How to Make Your Own Planter

How to Make Your Own Planter

One way to get creative in your garden is to make your own planters. It gives you the opportunity to be creative, you can match your planters to your gardens, and you can save some money by doing it yourself, rather than purchasing something ready made.

One tried and true formula is the thriller, spiller, filler method. You can have a beautiful planter with lots of visual interest with as few as three plants!


A thriller is a plant with height, usually placed in the centre of your planter (viewable all around, 360°), or at the back of the planter if the planter will be placed against a wall or in a corner. Thrillers can be flowering plants, like snapdragons, or foliage plants, with the classic being a green spike (Draceana), or any decorative grasses (e.g., fountain grass).


Next you choose your filler plants. These are plants shorter than your thriller and generally grow in a rounded, bushy manner. This rounded growing habit will make your planter look full, filling in any gaps you may have. Filler plants are planted around the thriller, but away from the edge of the container (usually around mid-way). Some popular fillers include begonias, petunias or geranium.


Lastly, you select your spiller plants. These plants are ones that “spill” or trail over the edge of your planter. Much like your thriller, spillers add visual interest and dimension to your planter. They help to draw your eye and make the planter appear fuller and larger. For a planter that can be viewed from all sides, your spiller should be placed around the edge of the entire planter, usually at equal intervals. For a planter that’s only viewable from one angle, your spiller should be placed in the front and centre of the container. You can choose from foliage spiller plants, like potato vine, or from flowering ones, like million bells (Calibrachoa).

Have fun mixing textures and colours. Set out your small pots in your container to try out placement before planting everything. Be bold in your choices! Tag us in your planter pictures on social media (@greenwaybloom); we would love to see what you make!


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