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10 Wishing Well Planter Ideas That Will Be Sure to Please

Wishing well planter ideas tops the list for different items and planting solutions for dressing up your yard. One you may not have thought of is a wishing well planter. These planters are very decorative and can be a great focal point for your landscaping. They catch the eye whether located by themselves or in the middle of a garden.

Wishing well planters come in many sizes and are easily purchased or you can make your own. The main part can be round, hexagonal, or square in form. The roof can also be round or a simple pitched roof.

A bucket is usually attached, either to a static or working windlass. The bucket may also have plants placed in it or it can be purely decorative. The well part itself may be made of wood, stone, or plastic.

10 Awesome Wishing Well Planter Ideas

Number 1] Use an old barrel for your well base, or part of one. You can paint or stain it as you wish. To make a planter bed inside, get a large planter that will fit inside of the barrel and raise it up on blocks so that the top of the planter is near or at the top of the barrel, then put in your plants. Even if you’re building your own wishing well, having the round part pre-made will save a lot of trouble, as it’s not easy to build a round wooden well.

Number 2] If you have a few old auto tires sitting around, you can stack them up as a base for your wishing well. Paint them whatever color you want that will go with your garden. White or a neutral color is best so as not to detract from the color of the flowers. A few rods of rebar driven through the tires and into the ground will stabilize the tires. Install your framework and roof supports inside the tires, then put in your planter.

You can also use the tires as a framework to guide you in installing a brick or stone wall around them. This will make laying out a round stone well much easier. In lieu of laying brick or stone, you can coat the tires with cement, leaving either a smooth or rough, decorative finish to really create a unique look.

Use your imagination to plan a base for your well. Try out some unusual items, such as large, plastic blocks, perhaps in mixed colors, to create a whimsical base. Some concrete blocks, perhaps laid in a lattice pattern with openings between to allow a view of the planter inside create a colorful wall.

Try choosing some sort of theme or ambiance you want for your well. It can be formal or whimsical or even be something your kids will be interested in. Your family interests may guide your choice of materials.

Number 3] Use a trail of wishing well planters along a long walkway, either the same size or a variety. Wishing well planters come in many sizes, so it won’t be hard to get the smaller ones. In fact, the smaller wells are great for filling in a plain area between a sidewalk and a building to add a little bit of unexpected interest.

Number 4] If you’ve got a boring plain wall on your shed near your garden, why not try a small rectangular planter attached to the wall with a support going up either side and a roof overhang to look like a wishing well attached to the side of your shed? It’ll be a real surprise for any of your friends wandering through your backyard for the first time, as it will be totally unexpected.

Number 5] Try some decorative yard statues sitting on the edge of your well or in your well planter. A theme such as a fairyland or a gnome garden can really add interest to your landscaping.

Decorative stones can also add interest, either with decorative patterns or designs or perhaps your favorite expression or the initials of members of your family. Even some rare rocks or those with interesting colors can add accents to your well. Don’t forget to line your outer garden with some natural rocks.

Number 6] Don’t forget your well bucket. Whether it’s made of wood or is just a metal pail, it can also hold a potted plant. You can put in the same kind of plant as the rest of the well or put in a flowering plant in a color that contrasts with the rest of the planting. A vine that drapes down over the well also creates an interesting effect.

Instead of a bucket, how about putting in a hanging plant from the windlass of the well? Small blooming vines or any type of blooming plant that drapes down will create a unique look. People who expect the traditional bucket will be pleasantly surprised when they see this.

Number 7] If you’re placing the wishing well inside of a garden, install a flagstone walkway through the garden so you can tend to the plants in the well without stepping on your flowers. This will also add interest, especially if you use the occasional stone with an interesting pattern or decorative icon stamped into it.

You might also want to place a small, decorative bench next to a larger well so you can take time to enjoy it. This is especially good for plantings meant to attract butterflies.

Number 8] Try making your wishing well into a butterfly garden. Choose plants that are both foods for the butterfly larvae and those that bloom, producing nectar for the adults. This will really create a focal point in your yard.

Put your wishing well near your deck or outdoor seating area. This is especially a great choice if you’ve planted your well with plants meant to attract butterflies. What can be more peaceful than to sit with your favorite beverage and watch butterflies’ flit over the flowers in your planter?

