Transforming an old tree stump into a planter requires little work and creates a focal point for your yard. Filled with trailing flowers or sprouting delicate ferns that appear to have sprung from nature, planters made from tree stumps create a natural environment for small wildlife and supports a backyard sanctuary for birds and butterflies. When combined with other natural features, like stones and hillsides, it creates the perfect setting for hummingbird feeders and birdhouses.
Hollow out one end of the tree stump with a chisel. Partially rotted stumps are ideal as the insides can be removed easily and the rotted material provides organic matter for amending the soil. Leave a 3-to-4 inch section of the stump intact to serve as the bottom of the planter. Drill several ½-inch holes in the bottom of the planter for drainage.
Place the planter in the desired location and note the lighting. Many brightly colored annuals require six or more hours of sunlight a day, but there are many that thrive in shade or partial shade.
Select plants that meet the lighting requirements and have similar watering needs. For a sunny location, consider brilliant cosmos, nasturtiums, daisies, coneflowers or even miniature sunflowers. Add cascading waves of color with wave petunias or vining flowers. A shaded location supports brightly colored coleus, delicate impatiens or rich green ferns.
Place several stones in the bottom of the planter to assist in drainage. Fill the planter with soil. A mixture of equal parts all-purpose potting soil, peat moss and perlite makes a porous soil that provides aeration for roots and promotes good drainage.
Plant seedlings to their original depth and firm the soil down to secure the plants. Water thoroughly. Water when soil dries.