In this article we showcase several plant box ideas (with pictures) and also useful information and guidelines about planter boxes, DIY guides, resources with planter plans, types and materials used in planters etc.
Make sure to read the whole article till the end since we provide several planter ideas and pictures, instructions for how to build your own box etc.
Here are the topics we’ll be discussing in this guide:
What is a Planter Box?
Let’s start with the basics. A planter box is, essentially, what the name implies. It is a case box that is made for plants and can be placed anywhere in your home.
This is something that many people use when they simply don’t have the space for a garden or a big backyard. It is a great way to make sure that you are getting the plants that you want to grow without having to worry about digging in your yard or going through the hassle that comes with creating flower beds in your back yard.
Planter boxes can be used for different purposes, can be made of different material and can even allow you to grow an entire vegetable garden without ever digging in hard soil.
As you learn more about planter boxes, you can begin thinking of some great ideas and you will be able to create one DIY style.
Different Types of Planter Boxes
Different boxes have different purposes that they serve. Choosing the right type of box will allow you to make sure that you are getting the best growing experience possible. If you put vegetables in a flower box for example, you may find that they don’t grow the way that they should.
Window Planter Boxes
Window boxes are one of the best planter box ideas when you live in a small space. They are generally used for flowers and are smaller in size.
With a window flower box, you will not even need to step outside of your house to water your flowers and keep your curb appeal looking great.
Patio Planter Boxes
If you have a patio or a deck, you may want to consider this type.
They either attach to the railing or can simply be placed on the floor of the patio so that you can take care of them easily.
When you choose this option, make sure that you are aware of all of the vegetables and flowers you plan to plant in the boxes as you will likely need a lot of space for many boxes.
Planter Boxes for Vegetables
While the more traditional flower box is fairly shallow, vegetable boxes allow you to plant even root vegetables like carrots and beets.
These boxes are deep and can be filled most of the way with bagged soil so that you can grow any type of vegetable that suits your climate.
Ideal size of vegetable planters is 4ft wide (so you can reach in the middle easily) and the length can be any size that fits your space (e.g 8 to 12 ft long usually).
Depth of Vegetable Planter Box
The depth of the vegetable planter box depends on the type of vegetable you are going to plant.
- For Shallow Rooted Vegetables (e.g broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower): 12-16 inches deep.
- For Medium Rooted Vegetables (e.g beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers): 18-24 inches deep.
- For Longer Rooted Vegetables (e.g pumpkins, winter squash and watermelons) : 24-36 inches deep.
Raised Planter Boxes
If you have pets of any sort, you may want to consider raised planter boxes. These help to keep your pets and your pests away from the plants that you are growing.
Materials for Planter Box Ideas
The material you use will sometimes depend on the plants that you are going to grow but will generally only be used to match your outdoor decor.
Wooden planter Box
A wooden box is the most natural looking. It is very inexpensive and can be done yourself or purchased. The downside to these is that they may warp depending on the weather.
Make sure you apply wood treatment to the box so that it won’t rot in the rain.
Pallet Planter Box
If you really want to get DIY with your boxes, consider a pallet planter. This is made out of old pallets and you can throw one together very quickly with almost no cost.
Line bricks up on your patio and arrange them in a shape that will hold your soil. You can also purchase premade brick planters that all of your plants will fit into the different slots of.
For a rustic look, consider a metal planter. You can use stainless steel or even an old watering trough or barrel to put your soil and plants in. These are excellent for vegetables because of how deep they are.
While plastic planters are very inexpensive, they sometimes look chintzy with your outdoor decor. They can be purchased but one of the other options can be made for close to the same low cost.
What to Grow in a Planter Box
Most people either grow vegetables or flowers in their boxes. You can have a variety of both types of plants set up on your patio or on different windows but try to keep one kind of plant in each box instead of mixing them together.
If you are going to grow flowers in your boxes, make sure that you use the right type of box. They need to have holes in the bottom that are larger and will be shallower so that they can drain properly.
