Urn Planters: An Introduction for Gardeners

Flowers growing in 2 black urn planters

If you are familiar with urn planters or are and elected not to use them, maybe it’s time you took a closer look. They have a lot to offer to any landscape.

Urn Planters Have a Long-Standing History

Woman tending to plants in a black grecian urn planter

Urn planters have been used for thousands of years and have been prevalent throughout history. Their use as decorative planters dates back to ancient civilizations. For example, the Greeks and Romans used them in their gardens and public spaces.

They remained popular throughout the centuries. For example, garden urns were prominent in European and Mediterranean gardens during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

In the 19th century, they became popular in Victorian England, used in public parks and private gardens.

Today, urn planters are popular for gardeners, who appreciate their versatility, mobility, and decorative style. They’re used in various settings, from large public parks and gardens to small patios, balconies, and decks. Garden urns come in several styles, materials, and designs.

Why Are Urn Planters So Popular?

In recent years, people have turned more to outdoor living. So, there’s a desire to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces. And that’s led to the increased popularity of urn planters and, for that matter, planters in general.

Urn planters are widely available at garden centers, online retailers, and home improvement stores. So they’re readily accessible to consumers.

In addition, the rise of container gardening and the popularity of indoor and outdoor plants have also contributed to their popularity. Garden urns provide a stylish and practical solution for growing various plants, making them popular for experienced and novice gardeners.

What Makes Urn Planters Different from Other Planters?

Flowers growing in white and black classic urn plantersGarden urns have several unique features that differentiate them from other planter types:

  1. Shape: A distinctive, rounded shape sets them apart. Many come with a pedestal that adds to their distinction.
  2. Size: Urn planters are typically smaller than others, making them a solid choice for smaller gardens, patios, balconies, or decks.
  3. Style: Garden urns have a decorative, ornate touch. As a result, they lend an air of sophistication to a garden setting and serve as a focal point.
  4. Material: You can find planters made with ceramic, stone, concrete, and plastic. So you have a range of options relating to durability and appearance.
  5. Mobility: Many urn planters come with handles. That makes it easy to move them from one location to another.

Compared to other options like flower boxes, railing planters, square planters, or bowl planters, garden urns have a unique ambiance that sets them apart.

Garden Urns Have a Myriad of Uses

Flowers growing in a white urn planter

You can use urn planters indoors or outdoors. They present any number of uses for container gardening.

Due to their unique design, garden urns act as a decorative accent as an entry to a pathway or anchor point for a front porch. In addition, they provide a focal point that adds visual interest.

These decorative planters are ideal for container gardening. You can grow a range of plants in them, from flowers and herbs to shrubs and even small trees. Boxwoods are a favorite planted in an urn to add a formal, antiquated appeal.

You can use one as a centerpiece for events and special occasions. For example, an urn planter with a floral arrangement works well at weddings.

They can be used as memorials, with growing plants serving as a living tribute to loved ones.

You’re not limited to outdoor use, however. You use garden urns to bring a touch of greenery to an office or home. They make a great statement piece.

Types of Urn Planters

Some of the most common urn planters include:

  1. Ceramic: They’re popular due to their durability and range of styles, colors, and sizes. They are better served for indoor use.
  2. Stone: Made from natural stone, they’re as durable a planter as you can get. They lend a sense of permanence to a space.
  3. Concrete: Concrete planters are ideal for outdoor use because they can withstand harsh elements.
  4. Plastic: They’re lightweight, affordable, and available in various colors. Plus, unlike concrete and stone planters, you can move plastic urn planters quickly from one space to another.
  5. Wood: Made from natural wood, they add a rustic touch to a garden. However, they do require more upkeep than most of the other garden urns.

What to Plant in Garden Urns

2 black grecian urns with flowers growing in them

Most gardening urns come in sizes ranging from 12 to 29 inches wide and 12-24 inches high. So, they’re best used for annuals and perennials with shallow roots. Some great options include:

  • Geraniums
  • Impatiens
  • Coleus
  • Asters
  • Begonias
  • Coral Bells
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Bacopa
  • Ivy
  • Lobelia
  • Sedum
  • Sweet Potato Vine

In addition to these plants, ornamental grasses like fountain grass, fescue, and bluestem add texture. They work as a focal point with annuals and cascading plants surrounding them.

Try using a shrub if you prefer a more formal look where the urn receives the center of attention. Boxwoods, azaleas, arborvitae, and ferns add greenery without overly distracting from the garden urn itself.

Larger urn planters let you mix and match plants to create mini gardens in the container. Sticking with plants with similar soil, water, and sunlight needs is essential. And whatever you plant, ensure the garden urn is roughly twice the size of the root system at maturity.

Tips for Using Gardening Urns

What works for most container garden plants applies to garden urns. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use plants with similar growing conditions. For example, don’t mix sun-loving geraniums with shade-loving impatiens. If you place the container in full sun, the geraniums will thrive while the impatiens suffer. Instead, focus on using companion plants.
  • For some urn planters, a cache pot may be beneficial. They prevent the soil from contacting the planter itself.
  • Always consider drainage. If your planter lacks drainage holes, you’ll need to create some or risk standing water that can kill your plants.
  • Select an urn planter that can withstand your climate. If you face harsh winters and intend on keeping your planter outdoors, select a durable material, like stone or concrete.
  • Use a quality growing medium and fertilize your plants after planting at least every two weeks. Plants consume nutrients rapidly in containers. Moreover, nutrients get expelled with drainage.

Count on Root & Vessel for Decorative Planters

We offer planters to meet any gardener’s preference. For example, if you’re interested in garden urns, you can select from our Classic or Grecian urn planters. Both are available in black and white with pedestals to give the planters a more formal distinction.

They’re made from premium plastic for enhanced durability. In addition, they’re UV and shatter resistant, so you’ll enjoy them for years. Our urn planters also offer optional drill-out drainage holes to protect your plants.

Don’t forget to check out our line of Artstone self-watering planters. Made from polymers and stone, they are durable for outdoor and indoor use. In addition, they feature a unique marbled look that makes them stand out from other planters.

Learn about our patented sub-irrigated Water-Minder™ self-watering reservoir that keeps your plants green and lush. Included with all our Artstone planters 5½" and larger.