Large Outdoor Planter Ideas

by Ronnie Edwards
(Austin, TX, USA)

Large Outdoor Planters

Large Outdoor Planters

Large outdoor planters can bring an inviting feel to your home when filled with plants, grasses or a colorful array of blooming flowers. Here are some creative ideas for bringing out the beauty of your home's exterior and surrounding landscape.

Make a Grand Entrance

A couple of square large outdoor planters are perfect for welcoming guests. However, only houses that have substantial floor space are good candidates for these large outdoor planters. You never want to crowd your entrance with too much decoration. A two-story Colonial style with a wide deck has the right proportions for small trees in large outdoor planters. A one-story ranch-style house would be better suited with smaller planters and decorative plants and flowers.

Dwarf fruit trees are a delight to see as you approach a large farmhouse. Lemon or lime trees further enhance the senses with their fragrance. Fruit trees in large outdoor planters prefer full sun with southern exposure. Take care not to let the soil get soggy, and fertilize with plenty of nitrogen and trace minerals.

Create a Flower Border

Having a walkway with colorful flowers along the sides is not always possible. Stones, cement or crusty soil may prevent you from showing off a row of flora. Rectangular large outdoor planters can solve this problem — use long thin boxes that follow the sides of the walkway in sections or that extend the entire length.

Arrange your plants so that the colors and texture will create a consistent bouquet from one end to the other. Some of the most popular small flowers for use in large outdoor planters are:
- Petunias
- Fanflowers
- Starflowers
- Winged Begonias
- Geraniums

Large outdoor planters come in all heights and widths. The length can be as long as you need.

Stand-Alone Large Outdoor Planters

Make a statement by using large outdoor planters as a focal point. Putting a decorative planter next to a tree or a garden is a good idea for bringing out the beauty of nature. A touch of color in unusual places will always bring a smile to faces as soon as these large outdoor planters are noticed.

Select three to four different flower types to arrange in your large outdoor planter. Coleus is an excellent specimen for mixing with other plants. They are easy to maintain, have a dynamic color and texture and are simple to control. Another leafy favorite is the Persian shield. The stunning purple leaves provide a great backdrop for small flowers. Angelonias work nicely as a colorful player among large leaves. With colors of white, blue, purple, pink or red, they add just the right amount of freshness to a large outdoor planter.

Deck Rail Planters

Large outdoor planters do not always need to sit atop a deck rail. Placing a planter on the ground against a railing can add an aesthetic look and act as a safety measure. By placing large outdoor planters beside a railing, people and pets are prevented from leaning on the railing. This is a great idea for those who live in higher-level apartments.

Hydrangeas are a popular choice for patio large outdoor planters. If space is a problem on your patio, consider the dwarf tree version of this magnificent plant. They are hardy and share the soil with many other hydrangea types for added contrast.

Hedges in a Pot

Make your yard boundaries well known by adding a tree in a single large outdoor pot and spacing as many as you like in a row. There are a variety of dwarf trees, bushes and grasses that can make a distinctive natural display of beauty. From evergreens, bamboo, boxwood and dracaena to ornamental grasses, they can grow as tall as 3 to 5 feet.

Ornamental grasses are lovely, but care must be given by zone and sun exposure. Here are a few of the grasses that survive well in large outdoor planters:
- Red Fountain Grass: Zone 9–11, full sun/medium moisture
- Hakone Grass: Zone 5–9, part shade/moist soil
- Feather Reed Grass: Zone 5–9, full sun/medium moisture
- Blue Oat Grass: Zone 4–8, full sun/dry moisture
- Ornamental grass also makes a great privacy barrier from neighbors with the semi-transparent weaving of the tall grass. They are also great for separating a swimming pool area and outdoor kitchen.

Rose Lovers and Large Outdoor Planters

If you always thought that roses were beyond your expertise in gardening, think again. Roses love the super-compact space that large outdoor planters deliver. Rose roots grow deep, so a tall container will make your plant healthy and happy. Once you go through the steps of planting and waiting on that first bloom, you will always appreciate the beauty and scent that your roses deliver. Find just the right spot for setting your large outdoor planters filled with roses. They love full sun and good air circulation, so whether they are placed on a patio or front porch, make sure both of these requirements are met.

A rose tree and a bush of roses can occupy the same large outdoor planter. However, as your plants grow, they will either need to be transplanted or you will need to purchase an oversized container to allow for growth. Roses can stay outside during the winter months and grow the best in zones 5–10. Just a small coating of mulch atop the soil to help insulate the roots is all that is required.

Large outdoor planters can give you options that you might not otherwise have in raising beautiful natural plants. Since drainage is a big part of keeping a plant healthy, set your large outdoor planters on bricks and make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the container. To keep dirt from seeping out, lay a screen over the bottom of the planter. It is amazing how well most plants flourish in a large outdoor planter. Use your imagination and create your own display of color, texture and height with all the plants available to you.

"Ronnie Edwards is a copywriter for Flower Window Boxes, the nation's top manufacturer and distributor of window boxes and outdoor planters. He crafts informational pieces about small-space gardening tips, vegetable gardening, and more. When he's away from work, he enjoys tending to the plants in his outdoor planter and doing fun activities with his fiancé."

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