I’ve recently been scouring the internet for deck rail planters that will accommodate a wrought iron deck rail. I live in a row house and there is very little privacy on my back deck as we are right on top of our neighbors.
The objective is to add planters to my deck’s railing with some tall plants to add some privacy. The problem I’ve been trying to solve is that the beveled top of the wrought iron railing isn’t standard like a traditional 2×4 wood railing would be. There are tons of planters and planter brackets designed for those traditional installations, but it gets tricky with a smaller beveled rail. If you are in the same predicament with your deck or balcony I’ve outlined a couple of solutions.
Solution 1 – Trough Planters
I found these to be the quick and dirty way to add a deck rail planter to an odd shaped rail. I went down to the local home depot (most any big box home store carries them) as I didn’t want to wait for shipping for an on-line product.
I quickly found that the adjustable brackets weren’t going to work on my railing as the planter sagged when I added the potting mixture. My solution was to get rid of the cheap bracket the planter came with and use zip ties to secure it to my railing.
Like I said it is a quick and dirty install, but it did the job as an herb garden last summer. Aside from the brackets I didn’t really like the coconut fiber liner insert as by the end of the summer it was more like straw after being dried out by the afternoon sun. You can find these in a variety of sizes up to about 36 inches and they are very affordable at under $20.
Solution 2 – The Cottage Weave Deck Rail Planter Box and Brackets
Depending on your style the Cottage Weave Planter Box fits the bill in terms of their bracket’s universal adjustability. They can affix to any railing up to 15″ circumference and support up to 55 pounds. The brackets have an adjustable tilt bolt on the bottom of the bracket so you can tilt the planter box to level so the box doesn’t sag to the bottom part of your railing. The brackets retail at $34 on hookandlattice.com
As for the planter box its self, it is constructed in a weave pattern and made out of plastic so it’ll stand up to the elements. It is 32 inches long. I was hoping to find something a little longer as I am trying to achieve privacy but with two of these planters you could block out one side of a small deck or balcony.
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On the upside, it does have a nifty removable liner that has a water reservoir helping plants thrive. And, the liner is sturdy making actual planting less of a chore.
The planter retails at $79 at hookandlattice.com which is a bit pricey, but it looks nice and is a complement to any resin wicker patio set which are so popular these days.
Solution 3 – Viva Self-Watering Balcony Railing Planter
If you aren’t into the basket weave look the Viva Balcony Planters offer an alternative. They come in a shiny variety of blue, orange, black, purple, and white and they attach to balcony type railings with no mounting hardware. Like the cottage weave planter, these have a two-quart water reservoir reducing the need to water plus it helps the plants thrive.
These definitely accomplish the mounting solution I was looking for, but they too were not as long as I wanted. At just 20″ long I’d have to add a few of these to block out the side of my deck. But depending on your style you could mix and match colors making the “planter wall” more colorful and unique.
Another downside for me is the width. At five inches wide I am not sure how big a plant I could fit so they might not serve as well as a privacy planter.
These are no muss no fuss planters with no brackets or mounting hardware to worry about so they work well on a balcony or small deck if you don’t need much length or width. Plus the reviews are very good.
One Amazon reviewer wrote:
“After looking on the internet for a planter box that would sit nicely on a round, white metal railing, I finally settled on this one and ordered 2. I am so glad I did!! It is EXACTLY what I needed. I’m very happy with the quality and the measurements were spot on. Shipping was fast. Very pleased.”
“Great for apartment dwellers. The self-watering feature gets your plants though those hot dry windy days.”
The Viva Self-Watering Balcony Railing Planter are priced at $49 on Amazon with Prime two-day shipping and $40 on Gardeners.com
Solution 4 – Greenbo XL Railing and Deck Window Box
The planter that best checked all of the boxes for me is the Greenbo XL Railing and Deck Window Box. This planter is completely designed to fit on all types of railing tops and its patented design gives it the sturdiest installation of the four.
Like the Viva Balcony Planter, they come in a variety of colors. They are 23 inches long so once again I wish they were longer but the mounting technology and versatility make up for the length.
Another nice feature is the no drip drainage system which recycle water that the plant doesn’t use back into the reservoir. The best part of this feature is that it keeps messy drippings off of the deck.
Check out the DIY Network review
They come in sets of two and the Greenbo XL is priced at $63 on Amazon. There is also a smaller version priced at $49. Note – I did see a few reviews on Amazon that claimed they only received one unit instead of the advertised set of two so beware.
So, after spending quite some time trying to find a deck rail planter that would accommodate my wrought iron railing, I finally found a few that would provide privacy and stay secure and level. I hope this helped you in your search.
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Do you know of another planter we should include? Leave a comment and let us know.