Horticulture Magazine

The Best Trough Planters For Garden Plants & Shrubs

raised wooden trough planters with a lawn in the foreground and fence in the background

Trough planters are a versatile addition to any home.

Not only can they add levels to your outdoor greenery or feature in a raised garden bed, but they can also serve as the perfect places to grow vegetables, herbs and other culinary crops in the kitchen. Alternatively, you can place them on a patio, balcony or terrace or even perch them on your window ledge – properly secured in place, of course.

But wherever you intend to deploy your trough planters, you’ll want to ensure that you purchase a product that’s fit for purpose. That means finding a trough planter that has been made from quality materials and built to last the test of time, but also one that catches the eye and complements the existing décor in your home.

Fortunately, there are a wealth of options out there when it comes to finding a trough planter that’s right for you, including products made from wood, plastic and even steel! Careful consideration of the materials involved should be foremost in the decision-making process, since this not only affects the aesthetic appearance of the planter, but also dictates how well it will hold up under the conditions in which you plan to use it.

Other factors to consider include the dimensions of the product, the presence (or absence!) of drainage holes and any other additional fixtures and features that might come with it. Finally, the cost of the planter is always a concern to be taken into account, as it is with any home improvement purchase.

Our #1 Top Pick
Simply Wood Trough
Value Pick
Stewart STE2276005 Corinthian Trough, 70 cm -...
Also Consider...
Primrose Corten Steel Trough Planter - L100cm...
Material
Redwood
Plastic
Steel
Colour
Natural Wood
Black
Rust
Capacity
90L
32L
160L
Assembled
Price
Price not available
£8.99
Price not available
Our #1 Top Pick
Simply Wood Trough
Material
Redwood
Colour
Natural Wood
Capacity
90L
Assembled
Price
Price not available
Value Pick
Stewart STE2276005 Corinthian Trough, 70 cm -...
Material
Plastic
Colour
Black
Capacity
32L
Assembled
Price
£8.99
Also Consider...
Primrose Corten Steel Trough Planter - L100cm...
Material
Steel
Colour
Rust
Capacity
160L
Assembled
Price
Price not available

Last update on 2021-06-14 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API

As experts in all things horticultural, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the market and narrow down the wide range of choices to just seven of the best trough planters available in the UK today. Have a gander at our selection below – then make yours accordingly!

Best Pick: Simply Wood Trough Planter

Strong, simple, sturdy – this wooden planter offers a robust and rustic solution to your planting needs.

Cost: Price not available

This well-proportioned planter is made by Simply Wood – and the clue is in the title. Constructed from solid Scandinavian Redwood timber, the planter is just over a metre in length, with a width of 41.5cm and a height of 32cm.

That makes it large enough to accommodate several specimens of your chosen flora (with capacity for roughly 100 litres of soil, compost or other growing medium), but small enough to fit into more compact spaces. It’s also incredibly lightweight when empty at just 80g in total.

The planter arrives fully assembled, with a raised platform to facilitate drainage. Though sturdily made, the bottom slats are quite far apart from each other, so the planter will require lining before it can be used or the growing medium will fall straight out. After that two-minute job, it’s ready for placement anywhere in your garden and is sure to catch the eye with its high-quality timber and neat finish.

Some users have complained that the product has arrived damaged, though that seems to be more a problem with the distributor than the manufacturer. On the whole, the planter is strong and stylish for a moderately expensive but fair price.

Pros

  • Gorgeous timber construction makes for eye-catching appearance
  • Very lightweight at just 80g when empty, but still sturdily made

Cons

  • Widely slatted structure requires lining before use (liner not included)
  • More expensive than some other options

Value Pick: Stewart Corinthian Trough

No-frills plastic planter offers fluted design and weather-resistant properties.

Cost: £8.99

With its fluted façade and choice of three colours (black, terracotta or green), this Corinthian planter from Stewart Garden is sure to bring a touch of traditional charm to your home.

The trough is 27cm deep and 27cm wide, with a length of 70cm. That’s a little on the smaller side in comparison to some of its competitors, but it still has ample room to take over 30 litres of compost and is sturdy enough to support small fruit trees or smaller shrubs and plants. The raised base aids drainage, although it does not come with holes pre-drilled. That makes it ideal for use indoors or easily adaptable outdoors with a quick fix using a power drill.

Aside from the lack of drainage holes, the main complaints from past customers revolve around the individual packaging that the planters arrive in, even when bought in bulk. Again, that’s more of a criticism of the supplier than the product itself and if you can see past the needless waste, there’s much to admire here.

Aside from its simple yet appealing design and its versatility, the planter’s strongest suit is undoubtedly its price tag. As the cheapest item on this list, it’s an absolute snip – especially when you factor in its frost-proof and UV resistant properties.

Pros

  • Minimalist eye-catching design
  • Durable construction
  • Very affordable price tag

Cons

  • Excessive packaging from online retailers
  • No drainage holes on arrival

Primrose Corten Steel Planter

Innovative rusty aesthetic sets it apart from the competition.

Cost: Price not available

From the cheapest product on this list to the most expensive – the Primrose corten steel planter is quite like nothing else you might find in an ordinary garden centre.

The product arrives with the same silver steel appearance as many other planters – but just give it a few days outdoors and watch the magic happen. The unusual corten steel construction develops its own rusty exterior which not only prevents it from degrading over time, but actually prevents further corrosion from taking place. Oh, and it also looks incredible, to boot.

