10 Tips for Decorating with Large Planters

Purchasing a large planter for your home, porch, or business seems daunting. How can your interior work with a monolithic planter and what do you even put in it to achieve design stardom? Our guide has the answers.

How large is a large planter?

Large planters start at around 16 inches in width and height with extra-large planters surpassing 30 inches. However, large planters don’t have to look cumbersome.

Industry leaders, such as Creative Design Manufacturing, offer planters in a variety of styles, from wide-bodied rectangles to smooth and tapered designs that look great with any decor.

But size isn’t everything. There are many factors that go into the best plant pot other than just size.

Why are large planters popular?

The use of large planters is increasingly popular with interior designers and for outdoor decorating. The reasons are simple:

  • Big containers have a lot of surface area that can be used to introduce color, texture, or style into your indoor or outdoor space.
  • Tall flower pots stand at eye level so are de facto a statement piece of your choosing.
  • When plant pots are so large, they can host a variety of healthy plants, hedges, and even trees.
  • When tall planters fill the vertical space, rooms appear bigger.
Planters filled with greenery
Planters filled with greenery @ nano / Getty Images Signature

What plants look good in large planters?

Large planters that are suited to just about any plant that would be put in a small planter. Just because the planter is oversized doesn’t mean the plants need to be too.

In fact, when the planter is so large, it can accommodate several plants of different sizes, heights, and girths. A large planter simply gives you more room to play with plant arrangements. Though, some plants such as trees definitely need a large pot size.

Generally, the plants that need a large pot are:

  • Trees
  • Hedges
  • Arrangments of perennials and annuals
  • Large vegetables such as tomato plants

If you are not sure which pot size to choose for your plant, you need a little pot size guidance.

Challenges

The size of the container does make a difference to the day-to-day care and maintenance of your plants. As the custodian of a large planter, you must be aware of three considerations.

A. Filling the pot

Most potted plants require less soil than the pot offers, especially when planting in a tall planter. The roots of the plant simply won’t reach the bottom of the planter. To fill entire plant pots with soil can get expensive and also make tall planters unwieldy: heavy and hard to relocate. Instead, use a lightweight filler in the bottom third of your planter. Most plants don’t have long enough roots to enjoy these soil depths, but to be safe, use a non-toxic filler. A few cheap, light, and safe filler materials include:

  • Plastic containers like screw-cap bottles and jugs
  • Aluminum cans such as soup cans.
  • Broken ceramic
  • Packing peanuts
Transplanting plant into a new pot.  Pour fresh soil into the pot.
Pour fresh soil into the pot @ SrdjanPav / Getty Images Signature

Top tip: Put a layer of landscaping fabric over the filler with a few drainage holes to make sure the soil doesn’t sink.

B. Changing the soil

Potting soil needs to be refreshed every 12 months to ensure optimum nutrition for healthy plants. This can be a bit tricky when you have liters and liters of soil in your tall planter. To save time and money, only remove the top few inches of dirt and replace it with fertilizer-enriched soil. Take care to limit the stress placed on the roots of the plant and they will love the fresh environment.

Gardening Scoop and Soil
Gardening scoop and soil @ Free-Photos / pixabay

Top tip: That old soil needn’t go to waste. Sprinkle it in your garden or top up your flower beds. But only if the soil is free of pathogens and pests, in this case, throw it away.

C. Drainage and watering

Every plant needs a hole. Without a good drainage system, a planter will hold water until it produces mold, root rot, and other dangerous pathogens. At Creative Design Manufacturing, clients can request that their planter be delivered with drainage holes, or if they prefer, holes can be drilled later when the planter is onsite.

Large flower pots can hold a substantial amount of soil which will retain water for a longer time than with small containers. This can be very deceiving to tall planter owners and a common pitfall is to overwater. To check if your planter needs more water, place your fingers into the soil up to your second knuckle. If the lower layers of soil feel dry, your plants probably need a little water.

Background image, drainage hole, clay pot
Drainage hole, clay pot @ chercherish / Getty Images

Top tip: The water in large planters will take longer to evaporate in cool weather or cold rooms. So pay attention to these factors when deciding the right watering regime.

How do you keep tall planters from blowing over?

Modern planters are manufactured in materials like fiberglass because they are strong, weather-resistant, and have an exceptional finish. They are also lightweight and easy to arrange. The downside is that without intervention they are susceptible to blowing over. By putting heavy filler materials in the bottom, tall planters are less likely to fall. Other methods include using cable ties to tether the pot to another surface such as the pillars on your front porch.

How do you arrange large outdoor planters?

1. At the door flower pot ideas

Tall planters look great on the porch. This is the grand entrance to your house or business and therefore the first opportunity to make an impression on your guests. Placing plants next to the front doors is a welcoming gesture and can be orchestrated to tie into the architecture. Suburban North American houses, for example, go hand-in-hand with wooden planters painted to match the white picket fence. Whereas sleek and powerful planters at the entrance of a bank elude to the professional service about to take place.

beautiful plants by door
beautiful plants in big planters by door @ TriggerPhoto / Getty Images Signature

Top tip: Place several planters leading up to the entrance for an outdoor red-carpet illusion.

2. Flexible hedge

Whether it’s to create privacy or signal the boundaries of your property, a large outdoor planter is a valuable asset in the infrastructure of your garden. Traditional style hedges like the iconic Privet Hedge can be grown successfully in a long planter. These hedges need a little pruning to form the immensely dense and regimented style found on the perimeter of gardens. The body of the planter is a great way to decorate in a little color too.

Front house privet hedge
Front house privet hedge @ Internet

Top tip: Stay away from fast-growing hedges like Thuja ‘Green Giant’ because, before you know it, they have outgrown your planter.

