Large planters for your garden can easily cost $200-$700 or more – yikes! If you want to garden on a budget, you need these 10 tips to find large cheap planters to save you lots of money!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Cheap Planter Ideas
The best place to find inexpensive large planters and pots may be as close as your own two hands. Yes, with your hands and a little savvy, you can have beautiful, large planter pots. In other words, you can make your own planters, yo.
Many large planters that are on the market are priced the same as a major kitchen appliance.
Although you may like the look of the planters that cost between $200 to $700 dollars or more, there are lots of other things we can spend that money on (like paying down debt or saving money for an emergency fund).
Let’s take a look at how we can cut the dollars spent on enhancing our patios, decks, porches, and gardens but still have a look we LOVE!
More helpful gardening posts for you:
- 9 Ways to make money gardening (up to $1000/month!)
- How to garden on a budget
- Top tips to landscape on a budget
- 5 DIY food gifts from your herb garden
- Perennial vegetables: grow these 5 veggies to save money on your garden
Large Cheap Planters – 10 Ideas to Save You Money On Your Garden
1. Vinyl Pots Make Large Cheap Planters
Choose the lightweight, vinyl plastic pots – they make inexpensive outdoor planters. These vinyl pots come in terracotta, dark green, and buff color.
At nearly any home center or garden center, you can find these in graduated sizes. They also come in typical pot shapes, square, long rectangle, and urn shape.
Vinyl pots can be used as-is and are MUCH cheaper and lighter than the pottery counterparts that they imitate.
Using the same lightweight vinyl plastic pot, coat it with a stone finish that comes in a spray can found in the paint section. Follow the directions on the can.
You may need to first coat the pot with a spray paint primer, then spray on the stone finish as directed. Then to protect the surface further, spray with a flat finish polyurethane.
Related reading: The Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Gardeners
2. Foam Planters
Another choice for cheap container gardening ideas in the garden center is the lightweight foam-type planter that comes in all of the popular shapes. Many times they even have the carved look of a stone planter.
They are also made to imitate ceramic pots. Again, these are lighter and cheaper than the ceramic planters, saving you money on gardening!
3. DIY Planters: Make Your Own Large Cheap Planters
Hypertufa garden pots are cheap planters you can make yourself in practically any size and shape. Hypertufa is made up of peat moss (it’s magical stuff isn’t it?), cement, and perlite. Get the full recipe here.
You can also find books and directions for making molds and planters from cement.
You can get directions to make planters from wood at home centers. Also check out the cedar board DIY planters we made a few summers ago (the deets are in #7 of the post here!) I love love love those wooden planters, and they turned out to be inexpensive outdoor planters that look like they cost MUCH more than they did!
Related reading: 6 Best Tips to Become a Self-Employed Gardener This Summer
4. Faux Wood Planters
Another type of inexpensive large planters is made with a plastic poly made to imitate wood.
These are often found in squares, and rectangles, in white or dark green.
Though not as gorgeous as real wood, they are so much less expensive and can have a place in a frugal garden.
5. Free Large Planter Ideas
Use discarded or found objects, and voila! Free planters!
This is especially good for creating a whimsical look to the garden.
Some ideas of items that can be used are bathtubs, toilets, children’s wagons, wheelbarrows, bicycles, and metal pails or tubs.
6. Shop End-of-Season Sales for Cheap Large Planters
End-of-season sales are a great way of getting large planters cheaply.
Many stores would rather sell them at a discount than store them through the winter.
You can also get big discounts if you’re okay with small defects. Chips and small cracks deserve a discount, but many times can still be used without compromising the purpose.
7. Look for Cheap Planters at Yard Sales and Garage Sales
Yard sales and garage sales are excellent places to find large cheap planter pots. You may pick up an old or no longer used large planter pot for a couple of dollars or less.
Fall is a good time to look for these because people do not want to store them.
When people clean out or plan to move, an unused large planter may be more of a burden than value. When a person is moving, it is difficult to transport a large plant. You may even get the planter with the plant – bonus!
8. Other People’s Trash Can Be Your Cheap Planter Treasures
Don’t forget the trash. If it has been put out for the trash, it is obvious it is no longer wanted. Sometimes a clean-out is needed at home, but there isn’t enough for a garage sale.
Some cities have giveaway days where you can put anything you don’t want out on the front. You can look in your neighborhood or drive through other neighborhoods to see what goodies you can find for your garden, including planters!
9. Pop Some Tags: Check Thrift Stores for Large Cheap Planters
Goodwill or local thrift stores are an excellent source of getting inexpensive large planters.
You will have to source out shops and not plan on getting exactly what you had in mind by only visiting once. Also, using a little ingenuity with a can of spray paint or the use of mosaics can make a tired old pot turn into a focal point.
10. Turn Nursery Pots Into Cheap Planters
Don’t rule out the pots nurseries use to hold their plants. These can be dressed up or made stronger.
Using just 1/2″ by 2″ wood, cut to the height, lined up vertically around the pot, and tied with twine, will make the pot stronger and decorative.
Other Inexpensive Large Planters
Here are some other unique ideas of cheap planters:
- I was introduced to these grow bags a few years ago, the first year I grew potatoes (omg so yummy to have super fresh potatoes!!) You can get them in sizes up to 50 gallons or more and what I love is they collapse down to almost nothing for storage.
- Check out your local Craig’s list, especially the FREE section. You will have to be quick, but if you check often, you may find free large planter pots.
- Join freecycle groups for your neighborhood on Facebook. Keep a look out for free planters, and you can also put out a post to see if anyone is giving away large planters.
- Burlap sacks make fun rustic planters, are inexpensive, and come in lots of different sizes.
Above are lots of ways to find large planters cheaper than many on the market. I’d love to hear your ideas of cheap container gardening ideas! From tires to bicycles, wheelbarrows, baskets, bags, and more, plants just want a place to hold some good soil, sunshine and water, and someone to sing them Frozen songs.
Maybe that last part just happens in our garden, but I swear my plants grow better since Miss O was born. 🎵❤️
Don’t miss: 5 Cheap Vegetable Garden Hacks You Need to Save Money This Summer (I especially love #3!!!)