Concrete planters are excellent for small gardens, especially if you like succulents or alpine plants. However, one of the significant disadvantages of these planters is their weight and poor durability, and gardeners often ask about the best solution to fix them.
Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answers below!
If you are using pre-made concrete planters, they will most likely be heavy. To prevent adding more weight, you can use lightweight pot fillers.
However, if you make your planters, you can make them lightweight by adding perlite to the concrete. You can make them durable by properly curing the planters or adding additives to the concrete.
For many gardeners, concrete planters are great for container gardening, but the weight often discourages people. In this post, we will talk about how you can make your lightweight concrete planter. We'll also cover what plants to use in your new planter. Let's dive right in!
How To Make Concrete Planters Lightweight And Durable
Concrete planters are the prime choices for many gardeners regarding container gardening. These planters are environmentally-friendly, and they last for a long time.
Depending on the kind of plant you are growing, some gardeners prefer using these concrete planters because they provide better insulation for plant roots.
In many garden stores, concrete planters can be easily purchased and ready to use. Pre-made concrete planters are heavy but durable because they are pure concrete.
Since they are heavy, moving them in the garden can be tricky, especially if a plant is already growing.
To make concrete planters lightweight, you can use lightweight fillers inside. This method works particularly well for large concrete planters in the garden.
Natural materials like wood chips, leaves, sticks, and pine cones are great if you have seasonal plants in the planters because they will break down in time.
For plants that will grow year-round, lightweight pot fillers include recycled plastics and packing materials, crushed cans, newspapers, and old cardboard boxes.
If you want to ensure that the concrete planters are lightweight and durable to your standards, you can always make your own with cement and perlite.
How to Make A Lightweight Concrete Planter
Materials You Need:
- Safety goggles and mask
- Rubber gloves
- Coir fiber
- Portland cement
- Plastic tub
- Plastic bag
- Molds (you can use buckets, plastic boxes, or pots)
- Spray cooking oil
- Cork or dowel, cut piece of boba straw or hose
- Wire brush or sandpaper
- Since the concrete mix is involved, wear a mask, goggles, and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from dust.
- Mix 1.5 parts of perlite, 1.5 parts of coir fiber, and 1 part of Portland cement in a plastic tub. You can double or triple the measurement, depending on how big you want your pots to be or if you want to make multiples in one go.
- Slowly add water to the tub until the mixture resembles the texture of cottage cheese. Don't pour the water too quickly because it will make the mixture too wet. The consistency of the mixture should be similar to dough; you should be able to hold a handful, and it will still hold its shape.
- If the mixture is too wet, add the dry mixture slowly until you get the desired consistency.
- Spray the inside of the mold that you are using with cooking oil. This is important because the oil will create a barrier to prevent the concrete from binding to the mold. For the drainage hole, spray the cork or dowel with oil. A piece of plastic boba straw or rubber hose will also work well.
- Hold the drainage hole in place and press a handful of hypertufa on the bottom of the mold. The base should be at least 2.5 cm thick.
- Alternatively, you can put all the hypertufa in a big mold and press a smaller object to shape the pot. You can do this with a big and small plastic pot nestled inside.
- Cover the bag with a plastic bag and leave it for about 2 or 3 days to dry.
- After 2 or 3 days, remove the plastic bag and take the pot out of the mold. It will be slightly wet, but it shouldn't fall apart. If this happens, the pot is still not fully dry, or the hypertufa is too wet when you put them inside the mold.
- To make the pots look rustic, use a wire brush or sandpaper to roughen the sides.
- Cure the new pots by air drying them for a week. If your area tends to be humid, leave it for about 2 or 3 weeks.
- Once the pots are fully cured, you can decorate or use them immediately.
Should You Seal Concrete Planters?
There is a major debate about concrete planters and whether or not they should be sealed.
There are advantages and disadvantages to sealing concrete planters. Doing so depends on the plants you will be putting on the planters and how you will use them.
If you plan to seal your concrete planters, the soil inside the pot will change pH levels. Sealing the pot usually alters the pH and makes the soil more acidic.
This is great if you plan to plant succulents, but it's not beneficial for other plants.
Sealing concrete planters will also make them less porous. This will make it harder for the plants to drain. If you're planning to seal concrete planters, ensure you won't be overwatering the plants.
However, sealing concrete planters will also make them more durable and waterproof. If you have decorated planters, sealing them will also ensure that the designs won't be damaged quickly.
What Should I Plant In Concrete Planters?
There are many different plants that so well in concrete planters. Alkaline-loving plants are best suited for concrete planters like succulents, begonias, and easter lilies. Orchids, Morning Glory, and mums also like acidic soil, so you can use a concrete planter for these plants.
If you want to grow a small vegetable garden, broccoli, cabbage, chives, and arugula will grow well in these planters. Other vegetables like peas, leeks, and herbs like thyme, oregano, and rosemary will be happy in these planters.
Other vegetables like peppers, radishes, spinach, and lettuce will also grow nicely in these porous planters. Typically, most vegetables can grow in a concrete planter, even those that crawl like cucumbers and squash.
Aside from growing these plants, concrete planters are also great as additional decorations for your garden.
You can use large concrete planters and put a potted plant inside without replanting them altogether. Just place an additional weight inside the concrete planter to stabilize the plant and ensure it will not tip over.
What Are The Benefits Of Concrete Planters?
Aside from being durable, concrete planters offer many benefits to plants and gardeners. These planters are perfect to use in any garden, and they add an aesthetic element to them.
Concrete planters are perfect for people in colder climates because they insulate the soil and plant roots well. Concrete absorbs more heat and retains them, especially during the cold months.
This will warm your plant roots and allow better growth once the weather warms up.
When it comes to durability, concrete planters will win in this department. Concrete can withstand rain and other weather elements. Concrete planters remain stable despite the rain and sun, and your plants will remain happy inside them.
To Finish Up
Concrete planters are great if you are looking for durable and long-lasting planters for your container garden. Make your concrete planters if you want to customize how they look and ensure they are lightweight.
Concrete planters will be a great investment in your garden, whether you're using them for indoor plants or beautifying old pots.
Are you planning to build a container garden for your home? Look no further because we have a couple of articles that might help you: