Porch Plants and Easy Spring Decorating for a Small Porch + DIY Totem Planters

Porch plants to the rescue for a small front porch that needed a little curb appeal. And a DIY planter idea for good measure!

Image of woman sitting on small front porch with plants

The weather has been up and down in Atlanta lately. But spring is officially here and I’m hoping that temperatures will start warming up for good soon. So, I put together a quick (and very easy) front porch makeover that really just involves some porch plants, new planters, and a new doormat.

Sometimes the simplest updates are the best ones. And being as though this porch update only took me an hour to complete, it’s one of the fastest makeovers I’ve ever done too.

Click through to see how it all came together. And get the tutorial for those DIY terra cotta totem planters in the photo.

Two images that show before and after of small, simple porch makeover.

One of the things that made this makeover so easy is that I was able to pick up everything needed for the project in one spot!

I just went to my local plant nursery, picked up the plants I liked, grabbed some potting soil (and a few extra planters – I already had some of them), and was ready to get started.

Here are the exact plant names, in case it’s helpful.

They’re all from the plant brand First Editions® collection.

  • Crimson Fire (the purple leaf plant that I used in the totem planters)
  • Cinnamon Girl (the smaller plants that I used in the ceramic plant stand planters and the oblong terra cotta planters on the second step)
  • Vintage Jade (the larger shrubs in the woven planters).

Closeup plants in planters on front porch for makeover.

Once I arrived at the house, I swept all of the steps to get rid of any dirt, leaves, etc and planned out where I wanted everything to go.

Usually that involves just plopping everything down – planters and plants – in the area to see the different heights together and get a visual before planting anything.

After deciding on the basic layout (it’s a small space, so there wasn’t a ton of planning involved), I planted everything in the pots and started arranging. Easy as can be.

Image of three plants at varying heights on front porch.

How to Make Totem Terracotta Planters

This idea couldn’t be any easier. All you need are 2 terracotta pots that are the same size and height. I picked mine up at a local plant nursery, and found that the best option is one that is a bit rounded, like mine, without a top lip.

Turn one pot over (upside-down) and then place the second one on top of the first one, right-side up, with the plant already inside.

The weight of top pot should press down enough on the bottom one to keep it securely in place.

But if you’re concerned about it toppling over, you can use liquid nails or something similar to bond the two pieces together.

And in case you were wondering… the holes for the two pots should line up pretty well stacked this way too, so they should allow for proper drainage of water too. But you could always add a small piece of pipe or hose that goes through both holes (hole from bottom of the top planter and top of the bottom planter) to make sure the water drains down instead of out through the middle.

Image of planting plant with maroon colored leaves is a terra-cotta planter.

How to Pick Out the Right Plants for Your Project

When picking out plants, there are always three things I think about: color, texture, and size.

I typically go for a variety of all three of these things – so I pick groupings of plants that have varying colors, textures, and sizes / heights, etc. It works really well because it means I’m always thinking about how the plants will look together in a space (especially in a small one like this), not just individually.

In my mind, variety is key – BUT all of the plants should have a cohesive feel when grouped together. And that’s kind of my recipe for success with plants.

Other than that, I strongly believe that picking out really cool planters will go a long way in making you happy with the end result.

For this project, I followed the same rule for planters as I did for the plants – choosing a variety of textures, colors, and sizes that would work well for the space AND the plants themselves.

Like this post? Here are more plant related posts you might like:

Spring porch plants for a simple outdoor makeover.

Image of woman kneeling down, caring for plants on front porch.

What are you thinking about planting this spring? Let me know in the comments below.

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101 comments | Click here to reply

What a beautiful combination of plants, your porch looks fantastic!
https://www.makeandmess.com/

Michelle

Thanks Michelle. This isn’t actually my porch, but it was fun to give this one a makeover. It’s kind of amazing what a few plants can do!

Brittni

Love the stacked urns. I am moving shortly from Montana to North Carolina and into a rental house for a year. So I really can’t plant anything in the ground. Containers will be used to the max! Can’t wait to get back to Zone 7

Judy H

Love how plants can completely change a space!

xx, Daeyz
http://www.daeyz.com

Daeyz

This spring we are creating a flower and food garden in our backyard! I have a post on what we are planting here: http://www.casalibrablog.com/2018/03/garden-planning.html

Thank you for the inspiration to stack terracotta pots! Yesterday I actually picked up two terracotta pots to put on each side of the door, but they still looked kind of small, so I think I might be going back to get two more to stack them and make a bigger impact. I think I want to plant Crimson Fire like yours, that is beautiful.

I’m actually thinking of painting our door. I love the way your door looks, what color of paint did you use?

