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Colonial Planters Fitting for Period Style and Today’s Design Trends

From simple clay pots to decorative urns, designs for colonial planters span across the colonial home styles of the 1600s to the mid-1700s.

In the late 1800s, just over a century later, the style returned with more modern features in the Colonial Revival architecture that lasted until the mid-1950s.

Now, once again, the style is in vogue with Neo-Colonial home designs. 

Given the vast historical period of Colonial style, it’s easy to imagine that design choices for colonial planters are plentiful and sundry.

But how do you decide which colonial planters are right for you?

That’s where our guide comes in. We’ve broken down the choices of colonial planters by categories, including specific Colonial home styles as well as types (and even color) of colonial planters.

In each category, for example Southern Colonial, you will find a range of well-researched Colonial planters at different price points, including premium. We never know where we might like to splurge!  

Let’s start by figuring out what makes a house a colonial style. If you have a style in mind, use the Table of Contents below to jump straight to that section. Otherwise, keep reading along to learn more about the style before you select the perfect colonial planters for your house.

A Dutch Colonial style home in San Jose, California. CC image courtesy of David Sawyer on Flickr.

What is a colonial style house?

What is a colonial style house?

Colonial settlers arrived on these shores with their culture and traditions in tow. Those practices included their home designs.

Depending on where you were in the 13 original colonies, you’d see the architectural influence of the settlers’ home countries. That holds true as well to other early day settlements in the Americas, like the South where Colonial style meant a large colonnade across the front of the house and a large 2nd story balcony.

What does a Colonial style house look like?

As we have noted, Colonial architecture differs by region of the country; however, over the centuries, those styles have moved across the country as trends change and styles revive. 

There are 5 main categories of Colonial homes with a subset of other Colonial styles that emerged. 

  • British Colonial
  • French Colonial
  • Spanish Colonial
  • German Colonial
  • Dutch Colonial

As more settlers arrived in the colonies and spanned out across the Eastern seaboard and the South, the Colonial style took on new looks, including:

  • Cape Cod
  • Georgian Colonial
  • Saltbox
  • Southern Colonial
  • Federal Colonial
  • Colonial Revival
  • Classical Revival

How to match colonial planters to home styles

Our guide to colonial planters takes us through each of the major house styles of Colonial architecture. We specify key characteristics of each style and recommend planters based on historical time period as well as current design trends.

The Cape Cod Planters

A quintessential New England Colonial style home, the Cape Cod, which falls under English Colonial, is one of the earliest types of homes in the American Colonies.

The Charming Cape Cod is recognized by its distinctive features that at one time were quite practical, including:

  • Steep roof slant keeps snow from piling up.
  • Large, centrally located chimney helps heat several rooms at once.
  • Low ceilings also help with warmth
  • Shutters block winter winds

Many Cape Cod homes have the traditional shingle siding that takes on a weathered, coastal look. The shutter-framed windows are double hung. Many of the Cape Cod houses are boxy or rectangular in shape.

Cape Cod Colonial Style. CC image by Jeff Rosen on Flickr.

The boxed wooden planter is everywhere, and it is particularly appropriate for a Cape Cod style home. We suggest contrasting colors between your planter and the front door entryway.

Our Favorite Cape Cod Planter

Lexington Self-Watering Planters

The all-weather planters with a beadboard look are double-walled and have sub-irrigation reservoirs. They come in four colors (black, denim blue, red, gray & white) and several sizes.

See all varieties at Plow & Hearth

Boxed planter comes in a variety of colors and sizes, including tall rectangular planters – all of which are weather-proof.

Premium Cape Cod Planters

Our favorite premium Colonial planters for a Cape Cod style come from Houzz and Macy’s.

Other English Colonial Planters

In addition to the Cape Cod style, English Colonial architectural styles also encompass Georgian, Saltbox, Federal, and the contemporary Colonial Revival. German Colonial houses in America are very similar to English Colonial as are Dutch Colonial.

The German Colonial homes often had a sandstone exterior.

The distinguishing features of a Dutch Colonial home is the gambrel roof, as illustrated in the Instagram post below. For Dutch Colonial planters are favorite are the blue and white garden pots, like this outdoor planter from Houzz.

For Georgian, German, or Federal Colonial planters, we suggest a more formal or stately planter, such as this classical dark brown urn or large sand-colored planter.

For a Saltbox type of house, which can be so diverse in appearance, stick with simple, plain styles for Colonial planters. Colorful planters, however, would be appropriate as well.

For Colonial Revival or Dutch Colonial style homes, consider contemporary trends in planters, such as Farmhouse or Rustic.

Southern Colonial Planters

The French influence of Southern Colonial homes can be seen throughout the South as well as some of the Mid-Atlantic states. But perhaps nowhere is as indicative of the French influence in Southern Colonial style as New Orleans, Louisiana.

