Plants & Growing

The UK’s Best Large Outdoor Planters For Stunning Garden Displays

salad vegetables being grown in a wooden planter

A large outdoor planter gives you more possiblities and flexibility that smaller pots simply cannot. Unlike single-plant containers, planters spanning half-a-metre to a full metre give you ample space and depth to design a ‘living breathing ikebana’ to wow your visitors.

Capacious, rugged, strong, and durable. These are among the attributes sought for in large outdoor planters. —Which make for a study in contrasts because the inhabitants they house are usually small, slender, delicate, and fleeting. Key word, usually – for depending on the planter, you can even plant chunky ornamental trees, thick bushes, or redoubtable cactii in them.

While one or two of the planters reviewed underneath are suitable for only one or two plants, a couple of others are good for creating a mini-landscape of different species. Consider— the traditionally-shaped planters reviewed here vary from a length of only 55 centimetres through nearly double that at 102 centimetres with several sizes in between. Just as important, they also have varying depths: the shallowest one is less than 17 centimetres while the deepest one is more than double that at just under 40 centimetres.

Our array of planters also covers the gamut from the strictly functional to the primarily ornamental. As for that moderately-sized, contemporary stone-finished planter, place it on the patio or the windowsill and try nurturing a profusion of colourful annuals in it for some visual joy.

Though you would do well to line any kind of planter, you really should line planters that have wooden bases to guard against wood rot. You could go the cheap and easy route and use a plastic sheet as a liner, remembering to perforate it for drainage. Better yet, use a layer of porous landscape fabric of the type recommended for planters. Another option is to go with natural materials like a thin matting made of jute fibre or coconut fibre.

Finally, be aware of the needs of the plants you will grow in the planter so that you fill it with the right type of soil. For example, perhaps you’ll need a layer of gravel and vermiculite at the bottom topped up with a sandy soil, or perhaps a rich compost and loam will be the order of the day.

Our #1 Top Pick
Heavy Duty Large Wooden Planter - Outdoor Wood Flower Container Rectangular DeepTrough Box - Timber...
Value Pick
Extra Large 55cm Long Garden Planter Plant Pot Plastic Trough Raised Planter
Also Consider...
EDA Volcania Up Flower Box, Anthracite Grey, 80 cm
Material
Timber
Plastic
Plastic
Colour
Tan
Black
Anthracite Grey
Depth
35cm
24cm
29.5cm
Shape
Rectangular
Rectangular
Rectangular
Price
£46.99
£11.99
£36.09
Our #1 Top Pick
Heavy Duty Large Wooden Planter - Outdoor Wood Flower Container Rectangular DeepTrough Box - Timber...
Material
Timber
Colour
Tan
Depth
35cm
Shape
Rectangular
Price
£46.99
Value Pick
Extra Large 55cm Long Garden Planter Plant Pot Plastic Trough Raised Planter
Material
Plastic
Colour
Black
Depth
24cm
Shape
Rectangular
Price
£11.99
Also Consider...
EDA Volcania Up Flower Box, Anthracite Grey, 80 cm
Material
Plastic
Colour
Anthracite Grey
Depth
29.5cm
Shape
Rectangular
Price
£36.09

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

Underneath we guide you to finding not only a good planter but one that’s right for you. Happy hunting . . . and happy planting!

Best Pick: Ruddings Wood Heavy Duty Wooden Planter

With nary a fault, Ruddings Wood’s planter is delightfully rustic yet oh-so pretty and at the same time this practical item manifests super quality.

If rugged, rustic simplicity could ever be a work of art, Ruddings Wood’s heavy-duty large planter is the exemplar. First, it is perfectly proportioned at 102 x 39 (width) x 35 (height) centimetres (though actual measurements can vary a little). The honey-toned wood has lovely colouration and pigmentation. The three equi-width timbers (about 12 centimetres each) which comprise each side contribute to that ‘just right’ look. And the gently-rising outward taper is another element of excellent design. 

