The Best Containers for Small-Space Gardening

A hanging basket planter against a wood pallet and a white painted brick wall.

Container gardens have a seemingly endless array of benefits, from being a great option for beginners to making it easy to move plants inside or outside depending on the weather. When you’re working with a small space for your garden, you surely want to maximize the square footage you do have. However, it can sometimes be tough to find containers that both look great and are functional. To help you get the most out of your space, we’ve compiled a list of the best containers, broken down by convenience, space conservation, and creativity.

Cans and Tins

A series of repurposed tin cans as vases with flowers in them.

Repurpose used metal cans and tins your food comes in as the perfect containers to plant flowers, veggies, or herbs. Everyone has cans that they're going to recycle anyway, so it doesn’t get much more convenient than this! We also love this idea because it’s economical and gives you options—remove the labels to reveal the shiny metal underneath, or be on the lookout during your next shopping trip for cans with pretty labels you won't mind keeping.

Hanging Fabric Planters

If you’re short on horizontal space in your yard, why not build your garden upward against a wall? There are many different types of fabric wall planters on the market that hang against any vertical surface, expanding outward to house flowers or herbs. These resemble a shoe organizer that you would hang over the back of a closet door with individual pockets, except they're designed for outdoor use. Not only are these fabric wall planters easy to use, but they also make it possible to create a garden even in the most confined spaces.

Bucket Planters

A bucket planter with a green leafy plant in it

If you’re short on space for all of the plants you want in your garden, it’s time to get savvy. Bucket planters that can hang on a fence, windowsill, or deck railing are the perfect way to display pretty flowers without sacrificing too much ground space. Bucket planters are portable and versatile, making them the perfect garden addition.

Wicker Baskets

You probably haven’t thought of using wicker baskets in your garden, but they're actually the perfect small garden solution! Baskets come in virtually every size, so it’s easy to find one to fit whatever space you have. If you don’t have any extras lying around, they can be easily found at yard sales or discount stores. If the weave of the basket is tight enough, you can fill it with soil and secure the plant inside. Or, you can simply place the plastic container the plant came in right into the basket. (If the basket is the right size, you won't be able to see the plastic.) This method means you will easily able to remove the plant for watering without potentially ruining the basket.

Recycled Tires

A trio of brightly painted tires hanging on a fence with flowers planted in them.

Create an artistic, rustic vibe in your garden that also serves to save space by planting flowers in recycled tires. You can even paint these to add a pop of color! Either stack the tires on top of each other like a layered pyramid with plants in the openings, or hang them sideways on a wall, planting flowers towards the bottom of the tires so that they may grow upwards into the space.

There are endless options when it comes to choosing containers for your garden, so why not have some fun with it? A smaller space for planting doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style and the best part is that it can be convenient and inexpensive, too. Use this guide to get started and we know you will love what the space turns into no matter what you decide to plant!