Birdcage planters are a favorite with creative gardeners. These tips share ideas for setting up a new or upcycled birdcage as a planter for succulents or annuals.
For more, see 8 Bold and Colorful Flower Pot Ideas.
Tips for Making a Birdcage Planter
1Get a Birdcage
The first step is to find a birdcage, of course. This is my own hierarchy for sourcing used items:
Thrifty Shopping Tips
Ways to find cheap or free items for crafts, repurposing, & upcycling:
- Check Your Own Stuff
Got stuff in storage? Shop your own home first.
- Family & Friends
Let people know what you’re needing. Make it clear whether you are willing to pay for items.
- Online Ads & Groups
Don’t just watch the ads but place your own stating what you’re looking for.
- Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji, Community Groups
- Buy, Sell, Barter, Trade Groups
- Auction Sales | In-person or online
- Yard Sales
- Thrift Shops & ReStores (used goods including building materials)
- Retail Stores
Use free phone apps like Reebee and Flipp to easily check sale flyers and price watch.
There are countless other save-when-you-shop-through-us apps and incentive programs as well.
Online / Mail Order
Depending on the deal, it may be worthwhile to pay the shipping.
- Be sure to check the size of the cage. Many of them look large in the photo but are actually quite small.
- Confirm that the birdcage is well made and can endure life outdoors.
- Make sure there is a way to get the plants in. Some decorative birdcages don’t actually have an opening or door, making it difficult to add plants unless you have hands the size of a mouse.
Make it Your Own
- Want to change the color or add rust protection? Use an exterior, all-purpose spray paint.
- Cage wires too close together? Get a good pair of snippers (I love bolt cutters—it is amazing how easily they cut bolts and wire) and remove sections of wire as desired.
Related: Container Gardening Ideas
Plant lists, project ideas, creative planters
2Add Coir or Burlap Liner
There are several options depending on the look you want. No matter what you choose, you want to form some sort of planting area that holds soil about 3-5 inches deep.
Coir Liner Basket | Amazon
- Use a coir liner and put container potting soil inside.
- Use a piece of good quality burlap and form a planting area. Once the soil is added, the burlap stays in place.
- Use chicken wire and moss.
- Use a container that fits the base of the birdcage.
- Use various flower pots that fit within the cage.
3Add Container Potting Mix
For container plants, always use soilless container mix intended for the specific plants.
- Succulents and cacti do best with a lighter container mix.
- Flowering annuals prefer a regular container mix.
Want to combine them?
Keep the plants in plastic pots with their preferred container mix and sit the pots in the cage. Conceal them with coir liner or burlap or show them off.
Birdcage planters look fabulous with trailing plants spilling out of the cage.
Choose your plants based on the light conditions where you will hang it (sun, part sun, shade).
If you can’t find the plants you want in pots, you can always buy a ready-made hanging basket and transplant everything to the birdcage.
Look for trailing succulents or flowering annuals including:
- Alternantheras | Alternanthera spp.
- Bacopas | Sutera spp.
- Creeping Jenny | Lysimachia nummularia*
*is considered invasive in some areas of North America.
- Fuchsia | Fuchsia
- Donkey tail or burro’s tail | Sedum morganianum
(Euphorbia myrsinites or creeping spurge is the poisonous look-a-like).
- Geranium | Geranium
- Lobelia | Campanulaceae
- Nasturtium | Tropaeoleum spp.
- Petunia | Petunia
- Sweet potato vine | Ipomoea batatas
5Birdcage Planter Care
Like any plant containers or hanging baskets, you need to keep on top of watering so they never dry out.
You can find helpful tips for keeping container plants happy here.
Also, keep your plant tags for specific instructions on feeding (fertilizing) and deadheading (removing old blooms to encourage new ones).
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Birdcage Planter Ideas
1 Black birdcage with succulents | Empress of Dirt
This one was created by Susan St. Louis who shared it on a tour of her garden. See the entire creative garden container gallery here.
2 White birdcage with succulents | Garden Therapy
Stephanie of Garden Therapy shares how she planted this new, decorative birdcage with succulents.
3 Green birdcage with bird on top | Our Fairfield Home & Garden
Barb added a bird’s nest plus moss and ivy for a low-maintenance option.
4 Modern birdcage with flowering annuals | House of Hawthornes
You can often find these newer birdcages at thrift shops and yard sales. Pam planted hers with flowering annuals.
Plant a birdcage! Free a bird!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
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