Ways to hang plants from deck rails

Updated January 17, 2018

Decorating your deck goes beyond choosing outdoor furniture and a grill. Greenery and flowers add life, and there are several options for hanging plants along the rails of your deck. Some are tried and true and others are simply artistic. Consider a combination of methods for a full, lush outdoor living space, or choose the balanced lines of a row of baskets for a traditional look.

Hanging Baskets

Make sure the containers are strong and designed for hanging. Plastic can degrade and break when exposed to the elements, so consider sealed metal-wire baskets with sturdy hooks. If your container does not have a hook, make one from weather-resistant wire, as explained at Create evenly spaced holes around the perimeter of the container's top edge and string individual lengths of wire through each hole. Twist all the wires together securely into a closed loop at the top.

Sturdy Screw Hooks

One of the most basic ways to hang plants from the rails of a deck is to install sturdy hooks into the wood by screwing them in tightly, as explained by Candice Pardue of Choose hooks with long screws, as some smaller versions are not sturdy enough to support the weight of a hanging basket. Available in fancy, decorative designs or simple C and eye hooks, all you need is a pair of pliers for tightening the screws into the wood, and you can hang as many baskets as you desire.

Hanging Brackets

Secure a wedge-shaped bracket to the deck rails or posts for a sturdy plant hanger. Available in wrought iron with fancy details, or galvanised metal in simple styles, make sure yours has a strong hooked tip to prevent the basket from falling off. Original-looking pieces are often found at thrift shops and salvage yards.

Window Boxes

As an alternative to hanging baskets, consider installing window boxes to your deck rails for cascading flowers that cover a wide area. Purchase or build sturdy rectangular boxes with drainage openings, and install wooden or metal supporting brackets to the deck rails as demonstrated at Make sure the horizontal supports of the brackets are similar in depth to that of the boxes. Once the brackets are in place, screw the boxes to the supports with weather-resistant hardware.

Tiny Treasures

Create small hanging plants by drilling drainage holes into glass jars with a diamond bit attached to a rotary tool, then put plants in the jars. Wrap galvanised wire around the threaded lips of the jars, leaving two long ends to twist into a loop at the top. Drill a screw into the deck rail and hang the loop from the screw.

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About the Author

Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.