Felicia

Love this! I really got into plants about 4 years ago. I went from 0 to about 30 house plants in less than a month’s time. Ha!! But I love it and them. I plan on getting more perennials for outside this year. It’s amazing how they come back each year.

Sarah

We want to plant something to remember our kitty that passed away in February.

cori

Oh my goodness, Cori. What a sweet idea to remember your furry family member. I love that idea.

Brittni

I will be planting some ivy for a trellis, a rose bush, and planting for my garden: tomatoes and zucchini.
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

Lisa Brown

my tweet https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/983959763053506565
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

Lisa Brown

I live in a basement apartment, so I don’t have much space. I usually do flowers on the stairs that look pretty + welcoming when I’m walking home and see them. I love this idea and looking forward to try something new to replace my plastic planters!

Rachel

I really love decorating with plants
https://thepinkpineappleblog.blogspot.com/

The pink pineapple

I have two planter beds that usually plant veggies in this year we are trying rhubarb and artichokes! I would also love to add some pots by front door with fun pops of color!

Janay

I love that you used such an interesting combination of foliage colors and textures. Elegant and inspiring,

Nancy K.

I am going to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos and strawberries
digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

Carolsue

I tweeted
https://twitter.com/MsCarolsueA/status/985403962571481088
digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

Carolsue

We’re planning on planting some beautiful hydrangeas!

TK

We planted a bunch of pepper plants and a strawberry patch.

OFG

https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/985869265231339520

OFG

I might plant tomatoes.

Will G

https://twitter.com/willgriesmer/status/986042575294431232

Will G

Hi, we’re thinking about growing watermelon this spring since my mother-in-law gave me some seeds.

Madeline

Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/986418750512664576

Madeline

Hi, the way you arrange the plant is amazing. Your porch is looking awesome. We can also engage our kids in plantation, they can learn lots of things from plantation and gardening. Keep posting!

jane

This spring I plan on planting basil, thyme, mint, cilantro, rosemary, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Rachel

https://twitter.com/RachelGriesmer/status/986759976462012416

Rachel

We’ll be planting some sun flowers, roses, daisy’s, day lilies, herbs and we also like planing a garden with tomato’s, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and beans.
Thanks so much.
rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

Margaret Smith

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/987488675691941889
Thanks again.
rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

Margaret Smith

We’re apartment dwellers, so my wish list includes lost of pretty houseplants,

Erika

Beautiful planters.
We are planting some hostas

latanya

https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/988470401192923136

latanya

I am going to plant some marigolds around my house. I also need to mulch around my trees.

Jessica To

I would love some hydrangea passion and snowball bush.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

Jessie C.

tweet – https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/988946901989933056

Jessie C.

I’d like to plant cucumbers.

mami2jcn

tweet—https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/989122325705617408

mami2jcn

I am going to plant some lilacs and also tons of potted flowers of every kinds they are so wonderful and I so love this time of year.

heather

my tweet – https://twitter.com/myway070/status/989230617899352064

heather

This spring my plan is to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, lilies and hasta.

Natalie

My tweet https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/989272046902312961

Natalie

I ready love how your terra cotta planter turned out! My girls and I love to plant flowers in the spring. I’d like to grow some sunflowers and zinnias! I’m also hoping to grow some tomatoes in pots for salsa!

Rebecca W

https://twitter.com/Michael64263870/status/989945332560814081?s=20

Rebecca W

I would like to plant some blueberries bushes and tomatoes.

Kelly D

tweet
https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/990229694720167937

Kelly D

I will be planting some impatiens and begonias in my flower garden this spring.

Cynthia C

Tweet
https://twitter.com/clc408/status/990252675760558080

Cynthia C

I am looking forward to planting Gerbera Daisies and geraniums this year.

Cheryl B

Tweeted https://mobile.twitter.com/arress83/status/990378244955361282

Cheryl B

Love your porch plants! I

Judy M

I want to plant some baby\s breath

kathy Persons

https://twitter.com/mkjmc/status/992751370011791360

kathy Persons

https://twitter.com/patricia121417/status/992850606648897539?s=19

[email protected]

Patricia Colletti

I would like to plant some tomatoes.

Patricia Colletti

My wife picks out all the annuals and perennials, I just help plant them. We usually get a fair amount of ornamental grasses to put around the pool. She also puts together some pots for around the patio with various annual flowers.

Jeffrey

I posted a tweet: https://twitter.com/FireRunner2379/status/993256444827979776.

Jeffrey

I want to plant my first rose bush or two.

Rosie

I would love to plant a garden with tomatoes and cucumbers. I also love planting flowers. I will probably plant some petunias, rose bushes and geraniums.

Janice Cooper

https://twitter.com/disneyfan40/status/993316548751314944

Janice Cooper

We will be doing our usual backyard vegetable garden but this year I also want to add some daylilies and lavender in the front yard.

