A wall planter is a unique and great way to display beautiful plants in your outdoor space! It can also be used indoors but today, I will be only covering outdoor wall planters.

I plant just about anything I can get my hands on including pallets, bicycle baskets, wine barrels and even chicken feeders! Yes, a chicken feeder! If you don’t believe me, check it out below. If you want to learn how I did it click here for the link.

Fall planter idea with DIY chicken feeder

I have had this heavy duty wire urn for many years and never have had the place to hang it. The one issue with wall planters or hanging planters is that water does drain from the bottom and can cause staining on siding. They are good when hung on fences or railings, or as in the case of ours, on a rock wall.  Just before I jump into all the details of planting a wall planter, lets explore some basics.

Empty urn wall planter hanging on a french door

Choosing the best wall planters

There are many different types of wall planters available such as ones made of fiberglass, iron, heavy plastic, felt, wood, ceramic, etc. Pick one that has lots of space to insert the plants along with enough soil. You do not want planters that have small spaces as your plants will lack nutrients and moisture and they will not thrive.

If you live in a cold climate, do not choose terra cotta planters because the terra cotta can soak up the moisture and if it freezes, the planter can crack. A ceramic wall planter could also crack in colder climates if you leave them outside.

A couple of other points to consider when choosing a wall planter are: 

1) the planter has many drainage holes so that excess water drains out.  You do not want your plant roots to be continually wet.

2)  ensure that the planter has good support structure to hold the shape of the planter and also to accommodate the weight of the soil and plants.

Where can you find moss?

​As you will see in my project, I backed the urn with a coconut coir sheet.  I don’t particularly like the look of coconut coir so that is why I only used it on the back.  

As for finding moss, check out your local garden centers in spring because they usually stock up on moss for all the spring projects.  You can also check online but make sure you are getting moss for hanging baskets, not moss for crafts.

You could also go for a hike in the woods and look for moss there.  You may find it on fallen trees or rocks in the shade.  I am lucky enough to have moss growing in several places on our property.  Moss is easy to harvest.  While wearing a good set of gardening gloves, simply slide your hand under the moss and loosen it.  Try to get as big of continuous pieces as possible as this will make constructing your moss wall planter much easier.   Bring a heavy duty bag because moss is often quite wet and will be heavy.

What are the best plants for a wall planter?

Shade or sun?

When considering what plants to use, you must first consider whether your planter will be located in a sunny area or a shady area.  Once you know this, then head to the area of your garden center for either sun or shade loving plants.  I typically pick annuals because they are less expensive and because in Canada most flowers and plants become dormant or die during the winter.  I also pick small plants and allow them to grow in place and fill in.  Larger plants may be difficult to squeeze into the wall planter.

Vines

Wall planters are a vertical garden and hang on a wall or fence, so it is a good idea to pick vines or cascading forms of plants so that they can hang down the wall planter.  Plants that I would suggest are petunias, fan flower, ivy, fuschias, potato vines, snapdragon vine, black eyed susan vine, bacopa, lobelia, creeping jenny, trailing geraniums.

Succulents

If you are looking for something drought resistant and hardy in hot temperatures, consider succulents.  They come in so many varieties which would allow you to plant a strictly succulent wall planter and it would be gorgeous.  Once again, I would start with small succulents so that they are easier to insert.

Upright plants

At the top of the planter, it is always good to plant some upright plants such as geraniums or gerbera daisies for height.

No green thumb?

You could actually fake a wall planter by using artificial plants.

If you are wanting to get your plants started early, I saw this great greenhouse diy that you can make with a china cabinet. Come check out Jenny from Refresh Living’s project by clicking this link.

So let’s get started…

Materials required for a wall planter

  • a planter that can be hung on the wall and is at least 6 inches deep
  • moss
  • coconut coir sheet large enough to line the back of the planter
  • soil – use top quality soil with fertilizer in it
  • flowers & vines
Urn wall planter with coir sheet, plants and moss

Step 1: Preparing the wall planter

Lay the coconut coir sheet on a flat surface. Place the wall planter on top. Trace around the back of the wall planter and then cut out.  Insert the coir sheet into the back of the planter.

Wire urn wall planter laying on a coconut coir sheet
Wire urn wall planter with a coconut coir sheet inserted as the backing

Step 2: Adding soil, moss and plants

Pour some soil near the bottom of the wall planter on the coconut coir sheet. Place moss at the very bottom and then push the soil in between the coconut coir and the moss. Continue building up the base with soil and moss.

Wire urn laying down and adding soil
Adding moss to urn wall planter

About 3 inches from the bottom start adding plants here and there. Make sure there is plenty of soil for the plant to sit into and then tuck moss in all around the plant.

Inserting bacopa into wall planter

Continue doing this all the way up until you reach the top of the planter.

Adding plants to wall planter
Adding plants to wall planter

Make sure there is a good amount of moss at the very top to form a type of wall so that the soil does not fall out the front.

Placing moss at top of wall planter to retain soil and plants

Now add plants at the top of the planter that are more upright at the back of the planter and then continue with trailing plants at the front of the planter.

Placing moss at top of wall planter to retain soil and plants

The finished wall planter

Here is the planter just after planting.  It looks a little sparce but it will fill in.

Fully planted wall planter with green vines, succulent vines, bacopa, fan flower, etc.

Here is a photo of the planter part way through the season.  It looks fantastic and the plants are growing nicely.  I must admit that I was disappointed that the fan flower plants that I planted in the middle of the planter did not fill out more.  With every season I learn something new and would definitely add a few more plants in the future.

Wall planter mid season with plants filling in.  Hung on solid rock wall.

Wall planters are an excellent addition to your outdoor living space especially in areas where you have a good amount of vertical space.  The good news is that they are also very easy diy projects.

I hope you enjoyed this project and that you give one a try!

What do you think?

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2 Comments
  • ANGEL G.
    May 30, 2023

    I love this mossy look! Thanks for the Inspiration.

    • Crystal
      May 31, 2023

      Thank you so very much! I appreciate your kind comment!