This item is also robust, super-sturdy, and weathers winters very well. Thus, this well-finished product is not only very pretty but is also very practical. A trough-like planter, it has a capacity of 80 to 95 litres. The support posts on the insides of the corners extend downwards to form short feet so that the planter is raised off the ground.

You can grow herbs, beans, and (very) shallow-rooted veggies in the Ruddings wooden planter, but why? You can use one of the purely practical planters reviewed underneath to grow veggies. This specimen of rustic good looks is perfect for a picturesque medley of blooms; just perfect for creating that ‘living breathing ikebana.’

You have nothing to assemble; Ruddings Wood delivers its planter as a finished item that is ready to roll.

Though this product ranks way up there in quality, it is far from ‘up there’ in cost. As such, it is one of those very unusual items that is a best-in-class product yet comes at quite a reasonable price. 

Even in a crowded field, Ruddings Wood’s planter is an easy, self-selecting, Best Pick.

Pros

  • Combines simplicity and rusticity with real prettiness.
  • A robust and durable planter of very high quality.
  • For the overall quality and size, it has an unexpectedly reasonable price.

Cons

  • Ruddings Wood ought to also make a ‘windowsill model’ of this same planter! 
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Value Pick: Thumbs Up 55cm Garden Planter

Made of moulded plastic with a detailed finish, Thumbs Up’s little planter is lacking in sturdiness but this otherwise good item is a super value.

Thumbs Up’s trough-style planter is 55 x 27 (width) x 24 (height) centimetres. It is made of a hard plastic which is the reason it is priced so very low. A bonus of getting a planter made of plastic is that it weighs only 820 grammes. On the small side, it has a capacity of 20 to 30 litres.

It is made of a charcoal grey moulded plastic; however, it has faux slats on each side for some visual interest. The legs too are moulded in relief. They project a good two centimetres so that the planter is raised off the ground.

Thumbs Up’s half-metre container is the right size to set on a windowsill or a Juliet balcony, and to grow a few annuals or other pot plants in. 

This is not a robust or sturdy product and now and then a piece will have a few dings or damage somewhere or another – usually the edges or the feet. However, at the ultra-budget price one can’t complain too much. After all, at its price point this planter is very well made, and is both functional and pleasing.

There is nothing to assemble but you do have to do a teeny bit of work. The planter lacks holes at the bottom but it has punch-out indicators that you need to open up. You don’t need an electric drill, a hand drill or even an awl will do the job.

A good, serviceable planter, it is priced so low as to make it an automatic Value Pick.

Pros

  • Planter is moulded with detailing so as to have visual appeal.
  • Partly attractive, partly functional, this is a serviceable planter.
  • The pocket-change price makes it an irresistible value for money.

Cons

  • Made of plastic, it is not very robust or very sturdy.
  • Small and shallow.
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EDA Volcania Flower Box

Seems like granite but made of plastic, EDA’s Volcania planter looks impressive but, alas, it can bend and even break from the pressure of wet soil.

EDA’s Volcania Flower Box is an understated, chunky planter that appears to be made from granite slabs. Its anthracite grey colour and the texturing heighten the granite effect. But its weight of a shade under 2 kilogrammes is a giveaway that the material is neither stone nor resin.

It is actually made of polypropylene and plastic! And therein lies the rub. (Or, to be faithful to the Bard, “aye, there’s the rub.”) This planter may look sturdy and rugged but it is not – looks can be deceiving, and it tends to deform as the material is rather flimsy. If it is fully loaded with soil that is well-watered, a wall may even shear off from the joins. As such, it cannot be called a good value for money.

This planter is 79.5 centimetres long, with even width and height of 29.5 centimetres. The material’s finish and the block design make it look more massive and bulky than it actually is. Its capacity is 57 litres.