The planter is amply proportioned, with a length of one metre and a depth and height of 40cm apiece. Unlike a wooden planter, however, its steel construction makes it fairly heavy (11kg) even when empty. With that in mind, be sure to manoeuvre it into position before filling. The rusty aesthetic is set off optimally by colourful foliage or when placed against stark brickwork – but having said that, the planter will look great wherever you decide to put it. It also comes with a pre-drilled hole and bung, making drainage a doddle.

The only downside? That prohibitive price tag. It is more than double any of the other options on this list, but if you can afford the outlay, it’s sure to bring inimitable style to your garden.

Pros

  • Unique rust-like exterior gives striking appearance
  • Strong and stable, guaranteed to last the test of time without any maintenance
  • Pre-drilled drainage hole for outside, bung for inside

Cons

  • Very expensive in comparison to alternatives

Ivyline Artstone Trough

Small but chic trough planter is equipped with its own unique drainage system.

Cost: £12.99

This diminutive trough planter from Ivyline is everything you might want when growing herbs or flowers in an environment with limited space. At just 18cm x 31cm x 40cm, it’s narrow enough to fit on a window ledge comfortably, but still deep enough to allow plenty of room for growth.

It’s also very pleasing on the eye. Constructed from a durable stone composite, its exterior has a lovely, marbled effect, while the choice of seven colours means there’s sure to be one to suit your existing colour scheme. More adventurous growers can plump for pink, purple or lime green, while traditional tastes are catered for with grey and terracotta options.

Aside from its unusual appearance, its biggest selling point is its own bespoke drainage system. With a raised platform perforated by drainage holes above a drainable reservoir, it’s ideal for use indoors or outdoors.

It’s also reasonably priced and made from recycled materials, meaning it’s both kind on your wallet and kind on the environment.

Pros

  • Elegant design and colour palette
  • Self-contained drainage system makes it suitable for any location
  • Environmentally friendly and affordably priced

Cons

  • Quite small

Ruddings Wood Plant Container Box

Quality wooden plant box is perfect for perching on window ledges or balconies.

Cost: £35.99

Constructed from sustainable timber, this impressive planter box is finished with a weather-protection coating to ensure it holds up al fresco. It has been handmade in the UK, highlighting its superior quality, while it comes ready-made with raised feet and sturdy construction.

Unlike the other wooden planter on this list, the box does not have gaps between its slats, but neither is it watertight nor pre-lined. At the same time, it does not have drainage holes, meaning it’s unsuitable for use indoors or outdoors without some modification. However, popping in a liner or drilling a couple of holes won’t take too long and once that job is tackled, it’s guaranteed to draw admiring glances wherever it’s placed.

Given its narrow dimensions (just 22cm in width and height, but 90cm in length), that place may well be your windowsill or balcony. If you do opt for either of those routes, however, ensure you employ brackets to ensure it doesn’t fall off or come loose.

It’s a little on the expensive side given its dimensions and lack of depth, but it remains good value for the high quality of its construction and attractiveness of its appearance.

Pros

  • Well-made and handsome planter perfect for walls and window ledges
  • Sustainable timber treated to a weatherproof finish

Cons

  • Limited width and depth
  • No drainage holes in bottom, but not watertight either

Elho Loft Urban Trough

Balcony hanging planter comes with its own self-watering reservoir.

Cost: Price not available

For anyone looking to add a splash of colour to their balcony, this hanging trough planter from Elho Loft might just be the ideal solution. Constructed from long-lasting recycled plastics, the planter comes equipped with its own rack for ease of installation.

At 18cm x 25cm x 49.3cm, it’s perfect for balcony railings of up to 6cm in width, while the planter can support a maximum weight of 15kg. That makes it more than adequate for most gardening purposes, while the choice of three colours (white, anthracite and brick red) means that you can tailor your purchase to the plants you plan to place inside it and the existing décor on your balcony or terrace.

What’s more, the planter is also equipped with its own ingenious water reservoir. A handy little tray clips onto the base of the planter, acting as a reservoir during times of heavy rainfall. Then, when the clouds lift and the temperature rises, the planter can distribute that stored water among the soil inside, thus saving you time and effort in coaxing your plants to bloom.

The product is both lightweight yet robust, while its affordable price tag just serves as the icing on one very attractive cake.

Pros

  • Balcony hanging planter comes with rack already attached – just clip it on to your railing and away you go
  • Water reservoir stores excess liquid for times of drought

Cons

  • Only really suitable for hanging from a balcony

Simpaoutdoors 4pc Plastic Planters

Set of four basic plastic planters offer incredible value and unfussy appeal.

Cost: Price not available

If all you’re in the market for is a straightforward set of plastic planters to house your herbs, shrub and other greenery, this four-piece collection from Simpaoutdoors is probably the most affordable option out there.

The planters are lightweight and versatile; with no drainage holes in the bottom, they could easily adorn any corner of the inside of your home. Alternatively, taking a drill to their base could make them suitable for outdoor use in a matter of minutes, while the fact that there’s four of them (also available as a single or double purchase, too) means you have plenty of room for manoeuvre.

On the other hand, they’re certainly not the most alluring prospect you’ll come across. Simplicity and practicality are prioritised over swagger and pizzazz here, as is reflected in the dearth of choices available (they only come in terracotta).

Having said that, the price tag attached to the collection is incredible, while they even offer strong valuable when sold separately. So for a budget option that might sacrifice finesse for functionality, look no further.

Pros

  • Very affordable price for a set of four
  • More than adequate for most gardening purposes

Cons

  • Lacking in character or class
  • No drainage holes on arrival
  • Only one choice of colour

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