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How to Protect a Patio From Water From Planters

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

A patio garden adds color to your outdoor living areas. It is an opportunity to add color with flowers and to grow vegetables in a small space. Salt and iron draining from the containers can stain pavement and wood, though. Salt stains are usually white and less of an issue on pavement than on wood. Orange rust stains from iron are unattractive on any patio. Water damage to wooden decks and balconies is also of concern. Protect your patio from planter water before you start your garden.

Place small planters on drip trays and stands to keep them elevated above the patio. Drip trays catch excess water and stands prevent water from collecting under the planter. Empty the drip trays after each watering to prevent them from overflowing.

Use large trays under larger planters. Place a water heater drip tray, available at most home improvement stores, down before setting the planter on top of it. Most water heater trays are rust-proof so will not stain the patio.

Seal the outside and inside of metal planters with a rust-inhibitor spray. These seal the planter so the metal doesn't rust. Sealing also prevents rust from draining from the planter from the inside.

Place large planters on wheeled carts. Move them periodically to sweep under them then spray off any excess soil that has collected in the area. This prevents mold and mildews from forming under planters.

Cover the patio with black plastic mulch then set the planters on top of it. This works particularly well for seasonal vegetable gardens on balconies, as it protects the wood of the patio while preventing water run-off to the balcony below yours.


Things You Will Need

  • Drip trays
  • Plant stands
  • Water heater tray
  • Rust-inhibitor spray
  • Wheeled carts
  • Plastic mulch


  • Avoid fertilizers with high salt contents. Plants need minimal salt and most of the excess is washed out and onto your patio when you water.
  • Leave a 2-inch space between the rim of the planter and the soil surface. This prevents the soil from washing out of the pot each time you water.


  • Remove plastic coverings and planters occasionally and allow the patio to dry out. Dampness may lead wood decks and balconies to rot.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.