters with plants growing all around
pink flowering chives growing from a large timber container

Do bear in mind that wooden planters are prone to rot, so it’s essential to protect the wood with a plastic liner.

tulips and small primrose flowers growing from a long wooden plant pot
bamboo growing from timber planters on the edge of a garden

3) Metal

bay tree, thyme and lavender growing in metal planters on garden decking

Metal planters are cheap, cheerful and attractive.

round metal planter sat on a pillar

They can be shop bought or, if you are feeling creative, you could repurpose an old metal bucket or similar.

rectangular metal planter attached to a white painted wall

Metal planters can add a quirky dynamic to your garden, but you may find that they have poor drainage.

garden edging crafted with metal

It’s important to drill in holes to prevent the plants from root rot.

geraniums, kale and other plants growing from a metal bucket
various plants growing from a long cylindrical metal plant pot

4) Ceramic and terracotta

a ceramic planter on a garden patio

Ceramic and terracotta planters are elegant and stylish and are perfect for outdoor planting.

tomato plants growing from terracotta pots
herbs growing in ceramic planters

They can be beautiful, but on the flip side, they are also heavy, breakable and expensive.

snowdrops growing in a terracotta containers on black painted steps

So if you’re going down this route, you may wish to place them somewhere where they are unlikely to get knocked over or damaged.

terracotta pots in different sizes growing on a greenhouse shelf
square ceramic planters on a balcony

5) Vegetables

planter filled with lettuce, spinach and celery

Although they can be shop bought, if you have some decent DIY skills then building a vegetable planter can be a really rewarding experience.

vegetable garden in raised beds

Traditionally they are built from wood, although you could easily plant in a decent-sized plastic container.

raised beds with support frames for growing tomatoes on a balcony
a large vegetable garden with raised beds bathing in sunshine

This is a great opportunity to grow delicious edibles to enjoy with the whole family.

raised beds built into the edge of a garden space, with gravel surface and plants growing in pots

Good drainage is absolutely essential for a vegetable planter so make sure you factor that in.

a tower planter growing various herbs on a balcony

6) Fruit planter

strawberries hanging over the side of a wood barrel

As with the vegetable planter, the fruit planter can be bought or made and will also require good drainage. 

strawberries growing from a fence hanging planter
strawberries growing in a rectangular basket with legs

You will, of course, be limited to the types of the fruit you can grow depending on the size of your planter, but even with a small space, there is still lots you can do.

strawberry planter sat on a metal table
unripened strawberries growing from a ceramic plant pot

This is also a great way to get kids into gardening and learning about where their food comes from.

strawberry plants growing from rectangular planters

7) Hanging planter

purple petunia flowers in a hanging planter

Hanging planters are a quick and easy way to add a little romance and charm to your garden, and are ideal if you have limited space.

plants hanging from a garden frame
fence hanging planters in many different shades with different coloured flowers growing from them

Hanging baskets are a great way to add a splash of colour to your garden and are easy to care for and maintain.

plastic hanging plant pots
plants hanging from timber frame

You can plant anything from flowers and succulents to veggies, fruit or herbs and hanging planters are lightweight with excellent drainage.

petunia hanging planters in a garden space

Upcycled outdoor garden planter ideas

There are endless options when it comes to making an upcycled planter, so we decided to dedicate a whole section of this article to upcycled planter inspiration.

Whether you use an old set of drawers, a ladder or an old tin bath, this is a great way to put your own personal touch on your garden.

Repurposing an old piece of furniture can create a real focal point for your garden and give it its own unique spin.

8) Wheelbarrow

an old rusted wheelbarrow with stunning colourful plants growing from the top

Wheelbarrow planters are a great way to give your garden a rough and rugged edge.

dianthus and other flowers growing from an old wheelbarrow

An old, retired wheelbarrow is perfect for growing herbs and succulents, and the depth of the wheelbarrow means you can use good layers of quality soil allowing your plants to thrive beautifully. 

an old wooden wheelbarrow used as a garden planter
purple flowering petunias growing from an old timber wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrows are built to be durable, so this planter could last you for many, many years.

three wheelbarrows in sequence with flowers growing from each

You may need to drill in drainage holes to allow your plants to flourish fully.

a wheelbarrow sat amongst a vegetable plot

9) Jar planters

three herb plants in mason jars sat on a wooden table

Upcycled mason jars make for stylish and trendy planters and are great for growing herbs and cacti.

three jars hung on a wall with plants growing from them

You can place the jars on your patio or decking or, with a piece of twine, could be hung from a wall or a branch.

an old pouring jug used as an outdoor planter

Mason jar planters are also a fun project to make with your kids and, because the jars are glass the children can see the roots of the plants growing, presenting the perfect opportunity to educate them on how and why plants grow.

