Grow lots of plants in a compact space with this DIY outdoor plant stand! It features two large planter boxes, shelves for pots, and an arbor on top for beautiful hanging baskets!
After building a strawberry planter a few weeks ago, I've been pondering how to grow more food from the comfort of our deck. This spot gets full sun, and is otherwise wasted space. I designed this plant stand to take advantage of every inch, and also create a bit of privacy.
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The arbor gives me a reason to finally buy those beautiful hanging baskets I always see at the nursery in spring! You could easily hang four baskets, but I'll be growing tomatoes on a string from the outer rungs.
Not quite what you were looking for? Check out these other DIY plant stand ideas instead!
Here's how to make your own outdoor plant stand!
How to Make an Outdoor Plant Stand with Arbor
Download the Woodworking Plans
Before you start, download the woodworking plans for this outdoor plant stand by clicking the box below. These printable plans include a cut list, 3D models of each step, and detailed instructions in a checklist format so you can keep track of your progress!
Build the Frames
The frames for the boxes on either side of the stand are very similar to the planter box with a trellis I built last year. I just made everything bigger!
Drill offset pocket holes in both ends of the top and bottom pieces of the frame. This way, the screws won't intersect in the narrow 2x2 boards. Then attach these pieces to the legs with 2 1/2" pocket hole screws and wood glue.
One side will have really tall legs to support the arbor. This part of the frame will also hold the shelves, so it needs an extra piece in the middle.
Once the four sides are assembled, connect them together with the remaining frame pieces to form two boxes.
Make sure you check for square by measuring the diagonal in both directions to see if they match. Mine were a little off, so I used a long clamp across the opposing corners to force it to stay square while the glue dried.
Prepare the Fence Pickets
I've used this pattern of wide and thin slats on lots of other outdoor projects, like this umbrella stand side table and my outdoor coffee table. Using the same style throughout the yard helps tie everything together!
I like to use cedar fence pickets for the cladding, because it's cheap and rot-resistant. The boards are pretty rough, though, so I always take the time to clean them up with the jointer and planer before assembly.
This milling process is totally optional, and you can just sand them instead. You might notice that some of your boards will "potato chip" like the top one in the stack above. I set those pieces aside to cut into the thinner strips, since they're easier to bend back into shape.
Once all the slats are smooth and flat, cut them down to size. If you don't have a table saw, you can leave them full width and just cut them to length with a circular saw, miter saw or even by hand with a miter box. You can find the instructions for both variations in the woodworking plans.
Attach the Cladding
Start attaching the cladding to the sides of the planter box first, so the exposed ends will be covered up later. These slats should be the exact width of the planter box, so the ends are flush with the outside edge.
To get even spacing without measuring, use a spacer. Just a scrap piece of 1/2" plywood or a fence picket will do. Place the spacer next to the top strip, and hold the next piece tight to it as you nail it down. Then remove the spacer and repeat all the way down the side!
Use exterior wood glue wherever the slat meets the frame. Brad nails can work themselves loose as the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, resulting in slats that sag or fall off. I learned this the hard way with the fenced in area under our deck stairs!
Cut the front and back pieces so they cover the full width of the sides, including the attached slats. Then line up the top and bottom of each slat and nail it into place with a brad nailer or finish nailer.
Insert the Bottom Pieces
I saved the rejects from the cladding for the bottom of the planter boxes. These pieces just rest on the frame without nailing them down. This makes it so much easier to clean out the box at the end of the season!
Apply Finish to Completed Planter Boxes
Before taking the planter boxes outside, I gave them a few coats of finish to protect the wood. I'm using Total Boat Halcyon Clear Marine Varnish, which brings out the beautiful grain of the cedar without changing the color much.
You can wait until the entire plant stand is assembled before applying the finish, but I found it easier to do it as I finished each section. Luckily, this varnish dries in an hour, so I didn't have to wait long before moving on to the next step!
Prepare the Shelves
Once the finish dried, I took the two planter boxes out to the deck so I could decide how long to make the shelves. Arrange them so that the tall legs are facing towards each other in the middle.
I already potted up the vegetable starts into grow bags, so I based my measurements for the shelves on the width of three large pots.
The shelves will rest on a bracket on either side of the planter boxes. I marked where each screw will land on the bracket, and drilled countersink holes for the screws.
Then I gave all the shelves a good sanding, then removed the dust and applied a few coats of the same finish to all the boards.