Tina W

tweeted: https://twitter.com/tinawoo21/status/994068970683715584

Tina W

I love what the plants did to the overall look!
tweeted: https://twitter.com/mycreativedays/status/996054859819438080

Lindsay Eidahl

This Spring I plan on planting peppers, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Susan Smith

https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/996466598385999874

Susan Smith

Your porch looks lovely. It inspires me to do my front porch now.
I just bought an acre with the intent of growing my own food and herbs.
I plan on adding more aloe plants to my side yard along with cherry and huckleberry trees across the back. Then some lillies, marigolds, lavender and daisies in the long flower bed across the front of the house, with the greens already there, for color. I already have a Halo tree, a loquat tree and some peach trees. Last year I planted a nectarine tree so I now want to add avocado, pears, lemons, limes & peaches. Off the front side, I plan on having a raised bed of salad vegetables, preventing anyone from driving on my septic field. (Add a rain barrel and a compost bin.). Done!

Laine Dailey-Papke

I’m super excited for my zucchini plants

linda

https://twitter.com/lindilala/status/996805230682693632

linda

I’m excited to grow various peppers and herbs.

Ellie Wright

tweeted
https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/996984521953239040

Ellie Wright

We have already planted for this spring! We planted Black-eyed Susan, Lantana, Sage, Basil, Dill, Lemon Thyme, Rosemary, Zinnias, SuperBells, Fern-leaf Lavender, and Nasturtiums! I love it!

Angie Lilly

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/997120263505375232

Angie Lilly

I’m super excited for my rose garden as well as my may apples and fire pinks. We’re getting our vegetable and our herb garden ready so we’re definitely excited for those as well 🙂

Sert

I will definitely be planting different varieties & sizes of tomatoes as well as some herbs.

Elle

Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/997156918404632577

Elle

I am planting some fresh herbs this summer along with some potted tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and habanero peppers. I love to use fresh herbs in cooking and I dry some of them, too.

BusyWorkingMama

I would like to plant some tomatoes and cucumbers.
cshell090869 at aol dot com

shelly peterson

tweeted https://twitter.com/cshell202/status/997249724234088448
cshell090869 at aol dot com

shelly peterson

I am thinking about planting Tulips. We grow Roses but I would love to have a variety of colors.

Seyma Bennett

https://twitter.com/SeymaShabbir/status/997328028198895616

Seyma Bennett

I really love our peonies so I’m excited to see those blossom as well as our vegetable and herb garden!!

Michel

https://twitter.com/mjamestribe19/status/997581060488814593

Michel

I’m super excited for my blueberry bush

Julie

We are planning to actually put in landscaping around the front of our house this year! I’m not sure yet what we are putting in flower wise but definitely a few shrubs as well. I need to make up my mind ASAP though because the plan is to get it done next week!

Chrissy

My tweet! https://twitter.com/krisgan07/status/997639640772378624

Chrissy

My daughters and I love getting our garden ready. We’re really big on our herbs and love our hydrangeas and peonies!

Donna

I added wild flowers, but they did not do well. I have a small veggie garden that is doing awesome though and I would like some gardenias because my Hubs LOVES the way they smell.

stella methvin

https://twitter.com/smethvin/status/997832639032815617

stella methvin

I would really like to get some potted jasmine or honeysuckle this year.

sarah k

I tweeted: https://twitter.com/sarabird26/status/997882280642338816

sarah k

We thinking about planting tomatoes, hydrangeas, verbena and peonies.

Vincent

https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/997994981619974144

Vincent

I want to plate Tulips.

Thomas Murphy

tweeted
https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/998022032800538625

Thomas Murphy

I am planting lots of tomatoes, bell peppers jalapenos & onions for making salsa.
thank you

Barbara Montag

Tweeted https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/998025660948996096

Barbara Montag

I’m thinking about some plants that mosquito’s don’t like. Even with bug spray, I still get attacked!

Susan Christy

Tweeted-https://twitter.com/birdiebee52/status/998408901908299776

Terry

I would love to plant hens and chics along with a bleeding heart.

Terry

I’d love to plant some tomatoes 🙂 Maybe some other useful things, like herbs too! 🙂

Anastasia

Tweeted 🙂
https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/998662013399154688

Anastasia

[…] make it all happen. And because I’m super familiar with their plants, especially after our last project together, it seemed like a no-brainer to partner up again. This time around, I used hearty plants […]

12 Rooms in 12 Months: Our Balcony Progress + How to Add Privacy Outdoors on a Budget - Paper and Stitch

I’m absolutely going to give this a try! I’m a grad student and recently developed a plant obsession. I can’t wait to build my own (indoor) garden!

Cole
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