Creative Ideas for Plant Containers

by | Sep 6, 2020 | How To

Looking to build up a collection of plants? While traditional pots and planters are great, imagine how unique your garden would look if you passed up on buying a container at the store and got creative with your planters. Not only will your garden stand out from others on the block, but re-purposing old items will allow you to be more sustainable and earth-conscious!

Save money by reusing various containers and vessels around your house for planting flowers, small vegetables, herbs, succulents, and more! We’ve got a big list of creative ideas for plant containers for you to check out. Pull some ideas from our list and get potting!

Focus on Sustainability with these Garden Planter Ideas

As a gardener, your job is to care for the earth and use your green thumb for good! So, what better way to be sustainable than reusing items you already own as accents in your garden?

Value comes with utilizing items you no longer have a need for or were going to throw away. For example, let’s say your child grew out of their first bike and graduated to a bigger, more advanced bicycle. Rather than throwing out the old bicycle, think about how you can recycle it and give it a new purpose within the context of your garden. 

Being guided by this mindset of sustainability and re-purposing will better help you care for the environment and elevate your garden’s depth and appearance.

Best Practices for Non-Traditional Plant Pot Ideas

If this is your first time planting flowers or greens in a non-traditional pot or planter, take these points into consideration for an easy DIY project:

  • First things first, make sure you have soil and the flowers, succulents, or annuals you want to plant (we will give you more plant recommendations later)
  • Browse garage sales, vintage stores, and thrift shops for items if you don’t have any laying around your house or garage
  • Stock up on spray paint or regular paint if you plan to change the color of the item you are reusing
  • Don’t worry if your finished product doesn’t look how you wanted it to; just trust the process!
  • Make the most out of your DIY experience and maximize your creativity! 

Our List: Creative Ideas for Plant Containers

We gathered a list of our favorite diy planters that are sure to make your garden stand out. Our list consists of a variety of non-traditional pot options that range in size, shape, and difficulty to construct. Read on to find the diy planter that’s perfect for your garden.

Hanging Baskets

If you’re not ready to start an over-the-top planter project, begin by getting a few simple hanging baskets. Hanging baskets can be purchased at farmer’s markets, outdoor stores, and even grocery stores too. If you’re up for the challenge, you can even make your own hanging basket by finding a small wooden or plastic basket and trying a string or rope around it. The best plants to fill up your hanging basket are begonia tuberhybrida, fuschias, and petunias. Once your basket is assembled and ready for viewing, hang it from your porch, deck edge, patio cover, or fence post.

Old Watering Can

As a gardener, I’m sure you have an old watering can lying around. Whether it’s a shiny, galvanized can or a plastic, pastel can, repurposing a watering can into a planter is the perfect garden-themed way to show off your plants and flowers. Fill your watering can with a mix of lush greens and colors to make it pop. We’d suggest planting annual flowers such as violas, alyssum and lobelia!

Up-cycled Desk

If you’ve recently gone through a move and have some extra furniture around, take a look through your furnishings and see if anything would look good displayed in your garden. Once example of a piece of furniture that can be recycled and used as a planter is a desk. While you might think this a crazy idea, imagine how unique it is! Take your desk and paint it a bright color, pull out the drawers, fill them with plant pots or soil, and finally add flowers! Choose flowers whose colors complement the color of the desk, and be sure to include a mix of greens and color. We recommend using climbing flowers too.

Birdcage

Embrace the outdoor theme of your garden by using a birdcage as a planter. A birdcage is the perfect whimsical container to showcase plants on your home’s exterior. Fill the birdcage with succulents or long, trailing plants, and display it on a surface or hang it from a tree or porch. This diy technique will add life to your garden and make the birds feel at home too.

Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is the perfect diy planter to use as an accent to your garden. Not only does it fit with the garden theme, but it can be easily moved to switch up your garden’s look over time and to find better sunlight. You can even paint your wheelbarrow to add some extra color to your garden. If you choose to keep the original color and style of the wheelbarrow, consider filling the wheelbarrow with bright, colorful flowers to make up for the wheelbarrow’s simplicity.

