The best planters and plant pots for your garden

With plenty of innovative materials and lovely containers, we've rounded up the best plant pots available.

The best planters and plant pots for your garden

by Jill Morgan |
Updated on

You can’t beat a stunning outdoor planter for dialling up the patio style stakes and giving your prized outdoor plants somewhere to bloom magnificently. And as exciting new materials are being used to manufacture these garden must-haves, there are plenty of innovative and beautiful designs to choose from.

Improvements mean that all sorts of complex shapes and seamless finishes are now possible, along with practical upgrades delivering extremely weatherproof planters, lightweight containers that are easy to move, and smart pots that help to keep your plants alive. Whether you're growing flowers or cultivating your grow-your-own veggies, a decent garden planter gives you the perfect vessel.

Best garden planters and pots at a glance:

Best overall garden planter: Elho Fuente Rings Round Flower Pot – View on Amazon UK
Best trough garden planter: Muddy Hands Set of Three Long Terracotta Trough Planters - View on Amazon UK
Best decorative garden planter: Hum Flowerpots Set of Three Patterned Plastic Plant Pots – View on Amazon UK

We've rounded up the cream of the crop, so you can pick the best plant pot for you, whether you want one with luxury finishes or a budget pot, we've got you covered. We've even included a few eco-friendly ones, which are made from recycled or sustainable materials.

The best planters and pots for your outside space

Best overall garden planter

Elho Fuente Rings RoundElho/Amazon

Made from waste plastic, these sleek, seamless planters are lightweight, yet rigid and a great choice for a modern garden as they're easy to move around. Naturally watertight, this material is happy to be left outside year-round without cracking or fading, and there's the choice of having a pot with or without drainage holes, which is ideal if you fancy experimenting with aquatic plants or reeds. Choose from a range of sizes and colours.

Pros

  • Made from 100% recycled materials
  • Plug in the base

Cons

  • Only available in three colours

Best terracotta garden planters

terracotta potsEsschert Design/Amazon

Terracotta is a perennially popular material for garden pots, planters, and containers. We love this three-piece set of round pots from Esschert Design for its realistically aged looks, bringing some vintage gravitas to your garden. These have a very rustic finish and feature a "maker's" stamp of "Robert & Stevens Potters" along with a date of 1875. This three set of pots looks great grouped together with the different heights offering visual interest.

Customer review: "I found these to be value for money, they are a little bit rough round the edges but I find that to add to the rustic charm of them. They arrived well packed and nested together."

Pros

  • Attractive aged effect
  • Set of three

Cons

  • Not lightweight

Best wheeled garden planters

Pure Soft Brick Divider Trough With WheelsCrocus

Derived from sustainable, plant-based sources, this material brings tough-guy credentials to your patio with a high-quality product that will last for many years. UV fade-resistant, they can be safely left out in all weathers and temperatures. These robust containers can cope with knocks and general wear and tear, so they're great for high-traffic areas and will look good for seasons to come.

Pros

  • UV-resistant
  • Wheeled base

Cons

  • Large footprint

Best trough garden planters

Trough pots Muddy Hands/Amazon

Trough-shaped garden planters are a popular choice for any style of outside space. They look fabulous edging a patio or deck, work well lined up alongside garden walls and fences, and also work as standalone plant pots. This set of planters from Muddy Hands gets you three 60cm troughs with a width of 20cm and a height of 17cm. These are made of sturdy plastic in a classic terracotta colour. These versatile troughs can be used for any kind of planting.

Customer review: "Ideal planters. I am very pleased with the troughs which are sturdy and ideal for purpose (they would look just as nice outdoors with plants in them too). I would highly recommend these troughs."

Pros

  • Versatile usage
  • Set of three

Cons

  • Need to drill drainage holes

Best tall garden planter

Wickes planter Wickes/Strata

Tall planters can bring height and visual interest when placed amongst areas of planting, but also look great positioned as standalone pots on patios and decks. This lightweight plant pot is made in the UK from high-density polyethylene. This durable material means they are not just weather-resistant, but also frost-proof. If you want the height this planter offers, but know your plant isn't going to need 45cm of growing room, you can fill the base with gravel or rocks to save using too much compost. This will also help stabilise it.

Customer review: "Just what I was looking for. Lovely tall pots in modern slate grey appearance. Really set plants off."

Pros

  • Textured finish
  • Frost-proof

Cons

  • Requires a lot of compost

Best wooden garden planter

Oakwood planter Sankey/Wickes

We've always liked wood as a material for plant pots, and it's an ever-popular choice. This rustic-style small half barrel will look fabulous planted with some more blousy flowers, such as phlox, geraniums, azaleas, and even flowering hebes. While this bring the wood good looks, there's none of the hassle as it's made from recycled plastic, making it lightweight and durable. This measures 49cm in diameter and comes with no drainage holes, useful if you want to create a small water feature.

