These deck planter ideas will help you integrate plants into your deck without needing to get lots of small pots. Whether built-in or freestanding, planters work very well for smaller decks in particular and can often double up as seating, storage, and even backyard screening, complementing any of your favorite patio furniture and the like.
Easy to incorporate into your deck ideas, these planters will suit backyards of all styles and sizes. We've also selected options for a wide range of budgets – from permanent built-in designs created by landscape architects to freestanding planters you can buy online for a couple of hundred dollars.
1. Combine planters with built-in seating in small spaces
One of the most satisfying deck planter ideas, this gorgeous design by On Common Ground Landscapes (opens in new tab) features concrete planters along the perimeter of a small urban backyard with seating attached. A great space-saving, contemporary design that city dwellers with small decks will appreciate.
2. Alternate planters of different heights for a playful effect
If you want a movable solution for a decked terrace or balcony, containers are your best bet. Choose sleek geometric shapes for a more streamlined look. You can also play with color for more design impact, as in this playful alternating container arrangement on a decked roof designed by Amber Freda (opens in new tab).
3. Consider vertical planters
Vertical garden ideas are worth exploring if your outdoor space is really tiny. Mounting wooden raised beds onto a wall is the easiest – and most impactful – option, and the wood of the beds will harmonize with the wood of your deck.
4. Pick slimline planters for small decks
Typically, decked outdoor spaces look better with taller and slimmer designs rather than squat and sprawling ones. The slim planters on this rooftop deck by Reveal Design Chicago (opens in new tab) create an unobtrusive lining of plants, keeping the center free for the furniture.
5. Invest in a planter with trellis
Need to conceal a neighboring backyard? You need to look into trellis ideas. Installing a separate trellis to your existing planters is an option, but it's much easier to get a planter that already has a trellis attached to it. For best results, choose a finish that matches your deck. The Wood Planter Box with Trellis is from Wayfair (opens in new tab).
6. Improvise a raised bed
Raised beds are a must if you're considering a veggie garden, but damp wood will not be kind to your deck. Fortunately, there is a simple solution – prop up yours with terracotta pots to help preserve your deck. Or you could attach castors to the bottom and make your raised bed mobile.
7. Get a planter that doubles up as storage
Need clever garden storage ideas for a compact deck? Your planter could provide the solution. In smaller spaces, all items, including planters, need to work harder, so why not pick a design with an additional shelf for storing your tools and wellies? The Ashok Wood Planter Box is from Wayfair (opens in new tab).
8. Choose a bicycle planter for an elegant look
One of the main concerns when exploring deck ideas with planters is whether your chosen planters could eventually damage your deck. To prevent rotting or splitting, always go for a slim, lightweight design that will make a minimum of impact on the wood. Why not consider a delicate wired design? A bicycle planter can be bought from Amazon (opens in new tab).
What can I put under planters on a deck?
If you are going for a heavier option and are concerned about stains and/scratches and splitting, you can attach pot feet to your planters. Pot feet can be bought on Amazon (opens in new tab) and work in much the same way protectors work on your indoor furniture. Pot risers (opens in new tab) can also work quite well. You can also, as a last resort, line the bottom of your planters with plastic sheeting cut to size.
How can I attach a planter to deck railings?
If you really don't want to put anything on top of the deck itself and have deck railings, you have a great alternative location for a slimline planter or trough. Deck plant hooks can be bought from Amazon (opens in new tab) and don't involve any drilling – you just clip them on. Of course, you will need to measure your planter and make sure it's the right size for the hooks. You can actually buy planters with hooks, also from Amazon (opens in new tab), which makes the job even easier.