How to choose a garden planter

There are several issues to consider when choosing a planter.  An early choice will be the aesthetics of the planter and how you wish it to function. In some difficult situations such as high winds where stability is paramount, or south and west facing locations with intense sun where there needs to be a air gap between the planter surface and the planter liner to keep the root ball from overheating, you will have less choices.

large rectangular wood sidewalk cafe planter

Large Wood Planter


After that, you should determine the types of plants you want and what their soil, drainage and watering requirements are. Local Landscape Architects, landscape maintenance companies, or your local nurseries can give you good advice.


Large Rectangular Wood Planter with glass windbreak

Large Rectangular Wood Planter with glass windbreak


Your choice of plants determines soil volume, sun and watering requirements, which directly influence the planter liner depth and width so that your plants grow well as they mature and will not require a lot of extra maintenance.

If you’re thinking of planters that require a waterproof inner liner, pick a planter with a stock molded liner size first, otherwise you may find yourself limited to more expensive custom-welded liners.

Another consideration will be the initial cost of the planter, as well as the lifetime cost of the planter in terms of maintenance, replacement, and plant health.

Long wood planter

Long wood planter

Follow this link to review the attributes of the various planter types, including wood, fiberglass, concrete, metal, ceramic and plastic:

large square wood planters for trees

large square wood planters for trees

Functional considerations for both plants and planters, to name but a few, include:

  • What are the dimensions of the space you have for planter placement?
  • Do you need long planter runs or individual planters?
  • Will the planters be placed on the ground, or on a building level that has weight restrictions?
  • Will they be placed on a hard or soft surface?
  • Will they be in a sheltered or windy location? Stability is a function of form.
  • Will you be planting annuals or perennials?
  • What is the planting volume (liner size) required for the plants to thrive?
  • How will you water your plants, by hand or drip irrigation?
  • Drainage: what happens when they drain or overflow? If they are used outdoors, the size quantity and placement of drainage holes depend on heaviest rainfall amounts in your area, while if placed indoors you may require no drains or “directed” drainage.
  • Will the planters be located where they are easy to install and maintain, or will you be moving everything through lobbies and elevators where permission will be required and other residents inconvenienced by your installation and repeat installations should your planters need to be replaced in a few years?
  • Will you want to add accessories like a trellis, windbreak, or casters?
  • Are sustainability, replacement parts, and a Warranty important to you?
  • Delivery time
Large Rectangular Wood Planter

Large Rectangular Wood Planter


For assistance answering these and any other questions you might have, feel free to call DeepStream at 305-857-0466 and we will walk you through our 32 point check list designed to save you time and money or go to

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