The 6 Best Outdoor Planters

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The right planter for your outdoor area can transform your space, bringing in bright colors or adding sleek accents, while providing a supportive home for your favorite plants. From hanging planters that free up space to adorable window boxes, the best outdoor planters are designed with UV-resistant materials or coatings and are the right size for your yard or patio. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you shop.

As far as materials go, many outdoor planters are made of a plastic material, like polypropylene and resin, that mimics stone but is much lighter. These planters are non-porous, which means they hold water, which is excellent for nourishing your plants. If you’re looking for a DIY project, wood planters can be easily painted and are perfect canvases for creativity, though they can also break down more easily than other materials if they're not specifically weather-resistant. Planters made of metal can add a modern touch to your yard and are very durable, but can overheat quickly in high temperatures or become damaged from snow and frost. And stone planters, which are heavy and extremely sturdy, are great for keeping plants warm in the winter, though they tend to be more expensive.

Before you buy a planter just because it’s pretty, check to make sure it will actually sustain your plant. Check the size of your space and planter to ensure it's a perfect fit. Many pots include drainage holes that prevent the backup of water in your planter, but some do not. You can easily add drainage holes to plastic planters to suit your needs. For the black-thumbed, self-watering planters are a helpful tool for keeping your plants alive and can provide water for about one week.

And the location of your planter is also important. If you plan on placing a planter in the sunniest spot in your yard, rather than under a covered patio, choose a planter designed with a UV coating or material so that it won't fade from sun exposure.

Plants and beautiful planters can make your outdoor space feel like an extension of your house, at a relatively low cost. I've included outdoor planters in every size, color, material, and price range to transform your outdoor space into an oasis.

1. A Rustic Outdoor Planter

  • Dimensions: 15 by 15 by 10.25 inches

Reviewers love this distressed oak whiskey barrel planter and the rustic charm it brings to any outdoor space. While it has the distinct look of wood, this planter is actually made of resin, which is much more durable and lightweight. This sturdy planter holds nearly five gallons, but weighs just over a pound. This pick is UV coated to keep its color from fading over time, plus it is designed with drainage holes. It boasts more than 1,900 reviews and is a fantastic budget-friendly choice.

Helpful Review: “It’s nice and light, yet still has a realistic, rustic look. There are quite a few drainage holes on the bottom and up [the] sides. I transplanted my lilies from a rotting real wood barrel to this one. They look so much better now, and I’m so glad I won’t have to worry about another rotting container.”

2. These Sturdy Hanging Outdoor Planters

  • Dimensions: 13.78 by 8.27 by 13.78 inches

Dress up your porch with this pack of four metal hanging planters. The steel rod baskets hang by strong metal chains and come in three different diameters: 14 inches (shown here), 12 inches, and 10 inches. This set includes four pre-formed coconut liners that give the planter a naturally beautiful look, and the basket is coated in black vinyl, which prevents rusting. It has more than 1,000 reviewers, with many saying they were shocked by how sturdy these planters are compared to similar products, noting that the hanging baskets and coco liner stayed intact and hung even with large, heavy plants. The planters are not coated in UV-resistant materials. Unlike similar products with plastic hooks, these are made of metal, so they won’t bend or expand even when the temperature changes. It’s recommended to add a water-retaining liner in the coco liner to help keep your plants moist. Some reviewers say they added an additional chain to the hook so the plant hangs lower to the ground.

Helpful Review: "I’ve seen these exact same hanging baskets for sale at a local nursery for three times the price. And the quality, the look, everything appears to be the same. Plus, when you buy them at the local nursery, the inserts are an additional $10 apiece. These are a true bargain, I’ve used them over the entire summer and they still look new. I have ferns in these baskets and they are now huge. When the weather cools I’ll have to ditch the ferns but the baskets will definitely be good for next year. These are a very strong buy!"