One might call EDA’s Volcania a ‘statement’ planter, not that owners of imposing mansions would buy it. So long as you handle it with care and do not load it, it would be at home and even lend a touch of faux grandeur near the doorway of your little townhome or a contemporary garden because visually it is fairly impressive.

EDA’s Volcania Flower Box arrives in one piece; no assembly required. Though it is not exactly expensive, the quality-to-price ratio is nothing to shout about.

Pros

  • As long as you’re not too close to it, this planter looks very impressive.
  • The texturing and finishing are very effective.
  • Nothing to assemble.

Cons

  • The lightweight plastic can deform under pressure so it must be treated with care.
  • An overload of wet soil can cause the plastic walls to bulge or break.
  • For the quality, the price is definitely on the high side.
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VegTrug Grey Trough Planter

Big and brawny, VegTrug’s hulking tub has no decorative value but it’s ideal for veggies and gets ‘A’s for robustness and heavy-duty construction.

Shaped rather like a tub, VegTrug’s Trough Planter is made of upright planks with three metal bands running around the planter, reinforcing it and making it look robust and also making it actually robust. Its weight of 7.6 kilos is the giveaway to its heavy-duty construction.

The light greyish-brown planks are made of sustainable FSC fir. The base is of plastic to preclude rotting and maximise durability. 

Measuring 90 x 50 (width) x 38 (height) centimetres, it is one of the deepest of (trough) planters in our set of reviews. Because of its 34-centimetre effective depth it can contain just about all shallow-rooted vegetables, including potatoes, onions, and broccoli. In addition, this planter is perfect for small ornamental trees and dwarf trees, not to mention perennials.

Plain and simple, VegTrug’s planter has little, if any, ornamental value. It is sturdy, deep and very well constructed, signalling itself as an eminently practical product. Besides being solid and robust, this planter is also durable. Its materials and construction make it resistant to weather. It is rather overpriced, so, notwithstanding the high quality of this product, it is an open question whether it is a good value for money.

Certainly more of a functional planter than a decorative one, VegTrug’s big chunky tub is ideal for using as a raised bed in the garden year-in year-out for a long time.

Pros

  • Super-practical planter is marked by unusually robust construction.
  • Weighty, hefty, heavy-duty, long-lasting, . . . you get the drift.
  • Very big, but also very deep which makes it suitable as a veggie bed.

Cons

  • Next to no ornamental value.
  • Rather expensive.  
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VidaXL Raised Bed

Scoring a zero on ornamental value, VidaXL’s purely practical planter is solid and rugged; it is ideal for a veg bed as it is so massive and deep.

VidaXL’s raised bed is an all-wood planter made entirely of 30-millimetre pine impregnated for rot resistance. This is a purely practical product with virtually zero ornamental value. It is seriously sturdy and rugged.

This rough and ready planter is best suited to the garden or the yard. The walls are built of staggered lengthwise timbers. It also has reinforcing posts in the interior corners and a pair of widthwise timbers across the base to set it off the ground.

Measuring 100 x 50 (width) x 40 (height) centimetres, this is a very large planter. It has a voluminous capacity of about 100 litres. The timbers at the bottom are slightly spaced apart which is very helpful for drainage.

The deepest trough planter in this set of reviews, VidaXL Raised Bed has an effective depth of 35 centimetres. It is ideal for all shallow-rooted veggies, perennials, and even ornamental and dwarf trees. Besides the likes of potatoes and radishes, you could try asparagus, beans or turnips in this big boy. As with the VegTrug planter, this one will also house bay trees, small olive trees, and such but it would be sensible to employ this one for pragmatic purposes.

VidaXL’s offering requires assembly for which you will need at least beginner DIY skills as the planter is delivered in five pieces in a flat-pack. You’ll need to align the pieces, drill in holes, and screw in 30-plus bolts.

