Architects, interior designers, and landscape architects are slated with creating spaces that enliven, inspire, are sustainable, and manageable. This correlates to helping the businesses they design to gain clients, five-star reviews, and uninterrupted flows of success.
Greenery is one way to elevate an average space to an upscale space, much like the trees elevate the heart and mind when hiking through a forest of evergreens. However, adding greenery does little if one chooses the wrong shape of commercial planter for the planting plan.
The wrong shape affects both the intended design and the health of the greenery. This is why, in this article, we discuss important things to think through when choosing the planter shape and planter shape solutions to common planting plans.
Image from Rockefeller Center. Photography by Door to Floor Photography.
There are a few considerations that one must look at when deciding on the right shape of planter. They are as follows:
- The planting plan
- The reasons for adding greenery to the space
- The type of foliage used
The planting plan that is designed for these desired spaces will dictate the shape of planters required. Some reasons for adding greenery are: to divide spaces between outdoor eating areas and city sidewalks, to add interest to a bare long hallway, flake islands of seating areas, or add a point of interest to draw customers towards the check-in desk.
To determine the optimal shape of your planter, the type of foliage to be planted also needs to be considered. On average, most plants will need about 12 inches of soil to thrive, but for the best results, look up your specific plants to learn how long their roots grow. Then, because of gravity, the wettest part of the soil will be towards the bottom of the pot – by using a filler, you can elevate the water table to where the roots will best be able to reach the water.
For a larger planter suitable for a tree, for example, a typical ratio of filler to soil is ¼- ⅓ of the pot to be filler and the remaining space for soil. In addition, the stability of the planter and whether reinforcements are needed needs to be considered as well.
Image from The Towers. Photography by Dennis Mayer.
Common Planter Shapes
Other names for this common planter shape are trough, divider, box planter, and wall planter. The long linear lines of the rectangular planter are perfect for directing foot traffic, lining a boring wall of a hallway, or dividing spaces with living plants that provide needed oxygen in an interior workspace.
Also known as a cube planter, this geometric shape is perfect for adding interest next to the front door as a singleton or in multiples gracing a driveway. This planter shape also works as a tower in various heights to add interest to a corner or focal point in a drab concrete space.
This planter will either have straight sides like a cylinder or can be seen tapered. This shape can look more traditional or have more of a geometric look with straight sides depending on your specified design style. The round planter looks great all on its own next to an entrance or in a group of three to draw the eye
Unique Planter Shape
The Connect Modular Planter System is best used for adding foliage to a well-designed space that requires a long, continuous planter. There are a few options for creating a green wall with the Connect Modular Planter System.
Non-Bolted Butt-Joined Planters — For less permanent applications where planters don’t need to be bolted together, the non-bolted butt-joined planter can be used. Use this solution when complete flexibility for future design modifications is needed and requires a watertight planter and a level subbase is available.
Bolted Butt-Joined Planters — Bolted butt-joined modular planters are individual planters manufactured by our shop that are identical in size and shape as per your specifications. However, these planters have predrilled holes in the side of the planters close to the top or rim of the planter wherever there is a joint. Use this solution if the planters may need to be moved in the future, need a watertight planter, or like the look of individual planters.
Trough Bolt-Together Planters — Trough bolt-together modular planters are a long continuous channel of planters. There are flanges or gussets below the fill-line that bolt together the planters. The bolt-together planters provide a tighter vertical joint. Typically used for permanent applications, like rooftops, to create a perimeter of foliage that is evenly spaced but is not required to be watertight.
Planters with Benches
Custom planters with benches. From Westfield Valencia Mall project. Photography by client.
Adding a sitting spot to an interior or exterior room can be done with one designed product at PureModern. We can fabricate and finish your complete design that includes not only a growing area for greenery but also a resting spot for reflection.
Check out the bench and planter combo designed by CORGEN for the Valencia Town Center Mall Valencia Ca. and powder-coated in weathered rust custom finish to look like COR-TEN (pictured above).
Exact Specifications — Fit the Space
With a rooftop application especially, a “Fit the Space” solution is needed not just in design style, but literally so when each planter is moved to its final location whether slid into position or required to fit between seating, the planter procured needs to be ‘spot on’ with its dimensions.
Our planters can be custom made to fit your space exactly and within a ⅛ of an inch of your desired specifications or if you purchase a stock planter we ensure our measurements of our planters on our store to be a ⅛ of an inch as well. Count on PureModern to provide a product that “Fits the Space'' every time.
If a simple round, rectangular, or square shape is not suitable for your design, then look to the following shapes in fiberglass and aluminum. Below are a few examples that are available.
Oval Planter -
add this planter for a dramatic look for any restaurant looking to add greenery.
Twisted Planter -
Need to add a visual punch to your drab space. You only need a few of these twisted planters if only a small budget is available.
Hex Planter -
With its clean lines and modern profile, maximize valuable real estate in any outdoor/indoor seating area with a small footprint.
Shop drawing 150 Charles project.
Planter sub-walls are manufactured without a bottom so that the existing subbase of soil can be used. The planter walls are stabilized using gussets when taller planter heights are required. This option is great for when a large open planting bed is specified, need to keep costs low, existing subbase is suitable to grow plants or trees, multiple terraces of foliage have been specified.
As you can see, planter shape impacts both the planting plan and the health of the greenery. However, when you consider the intended design and the type of greenery that will be used, it is easy to find a planter shape that will best fit your planting plan.
Don’t see your planter shape represented here? When it comes to the shape specified for your planting plan, we truly can fabricate it in aluminum or COR-TEN. We can also use automotive paint to paint a fiberglass planter to your desired color. Click here to request a quote or view our custom planter page to learn more about the options.