3. Curb appeal

Addressing curb appeal doesn’t stop when you decorate your house with a fresh coat of paint, or when your front porch is full of furniture. Likewise, large planters don’t have to build walls around your garden. They can also be used sparingly to pop color and intrigue along the front porch or perimeter. Instead of blocking people out, they can showcase your flair for botanical beauty.

Large planters in a historic street
Large planters in a historic street @ AnnekeDeBlok / Getty Images Signature

4. Rule of three

A single pot can host a variety of plants. A little experimentation with height, breed, and form can create a coordinated piece of botanic art. For multi-dimensional decoration consider the following formula.

Thriller – The most explosive plant in the threesome. This plant has an eye-catching form often sporting colorful or exotic leaves. A good thriller usually grows upright and occupies the top tier of foliage. Popular choices for a thriller include Red Dracaena, which has long spiky leaves that are variegated and can achieve heights of up to 10 feet unaided. It appears punchy with plenty of elegance and beauty.

Filler – The filler plays the important role of coloring in the space around the thriller. Choose plants that are bushy and create a lot of low-height foliage to fill in the gaps. If flowers weren’t used as your thriller then be sure to use some as the filler. A typical filler is the Pansy, which has a long bloom life that produces clusters of watercolor flowers. Contrast is achieved with the Pansy’s dark waxy leaves.

Multicolor Pansy Flowers
Multicolor pansy flowers @ Mehaniq / Canva Pro

Spiller – With most of the planter space now full, the spiller’s job is to go outside the plant pot and cascade over the edge. Plants with boldly colorful or variegated leaves are the best spillers. Creeping Jenny is a great plant for the spiller job due to its bright green leaves that create a flowing carpet of zingy color.

Top tip: this kind of planter is rather large and can fill a lot of square meterage so it’s best suited to the porch or outdoor area.

5. Highlight porch sitting areas

An easy way to spruce up your front porch living room is with a few large planters. They brighten up the exterior and signal that this is a place for relaxation. Use long planters to build a wall or form an entranceway on your front porch to make it feel secluded. Then with a couple of outdoor chairs and a table, you have just extended the livable space of your house!

Cozy covered sitting area with wicker chairs and swing
Cozy covered sitting area with wicker chairs and swing @ irina88w / Getty Images

Top tip: The beauty of a large plant and planter is that they are very heavy and thus hard to steal. If this is a concern then use rock filler inside the planter to make it as heavy as possible.

How do you arrange large indoor planers?

Statement piece

Large pots display at eye level which makes them ideal for a statement piece. The statement might come from the potted plants or the body of the pot itself. Even the material of the pot makes a point. A ceramic pot leans towards contemporary while sleek fiberglass is quietly modern. Angular flowerpots offer aesthetic intrigue whereas a lack of lines lends to minimalism.

A visit to Chelsea Design Centre in London
A visit to Chelsea Design Centre in London @ Internet

Due to the size of your pot, it will be the anchor point and trendsetter for the remainder of your room. A conflicting flower pot style will be confusing so choose a pot that exemplifies the principal style of your house.

Add character

Instead of using traditional planters, look for flower pots in unusual or everyday objects to add some character to your home. You have a decade-old wheelbarrow knocking around – polish it up and use it to push rustic appearances. Another example is oil barrels, which are popular with industrial-leaning interior designers. Even modern manufactured flower pots come in a variety of aesthetically intriguing styles that push the boundaries of classical container gardening.

David Head Planter
David head planter @ Zhuqin Chen / Getty

Top tip: Even if the container you found is not practical as a flower pot, instead turn it into a cachepot with the real, but boring, flower pot inside.

Tiered arrangement

Decorating with a tiered arrangement can work well both in indoor and outdoor areas. A tiered arrangement involves placing three or more flower pots above each other which taper off in size as they elevate in a pyramid shape. Each layer can host a different breed of plant or be analogous, though it works best when you follow common plant arrangement rules. For example, plant the tallest at the bottom and the shortest at the top.

A tiered arrangement planter @ Internet

Vintage pieces

Vintage decor is hard to attain without spending on antiques that have no real functionality. This is where the humble plant pot excels. Plant pots come in a range of materials with some more vintage than others. Rusted metal is a common favorite and is found in a number of rustic-looking forms like an old watering can or a milk bucket.

Flower in a vintage clay pot
Flower in a vintage clay pot @ macarosha / Getty Images

Top tip: Large metal pots can get quite heavy so arrange them in a spot that provides enough year-round sunlight, then you won’t need to drag them around too much.

Indoor orchard

Large flower pots are big enough that they can even accommodate trees. Fruit trees that were usually bound to the garden, now appear anywhere from the living room to the front porch. Indoor fruit trees not only look juicy but also perfume the house. Several species of dwarf fruit trees can be grown indoors with the right light, moisture, and warmth. For example, kumquat, peach, plum, apricot, and orange can all be pruned small, still produce an impressive harvest, and decorate your home with mouthwatering low-hanging fruits. There literally is no drawback to adding a little orchard to your decor.

Potted kumquat tree
Potted kumquat tree @ Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

Large planters, as we see here, are the plus-sized cherry on the top of any decor cake. They can be used to bind together the existing design in your home or add new intrigue and character. They can host a plethora of plants and even support indoor fruit orchards.

At Creative Design Manufacturing, we design, manufacture, and ensure the quality of planters both big and small, modern and traditional, and in a range of colors and finishes.

Our product range is perfect for any decorating project whether it’s indoor or outdoor, personal or professional. If this has tickled your planter fancy then be sure to take a look at our range of products.

And if you still can’t find the perfect solution, our custom planters service is sure to get you the results you need.

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