DIY: Making a Pumpkin Planter

Nearly anything that holds dirt can be turned into a planter and that includes a pumpkin. Pumpkin planters make an interesting fall decoration whether they are in groups or by themselves. They can be used both indoors and outdoors and you can get a variety of different looks depending upon the plants you use. Growing plants in a pumpkin is not hard to do and it makes a fun project for you and your family. Here is what you need to have on hand for this project:

Project Materials

A round pumpkin with a flat bottom

A sharp knife

Container or potting soil

A spoon or ice cream scooper

Several sheet of newspaper

Plants that you want to grow in the pumpkin planter

A bowl or similar container

A nylon stocking

Step One:

After assembling the materials, you want to take your newspaper and put it down on the table. Scooping out the inside of a pumpkin can be a messy job! Place the pumpkin on the newspaper and using the sharp knife cut a circular hole in the top of the pumpkin. As to the size of the hole it will need to be big enough to hold your plants so you may want to use the pot that the plant comes in as a guide for how large a whole you need to cut in the top. You can either estimate the size of the cuts you need to make or you can remove the stem of the pumpkin with the knife, put the pot on top of the pumpkin and trace around the pot to have a guide for your cuts.

Step Two:

Once you’ve made the cuts you’ll pull off the top of the pumpkin and discard it in the bowl or container. Using the spoon or ice cream scooper you will remove the seeds and inner parts of the pumpkin and put them in the bowl. If you like toasted pumpkin seeds you can separate them and put them aside or you can just take the contents of the bowl and throw them away or add them to your compost pile.

Step Three:

Turn the pumpkin over and using the knife cut out a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin for drainage purposes. The pumpkin will be more likely to rot if you fail to do this. You can turn the pumpkin back over and then place a piece of the nylon stocking over the hole in the bottom. This will allow water to drain but will keep the soil you are going to put in the pumpkin from falling out. After doing this fill up about 1/3 of the pumpkin with the container or potting soil.

Step Four:

Now it is time to start to put your plants in the container. Some good choices include Chrysanthemums, Pansies, Snapdragons, Kale or even herbs such as Thyme or Sage. Once you’ve positioned the plants in the pumpkin you can fill in the rest of the spaces with the remaining soil. You can then move the planter to the spot where it will be displayed and water the plants in. If you are going to use the planter indoors be sure to have a plate or some other container underneath it to catch water that will flow out of the bottom of the pumpkin.

Additional Suggestions:

  • Keeping the pumpkin planter out of the sun will allow it to last longer
  • Eventually, the planter will deteriorate and you can throw it and the contents out or put them in the compost pile. If you use a Chrysanthemum in your planter that can be removed and planted in the garden. It may come back to bloom for you again next year!
  • You can also use a Sharpie pen to draw a face on your planter and then add ornamental grass to make your planter look like it has hair.
  • Using plants that will cascade down the side of the planter, such as Petunias, are a good way to hide your less than perfect carving skills. 
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