Rack’em up on a plant stand by Diane Morey Sitton
If you are like most plant lovers, when spring arrives you pot up more plants than you can count. Luckily, there are plant stands to accommodate and showcase all those old favorites and new favorites that you couldn’t resist.
But organizing potted plants is only one function of these versatile garden accessories. Large plant stands create points of interest, breaking the monotony of long walls and fences. Like bookcases, shelf units, or other pieces of furniture, plant stands are decorative and help create themes. When strategically placed, they anchor sitting areas on patios and porches. And since plant stands allow plants to be displayed vertically, they free-up floor-space, all the while increasing the plants’ visual appeal.
The array of sizes, shapes, and materials is as impressive as their contributions to gardens: one tier, several tiers, stair style, tripod style, circular, and faux bicycles that accommodate 3 or 4 potted plants are available in metal, wood, and bamboo. Baker’s racks, an ever-popular plant display option, are versatile as well. Besides the ever-popular wrought iron racks that ooze old-world charm, industrial-look options are available in sleek stainless steel and galvanized pipe with woven wire mesh shelves. If the industrial vibe is your thing, you might consider a metal utility cart on wheels or a metal storage rack. Plants aren’t picky as long as their basic needs for lighting and water are met.
Before investing, evaluate your space and the number of plants (and decorative items) you want to display. Make sure the size of the plant stand is in proportion to the size of the area. Tall stands let you display multiple plants in small spaces. If displaying a single plant, remember, the taller the plant the shorter the plant stand should be.
Plant stands constructed of weather-tough wood such as oak, cedar and redwood, or metal (especially metal treated with powder coating) are the best choice for gardens, patios, and other outdoor spaces.
But whether displayed indoors or outdoors, select plant stands that are well-made, stable, and strong enough to support heavy, soil-filled pots. Before buying, check the specifications for the maximum weight recommended for specific models. And remember, not all plant stands are pre-assembled. If DIY is not your thing, consider purchasing a floor model.