You can use just about any container or vessel you can think of to make a beautiful and unique planter, and bowls filled with beautiful blooms are always some of my favourites. Read on to find out how to use a bowl as a planter!
I found this really fun old pyrex bowl in a thrift store recently. I loved the blue color but it was just a bit scratched up so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show how to use a bowl as a planter! I’ve been having fun using a few different unique containers for my planters this year, but I think this one may be my favourite so far. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of the really valuable pyrex bowls, this is just from a mixing bowl set made in the 80’s or 90’s. 🙂
You can also see how to use galvanized buckets as planters here: Using Galvanized Containers as Planters. I also have a post on using baskets as planters coming up, so keep an eye out for that one! 🙂
How to Use a Bowl as a Planter
There are a few different ways that you can go about using bowls as planters. The first issue we’ll need to discuss is drainage.
The most straightforward way to deal with the drainage issue is to drill a hole in the bottom of your bowl. If your bowl is ceramic, plastic, or made of wood, then this should be fairly simple.
If your bowl is glass like mine, then you’ll need a diamond tip drill bit to drill your hole.
Of course, there’s always a risk that your bowl may break when you try to drill into it so you may choose not to drill a drainage hole at all. If this is what you choose to do, you have some options!
How to Use a Bowl as a Planter With No Drainage
The first thing you can do is to use your beautiful bowl as kind of a “planter cover”. To do this, you’ll need to find a slightly smaller, more drill-able bowl to fit inside your planter bowl to actually hold the soil you’ll be planting in. Once you’ve found the right size bowl, you can just drill holes in it, and remove it from the outer planter cover bowl every once in awhile to allow for full drainage. Try looking for a large plastic or metal mixing bowl. If you use plants that get really full and trail over the edges of your planter, you shouldn’t be able to see the inner bowl at all!
The other option is to keep your bowl completely drainage free. This is a great option if you don’t mind baby-ing your planter a little bit. 🙂 You generally want to keep it somewhere that it will be covered so that your bowl doesn’t fill up and overflow when it rains. Of course, you’ll also need to water it yourself regularly because the rain won’t be of any use to you.
This last option is what I went with this time around because I was a bit nervous about the possibility of breaking this cute bowl that I’d found and I’ve been having a lot of luck with some drainage-free houseplants lately. I’m also outside every day, so I don’t mind having to watch over this cute little bowl planter a little bit.
Filling My Bowl Planter
To start out, I filled the bottom section of my bowl with wood chips. These provide a tiny bit of drainage and they also make the planter a little less heavy. The weight issue isn’t such a big deal with a little bowl like this, but bigger planters can definitely weigh a ton once they’re filled!
Next, I filled my bowl up to about half full with potting mix.
Then it was time for the fun part!
Since I was going for a really full looking planter, I simply placed all of the plants that I wanted to use down on top of the potting mix where I wanted them. When I was happy with how things looked, I just filled in around the plants with a few more handfuls of potting mix.
For this planter I used:
- Sweet Potato Vine
- Purple Wandering Jew
- White Salvia (It’s there, it just doesn’t have any flowers yet!)
- Wizard Mix Coleus
I’ve always loved the look of bowl planters, so it’s really fun to have one of my own now and I love the pop of bright blue on my deck!
Have you ever tried to use a bowl as a planter? What tips would you add?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.