Related article: What Is An Aerogarden?

Bicycle

As mentioned in the example earlier, you can even use an old bike as a flower planter. Paint the bike if you desire, and then add a basket on the handlebars to fill with flowers. We recommend choosing flowers that are lush and bright. Once the basket is filled, display your bicycle planter for all to see.

Antique Box or Chest

A simple diy planter option is an antique box or chest. Look around your house to see if you have one laying around, or pick up one from an antique store or yard sale. You can keep the original quality of the container or stain or paint it to add an extra flair. Fill the chest with lush greens and succulents or bright colored flowers to contrast with the antique look of the box.

Basket

Similar to a box or chest as a planter is a basket. You can choose to use a brown, wicker basket or even a laundry basket to hold your plants and flowers. Choose flowers that complement the look of the basket and your garden. You can even arrange the plants and flowers in a creative way or use a layered planting technique. 

Kitchen Colander 

Believe it or not, a kitchen colander is a great planter. It’s holes allow for good drainage and ventilation for plants. If you’re considering using a colander as a planter, you can either set it on a surface or hang it up like a hanging basket. Fill your colander planter with fresh annuals or flowing greens to make the most out of your garden.

Cinder Blocks

For a more modern garden look, consider planting flowers and plants inside of bricks or cinder blocks. Lush green plants or succulents would stand out contrasted against the simple colors of the cinder blocks and bricks. You can display a solo, freestanding cinder block planter or you can even stack or arrange multiple.

Chandelier 

If you like the idea of hanging something in your garden, find an old chandelier and plant flowers where the bulbs used to be. You can make it into a diy project and paint the chandelier, or you can use its original condition. Before hanging the chandelier in your garden, add colorful flowers or hanging greens.

Wheel

As a gardener, you can get very creative with displaying wagon wheels in your garden. Arrange a unique assortment of plants and succulents in the spokes, and place it in a spot that will receive a lot of attention. If you like this idea, you might also want to use a tire as a planter!

Book

If you’re a reader, consider bringing your love of books into the garden. Find a vintage book, cut a hole in the center, and display your plant or flower in that crevice. We recommend filling your book planter with green succulents to contrast the white of the pages. If you choose this diy planter project, no one will judge the book by its cover!

Bathtub and Sink

Using an antique bathtub or sink as a planter will attract attention to your garden from down the block. While this might end up being a large diy project, the efforts will be worth it when you have a unique planter to display. After filling the bottom of the tub or sink with rocks, add soil and the annual flowers of your choice. 

Old Boots

Keep the garden theme going by using old boots as planters. Not only do boots make good planters, but they are also a cute and creative way to add attention and humor to your garden. Fill the boots with soil, add the flowers of your choice, and put them somewhere noticeable for neighbors to see as they pass by.

Paint Cans and Ladder

Another garden display that will add humor and life to your home’s exterior is a paint can and ladder planter. Gather some old paint cans and arrange them on a ladder near your garden or the side of your house. Decorate the cans if you desire and fill them with flowers that will add a pop of color.

Mason Jars

Mason jars have been the next big thing lately because of their multi-purposeness. Not only can you store things in them and drink out of them, but you can also use them as planters. Add some soil to the jar and plant the succulent or flower of your choice. They can stand freely solo or you can even create an arrangement or display.

By Patrick Chism

By Patrick Chism

Patrick likes to pretend that urban gardening is just a hobby, but he’s actually prepping for the apocalypse. He’s a practical grower, specializing in hydroponics systems and grow lights. His dream is to one day feed his family with just the food he grows in his Chicago-based condo.

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My husband and I are attempting to turn our tiny city condo into an urban gardening oasis. Join us on our journey toward sustainable living and making the most of our space.

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