10) Teapots

saxifrage plant with small white flowers growing from an old ceramic teapot

An old teapot can be an adorable and whimsical addition to your garden and will really give the space character.

a red kettle used as an outdoor plant pot
succulents growing from an old dented and green metal kettle

These are another easy upcycle project and are an attractive way to display plants.

two ceramic teapots used to grow flowers in the garden

This is another planter that, with some types of teapots, you can also hang.

geraniums growing from a bronze teapot with daffodils in the background

It’s always so disappointing when you discover a crack in your favourite teapot but, by transforming it into a planter, you can continue to enjoy your cracked pot for years to come.

11) Ladder planter

street planter made from a wooden ladder

Repurposing a ladder to display plants is a great way to add additional levels and structure to your garden.

an old ladder repurposed as a frame from various sized plant pots
a ladder structure used to support the weight of multiple growing pots

They are also a great way to liven up a dull, empty garden wall.

trailing plant growing from an old wooden ladder

You may want to consider painting your ladder planter some funky colours to breathe life into and a splash of colour to your garden.

the outdoors of a store decorated with a ladder planter

With a keen eye, a ladder planter can be a real showstopper and a talking point among guests.

a ladder planter with plenty of green growth

12) Pallet Planter

a colourful painted pallet hung vertically and used to grow plants

If you are running out of space on your patio and decking then using a pallet as a planter could be just the ticket to add more plants to the area.

pallets repurposed as plant pots on the exterior of a cafe

A pallet planter allows you to grow vertically and use very little ground space.

white flowering daisies and begonia growing from a green painted pallet
blue painted pallet with several metal tins attached and used as plant pots

Great for growing vegetables, fruit and herbs as well as gorgeous, colourful flowers and with a lick of paint a pallet plater can be hugely impactful on your garden, breathing new life into it.

converted pallet planter attached to a wall

13) Wellington boots

plants growing from painted wellies in Yorkshire, UK

If you are thinking about disposing of your old wellies, then stop right there.

petunias in purple, pink and white growing from old wellies in the garden

Wellington boots can make wonderfully unique and characterful planters that can add fun and whimsy to your garden.

flowers growing from old pink wellington boots
wellies attached to a wall and used as planters

If you are particularly good at art, you could also paint patterns or flowers on the boot planters to add an extra special layer of charm and personality.

flowers growing from decorative wellies

14) Toy planters

a toy truck used in a wooden planter

Still got old children’s toys hanging about but can’t quite bring yourself to throw them away?

plants growing from an old toy truck

If you are still feeling sentimental about that little toy truck your kid was so enamoured with then why not display it as a beautiful planter?

succulents growing from the back of a toy truck

It needn’t just be limited to toy trucks either.

a trailer with different plants

There are plenty of children’s toys that are simply perfect for planters, and it’s a great way to hang onto things without them taking up space at the back of cupboards.

15) Vertical planter

boxes hung vertically and used to grow different plants

An old hanging shoe rack can easily be converted into the perfect outdoor garden planter.

plants growing from pockets of vertical planting material
a unique wooden tower planter with various plants growing from circular holes

Vertical gardens are so popular these days, and these types of plant pots look like they were made for the job.

flowers in different colours growing on a living wall
square plant pots hung in rows on a metal frame

Shoe racks are ideal for growing herbs which you can use in your cooking, and also make a superbly attractive backdrop to a patio or decking.

rectangular planters arranged in rows on the wall of a garden
guttering used to create a vertical garden

16) Colander planter

viola flowers and bellis perennis growing out of a colander

Colanders already have built-in drainage so are perfect for an outdoor planter.

They can also easily be transformed into a hanging planter.

succulents growing from old colanders

Most plants will thrive in these planters, making them a cute and kooky way to decorate your garden.

You can even spray the colander to give it your own personal style.

senecio and other succulents growing out of a blue colander

However, if you do paint it, because of the chemicals, it would be best to avoid planting edibles like fruit and veggies and herbs.

17) Tyre planter

tyre planters hung from bamboo in a vertical garden

Got an old tyre lying around?

painted tyres laid on a patio and used to hold flowering plants

Tyres make for excellent outdoor planters and can be used to grow both horizontally and vertically.

plant growing from a tyre filled with compost
tyres arranged in a row and used as planters in a shaded garden

Tyres can also be painted in different colours to help accentuate the aesthetics of your garden.

red pained tyres cut in half and used to grow plants

If you have access to quite a few tyres, you can also stack them on top of each other to help you play with different levels in your garden.

Have we planted an idea?

Hopefully we have planted not one but lots of outdoor garden planter ideas and you are ready to get planting, and when it comes to choosing or upcycling planters your imagination really is the only limit. 

Planters are an ideal solution when you are limited on space, and they’re generally a brilliant way to give your garden its own unique twist.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use all of your creative talents and soon your garden will be filled with perfect outdoor garden planters.

© 2021 TKO DIGITAL LTD | Registered in England and Wales No. 10866260 | This website uses cookies.