Ideas & Inspiration

Container Garden Ideas

Container Garden Designs
A woman planting yellow flowers in a round planter.

If your planters will be located outdoors, choose containers based on your decor style and any climate concerns. Make sure your container is large enough to hold all of the plants you want to use. A water source should be easily accessible so you can keep up with the watering schedule.


Good soil is crucial to the success of your planting. Use high-quality potting soil with good water retention. Mix in the appropriate nutrients depending on the types of plants you've chosen. Feed plants every few weeks or as recommended with quality liquid fertilizer.

Thrill, Fill, Spill
Three types of plants combined in a planter.

Plant combinations using the "thriller, filler, spiller" method are the easiest way to make your outdoor planter ideas come to life.


Anchor the planter with a vertical, architectural-style plant as the "thriller" element.  Surround it with a medium-height plant as "filler" to fill in additional space and frame the plant. Lastly, choose softer plants that tumble out of the edge of the container towards the ground. This is the "spiller."

Color the Season
A person dropping a plant still in the nursery container into a ceramic planter.

Use planters to rotate a seasonal array of annuals to punctuate your decor. Easily swap out the washed pastels of spring for the sunny yellows of summer. Use vibrant reds and oranges for fall. Christmas greenery like poinsettias will brighten the holiday season. Use seasonally appropriate planters for an even more festive touch.

Make Groupings with Garden Plants
Pink blooms in containers

Use a grouping of planters to line a walkway or flank an entry door for a welcoming burst of color.


Group small or medium-sized containers for maximum impact. A corner filled with terra cotta containers of many sizes will look luxurious. Use the thriller-filler-spiller idea here, too. Put the tallest in the center or back, place groups of fillers in the middle and arrange cascading elements around the perimeter.

Plant Vertically
A vertically oriented planter with plants in it.

Take your gardening to new heights by creating a vertical garden wall. Vertical garden planters are both architecturally interesting and space-saving.

Container Edibles in Good Taste
Two white flower pots sown with herbs.

Create edible gardens in planters with herbs or dwarf vegetable varieties such as lettuces, kale, cherry tomatoes and peppers. Dwarf varieties often have generous yields, so you can keep a container growing indoors year-round.


Tip: Use a large container and add frames or tomato cages to combine low-growing and climbing vegetables. This lets you grow more in less space.

Plant a Small Savanna
Ornamental grass in a stone-look planter.

Ornamental grasses are easy and low-maintenance plants that add drama to decor. Plant grasses in tall, narrow planters to complement the plants' shape.

Beachy Beauty in a Container Garden
A large conch shell with beach grass planted inside.

Go coastal by creating a beachside scene in a planter. Fill a wide, shallow planter with potting soil and choose two or three succulents or small ornamental grasses. Arrange the plants in the soil, add washed sand and decorate with pieces of beach glass, shells or small driftwood. You can also plant a single beach plant in a large shell for an interesting memento.

Furnish the Garden with Creativity
A bathtub planted with flowering plants.

Found objects can make interesting planters or flower pot holders depending upon their construction. For example, use an old ceramic bathtub as an outdoor planter with minimal construction required.


Place it in the sun or shade, as the plants require, then fill it with soil and your chosen plants. The drain at the bottom of the vessel can serve to drain excess water. Alternatively, you can simply fill it with a layer of river rock or gravel and group other planters inside the tub. This will make it easy to rotate plants seasonally in and out of the quirky landscape feature.


A large, sturdy planter can even become living garden furniture itself. Position an 18-inch stone planter near your patio furniture in a lightly shaded area. Plant with hardy, drought-tolerant succulents, leaving about 4- to 6-inches of room from the top of the tallest plant to the rim of the container. Cover the planter with a tempered glass table top about 24-inches in diameter. This combination table and greenhouse makes an interesting patio feature, and the top will only have to be removed periodically for watering.


Tip: To reduce the overall weight and the amount of soil needed for large containers, partially fill them with packing peanuts or empty plastic bottles. Spread a layer of newspaper and then cover with potting mix.

Hanging Baskets
A basket with ferns and pink flowers

For an easy project, find an area on the porch that needs a pop of color and install hooks and chains. Select your plants. Then, choose a ready-made container with colors and flowers you love for either a sunny or shady spot.


Remember to read plant tags to understand how much and when to feed your plants. When the top of the soil is dry to the touch, water until it trickles out the drainage holes.


Get creative with finishing touches. You can also use a hanging basket in a container. Just cut off the hangers and pop it in a container for instant color.

How to Plant a Large Container
A container with blooms and foliage.

Spring and summer are the ideal time to decorate your front porch, balcony or patio with perennials, hanging baskets and other containers of flowers and ferns. Bigger is certainly better when it comes to curb appeal, and container gardening can instantly create a show-stopping focal point.

For a quick splash of color and guaranteed success, buy ready-made containers with ferns or flowers. You can also buy combinations of plants that thrive in the same conditions, or get creative and personalize a container with your favorite flowers, grasses and foliage.  From planters and baskets to soil and fertilizer, we can help you find everything you need to get your container garden ideas up and off the ground. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.