Plant Suggestions for
You've purchased the perfect head planter, and know exactly where you want to place it indoors
or outside on the patio or in that very special place in your garden. Choosing the perfect spot for your new
planter is the one of the essential first steps you must take before selecting a plant to go in it.
Another consideration is the size of the planting area in your chosen head planter. Would it be considered
small, medium, or large? Does it have a drainage hole(s), if not, can one be added?
What is the design/shape of your head planter? Is it male? Female?
Placement (inside, outside--in sun, shade, or partial), container size, and water requirements are also deciding
factors when choosing your plants for a continuing, successful presentation. In addition, you need to think
about how much time, attention, and maintenance you're willing to give your creation.
A head planter that has a large planting area, like the 22" wide Faccia at the right, will obviously afford a much larger plant, even multiple plants,
than the smaller one. Almost any plant that you would choose for a container pot can be used in a large
head planter. Good choices for smaller ones are pansies, dianthus, lobelia, ajuga, sweet alyssum, lettuce, radishes, trailing mini-petunias, dwarf roses, maidenhair
fern, mosses oxalis, nasturtiums, creeping jenny, sedum, cacti and succulents.
Some head planters are constructed so that a potted plant you buy from the nursery fits perfectly in the
planting space. If yours does, you can easily pop one in, a blooming annual maybe, and exchange it later for
another when the blooms have faded.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, whatever plant you choose, you don't want your head planter to become top
heavy. When planted, all the moist soil and plant growth are at the top of your planter, and you don't want
it to easily be blown over by a small gust of wind. Keeping your plant choice in keeping with container size
is a must.
Head planter shape: On these types of planters, the plant represents the "hair" growing on top
of the head. If your head planter is a human male, the plant choice might be short and/or spiky, such as
mosses, small ferns, lily of the valley, candytuft, chives, liriope, or mondo grass. If it's a female, it could be planted with more of a trailing
type plant such as the ones mentioned below.
Since many of the garden head planters are in the shape of the heads
of ladies, it would seem appropriate that they be planted with longer, flowing "hair" by using trailing plants
to represent curly locks. This Venus head planter shown at right seems to already be pictured with a mop
of miniature ivy.
Can you picture this Island Princess planted with Tahitian bridal veil?
Purslane, bacopa, or ice plant would also be excellent choices.
Or what about this African Queen head planted with purple wandering jew, or
creeping jenny. Oregano or thyme would work nicely, as well. You can click on any photo to order and
make her your own.
This Woman of Seasons planter, seen at left in an aged stone finish, would be
beautiful planted with flowing locks of nasturtiums or portulaca. It's large enough to even hold a fragrant,
Placement: If your planted head planter is to remain indoors, lighting needs to be
considered. Having a brightly lit area that receives indirect sunlight gives you a much wider choice of
plants than if your planter will be placed in an area with low light. The same is true if your planter will
be situated outside. Sun loving plant choices are much more prevalent that are shade-loving plants.
If you live in an area with heavy rainfall, one solution for outdoor containers with no drainage holes is to
position them on a covered porch, patio or deck, or beneath awnings or wide eaves.
Maintenance: Making the right plant choice from the beginning means less work for you in terms
of watering, pruning, replanting, etc. For example, larger containers require less watering than small or
medium-sized planters. This means less maintenance no matter if you live in a wet or arid climate.
Don't want to have to water a lot--choose succulents, cacti, or sedum. Don't want to replant--choose
perennials (ferns, roses, oxalis, etc.) or biennials (parsley) over annuals (petunias, nasturtiums, lettuce,
There are so many other choices of plants that would do well in your head planter, but those mentioned above are
easy, and a good place to start.
Also see How to Plant Your Garden Planter Heads for planting tips,
as well as Container Gardening Ideas for planting a vegetable
See All Head