It goes without saying that our tastes change over time. How we decorate our homes and what counts as fashionable today would probably have been scoffed at a decade or so ago.

You may not always think of a garden or deck plants as harbingers of style or taste, but as more people embrace a distressed, urban aesthetic that includes found items, reclaimed wood, exposed ducts and other creative uses of items that might otherwise be discarded, the humble bucket is making quite the statement.

Whether it’s an antique tin bucket or a plastic pail, growing plants in a bucket is a great way to bring some green life to your deck or make a statement in your backyard. Here are the 10 best plants that thrive in buckets.


Perhaps the most popular plant to grow in a container, tomatoes make colorful and delicious additions to any deck. Larger plants require larger buckets. If you only have a small bucket, cherry tomatoes are a great option.


Kale is both an easy plant to grow in a bucket and a beautiful one at that. Several varieties of kale are available and come in a number of different colors. And don’t forget, it’s incredibly nutritious.


A bucket full of basil will add a magnificent fragrance to any area you place it in, but that’s hardly the reason for planting a stalk of basil. It’s delicious and makes ordinary dishes taste amazing. Since basil is relatively expensive when you buy it at the store, grow your own and save some money!

Zucchini or Summer Squash

Most every type of squash thrives in a bucket. These hardy plants are easy to take care of and produce abundant veggies, up to three squash a week. The only thing you have to be careful about is letting the squash grow too big, which will cause it to lose flavor and weigh down the plant.

Sweet Peppers

Is there anything more refreshing than a crisp, juicy sweet pepper on a hot summer day? Maybe there is, but a bushel of sweet peppers are certainly a highlight of many relaxing summer days. They require a large bucket and abundant sunlight, so if you have those two things, get growing.


Along with the other “cole” plants, broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower is a great bucket plant. You need to make sure you have a bucket with soil that is 8 inches deep and 18 inches wide to grow any variety of cole plant.

Root Vegetables

Onions, radishes, carrots and turnips are some of the best plants for growing in a bucket, as long as they have at least 5 inches of soil.

Sugar Snap Peas

Delicious as snacks or additions to stir-fries, snap peas are easy to grow and don’t require much space. They do climb like a vine so you need to provide a trellis or a rail for it to ascend. Once it begins to crawl, it can add some character to the side of your deck!


Once the weather gets a little warmer and will consistently stay warm, consider planting some eggplants in a large bucket. Once they start growing, add a bean pole for support and try to keep them in a warm area. Limit yourself to one eggplant plant per container because they need room.


Don’t think you’re limited to growing vegetables or things you can eat in a bucket. When it comes to flowers, the possibilities for a bucket garden are enormous. Here are a few of the best, and most beautiful, flowers for your bucket garden:

  • Azaleas
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Peonies
  • Calla lilies
  • Marigolds
  • Geraniums
  • Daffodils
  • Pansies
  • Dahlias

By no means is this a complete list of everything you can plant in a bucket, but we hope it gives you an idea of the variety that is possible with a bucket, soil, some water and seeds.