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Make a Stump Planter

Make a Stump Planter
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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 stump planter. The nutrients in the decaying log 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. 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 stump planter from elements in nature which can be found in your own back yard.

Materials to Make a Stump Planter

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

Instructions to Make a 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.

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Monday, April 14th, 2014
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