A bird house gourd is a type of gourd that is dried and made into a bird house by drilling a large hole in the side. It usually has a hanger such as a wire placed into the top section, which allows it to be hung from a tree or other stable object. Because bird house gourds are so decorative, they also make interesting containers for potted plants.
Turn the gourd bird house upright and pour latex paint into the opening of the gourd. The bottom of the inside of the gourd needs to be coated and sealed with paint to prevent the bottom from rotting when exposed to damp potting soil. Move the gourd around to allow the wet paint to coat the inside. Pour out excess paint and allow the paint inside the gourd to thoroughly dry. Position the gourd while it is drying so the paint cannot drip from the opening onto the face of the gourd.
Drill three of four holes in the bottom of the gourd bird house so moisture will drain when the plants are watered. Use a 1/8-inch drill or smaller depending on the size of the gourd. Be sure the holes are not so large that the potting soil can wash out.
Turn the gourd upright and fill the bottom with potting soil up to the opening. Use a lightweight potting soil that contains peat. Garden soil or sand will be heavy when wet and may cause the hanging mechanism to fail if you are hanging the gourd planter.
Plant seeds of your desired plant inside the opening at the required depth. Plants that trail such as verbena or vining plants such as morning glory or cypress vine are good choices. Plant the seeds near the opening so the plants don't become leggy while trying to reach sunlight.
Hang the bird house gourd planter or set it in the garden to enjoy. Add water often since the planting area is small and the soil can dry out quickly once the plants are actively growing.