What are Flower Planters?

N. Phipps

Flower planters are a great alternative for gardening in small spaces. They’re used not only to contain and grow plants but to dress up both the inside and outside of the home. One of the greatest advantages to using flower planters, in addition to their space-saving capabilities, is their versatility. Nearly anything from barrels and tubs to baskets and even old boots can be used as planters. As long as the planter provides suitable drainage, any object will work and fit into any setting.

A wooden barrel can make a good container for plants.
A wooden barrel can make a good container for plants.

There are numerous types of flower planters on the market as well as those that can be easily constructed or found around the home. Tall floor planters are well suited for growing large, deep-rooted planted like shrubs and trees. Shallow pans or small pots make excellent garden planters for bulbs and other shallow-rooted plants. There are hanging planters, which are ideal for trailing or cascading plants too. A trellis planter is another great choice for giving climbing plants room to grow.

Some flower planters are made of terra cotta clay.
Some flower planters are made of terra cotta clay.

Window box planters can create the perfect garden for those with little or no outdoor space. Strawberry pots are also good planter choices for small areas, allowing gardeners to grow multiple plants within the pockets. There are even flower planters on wheels. These types of planters are perfect for larger plants, allowing them to be easily moved indoors whenever needed.

Pottery flower planters.
Pottery flower planters.

In addition to the various types of flower planters available, there are many types of materials to consider. For example, there are ceramic, clay, and wooden planters, which are commonly used indoors. There are terra cotta, stone and concrete flower planters, which are usually seen outdoors, as they are more weather resistant. Plastic, fiberglass, and polyresin planters are lightweight alternatives used both indoors and out. Hypertufa planters mimic real stone and can be constructed in various shapes and sizes.

When choosing flower planters, it’s important to match them with the needs of plants as well as the surrounding décor. For instance, footed urn planters are well suited to more formal-looking areas. The same can hold true for terra cotta pots, depending on the garden style. Wooden flower planters tend to be more casual and look nice in country settings. Basket planters also share this appeal, fitting in nicely in both country and cottage-style settings.

Flower planters should also be in proportion to the setting in which they’re located. The weight of flower planters is also important, especially on rooftops and balconies. For these areas, lightweight planters are more suitable. Of course, windy areas typically require heavier planters or those that are permanent fixtures. Climate can also be a factor in determining what flower planter to use. Frost-proof planters, for instance, work well in cold climates.

Petunias are a common flower that people put into planters.
Petunias are a common flower that people put into planters.

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Discussion Comments


When choosing flower planter containers I like to use ones that are light weight and not too heavy to move around if I want to. This is harder to do if you have large flower planters, and I usually just leave them in one place.

I also have many smaller containers that I have flowers in, and like to be able to move them around to different areas on the deck or to the other side of the house if they are getting too much sun.

They make a lot more decorative plastic containers than they used to, so you don't have to give up decoration just to get a light weight container.


Planting flowers is such an easy and inexpensive way to add curb appeal to your home. I have always loved flower planter boxes under windows or deck railings. The combination of bright flowers with trailing greenery really looks tasteful and appealing.

Another reason I like to plant flowers in containers is because they are so easy to take care of and you don't have to worry about pulling weeds all the time. You do not to make sure you water them on a very regular basis and add some fertilizer. Because they are in containers, they need to be watered more often than plants that are in the ground.


You can be as creative as you want to be when it comes to flower planters. Whatever type of container you choose to use must have good drainage though. If you find something that does not have drainage holes in the bottom, it is easy to drill a few holes yourself.

I also make sure I have some kind of pebbles or something in the bottom to help with the drainage. I have also heard of people using coffee filters and even a layer of styrofoam packing peanuts.

It is fun to use decorative planters that reflect your style and taste. Some of them can even be great conversation starters such as an old boot or I have even seen the old claw feet bathtubs made in to flower planters.

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