Pros

  • Massive, huge, voluminous, and really deep – perfect for a veggie bed.
  • This very practical planter is sturdy and rugged, and it is also long-lasting.
  • Constructed of rot-resistant pine.

Cons

  • Nothing to look at; no decorative value.
  • It needs assembly – and you will need some DIY skills!
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Idealist Outdoor Planter Pot

Moderately sized, very stylish, and highly ornamental, Idealist’s planter is ‘ideal’ for showing off colourful plants anywhere from deck to balcony.

A highly ornamental offering in urban contemporary style, Idealist’s ‘outdoor’ planter is actually just as suitable for the indoors as for garden or deck. This is because at 80 centimetres in length, and 17 in width and 17.5 in height, it is not big and, as a consequence, can make a statement on a verandah, balcony or even on a windowsill, especially as it is also available in smaller lengths of 60 and even only a dinky 40 centimetres. 

Notwithstanding its size, the 80-centimetre planter weighs a surprising 6.5 kilogrammes which suggests that it is made of a substantive material. This material is reinforced fiber-stone, a resin-based type of artificial marble. The colour is steel grey with a slightly textured matte finish which enhances its minimalist understated design. 

This planter is fairly sturdy, and of excellent quality; add to these qualities its decorative value, and it is surely worth its admittedly high price. The sharp corners are a weak point as they tend to get chipped. Strength seems to vary piece by piece in this hand-made item, for which reason it can also suffer impact damage a little too often. It has two built-in drainage holes.

With a volume of only 24 litres and an effective depth of less than 17 centimetres, Idealist’s planter may not do for some perennials, let alone a veg bed; it is a decorative piece which is a superb choice for annuals, succulents, and small evergreens. And Idealist’s planter is just ‘ideal’ for coleus and croton varieties, and plants like Aglaonema and Aluminum Plant.

Pros

  • Hand-made item is of overall high quality.
  • Of contemporary, minimalist design, this planter makes a big style statement.
  • Absolutely perfect for annuals, succulents, and plants with colourful foliage.

Cons

  • Some pieces are not as strong as others and can break under moderate impact.
  • The corners are a weak point and are prone to chipping.
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Simpa 27L Rattan Pots

Upright and tall, Simpa’s fairly-priced rattan pot can house a good-sized evergreen; it brings a clean contemporary look to a doorway or front room.

Simpa’s rattan offering is the joker in our pack which we’ve thrown in for gardeners who like that ‘something different.’ It is not a planter as such but is a large upright garden pot. It is 51 centimetres high and is 26.5 x 26.5 centimetres at the top. It has a capacity of 27 litres.

This product is available singly, in pairs, and in sets of four. While we suggest the pair in grey, this large rattan pot is also available in black, white, brown and cream.

Simpa’s rattan pot has a clean and sleek look and verily exudes urban contemporary design.

Not so much a garden planter, this upright pot is perfect for putting on each side of a doorway or in the corners of a deck. If you have rattan garden furniture, these pots will match or complement it very well.

These tall pots have a very high centre of gravity when they are empty or when they are completely filled with soil or compost. A bump can knock them over and if that happens, you’ll have a mess to clean up and maybe a damaged plant to care for. Consider putting some large stones at the bottom or anchoring the pots.

There is nothing to assemble; these pots are delivered in one piece. However, they have no drainage holes so you will need to drill or punch out a couple.

Pros

  • The clean, stylish look will complement any home that is in contemporary design.
  • The rattan look is decidedly different from wood, stone, and the usual materials.
  • Available in five colours, and sold singly, in pairs, and sets of four.

Cons

  • The high centre of gravity when filled with soil means that a bump can make it go over.
  • Holds no more than one good-sized plant.
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About the author

Kersasp 'Kersie' Shekhdar

Kersie learnt the basics of gardening as a toddler, courtesy of his grandfather. In his youth he was an active gardener with a preference for flowering plants. He is a professional and vocational writer and his freelance projects have spanned various kinds of writing.

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