How to Make a Tree Stump Planter

Do you have an old stump or log from a fallen tree on your property? Why not use nature as your inspiration and turn it into a tree stump planter.

By Shelley Wigglesworth

May 15 2019

Making a tree stump planter is a great way to turn an otherwise unsightly feature into something beautiful. The nutrients in a decaying stump will help your plants grow without the use of fertilizer, and the organic vessel will retain water naturally requiring very little care all season long.
How to Make a Tree Stump Planter
How to Make a Tree Stump Planter
Flowers and plants can be switched out for the seasons just as you would with a window box. Read on to learn how to make a tree stump planter from elements in nature which can be found in your own back yard.


Materials to Make a Tree Stump Planter

  • An old stump or log
  • Small axe and/or hoe
  • Potting soil, plants
  • Moss (optional).

Instructions to Make a Tree Stump Planter

  1. Choose a location. It is important to take into consideration the location of the stump or log before selecting plants to place in it. If the stump or log is in a sunny area, be sure to choose plants that require full sun. If it is in a shady area, look for plants that thrive in the shade.
  2. If the stump or log has been sitting for a while, hollowing it out should be easy. The inside contents should be spongy. You can wet the wood to make it easier to remove the contents as well.
  3. Use an ax if the wood is hard, or a hoe if it is soft to loosen and remove the inside contents — hollow out enough of the wood that you’ll be able to cover the roots of the plants, allowing a few extra inches at the base for soil.
  4.  Add a layer of soil approximately 1 inch deep to the bottom of the hollowed-out wood. While the plants are still in the pots, experiment with arrangements and depth needs. Once an arrangement is decided, remove the plants from the pots and loosen the roots gently if they are clumped.
  5. Place the plants in the wood and cover the roots and sides with more soil.
  6. Tuck moss around the base of the plants to add a woodsy effect and to aid in water retention.
  7. Check for soil dampness once a week and only water when needed.


Plants for Full Sun: Sunflower, marigold, geranium, pansy, creeping phlox. Plants for Shade: Forget-me-not, creeping Laurel, ferns, hosta, begonia, impatiens. Do you have a tree stump planter in your garden? This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.

SEE MORE: Container Gardening | Grow Plants Together in Pots or PlantersHow to Make a Cinder Block Garden Bed10 Creative Plant Pot Ideas | New Uses for Everyday Items