Above: Steel Life’s shallow Basin Mod Dish is ideal for succulents that need minimal water and soil. ($98)
Sometimes color has a way of stealing the show. But when it comes to planters, a brightly hued container works as a stage, drawing attention to all the botanical drama transpiring inside. And while those seeking colorful containers once had to transform bowls into planters or paint them by hand, several new designs are just as functional as they are colorful and stylish. In some cases, color itself has a major function: Certain hues can help accentuate subtle shades or patterns on leaves and create a contrast that makes a paler shade of green pop. As for richer greens or deep floral pigments, a turquoise, red, or yellow pot can create tasteful technicolor interest.
Above: Jonathan Adler’s Yellow Okura Planter The dean of downtown design, Adler conceives all of his pottery in his Manhattan studio, where it is also hand-thrown. The surface of this 27-inch-high stoneware planter is coated with a reactive glaze, while a drainage hole with a rubber plug makes it easy to shift plants inside. Summoning classic midcentury chic, the planter comes in slightly acidic shades of yellow, orange, and blue, which are bright and cheery but never garish in the garden. ($895)
Above: Phase Design’s Skyline Planter Designer Reza Feiz created this series of planters with the city skyline in mind. The geometric form adds vertical visual structure while providing an eye-catching contrast with the organic life it frames. Available in gun-metal gray, yellow, white, or black, the planters come in a range of sizes, from 22 to 52 inches. Solid aluminum with a powdercoat finish, they’re durable enough to withstand a gravel-covered bottom, which will help with water drainage. ($880 to $1,220)