5 Ways to Fill an Outdoor Planter with Artificial Flowers

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Artificial flowers are a great alternative to the real thing if you can’t (or don’t want to) grow them. With the right materials, you can fill up an outdoor planter to look pretty realistic.

Here are some of the best options for how to fill an outdoor planter with artificial flowers.

How to Fill an Outdoor Planter with Artificial Flowers

1. Florists Foam

Florists foam is pretty much designed for this job. It’s easy to use: you put some in a planter and then poke the flowers into it. Florists foam might not be the most attractive option, but it gets the job done. Use the dry version (rather than wet), and don’t let it get wet because it’ll rot quite easily.


  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive


  • Not suitable for planters in uncovered areas
  • Doesn’t look great

2. Gravel

If you’ve just got a small planter and want to put a whole artificial plant in it (rather than cut flowers), gravel will do the job fine. Simply fill the planter with gravel and bury the plant in it. This looks particularly good with artificial succulents.


  • Makes plants look more realistic
  • Ideal for whole plants rather than cut flowers


  • Impractical for large planters (heavy and expensive)

3. Soil

Just as with gravel, you can use normal soil to get a more realistic appearance. For convenience, add some florists foam in the bottom of the planter and cover with a thin layer of soil. Sand will do the same job too.


  • Gives a realistic look
  • Cheaper and easier to use than gravel


  • Expect it to attract bugs as it would in any other planter

4. Gardener’s Wire

If you don’t think the “soil” will be seen, you can skip this step altogether and just hold the plants in place with wire. Gardening wire is thin and flexible, making it perfect for this job. It’ll be a good option for hanging baskets where you might be using ivy or trailing plants, for example.


  • Saves you from having to use soil or gravel
  • Inexpensive


  • Won’t look great if you can see into the planter

5. Epoxy Resin

This might not be a cheap option, but it’s great if you want to create a fake water look. Clear epoxy resin is essentially a pourable plastic that’ll look like water in a vase once it hardens. Mix the 2 parts together, pour it into your vase and then arrange your fake flowers.

Obviously, this is only worth doing if the vase is see-through. For opaque vases, just use gardener’s wire.


  • Looks like water
  • Resin will hold fake flowers in place


  • Pretty expensive

Final Thoughts

One of these options should be ideal for filling your outdoor planter with artificial flowers. Before choosing, decide what sort of look you want. If you don’t care, wire or florists foam will do the job fine. But for more realistic looks, expect to pay a bit more money.