Easy Winter Planter Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

  • Written By: Rachel
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Winter is a great time to create some beautiful planters for your outdoor space. Whether you have a small balcony or a large yard, there’s no reason why you can’t jazz up your outdoor space with some fresh flowers and herbs. 

From reusing old items to making use of things never meant to be planters, I’ll go over some of my favorite ideas for planters and also suggest vibrant and useful plants to put in them. 

Planters are practical as a growing device, but they can also be used to help insulate your outdoor living space from wind and noise. They can be used to create privacy as well. Want some ideas? Keep reading! 

Winter Planter Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space
Brighten up your outdoor space this winter with these great ideas

What Can You Use as a Decorative Planter?

It’s a very good idea to reuse anything you have – upcycling is in. I’ve made use of an old brick and block grill to make a planter. I’ve seen several people make use of old bathroom accessories, including a toilet. It all depends on your style and what you have available or what money you want to spend. I’m going to keep it to things that I feel would be decorative more than just practical. 

Outdoor garden ideas for small spac...
Outdoor garden ideas for small spaces : Top 100+ ideas

Creating a Welcoming Wall of Plants

Wall of plants
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

If you have the space for it then why not create an entire wall of flowers? This will not only beautify your outdoor space but also help insulate it from noise pollution from cars and traffic nearby. You can build them, order them, or make them using old wooden pallets. 

  1. Remove every other board on one side of the pallet. 
  2. Using rebar or fencing posts, secure the pallet in the upright position with the boards horizontal.
  3. Using pots small enough, push the pots into the spaces between the front and back horizontal boards. 
  4. Fill the pots with growing medium and plant your plants. 

Using an Old Fashioned Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow of flowers
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

A wheelbarrow is an excellent item to use as a planter. It’s sturdy and durable, and it has wheels which means it’s easy to move around. You can find them cheap at junk sales or second-hand stores or you can even make one yourself by using an old washtub and wheel or a lined wooden crate. Be sure it has enough drainage and you can plant inside of it and then all around it for an heirloom effect. 

Setting Up Some Pretty Pots

Terracotta Pots
Image by Luisella Planeta LOVE PEACE 💛💙 from Pixabay

You can get terra cotta pots for a relatively cheap price or maybe even find some at yard sales before winter. A paint sale at Michael’s and you can have a great project that will add color whether you add herbs to the pots or flowers. I would incorporate pots of all sizes. I’d place the larger ones in the back and smaller ones up front and between the others to form a two-pot wall. Taller plants would be in the back row and thicker plants in the front to make a good wall.   

Get Industrial With Galvanized Troughs & Planters

Galvanized Planters

If you buy the planters, they’re specific to the duty, but if you buy the troughs and they’re set up for good drainage, they are usually cheaper. You may need to look them up as a “stock tank” instead. But these lovely containers are ready to go and usually have plenty of room for all kinds of plants. I love the look of them and honestly want some of my own! They do still rust, but at a very slow rate compared to most metals. 

What Plants Can You Use for Winter Color? 

Winter can be a great time for plant lovers because it’s easy to keep plants alive in cold weather. You just need some thoughtful planning and a little creativity. I wanted to share with you some winter-hearty plants that are wonderful to look at and sometimes practical to have in your garden as well. 

Some plants are just really good at weathering the colder weather, especially in temperate zones. Others you may have to cover on nights when the temperatures get below freezing. Also, be aware that deer will be looking for easy pickings during the winter. So if you plant things that deers love, and you have a deer population around you, try to plant those flowers behind a fence. Always consider how much effort you want to put into it before choosing your plants. 

Winter-Flowering Pansies

Winter Flowering Pansies
Winter Flowering Pansies

These pansies are perfect for adding color to your landscape during the coldest months of the year. They do best in partial shade. They will thrive through rain and snow with little care needed from you—just make sure they get enough water. 



Primulas are another great choice if you want something that blooms in the winter. There are lots of different varieties and colors available, so it’s easy to find one that suits your tastes. They make a great ground cover, so great for the shorter side of your planter.

Wintergreen or Gaultheria Procumbens

Gaultheria Procumbens
Gaultheria Procumbens

If you want something that smells as good as it looks then this is a great option for you! The scent of these plants is lovely and will lift your spirits when things get gloomy outside. Wintergreen is a perennial shrub that has winter berries on it. And if you need a splash of color – most of the leaves turn red in fall and remain that way all winter. 

Christmas Roses

Christmas Roses
Christmas Roses

These roses bloom in December (obviously), so if you want something that’s going to add some festive cheer then these are perfect!

Winter Heather

Winter Heather
Winter Heather

Winter Heather is another wonderful evergreen shrub that blooms in the winter months, and it smells amazing! This plant has beautiful purple flowers that will look lovely wherever you put them.

Cercis ‘Eternal Flame’


Cercis ‘Eternal Flame’ is a beautiful evergreen tree with bright red berries in the winter. It won’t die back like many other evergreens, so you’ll get year-round beautiful color from this plant. It is also drought resistant and the leaves change color for your delight. 

Amelanchier arborea ‘Princess Diana’.

Amelanchier arborea
Amelanchier arborea

Not all berries from your plants are edible, but in this case, we have an exception. If you’re looking for something that’s a little different than the usual Christmas tree but still festive and fun, try the Amelanchier Arborea ‘Princess Diana’. This small ornamental tree has pink fruits that are edible and delicious! They’re great for pies or jam, and they’ll add some color to your yard all season long.



Blueberries are hardy, adaptable plants that can withstand cold temperatures without much stress on their growth cycle. Blueberry bushes need full sun and well-drained soil, so make sure you know where your area falls before planting one of these beauties. They’re great for adding color to your yard when everything else is brown with snow.

What Herbs Do Well in Winter? 

Herbs are always a great choice for planting. Keep in mind, some of them actually are great for planters that insulate because they actually are shrubs!  And you don’t just get the beauty and smell of the herbs, you get to use them for cooking or making oils and syrups from them. Some of my favorites include rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, mints, and basil. 

Keep in mind, most herbs will hibernate over winter and some may need to be covered. But if you can manage that or even have a greenhouse for them, keeping herbs on hand all year round can be practical. You can even use the winter months to grow starter plants inside or in a greenhouse. 

Herbs like tarragon, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, and sage are all good options for winter growing. These plants are hardy and will still thrive in your garden most during a temperate winter. Other edible plants that do well in winter include cabbage and kale. You can also plant or seed your garlic right before winter hits so that the plant will be ready come the next late spring and summer months. 

In Conclusion

I hope you got some ideas for trying new planters and winter-growing plants! The planter ideas are only a few that I collected. You can obviously come up with your own planters or make them from the materials you have around your property. 

These are plants that you can plant in the fall, and they’ll give you beautiful colors or herbs and scents all winter long. Most of these plants are easy to grow, too. Just put them in a pot with some soil, water them regularly, and watch them thrive!