Half barrel planters are an excellent way to add a touch of rustic charm to your garden while providing ample space for your plants to grow. These versatile containers can be used to grow a variety of plants in your garden. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using half barrel planters for gardening, how to choose the perfect planter for your needs, and how to maintain and care for them to ensure a thriving garden.

Depending on the size of the planter, you could just slide it into the garage / polytunnel or greenhouse through the winter to keep your more tender plants free from frost. There are a few half barrel planters just down the road from us that have the most gorgeous Cordylines growing in them!


Benefits of Using Half Barrel Planters

  1. Aesthetic appeal: Half barrel planters are a charming and eye-catching addition to any garden space. Made from natural materials, they can effortlessly blend with the surrounding environment, adding a sense of warmth and character.
  2. Sustainability: Repurposed from used oak barrels, these planters are an eco-friendly option for gardeners, as they help to minimize waste and reduce the demand for new resources.
  3. Durability: Oak barrels are built to withstand harsh conditions, making them a sturdy and long-lasting choice for your garden.
  4. Versatility: Half barrel planters can accommodate a wide range of plants, making them suitable for flowers, herbs, vegetables, and even small trees or shrubs.
  5. Improved drainage: The curved shape and slatted design of half barrel planters promote better drainage, preventing waterlogging and root rot in your plants, when you have drilled holes in the bottom of them.

Choosing the Right Half Barrel Planter

When selecting a half barrel planter for your garden, consider the following factors:

  1. Size: Half barrel planters come in various sizes, so consider the space available in your garden and the size of the plants you wish to grow.
  2. Material: Authentic oak barrels provide the best durability and aesthetic appeal. However, there are more affordable alternatives made from plastic or resin that mimic the appearance of wood.
  3. Drainage: Ensure your chosen planter has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. If necessary, you can drill additional holes yourself.
  4. Treatment: If your planter is made from wood, check if it has been treated with a preservative to protect it from rot and decay. If not, you may need to apply a wood preservative yourself. Something like Auro’s natural wood stain would be ideal.

Maintaining Your Half Barrel Planter

  1. Regular cleaning: Keep your planter clean by removing debris, dead leaves, and weeds. This will help to prevent pests and diseases from taking hold.
  2. Inspect for damage: Regularly check your half barrel planter for signs of decay, cracks, or other damage. Repair or replace the planter as necessary to ensure the health of your plants.
  3. Monitor drainage: Ensure the drainage holes remain clear and unobstructed to allow excess water to escape.
  4. Apply more wood stain: If your planter is made from wood, consider applying a wood preservative or stain every couple of years to prolong its lifespan.

Half barrel planters are a charming and versatile addition to any garden, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. By selecting the right planter for your needs and following the necessary maintenance steps, you can enjoy a thriving garden while adding a touch of rustic charm to your outdoor space.

Where to Buy Half Barrel Planters?

Have a look at some of the half barrel planters below for ideas on what are for sale

What should I plant in Half Barrel Planters?

Growing tropical or exotic plants in a half barrel planter in the UK can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s essential to choose plants that can tolerate the cooler climate if you’re not planning to move the planter somewhere warmer for winter (your garage, not Spain!) Here are some tropical and exotic plants suitable for growing in a half barrel planter in the UK:

  1. Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia): This evergreen shrub boasts large, glossy leaves and can tolerate the UK’s cooler temperatures. It is also relatively low-maintenance and can grow well in partial shade.
  2. Trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan palm): A hardy palm tree native to China, the Chusan palm can withstand temperatures as low as -15°C (5°F). It is slow-growing and can eventually reach up to 20 feet tall, making it suitable for a large half barrel planter.
  3. Cordyline australis (Cabbage palm): This exotic-looking plant has long, sword-like leaves and can tolerate temperatures down to -5°C (23°F). It can eventually grow quite tall, so ensure you have enough space in your half barrel planter
  4. Canna (Indian shot plant): These exotic plants produce vibrant, showy flowers and lush foliage. Cannas can be grown in large containers and prefer a sunny spot with well-draining soil. They are not frost-tolerant, so it’s essential to bring them indoors or protect them during winter.
  5. Musa basjoo (Japanese banana): This hardy banana plant can grow in the UK and withstand temperatures down to -10°C (14°F) when properly protected. With large, tropical-looking leaves, it can create a dramatic focal point in your garden.



Last Modified: April 25, 2023