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.


101 comments | Click here to reply

I might plant tomatoes.

Will G



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


We’re planning on planting some beautiful hydrangeas!


I tweeted
digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net


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


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

Nancy K.

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!


I really love decorating with plants

The pink pineapple

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!


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

Lisa Brown

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

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


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


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.


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?


Love how plants can completely change a space!

xx, Daeyz


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

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!


What a beautiful combination of plants, your porch looks fantastic!

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