What to Plant in Concrete Planters

Whether you are looking for ideal containers for your container garden or just a pretty planter to accent your front porch, consider a concrete planter. Concrete planters are typically larger containers with thick sides that are reinforced with rebar, although smaller concrete planters are available commercially. Because of their weight and size, these containers have several advantages over metal or plastic containers.

Trees and Shrubs

Plants that are top heavy, such as trees, can benefit from the stability that heavy concrete planters provide. Concrete planters provide weight at the root system of the plants that is similar to what a tree experiences from being anchored into the soil. Trees that are subject to high winds, such as those that are left on balconies or rooftops, are less likely to tip over if they are planted in a concrete planter. The added strength of the walls in these planters can also contain the root system more effectively without cracking.


Concrete planters provide more insulation than metal or plastic containers. The insulation afforded by a concrete planter protects the root system from heat stress in the summer and freezing in the winter. Because of this, many cold-tolerant perennial plants that are planted in concrete containers can be left outdoors all year long. Perennials planted in a concrete container system are also subject to less damage from sudden changes in temperature. Perennial plants that don't experience stress from temperature extremes will remain healthy longer.

Rare Plants

Gardeners who grow rare and valuable plants, such as slow-growing agave or expensive herbs, sometimes have to contend with plant thieves. Some plant thieves are brazen enough to pick up a plant container and simply walk away with it. According to Cornell University, a glazed container of annuals was stolen in this way from in front of one of its buildings.Putting valuable plants in a heavy concrete planter discourages would-be plant thieves from picking up containers and walking away with them.


Although bonsai trees are sometimes displayed indoors, this is only a temporary situation. Long-term care of bonsai trees requires that the trees are grown outdoors. Concrete trays make good bonsai containers because the containers are less prone to freezing. Additionally, the heavy base of a concrete bonsai pot helps add weight to the root system for added stability.

Keywords: concrete containers, concrete planters, rooftop gardens

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.