Number 9] Instead of using your wishing well as a planter, how about one made of metal and using it as a decorative fire pit? The tub from an old washing machine makes a great fire pit well base. They come with a lot of perforations already punched in, allowing a view of the fire within and making a striking view. Use some scrap metal posts for supports and perhaps a galvanized metal panel bent in half for the roof.

You can also use a wishing well at one end of your patio as a sort of minibar. A smaller one can hold your ice bucket while entertaining guests. You can even use the well bucket as an ice bucket while using the larger base part to either hold cold beverages or an assortment of bottles.

Number 10]  If you’ve got a small pond or water feature in your yard, a wishing well planter is a perfect addition to the landscape there. Flowering plants inside your well planter will create a contrast between the usual lily pad and other water-loving plants you may have in and around your water feature.

What Can I Plant in a Wishing Well Planter?

Most people choose flowering plants, but the list can be almost endless. Marigolds, petunias, or any shorter blooming plants will work. As far as plants around the well, try to choose shorter plants as well so that the well is not hidden by tall plants. If you do want some taller plants, try to choose those that aren’t so tall as to hide the well.

You can also choose the type of plants that you traditionally find in a rock garden. Try planting a few vines and train them to climb up the roof supports. The vines can either be flowering or non-flowering. Vines such as morning glory and star jasmine are popular choices, as are types of ivy.

What’s the Best Shape for a Wishing Well Planter?

Many people choose round or hexagonal planters, but if you already have a flower plot planted or planned out, choose a shape that enhances the look of your flower bed. For instance, use a round well for a round garden or a square well for a square or rectangular garden. You may also wish to do the opposite, such as using a square well in a round garden.

If you have a triangular or fan-shaped garden planted in an out of the way corner of your yard, you may want to place your well at the head of the garden as if all the flowers were flowing from the well. If you’re building your own well planter, the square-based design will be the easiest to build unless you already have access to a barrel or preformed round wooden shape of some sort.

How Tall Should a Wishing Well Planter Be?

Wishing well planters come in many sizes. Usually, those meant for children are about 17″ or 18″ tall as far as the well part itself, with a width of 22″ across. A small well is about 21″ tall with a width of 27″. A large one is 25″ tall with a 32″ width. A 30″ tall well with a width of 36″ is considered extra-large.

Basically, your wishing well planter can be whatever height you choose that will enhance the look of the space you plan for it. Well planters already built come in various sizes. If you plan to put one in the middle of a large existing flower bed, you may want to have a taller one so that it isn’t dwarfed by the size of the garden.

If your garden only has low plants in it, you may want a smaller one. If you plan to place the well planter at the edge or head of a garden, perhaps a triangularly shaped garden, you may want a taller one, especially if the well planter may be hidden in shade for part of the day.

The size will also depend on what you plan to do with the bucket. If you want to use a hanging planter instead of a bucket or plant hanging plants inside the bucket, you’ll want to have tall enough roof supports so that the plants have plenty of room to hang down and still be seen.

Should a Wishing Well Planter Be in a Garden?

Most wishing well planters are used in the center of a flower bed or the head of one, depending on the placement of the bed itself. However, one can be used as an accent near a walkway or other such place just to draw the eye and dress up the area. You can either put one in an existing flower bed or construct the well planter and flower bed all at the same time.

Some people choose small well planters to enhance an odd space formed by a sidewalk around a building. There always seems to be some space that you just don’t know what to do with, and a wishing well may be just the thing to liven up the space.

Wishing wells made a great focal point to liven up any flower garden, whether placed in the middle or at one end. They also make a great surprise accent to a backyard when placed in an unexpected place where people just come upon it while walking around.

A wishing well can be used in many ways. Take a good look at your yard and see what areas may benefit from having a wishing well. Take your time and use your imagination. Use your own likes and preferences to create the kind of space you’ve always wanted. You don’t have to use a well as a planter if you think of another way to use yours.


If you want to construct your own wishing well, use your imagination. Wishing wells don’t always have to be made from wood, and with a little thought, you can construct a one-of-a-kind well that will have the neighbors wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Let your creative flair come out and see what you can come up with. Whatever you choose, it will be sure to add interest and attractiveness to your landscaping plans.