While these are deeper, they also have fewer holes in the bottom. Vegetables tend to need more water than most types of flowers and do not need to drain as quickly as flowers do to prevent drowning.
What Flowers are Best for a Planter Box
Depending on where you live, there are many different types of flowers that will work well in your planting boxes. Most people choose to use flowers that have low stems and that creep out around where they grow so that the box looks full and vibrant. A few great choices for any box:
- Dwarf roses
All of these flowers do well in a variety of climates but, when shopping for the flowers, make sure that they are suitable for your specific climate.
In general, any flower that is low to the soil, is able to withstand a lot of sunlight and grows very robustly will be great for your box.
You can also choose flowers that come in different colors. For example, if your house is brick and white siding, you may want to consider a box that has many brightly colored flowers in it.
The more flowers that you put in a box, the fuller it is going to look but be sure that you do not put too many seeds in. Thin out if it begins to look overgrown or the flowers are dying from their roots being intertwined.
Best Vegetables to Grow in a Planter Box
Depending on how much space you have and how many boxes you want to scatter around, you will be able to plant many different vegetables. You could, essentially, have your own garden with everything conveniently in planters. Some of the best vegetables for boxes:
All of these are relatively low-growing plants which is something that you want to have in a box.
While things like corn can grow in planter boxes, it makes things more difficult. Corn can grow very high and you may struggle to get all of the cobs of corn off of the plant if it is too high for you to be able to grow it properly.
When you are choosing the plants for your boxes, make sure that you pay close attention to the growing procedures. Each type of plant is unique so follow the instructions on the seed packets. Keep in mind that many plants will need to be started inside the house and should only ever be grown after there is no chance of frost.
Planter Box Ideas (with Pictures)
1) Stepped Planter
This is an A-frame wood construction which utilizes vertical space and has steps to place planting trays on them.
2) DIY Vertical Planter
This is very similar to the first planter idea in vertical steps construction. This is an ideal design if you have pets, rabbits etc.
3) Strawberry Planter
Using a plastic bucket, 1 1/2″ pvc pipes and silicon caulking you can create this strawberry planter very easily.
4) Simple Wood Planter from Pallets (raised)
Using 2 pallets and some common woodworking tools you can create this simple planter which is also raised enough to avoid pests.
5) Barrel Planter
The difficulty of this idea is to cut the barrel using an angle grinder (make sure to wear appropriate cloths because the sparks from the metal are dangerous). If you paint it with an appropriate color it looks really good.
6) Plank Planter
This planter costs around $10 and takes only an hour to make!! The best area to place this design is next to a window.
7) Basketball Planter
If you are a basketball fan you will love this idea. Just cut an old basket ball and hang it with strings.
8) Easy Brick Planter Box
With some bricks and with no tools, you can lay down this easy planter idea within minutes. Take note on the angles between each brick layer.
9) Cinder Block Planter
With 9 cinder blocks and some creative placement of each block on top of the others you can make the above planter box design idea very easily. Ideal for patios, backyards etc.
10) Wooden Fruit Box Planter
Just grab a wooden fruit box from the market and insulate it with a black thick plastic sheet (plastic bag is ok as well).
11) Reclaimed Wood Planter
This is a 4’x2′ reclaimed wood planter. It’s more difficult to make compared to the previous ones but its large enough to grow any kind of plants.
12) Cedar Double Bird House Planter
This is such a beautiful idea. Here are the materials needed:
4 feet of 1×8 cedar
8 feet of 1×6 cedar
1 9/16 drill bit
3/8 drill bit
13) Giant Planter Made of Re-used Rocks
This is the most natural looking planter from our collection. Using mortar mix and cement you can fix the rocks together in a great looking and strong planter.
14) DIY Raised Bed Planter
This DIY raised planter with 4 legs is 30″ tall and it’s great for patios or any other backyard area. Notice the hardwire screen at the bottom of the box.
15) Passive Gravity Irrigated Planter
How about a planter with a drip irrigation system (completely passive to drip 0.05 gal/hr). Excellent instructions are provided on the link above. This DIY planter idea is capable of growing a variety of different types of plants and/or herbs.