What to Plant in a Half Whiskey Barrel

wine barrel image by Stanisa Martinovic from Fotolia.com

Old whiskey and wine barrels are easily recycled into new container gardens. Half barrels are also a cost-effective means for planning a large container garden. In many cases, a half whiskey barrel can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of a ceramic or terracotta pot of the same size.

Whiskey barrels also add a rustic look to your container.

Flowers and Greenery

mums in a barrel image by Ann Kosche from Fotolia.com

Most container plants will look good in a half barrel. Try colourful gerbera daisies or impatiens surrounded by a cascade of vinca, which is very drought and heat resistant. Marigolds, dahlias, zinnias and petunias also thrive in container gardens. Some other, more unusual, plants to consider include crocodile fern, kangaroo paw, thread agave, golden dracaena, calathea and waxflower. Whatever you choose, plant the tallest flowers in the middle of the barrel with flowing, cascading plants around the edges.


Another option for a half whiskey barrel container garden is to grow a variety of edible plants. Bell peppers and watermelons will thrive in a barrel garden. Blueberries love acidic soil, and the half whiskey barrel will help control acidity in the soil while also providing the necessary drainage. Dwarf fruit trees are another option. Almost all fruit trees come in a dwarf variety, so you can enjoy a variety of citrus fruits, apples, peaches, pears, plums and even figs, all grown in your very own container garden.

Water Plants

With proper preparation, you can grow water plants in your barrels and enjoy the added dimension of koi fish in your patio garden. In most cases, you will need a liner for the barrel as well as a filter, gravel and other accessories to properly maintain this miniature ecosystem. Plants such as water lilies, hyacinths, irises and locust are options for planting in your half whiskey barrel water garden.