How to plant flowers in wine barrels

Written by jenny harrington Google
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How to plant flowers in wine barrels
Pansies add bright colour to a wine barrel. (beautiful mixed flower image by MAXFX from

Wooden wine barrels, sometimes referred to as half barrels, provide a decorative planter for your summer flowers. Wine barrels give you a large planting space, allowing you to grow more than one variety of flower in the container. Use the barrels as accent plantings in your landscaping or set them on patios, walkways or driveways to add some colour and greenery to these areas. There are special considerations when planting wine barrels because of their size and the porosity of the wood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Barrel
  • Drill
  • Filler material
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Fertiliser
  • Transplants

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  1. 1

    Flip the wine barrel upside down and inspect it for drainage holes--all planters require at least one hole to prevent excess water in the soil. Drill four three-quarter-inch holes in the of the barrel if there are no pre-drilled holes, spacing them apart evenly.

  2. 2

    Set the barrel in the area you wish to display it, as it is difficult to move the heavy barrel after planting. Choose an area that receives the amount of sunlight recommended for your chosen plants. Many flowers require six hours of direct sun daily.

  3. 3

    Place filler material into the bottom of the barrel if it is more than 12 inches deep, as flowers rarely require more than 12 inches of soil to thrive. Use foam packing pellets, crushed cans or plastic bottles to fill in the excess space. Filler lightens the planter and allows you to use less soil.

  4. 4

    Combine one part peat moss, one part coarse sand and one part compost. Mix in a balanced, slow-release fertiliser at the rate recommended on the label. Place this potting mixture into the barrel, filling it to within 2 inches of the rim.

  5. 5

    Plant the flower seedlings or transplants into the container, setting them at the same depth they were growing at in their nursery pots. Space the seedlings at half the recommended spacing distance on the plant label. Set taller growing plants near the centre of the barrel and place lower-growing or trailing plants near the edge of the barrel.

  6. 6

    Water the soil from the top until it begins to drain out the bottom of the barrel. Check soil moisture daily and water when the top inch of soil just begins to feel dry. Barrels dry out quickly as the water evaporates through the porous wood. Water barrels daily or twice daily during hot weather.

Tips and warnings

  • Place a 1-inch layer of wood chips or other mulch on top the soil after planting to help retain moisture.

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