What Grows in a Gutter Garden™?

Growing in your Gutter Garden™…best practices

What is a Gutter Garden™
2 foot black outdoor GG

A planter made from rain gutters grows various plants AND has a lot of advantages…they won’t ever fall apart or break, they can hang from nearly any surface. Here is what one looks like:

The back, mounting holes are about 2 inches apart. The bottom drainage holes are 4-6 inches apart and are covered with a filter to keep the dirt in. Matching colored end caps are riveted on and have a non-toxic sealant. The hardware you need depends on where or how you want to hang it. 

What can I grow in a Gutter Garden™?

Most people enjoy flowers and Gutter Gardens™ are an excellent way to grow annual flowers. (See other posts for growing edible plants ). Here are a few samples:

Geraniums with white and green accents make a lovely statement.

Geraniums with white and green accents make a lovely statement.

A trellis with planters made from rain gutters

Full shade means a great place for impatiens.

White planter made from a rain gutter.

Gardening on your sunny porch with colorful annuals








Flowers that grow in Gutter Gardens™.

Crash mini-course in botany: Annual plants usually only live one growing season in a particular location and are excellent for a gutter planter.  Perennial plants usually come back season after season…but after the first season, they will probably not grow back if planted in a any kind of container. Plant roots need the protection of the ground to survive cold weather.

Gutter Garden Annuals (best to look for plants that are tagged “mounding”):

Some of my personal favorites are:

Sun Loving Shade Loving
Vincas Impatiens
Geraniums Begonias
Diamond Frost Diamond Frost
Fiber Optic Grass  
Creeping Jenny  


Every region has a “Growing Zone” that identifies climate factors. Yours can be found at this site: USDA Growing Zones by Zip-code  Most nurseries or plant stores have their plants arranged in groups of “Annuals or Perennials”. They are further grouped by Sun or Shade lovers.  Select plants in the 4″ nursery pots or the “6-packs” to transplant into your Gutter Garden. This gives the roots a better environment to 

All purchased plants and seed packets have the growing zone area that is optimal for the plant. Some plants that are only yearly (annuals) in Michigan may be perennials (come back every year) in Mississippi. The information that comes with the plant/seeds also includes what Sun requirements and Watering needs are best.

Contact our master gardener at: laurie@guttergardens.com for specific questions. requests and suggestions.



Mother’s Day Gardening Gifts

Tending flowers on the deck

Stand Up and Garden

Gardening Gifts

Give the Gift of Gardening! Women everywhere love getting flowers on their special days. This Mother’s Day, get your mom (or wife, or grandmother…etc) a gift that will please for many years to come. A unique planter system that safely attaches to the railing on her porch, deck or balcony makes gardening more enjoyable…and easier than ever.

Many people now live in areas where there is little or no space for a garden. Or, they may have the space…but not the energy to keep up a large garden. Yet, the delight of tending to flowers or growing ones own herbs is now so very easy. It’s a form of raised bed or container gardening called “Gutter Gardening”….and it allows you to Stand Up and Garden. Easily installed using unbreakable Stainless Steel cable ties, this method of growing eliminates many of the problems faced by gardeners everywhere. First, it finally gets rid of the issues caused by wild life…the rabbits, deer and squirrels simply can’t reach the planter. Second, no more worries about having to weed. Another benefit is that Gutter Gardening allows you to stand up while taking care of your plants.

How come it’s called Gutter Gardening?

These lightweight yet durable planters are made from recycled aluminium rain gutter materials. They have intentional holes in the bottom with a filter to allow drainage. For most growing needs, the 6″ wide planter has adequate root space for most annuals. There is also an 8″ wide planter that is recommended for window boxes or for growing serious vegetables. The end-caps are riveted on and a food-grade caulk is used to prevent solvents from leaching into the root system of edibles.

No matter if the exposure has a lot of sun or nearly total shade, annuals (flowers that only live for one season) can be selected to bring brilliant colors to your fingertips. And there is an almost therapeutic,  calming impact that nature has on all of us. 

Available in 4 colors and in different lengths, this is one gift that will make a lasting impression.

Container Gardening Basics: General Information

Containers Need Drainage

Container gardening will only be successful if your planter has adequate drainage holes. Without oxygen in the root zone, the roots will ‘drown’ and the plants will die.

Gutter Garden drainage

Filtered Drainage in container planter.

Gutter Gardens™ have a series of  drainage holes every 4-5”. Those holes are covered by lightweight landscape fabric to hold in the potting mix. Occasionally the filter is clogged by fine potting mix. Just stick a needle or toothpick up through the bottom holes if the planter isn’t draining properly.

For most vegetables and many flowers, your Gutter Garden™ will need at least five hours of direct sunlight each day, and many plants will benefit from even more.

Container Window boxes in full sun

Black window boxes in FULL sun.

The Gutter Garden™ color you select is something to consider..  If your location has all day full sun, you may want to consider using a white Gutter Garden™ to help protect the roots. Darker colors may absorb more heat so they are ideal with partial sun/shade locations. However, the color scheme of your house is also a key factor...so select the color that works best for your situation. I have had full sun on my black Gutter Garden™ window boxes, and they did beautifully. Keep in mind that these are annual flowers…as long as you water them regularly, they will thrive and look gorgeous for their short life span.

Container Planters Need Adequate Sunshine

The amount of sunlight needed by plants varies depending on the varieties grown. Watering: Whenever a plant grows outside of the ground, sufficient watering is always an issue. In a hot, sunny location, container plants lose moisture quickly. Aluminum (material used in Gutter Gardens™) is not porous, so moisture does not evaporate as quickly as many other planters. Never-the-less, some plants will need to be watered daily, especially during hot, dry weather.

