When our clients want to incorporate planters — but need to protect expensive surfaces like a new carpet or wood floor — we answer many questions about what to look for when adding watertight planters to your design plan.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- The definition of a watertight planter
- Indoor and outdoor applications of watertight planters
- Available materials for watertight planters
- Cost of watertight planters
What Are Watertight Planters?
When you purchase a watertight planter, you want to ensure that no water will seep out of the planter and the surface beneath the planter will not become damaged.
Therefore, watertight planters have seams that won’t leak and do not have drainage holes.
Where Can Watertight Planters Be Used?
Watertight planters are appropriate for interior and exterior design purposes. In both use cases, to ensure roots receive enough air, it’s critical to enable excess water to drain away from the root system.
Indoor planters should be watertight so they do not leak or cause damage to floors and other surfaces.
We recommend using watertight planters when the planter will be placed outdoors but in a covered location.
For outside locations that are not covered, we recommend not using watertight planters because the plant will need drainage holes that allow excess water from Mother Nature to flow away from the plant roots.
In these cases, we recommend following these steps:
- First place a non-biodegradable material on the bottom of the planter.
- Then place a landscape fabric on top.
- Lay down soil and then the plant.
Landscape fabric allows water to drain but holds back most of the soil to minimize staining when the water drains through the drainage holes.
When Should I Use Watertight Planters?
We recommend using watertight planters in the following situations:
When planting large plants and trees indoors in heavy planters that are difficult to move. Watertight planters will achieve a leak-free and clean aesthetic that protects your floors from damage. And don’t forget to raise the planter off the floor to prevent condensation.
When your outdoor plants will be located in a covered spot. Watertight planters work well when you can control the amount of water they will receive.
Note: Watertight planters should not be used outside if the location is not covered. Because watertight planters do not allow water to seep out of the planter, an overwhelming amount of rainwater from a storm can damage the plant’s root system.
What Materials Are Watertight Planters Made Of?
Watertight planters are generally manufactured using aluminum or fiberglass.
Watertight Aluminum Planters
Watertight aluminum planters can be made into any geometric shape with 90-degree corners (or cylinders with flat bottoms). Perfect for indoor or outdoor applications, aluminum planters can be powder coated in a range of colors.
When you’re looking for a certain shape or size or your design plan is for a rooftop or terrace, aluminum might be your best bet. Aluminum is perfect because it’s lightweight and has the durability of metal.
To learn more about custom planter options using powder-coated aluminum, click here.
Watertight Fiberglass Planters
Fiberglass planters are lightweight, durable, and versatile.
PureModern offers several types of fiberglass, including faux metal, stone, and wood finishes. We also offer reinforced fiberglass for large planters.
We recommend using fiberglass planters in the following scenarios:
- Interior designed spaces
- When budget is a concern
- You need a quick turn-around time (fiberglass planters are usually in stock and can ship in 1 -2 weeks)
- Total weight is a factor for your project and you need a lightweight planter (think rooftop projects or high-rise balconies)
While lightweight, fiberglass is still long-lasting, difficult to break, and highly resistant to cracking or warping. Fiberglass is resistant to mold, frost, and color fading from UV rays — especially when located indoors or not in direct sunlight.
Most fiberglass planters require very little maintenance and do not need to be taken indoors during the winter months.
How Much Do Watertight Planters Cost?
The answer, of course, is: it depends.
When planning your commercial, residential, or hospitality landscape project, expenses quickly add up. As a result, the next step is often to consider cutting costs.
Although commercial planters might be one of the higher-priced line items in your budget, cutting costs here could be detrimental to your plants and, ultimately, to the overall project outcome.
When we speak with our clients, one of the most common questions we hear is this:
Budget aside, which planter will work best in the long run?
The answer depends on how much you’re willing to invest in your planters and how long you want to use them:
- If you want your planters to last at least 10 years, opt for fiberglass.
- If you want your planters to last 20+ years, use powder-coated aluminum.
Planters are a fundamental design element of any commercial, residential, or hospitality project. But they’ve also got to withstand significant wear and tear. When planters break down or deteriorate, they compromise the visual appeal of your space. Plus, you’re likely to end up spending significantly more in the long run.
Therefore, whenever possible, we recommend investing in durable planters that will last rather than compromising on long-term quality for short-term savings.
If you’ve got questions about purchasing a watertight planter for your next design project, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts is here to help.