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Large Planters Can Transform a Porch: Here’s How to Do It

Think some planters would spruce up your space but not quite sure how to do it?

This guide is for you.

We’ll cover a few guiding principles to help you design the space and then get into different styles and planters and when to use each one.

Let’s crack on then!

Large planters 101

There are a few rules you should follow when you’re designing your new porch with planters.

Pick a theme

First, pick a theme.

Some people choose a theme that closely matches inside their house.

Matching your house closely means that you can accentuate your indoor/outdoor flow. It’s also an effective technique if your home or the home you’re decorating sits within an especially distinctive style.

For example, if the entire house is an authentically renovated French villa, then it makes sense that the porch matches.

An alternative approach is to use your porch as an opportunity.

You can use it to explore a different style and make it its own enclave, where you can be creative with styles and colors you might not want in the rest of your house.

This approach emphasizes the idea that the porch is a tranquil, quiet spot away from the world where you can go to unwind.

The goal here is to develop a cohesive design for your porch that large planters will slide nicely into so that your porch feels exactly how you want it to feel.

One thing to be wary of here is overdoing it with the theme of your front porch. There’s nothing tackier than a theme that’s over the top specific for a niche design era or interest, especially if it doesn’t fit the rest of the home.

Now is not the time to explore your love for Star Trek with a Trekkie-themed porch.

The theme should be more of a vibe or feeling that you’re hoping to cultivate – like ‘modern’ or ‘homey’.

Pick your plants

Naturally, your plants will follow the theme that you’ve chosen for a porch but again, there are some general guiding principles.

For example, unless you’re going for an austere modern look using modern planters, you can’t go wrong with the idea of thrills, fills, and spills. You want plants that:

  • Give your large planter a pop of colour (thrills).
  • Fill the space, usually something small, flowering, and inexpensive (fills).
  • Spill over the side (spills).

Choose plants that will thrive (and plant ‘em right!)

Make sure that whatever plants you use are designed to thrive in your environment.

If you choose to plant a tropical palm in a planter in Texas you’re asking for heartbreak.

There are literally hundreds of plants to choose from for every environment under the sun so no matter where you live you’re sure to find something that you like, no matter what your theme.

Finally, ensure that they’re planted correctly. If you want to know the best way to plant a planter, check out our guide on planting a planter.

Those are the guiding stars: a clear theme (but not too themed), plants that fit the planter and spill, thrill and fill, and plants that work in your environment and are planted correctly.

Now, on to choosing the right large planter for the right place…

Different styles of planters (and when to use them)

Now that you’ve got your theme, it’s time to pick the right planter for the right job.

Fiberglass planter

Fiberglass planters are great for those who want a modern planter that’s minimalist and clean.

Long favored by patio and balcony owners (especially in modern condos and apartments) they excel at keeping a space tidy and sleek, even outside.

If you hate clutter, these are for you.

These sorts of planters lend themselves particularly well to screening and privacy because of the tall, reedy plants that tend to go in them.

Perfect for keeping nosy neighbors out of your business. 

For example, if you have a large porch and you want to divide it into an entrance way and an al fresco dining area off to the side, a few large planters will do a great job of separating off that area for a little more intimacy.

Another example is to screen off the street from your porch, creating a small private world in an otherwise open space.

One thing to consider with fiberglass planters is what plants suit them. Because they are so refined, even stark in their design, it’s important that the plants are equally elegant.

Mountain grasses, reeds, and agave-looking plants are all good options, but the choices now are virtually limitless.

Fiberclay pot

In contrast to fiberglass planters, fiberclay pots are more versatile for porch transformations.

While they still offer a refined, crisp look, they have the capacity to carry a lot more warmth to the porch and suit a broader range of plants (they’re especially good for the spilling part if planter theory).

One particular benefit of fiberclay pots is that because they’re a little more versatile than modern fiberglass planters, you have more flexibility with what sort of furniture you pair it with.

For example, say you wanted to create a small coffee area. With more modern planters, you’re fairly restricted to dark wicker furniture.

With fiberclay pots, you could use whatever furniture you want – a cast iron bench, a swing, a log – their versatility means they’ll work everywhere.

One great technique you can use for fiberclay is to contrast jumbly plants with the smooth look of the planters.

Using something that spills over and explodes with color can create a relaxed shabby-chic feel without crossing over into grandma territory (a perpetual fear for all planter zealots).

We recommend using fiberclay to bring color and light to a space that perhaps has a little more room to play with than fiberglass planters and is looking to create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Artificial hedges

While not strictly a planter, we thought it worth a brief mention.


Sheer versatility.

Small, inexpensive, and zero maintenance, artificial hedges can bring elegance and sophistication to a porch without taking up any space.

If dirt is really not your thing, these are perfect.

In particular, artificial hedges are great for separating a porch from the street, segmenting  a larger space into different ‘rooms’ or even just adding some greenery to a naked porch.

To recap

So to recap:

  • When you’re redesigning a porch or patio, focus on clarifying a theme for the look and feel you want to go for.
  • Use plants that will suit wherever you live and your lifestyle.
  • If you want something that’s low maintenance then got for an artificial hedge.
  • Choose planters that match your theme. If it’s a sleek, modern look you’re cultivating, opt for fiberglass planters. For a more relaxed feel, then fiberclay pots are great. And for minimal fuss, maximum sophistication, an artificial hedge is your best bet.
  • Match your planters to your furniture (and vice versa).
  • Load your planters with plants that suit them. For fiberglass, go for thin and refined. For fiberclay, you have more flexibility – tailor your plants to fit your theme.

If you do all that, you’ll have a porch you love in no time.

Got questions? We’ve got answers. Get in touch today and we’ll give you a hand with all your planter and garden queries.