Attach the Planter Shelves
The bottom shelf support spans the full width of the planter boxes, and lines up with the bottom of the interior frame. Screw the bracket into the frame with 3" exterior wood screws, using a level to make sure it's straight.
The top shelf spans from that extra middle piece of the frame to the back. (Please ignore our dirty deck! It's time to stain it again, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.)
Place the shelf boards on the brackets, and screw them into place with 1 3/4" exterior wood screws. I used the same spacer as before to keep everything consistent.
Assemble the Arbor
The top of the plant stand features an arbor that will allow you to hang baskets or bird feeders above the shelves. You can totally skip the arbor altogether, and just cut all four legs to the same height.
I assembled the arbor as one piece, then attached the entire thing to the tall uprights. First, cut the corners off the 1x4 horizontal pieces at a 45 degree angle for a nice decorative detail.
The top cross supports are made from 2x2s with the corners cut at a 45 degree angle. My miter saw stop block made it really quick and easy to trim each piece without any measuring! I just had to clamp a little scrap of wood to one side so the point lined up correctly.
Set the long 1x4 pieces on their edge with the pointed end on top. I cut a scrap piece of 2x2 to use as a spacer between the two boards to keep them aligned. Then I marked the position for each cross piece, drilled a countersink hole, then screwed them into place with 3" exterior wood screws.
Attach the middle rung first, then work your way out to the ends. The spacer in the middle kept the two long boards parallel to each other.
After applying a few coats of finish, I brought the arbor outside for final assembly. The long boards fit inside the vertical uprights, with two cross supports that sit on top. Rest the arbor on top of the tall legs and clamp it into place. Then attach the arbor to the plant stand with 1 3/4" exterior wood screws from the inside.
Place your Pots and Hanging Baskets
I was so excited to finally get this outdoor plant stand all loaded up! It turned out even better than I imagined!
Tomatoes are in 10 gallon grow bags, which are hidden inside the large planter boxes. When they get a little bigger, I'll train them to grow up a string tied to the arbor above (stay tuned for that tutorial soon!)
Right now, I have carrots, radishes and green onions growing in 2 gallon and 5 gallon grow bags on the shelves. I started some basil from seed this spring, and they're growing quite happily in my DIY mini greenhouse. Soon they'll be ready for a spot on the shelf!
The hanging baskets fill in the center beautifully! They're right at eye level, so it's really easy to deadhead the spent flowers and keep them blooming all summer long.
The baskets hook right over the arbor slats, and you could easily fit four of this size across the entire span. I plan to add drip irrigation to all these plants so I never have to worry about watering again!
This stand creates a gorgeous privacy screen on our deck, and gives us plenty of space to grow vegetables without a back-breaking raised bed. Who says you can't have flowers and produce in the same planter?
Want to make your own? Download the plans for this DIY outdoor plant stand and get building!
- Download the plans.
- Build the frames.
- Prepare the fence pickets.
- Attach the cladding.
- Insert the bottom pieces.
- Apply finish to planter boxes.
- Prepare the shelves.
- Attach the planter shelves.
- Assemble the arbor.
- Place your pots and hanging baskets
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Best Plant Stands for Indoors and Outdoors in
The perfect plant stand is a sort of Holy Grail that has harried interior designers and homeowners for decades now. Sure, everyone loves a nice, big colorful garden, but what about those plants you’re keeping indoors?
What do you use to house them in and more importantly, on what do you place the pots?
Why, a plant stand, of course! And while this may seem like an easy enough task, it’s trickier than it sounds.
After all, you want something that will go with the room’s style and that will stand out enough (though not too much, so that it doesn’t rob the plants themselves of attention).
To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of great ideas for plant stands that you can use outdoors or indoors. But first…
Why Use Plant Stands?
Each plant is special. For the dedicated gardener who spends hours caring for his plants, each and every one of them is a reason to be proud.
A plant stand helps you showcase your plants and with that, the beauty and joy they bring you every day.
When you have something you’ve cultivated from seeds, watched them sprout and grow vibrant green leaves and delicate flowers, it’s natural to want to put them on display.
After all the hours you spend caring, pruning, watering, and arranging those plants, why shouldn’t they get the attention they deserve?
Important: The right plants stand can actually compliment the space it’s set in and “vibe” with the rest of the space. Also, plant stands make plants easier to reach, so that you can better care for them.
Alternatively, you can opt for a hanging plant stand if you are low on ground space. This way, you can still have plants even if you technically don’t have the space for them.
See, there’s a myriad of reasons why you should have at least one plant stand in your home.
