Enhance Your Space With Unique Outdoor Planter Ideas

Outdoor planters hold a huge transformative power. Whether placed on a sprawling terrace, a cozy balcony, or nestled within a lush garden, planters breathe life and character into any outdoor space.

planters with flowers in yard
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just beginning to explore adding them to your yard, all the possibilities for picking a planter can be confusing!

What functionality are you looking for? You may need something to hang on a vertical wall or rest on the floor or a plant stand. Do you want something that suspends from the ceiling, such as a macrame hanger? 

Some people like weird and unusual ideas for their yards. Are you an environmentalist who prefers reusing items instead of buying new planters? 

Continue reading to learn more about what might work best for you and your plants.

You can modify planters to an extent, but the one thing you can’t change is their size. Your selection of plants will play into the factor of what size flower pot or planter to use. 

Another consideration is your chosen material for your home or patio planter decor. The options include concrete, metal containers, terra cotta, ceramic planters, and plastic flower pots. 

Color Options

So, you’re shopping at a big box store, and you find the perfect planter, but you’re looking for a different color. Painting a planter is a simple task you can do at home. Spray paint is the easiest option; however, this depends on the material you have chosen for your flower pot. Should your plant be subjected to the elements, keep that in mind when choosing your paint. Plastic and metal planters may be the easiest to transform with 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 tall stool to display a plant. 

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 also make your own like this hanging concrete planter.

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. 

Wood Planters – you can buy or build your own to match your style and fit your space. Usually made from cedar or redwood to withstand the elements, these add a nice touch to your decor.

DIY Tiered raised vegetable bed with legs and trellis in backyard with vegetable plants


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.

brown planter in yard
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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. 

close up of the ombre painted hanging planter

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

Wood planters are a versatile and aesthetically pleasing choice for gardening, offering a natural look that complements any outdoor space. Wood’s eco-friendliness and biodegradability make it an environmentally responsible choice for sustainable gardening.

Upcycled and Repurposed Ideas

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 can 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. 

wheel barrow planter in grass
Image Credit:Shutterstock

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 teacup, 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. You can make plant pockets by crushing one end of the can to close it. Using paint and decoupage to decorate the plant pockets will customize them to your liking.

Glass jars and bottles. Don’t toss them; upcycle them! 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. 

You’ve Chosen Your Planter. What Should You Plant?

Petunias are great for beginners. They enjoy full sun and bloom all season and are great for container gardens or hanging baskets.

One of the best classic container options is geraniums. 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.

DIY Tiered planter on front porch

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 and need less water than flowering plants. 

Redwood planters with herbs and succulents

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. 

I hope you find the perfect outdoor planter for your needs and green space.

This article originally appeared on PinkWhen.

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.

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