How to make a log planter

Updated July 20, 2017

You can build planters for your garden plants from logs of fallen trees. The log planters last a long time and add character to your garden. Plants that naturally grow on logs, such as ferns and ivies, give a garden a rustic, natural feel as well as add whimsy and enchantment to a garden. Log planters can be used indoors or out and complement log structures perfectly. Building planters from logs is an easy DIY project.

Use a log that is at least 15 cm (6 inches) tall and at least 15 cm (6 inches) in circumference. Choose a log that has a rotten centre if possible; this will make it easier to hollow out. Select a larger log if you want to use multiple plants or one bushy plant.

Put on a pair of leather gloves. Cut one end of the log with a hand saw so the log will stand on its end without wobbling. Use a vice grip to hold the log while cutting.

Hollow out the top half of the log by drilling holes in a circular pattern with a drill and a hole saw bit. Hollow out the log until you are 2.5 or 5 cm (1 or 2 inches) away from the bottom of the log. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the wood between the holes.

Flip the log over so the bottom is facing up. Drill a drainage hole in the centre of the bottom of the log with a drill and drill bit. Make multiple holes around the bottom of the log for larger planters.

Flip the log so the hollow top is facing up. Pour a thin layer of small pebbles in the bottom of the log. Cover the pebbles with a layer of soil.

Place your plant into the log planter. Spread out the root system carefully. Add more soil to the bottom of the log so the top of the roots is just below the rim of the top of the log. Pour more soil around the plant's root system and water thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Log
  • Leather gloves
  • Hand saw
  • Vice grip
  • Drill
  • Hole saw bit
  • Drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pebbles
  • Soil
  • Plant
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About the Author

Rachelle Proulx has been writing since 2000. She co-owns a pet-sitting company, providing her the experience to cover pet care and small business. Proulx is also a flooring specialist who writes about flooring options, preparation, application and maintenance.