And if you want another reason—plant stands are gorgeous. The best ones, at least.
Best Pot Planter Stands Ideas
So we’ve given you quite a good idea why you might want to get yourself a plant stand (or ten), but you might be a little stumped for ideas.
It can be tricky, particularly if you’re not big on the whole decorating thing. Good news–we are here to help.
Plant Stands Indoor Ideas
First, let’s start by looking at some of the best ideas of what you can have indoors. Obviously, these will relate more closely to notions such as color arrangement, space, furniture size, etc.
1. Small Copper Plant Stand
This black little gem is ideal if you’re low on space (think studio or apartment) but want to add a dash of nature. It’s great ‘cause the black goes with plants of any color and, luckily for you, that’s also true for furniture!
2. Gold Planter with Metal Plant Stand
Here to add a touch of royalty to your space, this gold plant stand is a little trickier to fit into your room.
Tip: This one would go well with minimalistic, black and white (or in any case, dark shades), but would be completely drowned out in a room furnished with bright colors.
3. Tiered Plant Stand
This simplistic style stand is ideal for a corner, particularly a well-lit one, and goes well with smaller, bush-style plants. Bigger plants wouldn’t be a good fit, as they would “drown out” their smaller neighbors.
4.Minimalist Modern Metal Plant Stand
They weren’t kidding when they said minimalist! This simple style stand goes well with practically any decor. Be it a completely black room or a colorful artist’s studio, you can’t go wrong with this metal gem.
5. Black Metal Plant Stand
While pretty, this plant stand risks being a tad too simplistic, if you know what we mean. Ideally, combine it either with a brightly colored room or at the very least, a colorful plant to add some life!
6. Tall Copper Plant Stand
This copper stand is a tricky, albeit gorgeous, piece to accommodate. In the wrong setting, it can seem tacky, which is why we suggest going with a white decorum/pot/background (as in the picture) to avoid that effect.
7. Triangle Rustic Plant Stand Pedestal
A delightful stand that will prop up your plants in just the right way for them to get noticed. This stand works well on shelves, coffee tables, as well as directly on the floor—but only in minimalistic-style rooms.
Tip: These are great for Aloe Vera and most other house plants.
8. Stylish Leather Hanging Plant Stand
No space for a plant stand? No sweat, we’ve got you covered airborne style as well.
This leather hanging stand kinda makes it look like one of those old-school shoulder-bags. Both a blast from the past and a piece of decoration from the future!
9. Hanging Plant Stand
This wooden stand looks just like a swing, doesn’t it? It also doubles as a makeshift table to display your gorgeous smaller pots (never put a big, hefty plant pot on this!).
Geometric Modern Plant Stand
You don’t have to be an ace in math to see that this subtle, beautiful plant stand is the perfect piece for your home. If you tend toward angular furniture, then these simple stands are for you!
Black Metal Plant Stand
Don’t want to make a major thing out of your plants? No worries. These discreet metal stands will give your house plants the support they deserve without taking up too much space (or focus!).
Brass Vintage Roller Plant Stand
A subtle, yet shiny brass stand to complement both dark and light-colored plant pots in your house. This stand is a little tricky to match with furniture, so use it in hallways or rooms with either white or brown-ish furniture.
Corner Black Metal Plant Stand
Don’t be fooled by its name, because this leaf-themed beauty doesn’t go well just in corners but pretty much anywhere. Here’s a tip, though: you may want to align it with a coffee house of some shelves of a similar height.
Chicken Legs Metal Plant Stand
A fun idea for those of you who love farming, but also an excellent conversation starter at your next house party! These chicken plant stands give a whole new meaning to “lively plants”.
Vintage Wicker Mini Peacock Plant Stand
Kinda reminds you of the wicker chair Grandma used to sit in on the back porch, doesn’t it? Needless to say, this vintage beauty goes well with… wicker furniture, but also with minimalistic monochrome rooms.
Cast Iron Plant Stand
A subtle, grate-like stand, this piece shouldn’t be used on a wooden surface. However, it would look fantastic on a tiled floor—both inside and out on the patio!
Hairpin Metal Plant Stand
Any hair-obsessed ladies out there will tell you a hairpin is never a bad choice, and the same goes for this gorgeous plant stand.
A minimalist design to add a splotch of light to your room, and perfect for corners!
Desktop Mini Bicycle Plant Stand
Love cycling? Then this tiny stand is the perfect choice for you. A sleek black style that goes well with light-color furniture, this desktop stand also goes well on shelves!
