Residential Outdoor Planters Buying Guide

Residential Outdoor Planters Buying Guide

Whether you're seeking to create a warm, inviting outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining, looking to explore container gardening, or revamp your home's exterior décor, outdoor planters are a great addition to any yard, patio, pool, roof deck, terrace, or balcony. Garden planters are also ideal for:

  • Boosting your home's curb appeal
  • Adding height to your landscape design
  • Growing flowers, plants, small trees, herbs, and edible/vegetable gardens
  • Creating borders and dividing spaces
  • Adding privacy

Depending on the size, design, and other needs of your space, one design may work better than another. In this simple step-by-step guide, we will help you find the best planter material, size, style, and the necessary accessories to fit your space in both design and functionality.

Step 1: Choosing Your Planter Material


  • Lightweight
  • Considerably more durable than other planter materials
  • Rot- and insect-proof; won't crack, chip, or warp
  • Weather-proof in any climate, including heat and freezing conditions
  • Available in a range of styles, from traditional to modern
  • Available in several colors and finishes, including high gloss and real metal
  • Most styles include drainage holes
  • Watertight options available
  • Easily customizable

Cellular PVC Composite

  • Looks and feels like wood, but more durable
  • Rot- and insect-proof; won't crack, chip, or warp
  • Inherently white (no painting necessary), with 25+ finish and texture options
  • Matches Cape Cod-style homes and transitional décor
  • Maintenance-free


  • Copper includes solid copper planters and fiberglass planters with ArmoreCoat real copper coating; both will patina over time to a beautiful greyish blue, and will naturally deter insects
  • Wrought iron is powder coated, rust resistant and includes your choice of a metal or PVC liner
  • Aluminum is powder coated inherently rust-proof and includes your choice of a metal or PVC liner


  • Lightweight
  • Double-walled construction (good for insulating plants from high heat and freezing temperatures)
  • Most styles have built-in reservoirs, making them self-watering/watertight
  • Fade-resistant construction
  • Maintenance-free


  • Lightweight
  • Mimics the look of clay pottery, but durable and shatter-resistant
  • UV-protected and fade-resistant
  • Most styles include drainage holes to promote healthy soil
  • Available in a variety of unique shapes, styles, and colors


  • Cedar and redwood garden pots and planters offer charmingly rustic, natural beauty
  • Available with stains and finishes that protect the wood and deter pests
  • Require maintenance over time to prevent water and weather damage
  • Many feature protective liners
  • Cedar planters are naturally resistant to rot, insects, and fading
  • Redwood planters are naturally weather-resistant

Step 2: Choosing Your Planter Shape

Square and Rectangular Planters

Square and Rectangular Planters

  • Can be used as space dividers
  • Great for lining walkways, patios, decks, rooftop decks, pools, and balconies
  • A space-saving way to add greenery to small spaces
  • Can be customized to fit any size
Round Planters and Low Bowls

Round planters and low bowls

  • Can be used as space dividers
  • Great for lining walkways, patios, decks, rooftop decks, pools, and balconies
  • Low bowls can be placed on pedestals, pillars, and columns without blocking sightlines
  • Some manufacturing limitations

Step 3: Choosing Your Planter Size

Small Planters

Small Planters

  • Perfect for flowers and plants with shallow root systems
  • Hold less water and soil dries out faster
  • Great as small design accents; won't overwhelm the space
Large Planters

Large Planters

  • Great for trees and other plants with deep root systems and continued growth
  • Ideal for mixed plantings
  • Holds more soil and water than smaller planters; soil stays moist longer
  • Ideal for larger spaces, creating barriers, and for making a visual impact

Step 4: Choosing your Custom Options and Accessories

Many of our plant containers can be customized in size, shape, color and finish. Other options include custom drainage placement, self-watering systems, watertight options, locking and non-locking casters (for easy portability), and elevating feet.

Not only do our outdoor planters add to your décor, but they also help you grow a healthy, gorgeous container garden in any space. For instance:

Residential Planter Self-Watering Reservoirs

Need help? Have questions? Want to customize your order?
Contact our experts by calling 1-800-896-0978 (Monday-Friday 7am-5pm PT).