3. A Raised Garden Bed For Patios

  • Dimensions: 44.9 by 19.4 by 29.8 inches

Anyone can have an outdoor garden — even if you live in a smaller space with a patio — with this easy-to-use raised garden bed. The polypropylene resin material, which is better at retaining water, is formed into a rattan pattern and looks good with any home decor style. The bed itself features a water gauge, drainage system, and a water reservoir. The gauge shows you when the plants need more water, while the drainage system gives you full control over watering with options to be opened or closed. The reservoir prevents root rot and ensures your plants get the optimal amount of water. Reviewers love that this raised bed saves your back when bending over to check on your plants. The bed comes with two optional dividers so you can create three different sections to grow multiple kinds of plants or vegetables. The manufacturer doesn't specify that this planter has a UV coating, but many reviewers say it holds up beautifully over the years.

Helpful Review: “I live in a condo and thought I was doomed to have a small, lame garden, but I was wrong! I bought the first one of these for flowers, but after seeing how well they did, I bought a second to grow vegetables. The soil stays moist even in the summer without having to water every day, which is convenient for me since my balcony isn't plumbed for a garden hose. I love it and will buy another for spring planting!"

4. A Window Box Planter That Adds Curb Appeal

  • Dimensions: 48 by 11 by 10.8 inches

Add major visual interest to the front of your home with this craftsman-style window box planter. The box is made of high-grade polyethylene, which is a a type of resin and has built-in UV inhibitors to prevent your planter from fading from the sun. It includes a water reservoir and sub-irrigation system to keep your plants growing from the roots, which ensures they are adequately nourished. This pack includes four wall mount brackets that attach to the side of your home. Reviewers say they’re easy to install and that the planters look pretty, but are strong — built to last for many seasons. The box measures a large three feet in width and is perfect for multiple plants to grow. The crown molding detail and clean white color looks classy and polished.

Helpful Review: “This has been an amazing window box planter! It looks great, never needs to be painted, and has a water reservoir that keeps my flowers in good condition, even in the hot late afternoon sun. Previous window boxes used in the same location have kept me busy watering each day and still they would wilt, but not this one. I only wish I have a space for a second one."

5. A Modern, Chic Planter For Tall Plants

  • Dimensions: 12 by 8 by 20 inches

These tall planters are a stunning pair. They're made from recycled plastic and natural stone powder so they’re durable, yet lightweight and boast a modern, rectangular design. Although they don't have a UV coating, these planters are said to withstand extreme heat, UV rays, and even frost without fading or peeling, according to reviewers. They come with four drainage holes that are raised from the bottom so you can easily drain or hold water as you need. Reviewers do mention that if you’re using it inside, you’ll want to buy a separate saucer to keep water from spilling out from the planter. This 20-inch planter is also available in speckled white and weathered gray, as well as in a taller 26-inch size. The set of two makes the perfect entryway decor, bookending your front door or backyard garden.

Helpful Review: “I ordered these for my patio. I needed something tall to keep the dogs out. For the price I was a little concerned with quality, but they are lovely. [...] This looks lovely on my patio and I'm hoping to figure out how to squeeze some more in!"

6. This Unique Vertical Outdoor Planter

  • Dimensions: 30 by 23 by 65 inches

If you’re really looking for a show-stopping vertical planter, this six-foot vertical planter is an art piece in itself. Don’t be intimidated by the assembly process; reviewers say it’s easy to put together and made of quality materials. The four polypropylene plant boxes leave plenty of room between each level for proper growth. You can grow herbs, flowers, or vegetables in this planter and design your own outdoor decor as you plant. There is an optional drainage system that allows excess water to drain from the tallest box into the ones below. This cascading drainage system makes sure all plants get enough water without wasting any. The elevated design not only looks beautiful, but it is easy on your back. These are not coated with UV-resistant materials, but both the frame and the planters are weather-resistant and reviewers say they last a long time.

Helpful Review: “I love this design. Not only is it a great space saver, but it looks good. It seems sturdy, including the plastic plant pots. Keep in mind these do NOT have drilled drain holes. When you do drill some, do them in the FRONT of the plastic pot, like the instruction manual states, if you are looking to drip water to the plants below. Also the manual advises putting an inch of gravel in the bottom-a great idea so your plants won't have problems with root rot. I put mine together in maybe 20 minutes, including gravel and dirt.”