Unique Ideas for Small Plant Pots

Written by colleen reinhart
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Unique Ideas for Small Plant Pots
Colourful pot choices make your garden even more vibrant. (Flower pot image by Pupurup from Fotolia.com)

Although you can express your creativity with the plants you choose to grow, you can take self-expression a step further by picking unconventional pots in which to display the fruits of your gardening passion. Whether you're growing a fleet of herbs on your kitchen counter or a collection of flowers on your front porch, thinking beyond the traditional terra cotta can give your garden some character.

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Old Bowls and Cups

Don't ditch your old teacups just yet. They can make colourful pots for smaller plants, as can other old china that you've hanging onto. You'll need to add drainage holes to turn your dinnerware into functional planters, and for this, Martha Stewart recommends using a high-speed rotary drill with a bit designed for ceramic. Another option is to get crafty and use pieces of old plates to make a mosaic on the outside of a traditional terra-cotta pot. Hot-glue pieces of broken ceramic to your pot, leaving small, even spaces between each chunk. Then use grout to fill the crevices between pieces.

Unique Ideas for Small Plant Pots
Adding a drainage hole to your teacups turns them into planters. (teacup image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)


Wicker looks whimsical and country without sacrificing class. Baskets work well as pots for the ground or as suspended planters. Put a number of flower species in one large basket to make a mini flower garden, or use smaller baskets as pots for individual plants.

Unique Ideas for Small Plant Pots
Baskets look beautiful as hanging pots. (Basket image by prinzesa from Fotolia.com)

Chalkboard Pots

Martha Stewart points out that chalkboard paint is available at most hardware stores, and adds flair to traditional terra-cotta planters. Coat an entire pot or just paint the rim. You can draw pictures and words on your pot and erase them to draw new designs whenever inspiration strikes. This idea works particularly well for countertop herb gardens when you want a creative way to label and identify your cooking plants.


A pair of old high-tops or a set of wooden clogs make cute gardening pots. Line up a few pair in a row along your window ledge for an endearing display of greenery. If you have a larger garden, mark the entrance and exit with a pair of planter shoes at each side of the pathway or gate.

Unique Ideas for Small Plant Pots
Filling your clogs with soil turns them into small pots. (Dutch wooden shoes image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com)

Galvanised Buckets

The rust and wear on used galvanised buckets give them built-in character. If you don't have any hanging around, you can buy them new for less than traditional pots, and they'll age as your plants grow, according to Old Fashioned Living. Drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Just like with baskets, these nonconventional pots work well as ground or hanging planters.

Bucket planters look rustic hanging from hooks and porch columns.
Bucket planters look rustic hanging from hooks and porch columns. (Buckets image by Dawn from Fotolia.com)

Old Mailboxes

Old mailboxes come in a number of styles and make charming pots. Turn them open-side up and put them on the ground with some more traditional pots, or nail them up on walls or fence posts. Depending on the mailbox, you may need to drill drainage holes. Test by filling the mailbox with water and seeing how much water runs through existing cracks.

Mailboxes can hold marigolds as well as mail.
Mailboxes can hold marigolds as well as mail. (mailbox image by Sebastian from Fotolia.com)

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