Copper Plant Pot Stand with Moroccan Style Tiles
This understated, stair-like plant stand allows you to play with layers, which can be a wonderful way to freshen up an old room and breathe new life into it.
What’s more, the Moroccan style adds a touch of the exotic to your life.
Gold Plant Stand
There’s no denying that gold and green is a compelling, timeless combo, which is perhaps what makes this stand so epic.
While this stand is a little tricky to place (it won’t go well in brown/honey or brightly colored rooms), the effort is well worth it, in the end, don’t you think?
Spiral Air Plant Stand
You know what we just said about gold and green? Same goes here, especially with that lovely rose tint. Even better, these inexpensive stands add a touch of excitement to your room and actually work best in brown-base rooms!
Indoor Planter Pots Ideas
So we’ve talked a bit about plant stands on their own, but you must be curious about picking the right pot for the stand, which is exactly what this section is about – both the pot and the stand, already matched for you!
Mid Century Ceramic Planter Bowl with Acacia Wood Stand
There is something timeless about this simplistic combo that makes it go well in any setting—from wood tiled floors to glass coffee tables, like in the image. The Acacia wood adds a touch of class to an otherwise surprisingly simple design.
Plant Stand with Pot
This is quite similar to the one we just talked about, but the taller stature makes it more difficult to fit. Ideally, plant this one (get it?) in a room with few pieces of furniture, to highlight it.
Ceramic Elephant Plant Stand
Okay, we know this one’s not gonna be for everyone, but if you’re looking to furnish a bright, colorful room, this exotic elephant-themed piece may just be the perfect thing for you.
Ideally, try to pair it with a couple of other Oriental decorations and accessories, so that it doesn’t stand out too much.
3D Printed Plant Pot with Characters (2 Options)
If you’re looking for something lively, and ideally, if you live with children, these adorable smiley face pots are the best choice.
Tip: They go well with a myriad of styles and can look great both on a surface and on the floor (the standing up one!).
Gold Rimmed Pink Marble Ceramic Vase Planter Pot With Gold Metal Stand
We’re not sayingthis would look great with a bunch of pink roses… But this is the sort of gorgeous planter that would look good regardless of what you put in it! If you want our opinion, use it in light-colored rooms.
Two Textured Standing Planters
There’s something wonderfully simple about these metallic planters, something that gives the impression that you’re using a pot you found to keep your plants it, while at the same time making them look incredibly poised.
Cubus Plant Stand
This stand is idealif you’re looking to furnish a room filled with angular pieces of furniture.
While the sleek design makes it easy to assort, make sure you don’t try to jam it into a room full of round pieces, otherwise, you’ll have a design disaster on your hands!
Plant Stands for Decks and Patios Ideas
While we did technically mention a patio earlier, here’s where we really get going. In the section, we’ll look at some of the best ideas for decorating your outdoor deck or patio with a little greenery.
Butterfly 4-Tier Corner Rack
If you love butterflies (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love this plant rack. Its simple design allows it to blend in well with a white backdrop but also makes it stand out against other colors.
Metal Potted Plant Stand
As we’ve already said, metal goes well pretty much anywhere, which means this sleek, simple stand will go well in various outdoor settings.
What’s more, the black won’t show any potential dirt or wear-and-tear that’s bound to come with prolonged exposure to the elements.
Helix Wrought Iron Plant Stand
Our favorite thing about this stand is that it skillfully combines both a smaller and a larger pot, creating a beautiful impression of scale and contrast. Put a flowering plant in this one to create a nice color combo.
Multi-Tiered Wooden Plant Holder
Okay, we’re no longer playing, this one’s for the real serious plant-lovers out there. The great thing about this holder is that, like we see in the image, it can hold various plant styles and colors and not have them clash!
Iron Plant Stand with Wheels
A wonderfully versatile piece as it’s got basically no color (so no risk of clashing), and can hold any pot style. It’s also good because it can be easily moved around, in case you want to re-do your patio!
Tip: This one’s a real heavy-duty trooper, so don’t be afraid to put bigger plants on it.
Outdoor Planter Stands Ideas
Sticking to the great outdoors, the plant stands you’ll see below go well both on your patio or deck, but also right on the grass in your backyard, or if you like, even in the driveway.
Vertical Cedar Ladder Planter
This ladder-themed plant stand is ideal if you’d like to house multiple flower beds. It’s great because it’s got space for a lot of earth so that your plants can root properly.
Thanks to the stair design, you can do as many plant styles as you like.