Container Plants

We have found that impatiens do great in Gutter Gardens™ that have a lot of shade. Begonias also do well in shade. Annual sun loving plants include sweet potato vine, wave petunias, vinca flowers, creeping jenny and geraniums. Many herbs and lettuces love the son and have ample root space in the Gutter Garden™. Be sure to check out the pictures on this website that show Gutter Gardens™ in various settings. Your local nursery may be able to help you select just the ‘right’ plants for your Gutter Gardens™.  Follow planting directions that come with the plant. Actually, I tend to crowd them a little and have had good results. Please email us at:  master_gardener@guttergardens.com for specific questions about particular plants or sun requirements.

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Types of Container Garden Planters for Decks and Balconies

What Container Planters work on Decks and Balconies?

A very popular method of container planters are coco-lined  garden planters which have been around for a long time. I have used them and had semi-success in plant stands on the front porch. They never worked well on my deck because my rails were not suitable for level mounting. So, shortly after planting, the potting mix began falling out to the patio below. The brackets that came with them never seemed secure in holding so much weight.   Because safety is so paramount…we came up with a completely safe method

Coco Fiber lined planter that is a mess.

#1 Reason We Make Gutter Gardens!

of hanging planters using stainless steel cable ties to securely hang Gutter Gardens™.

Then, I noticed that some birds were using the materials for nesting…so even more dirt fell out. Because they are so porous, they demanded water more often than less porous planters. By the end of the season, they looked like this picture! What a mess.  

Container planters can be made of various materials such as terra cotta, concrete, plastic or resin. Since we want to Stand Up and Garden, these planters can be placed on a shelf or table on the deck/balcony. Keep in mind that weight determines the ability to move the planter around. Also, remember that the UV rays from the sun will degrade plastic and resin and make them brittle/breakable. 

full sun planters

Vincas in full sun on deck railing

My first Gutter Garden on my deck in 2012.

My first Gutter Garden on my deck in 2012.

Impatiens in full shade screwed to fence

These planters can be screwed in wood rails or fencing, too!

Gutter Gardens will never break, fade, fall, crack or disappoint! These planters are uniquely designed to hang in a level, secure manner. So easy to install, too. Take a look at some pictures on this website, You will be amazed at how utterly wonderful Gutter Garden planters are!

Why Gutter Gardens™?

Love To Garden? Tired of all the work involved? Try a Gutter Garden™!

Standing Up at your deck railing too attend to flowers or herbs

Stand Up and Garden with Gutter Gardens

Try a Gutter Gardens™ deck or balcony planter box and see how much easier gardening can be! There is nothing like a garden to appreciate the good things in life. Fresh air, sunshine, eating plants that you grew, grabbing fresh herbs while cooking, watching things bloom and flower. To many, gardening is sort of therapeutic…spiritually, emotionally, physically. ‘Stand Up and Garden’ is the motto of Gutter Gardens™ for those of use who aren’t fond of the ‘up and down’ aspect of gardening. We think we have mastered deck and balcony gardening by using aluminum metal planter boxes.


To see our pricing, click on the Products in the drop-down Menu. Select the Indoor, or Outdoor. Prices are based on the length and width of each Gutter Garden. Please be patient with our website. Call us if you have any trouble…we are gardeners, not webmasters! Gutter Gardens™ was created to make gardening easier. By hanging or screwing long-lasting aluminum planter boxes (made from rain gutter material) from nearby decks, as window boxes, on balconies or fences, much of the hard work and hassles are nearly eliminated. Firstly, you can Stand Up and Garden because your flowers, herbs and veggies are within reach. Second, you are no longer in competition with rabbits, deer, or slugs. Finally, those days of dealing with weeds while dragging hoses around to water- – are history. Originally designed with drainage holes to hang outside, Gutter Gardens™ now has indoor products which are watertight. Put those favorite herbs right on your counter-top or windowsill. You can forget about water spilling over their saucers. These indoor planters are perfect for plants you purchase already in containers to keep indoors or to await transplanting. These planters are a great gift idea to the gardeners in your life who live in apartments or condos.

Container Gardening Tips

Container Gardening Tips for your Deck or Balcony

  1. Think of ways to garden while standing up. Hang containers on a deck or place them on tables or retaining walls. This keeps rabbits and deer from getting to them.
  2. Avoid carrying heavy bags of potting mix. Although buying in bulk may be less expensive, it isn’t worth hurting your back. Consider a wheeled cart or wheel barrel.
  3. Use a quality potting mix, not top soil or garden dirt. (Think light, airy soil mix.) Some mixes come with water-conservation amendments that should require less watering.
  4. If your potting mix doesn’t contain fertilizer, use water-soluble plant food every other day. If it has three, six or nine months of slow-release food, begin using plant food after that period.
  5. Read and follow label instructions on sun/shade requirements that come with the plant or seed packet to get best results.
  6. Be certain that your container has adequate drainage. Otherwise, plant roots could be deprived of oxygen, causing them to drown. This includes draining the catch saucer after a very heavy rain.
  7. Consider using about ½ inch of fine mulch in a container to minimize watering.
  8. If the plants you purchase are root-bound, tease them out (I use a kitchen fork) and cut off about a third before putting them in containers.
  9. Refill watering cans (and extra gallon jugs) every time you water. That way, when you are in a hurry, the plants won’t suffer. I prefer using a gallon spout (versus sprinkle) watering can. It isn’t too heavy, and I can direct the water where I want it.
  10. If you harvest more herbs than you can use, chop them and freeze them in distilled water in ice cube trays. Once the herbs are frozen, store them in labeled zipper-lock baggies. Then they’re ready to use in recipes.

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