A house in New Orleans’ Garden District. CC image by Chris Wait on Flickr.

The French Colonial architectural period was influenced by French Canada and even includes Caribbean designs.

Key features of the Southern Colonial may include:

  • Steeply pitched roofs with wide overhangs. Many of these have hipped roofs – meaning that they slope down from a central pitch over all 4 walls of the house. Hipped roofs are great for snow and high winds.
  • Symmetrical styling. 
  • Thick external walls covered in stucco. 
  • Many door and window openings.
  • Dual-level wraparound porches called galéries.
  • High ceilings to help with hot, humid weather.

Given the French influence in Southern Colonial design, our recommendations for Colonial planters feature pottery (or pottery like) and stone planters and urns.

Our Favorite Southern Colonial Planters

Durable & loaded with features

The set of 2 Sunnydaze Arabella flower pots are double-walled to protect against changes in temperature. Fill the double walls with sand or gravel to add extra weight. Three drainage hole indicators are added on the bottom.

16″ diameter x 13.5″ tall with a 10″ bottom diameter. UV-resistant finish. Resists cracking in cold temperatures.

We’re also a fan of Sunnydaze’s 24″ Anjelica Planters in a weathered rust finish, which carry the same features as the Arabella pots above.

“I can’t wait to use them in our front yard on either side of our steps,” says the Gardnercook, who rated the pots 5 out of 5 stars.

If you want an even larger size while keeping the beneficial features, take a look at the 27″ Brunello Planter in weathered stone finish. It also comes in a weathered concrete finish. The soil capacity of the planter is 41.5 gallons.

Although the Brunello is slightly more expensive, it comes with two additional features that we think are worth it – 1) Pre-drilled drainage holes and 2) A 10-year warranty.

Premium Southern Colonial Planters

We’re so excited about our finds in the premium category for Southern Colonial Planters that it was difficult not to put these recommendations front and center. We hope you’ll agree that these are some gorgeous selections!

Our top luxury picks for colonial planters begins with a collection influenced by the ancient walled-city of Anduze in southern France. Today, the city is still known for its pottery and a castle dating back to the 16th century.

The planters and urns in the Anduze Collection are adorned with garlands and medallions. The planters are handcrafted and made in either fiberglass or fiberstone. Each exterior may vary slightly because of the glazing or fiberstone process.

“Fiber Stone is a mixture of sand and stones cast into the surface to give the appearance of aged stone,” according to the manufacturer. “Since it is reinforced with a fiberglass backing, it remains light-weight and less fragile than concrete.”

Click on an image below to find out more about the Anduze colonial planters.

Our last three recommendations for luxury Southern Colonial planters come with an awesome feature. They are available in 20 different finishes! You have a choice of these colors:

  • Antico
  • Bronze
  • Cotto
  • Dorato
  • English
  • Iron
  • Lamp Black
  • Limestone
  • Natural
  • Old Terra Cotta
  • Olympia
  • Rustico
  • Sandstone
  • Slate
  • Spanish Clay
  • Terra Cotta
  • Toscano
  • Travertine
  • Verona
  • Vintage

Spanish Colonial Planters

When I was growing up, my summer vacations always included a long stay at my Aunt Patsy’s house in Fort Worth, Texas. Her Spanish Colonial home was so different than the classical English Colonial that I grew up in.

I loved the stuccoed walls that were cool to the touch, the rustic wood support beams, and the red tiles on the roof. I also think this may be where I first fell in love with cast iron decorative elements.

A Spanish style Colonial home is the forerunner to ranch houses.

Our Favorite Spanish Colonial Planters
Handcrafted clay bowl planter

For Spanish Colonial planters, you can’t go wrong with a bowl in red clay or terracotta.

This terrafirma clay planter has pre-drilled drainage holes. The clay is made from recycled materials.

We love going to Houzz to find premium, quality planters. In this case, the selection for Spanish Colonial planters is plentiful. Here are a few of our favorites.

Manchester Spanish Clay Pot

With these planters, plan on freight shipping charges. However, they will work with you on the shipping costs if you want to package several orders together.

Available in 20 finishes. The sizes in the set of 3:

  • Size: 25″ h x 30″ w (Small)
  • Size: 28″ h x 34″ w (Medium)
  • Size: 32″ h x 38″ w (Large)
Manchester Pot Cast Stone Outdoor Garden Planter, Spanish Clay (SC), M
Bell Clay Planter

With love the rustic simplicity of this bell-shaped planter in a Spanish clay finish.

Dimensions: 24.0″W 24.0″D 17.0″H

Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Made in the U.S.A.

Bell Planter 16.5 H, R, Planters Med.

Learn More About Spanish Colonial Style


We hope this guide to Colonial planters has helped you decide on what works best for you home. As you read, there’s a lot of wiggle room in choosing decor for Colonial styles.

Do you have a Colonial home? We’d love to hear about your house in the comment section below.

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