A-Frame Plant Stand
This beautiful stand for plants is great to keep smaller potted plants in, and super great for display outdoors (though the simplistic wooden design means it goes well indoors as well).
Thing is, it’s weather-resistant, so it’d be a pity not to take advantage of that!
Leisure Half-Round Wood Plant Stand
The cool thing about this stand is that you can create a progression—bigger plants on the bottom, then smaller and smaller as this half-round staircase goes up.
Stapleton Plant Stand
This sleek, beautiful antique piece goes well with any outdoor furniture, the grate-like design making it universal in many ways.
Ideally, we suggest planting a bright green plant that doesn’t flower on this one, just to create more of a contrast.
Malibu Three-Layered Plant Stand
The greatest beauty lies in simplicity, right? That’s true about this multi-layered plant stand. As earlier, this wooden piece is great to house different-sized plants, going from big to small as it goes up.
Garden Planters Ideas
Moving exclusively to the green part of your property, below you’ll find the best, sturdiest (and prettiest!) planters to put directly out on the grass.
They’re great if you want your potted plants to enjoy some of that delectable sunlight.
Square Iron Cast Plant Stand Set
You know what makes this plant stand set so beautiful? The care and skill with which the iron was crafted, which is both subtle and elegant in just the right away to adorn your garden with any and every type of plant!
Corner Wood Plant Stand
In spite of the name, this lovely wooden piece will look great just about anywhere in your garden. The tall structure means that you really should pair it with a small pot and plant, just to balance it out.
Metal Tiered Corner Plant Stand
This is like a plant emporium—expect to find anything from succulents to gardenias on this highly versatile and expansive plant stand!
What’s great is that the structure is super stable and can be placed even on uneven ground!
Wrought Iron Potted Stander Flower Pot
This plant stand gives the impression of motion through its design similar to wheels. The layers also serve to add extra depth and allow you to showcase plants of different heights without having them clash.
Victorian Kettle Plant Stand
This gorgeous, vintage piece of decorum goes well with older furniture. This is not a design that would go well in a minimalist setting, but ideal to give extra focus to one particular plant in your garden.
Vintage Wrought Iron Planter
This one’s a little tricky because the design allows the earth to seep through the bottom, which is a little counter-intuitive.
It’s also why we suggest you place this directly on the grass so as not to make a mess!
Garden Wooden Box Planter
You know how sometimes you’re planting flowers in the garden and can’t help but think it’s a bit…well, dull?
We’ve got the solution—this raised wooden box planter helps draw attention to your beautiful flowerbed.
Macramé Garden Hanging Plant Stand
You don’t have to be in love with macramé to see that this elegant hanging stand brings light to any space.
The macramé filters the light so that you can use this stand in any outdoor color scheme. It’s lightweight sturdy enough to provide support to your plant pots.
French Vintage Style Metal Planter
Okay, granted that this planter is a bit on the fancy side. But that doesn’t mean you need a fancy, vintage-style garden to fit this gorgeous stand.
On the contrary, its simple elegance allows it to blend well in any and every background.
Hanging Bamboo Planter
This simple, elongated planter is tricky to house because only certain plants can flourish inside its complex shape. However, once you find the right plant for it, this beauty will liven up any exterior wall.
Wooden Plant Stands Ideas
There are countless types of wooden plant stands on the market and you’ll probably have a hard time choosing one.
What you need to consider is how many plants you can fit on any particular stand and how well they would go together.
Another important factor is if they are suitable for the style your house is decorated in or if they fit in with the landscaping design of your garden.
Tier Bamboo Plant Stand
A large stand is an excellent choice if you want to put on display plants of a similar type so they don’t clash with each other.
You wouldn’t want one that stands out taking the spotlight, while the others are ignored, right?
Mid-Century Plant Stand
On the contrary, if you want to put the spotlight on the latest addition to your collection, give it a place of its own.
Tip: Set it against a stark white wall and make sure to give it ample space. Don’t squeeze it in between the couch and the side table or it will be wasted.
Oak Plant Stand
Naked wood is a color that goes well if your house is decorated in a modern style. The simplicity of such a plant stand makes it the perfect choice for a lush plant with big green leaves and flowers.
The stand only has a functional role and doesn’t draw attention to itself.
Bamboo 6 Tier 7 Potted Plant Stand
When there are so many plants that deserve a place in your house, a stand with multiple tiers allows you to create a vertical garden of sorts. A great solution for limited space.
While the pots can vary in size and shape make sure their colors don’t clash.
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