The two general options for fence planters are custom-made planters or prefabricated ones. The prefabricated models are by far more common and easy to install, but custom fence planters allow for a unique aesthetic and more planting options. Very inexpensive fence planters are made of plastic and feature hooks that simply slide over the top of the fence to secure the planter in place. More stable versions may be screwed into a wooden fence or otherwise secured to other types of fences to ensure the planter does not shift or fall off the fence entirely.
Some fence planters are designed to hold only one potted plant, while others can hold three or more. Other designs do not require the plants to be potted at all; the planter itself acts as the pot. Open designs, such as wrought iron fence planters, will require the plants to be in pots in most cases. Wrought iron fence planters may be designed to hold one plant: the design will include a circular brace that will hold the pot, and an arm that will reach up to the fence to brace the plant and planter against the fence itself. A planter that holds more than one plant will be wider, though the braces will often work the same as the one-plant models. A multi-plant planter will feature more than one support arm.
An increasingly common practice is to build planter boxes right into the fence itself, usually out of the same material as the rest of the fence. This is a fairly easy process if the fence is made of wood, as wood is easy to cut to specific lengths on site. The fence planters in this case can be made as an enclosure that can be filled with soil, though the wood itself will need to be resistant to water damage if it is going to be in constant contact with moist soil. The specific design of such planters will vary according to the builder's desires.
Vinyl fences often feature vinyl planter boxes that can be integrated easily into the fence structure. These planters are resistant to water damage, making them a good choice for holding soil, and they will be durable and long lasting as well. The vinyl boxes often mimic the look of painted wood to provide a clean and attractive aesthetic for the fence as well, and they can often be secured in different parts of the fence, making customization easier.