Customer review: "Good sturdy pot. Made of thick plastic, no halls pre drilled if you like to use it for mini pond... Big enough to fit few veggies or big flower displays."

Pros

  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Realistic wood effect

Cons

  • No drainage hole

Best glam garden planter

Cromarty plant pots Amazon/SG Traders

Do you want to add a bit of bling to your outside space? This pair of Cromarty plant pots will help you do just that. If gold is too much, they are also available in silver and copper, or if you want to be more traditional, blue and green. These are made of durable, UV-resistant plastics and feature four predrilled drainage holes to save getting the toolbox out. These come in three diameters; 30, 36, and 40cm.

Customer review: "They are a lovely colour and great size... well worth the money. So happy with them."

Pros

  • Available in a range of colours
  • Three diameter options

Cons

  • Might be too over the top for some

Best wall garden planter

Wall planter Optimal Products/Amazon

Wall planters are a fabulous way to make the most of vertical space, whether that's a garden wall or a fence. This set of four planters will allow you to add a real splash of colour to your outdoor space. You can plant any trailing plant in these - or think what you'd put in a hanging basket, such as begonias, petunias, and nasturtiums. These have pre-drilled hanging holes and come in black or terracotta, and in 31cm and 42cm widths.

Customer review: "Absolutely love them, used for hanging strawberries. Pretty big and sturdy will deffo buy more."

Pros

  • Pre-drilled holes
  • Available in different colours

Cons

  • Only available in two sizes

Best hanging garden planter

OGIMA plantersOGIMA/Amazon

These planters help you make the most of unused garden space as they can be easily hooked over fencing and look fabulous placed on decking rails. They come in more sedate black and white options, but we like this set of four coloured pots that will bring some bright tones to your garden while you're waiting for your flowers to bloom. These have one pre-drilled hole in the base, measure in at 27cm wide, and are made of metal.

Customer review: "These are a good size and better quality than I expected for the price. The hanging brackets are reasonably sturdy, with enough give in them to bend the bracket to suit the fence size or adjust the hanging angle of the pots. Very happy with these and I'll be ordering more for my other fences."

Pros

  • Hanging hooks
  • Available in a range of colours

Cons

  • Will rust over time

Best decorative garden planters

Hum flowerpots Hum Flowerpots/Amazon

We love Hum Flowerpot's vibrant garden planters that will bring colour and patterns to your planting scheme. These plant pots have a 22cm diameter and are made from recyclable polypropylene plastic which is both fade and frost-resistant. The best thing about these pots is the amazing range of designs they are available in. Whatever your garden style is, you'll be sure to find a Hum Flowerpot planter to suit it.

Customer review: "I love the colour and the quality, my bulbs are in and they won’t crack with the weather. I bought three sets. People admire them."

Pros

  • Gorgeous patterned designs
  • Frost-proof

Cons

  • No drainage holes

How we chose the best garden planters

All of these garden planters have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the style, durability, and materials in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching garden planters to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Why grow in garden planters?

Container gardening is a strong option for anyone with limited outdoor space or anyone who can't dig into the ground. Unless you opt for absolutely gigantic versions, pots and planters are generally easy to move around your garden.

You can grow pretty much anything in correctly-sized garden planters, from decorative flowers to delicious tomatoes. Shrubs and even small trees can look fabulous in planters, giving your garden some height.

Containers also give you the ability to add some chic decorative touches to your outside space, whether that's touches of traditional terracotta, or vibrant patterned pots to bring a splash of colour.

How to care for plants in containers

Plants in garden planters will require your attention throughout the year. With limited compost and surface area, such plants will need regularly watering in the warmer months, periodically feeding with plant food or fertiliser, and ensuring they don't become waterlogged in wetter times.

Watering is simple - just grab your trusty watering can or garden hose and give your precious plants a daily dose of aqua. The RHS states that it's best to water most plants in the mornings if you can, as this is when the sun comes up and plants will start to use water.

Feeding plants just requires investing a small amount in some good quality plant food. There are hundreds of varieties available, some tailored to specific types of plants, but for most average gardeners, opting for an "All-Purpose" plant food will do the job. There will be instructions on the bottle, but generally, you dilute plant feed and administer it once a week.

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Jill Morgan writes regularly for Modern Gardens, and loves everything to do with gardens, plants and outdoor living. Her long thin, town garden is the setting for many family and creative projects from bird feeding and veggie growing to den building and mini-pond dipping.

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