Faux flowers for upper story window boxes and deck railing planters are one way to add color to a home’s exterior. Fake florals don’t require any maintenance – no watering, pinching or weeding all season long. Plus, how to help preserve the flower color from fading.
This is a photo taken from the lake side of my house where I am standing in the yard with the camera angled up to show the second floor deck. Since getting the house painted, I have been wanting to add deck railing flower planters or flower boxes to the second floor railing to add a pop of color to the exterior of the house.
The previous owners had planted many green shrubs when landscaping, but not much in the way of color, except for one hydrangea on the right side of the steps up to the deck.
The railings on the lower and upper deck are stained wood. I wanted to add contrast both in color and material for deck railing style planters. I knew I didn’t want to add more wood, so I searched for pre-made, metal deck railing planters since I didn’t think I could make metal ones on my own.
I looked for simple and the longest railing style planters I could find. I was happy to come across these English horse trough steel rail planters that come pre-lined with coco matting. They come in two sizes. I bought the 36″ long x 9.5″ high and 9″ deep size.
AFTER: Added Deck Railing Flower Planters
Here is how the planters look installed on the railing filled with pink and white flowers. I decided I didn’t want real flowers, so I used fake flowers. I took this photo while out floating on the lake over the weekend. :-)
Why Use Fake Flowers in Window Boxes and Railing Planters?
Why did I use fake flowers instead of real flowers in the railing planters?
The main reason was not to have to take a watering can upstairs every day. I knew it was something I would never do and even from my planning stage, I knew I would be filling these planters with artificial flowers.
More reasons why I chose to use fake flowers outside:
- When hanging window boxes or deck railing planters up high on the exterior of a home or upper floor windows, passersby won’t be able to see the flowers up close to be able to tell if they are fake or not.
- A flat of annuals comes to about the same price of fake flowers at the craft store when you buy the fake flowers for 40% sale. If the fake flowers fade by the end of the season they will be just like annuals that die and need to be replanted each spring.
- No or low maintenance. No watering, pinching or weeding needed.
Window Box and Railing Planter Flower Arranging
Flower boxes either for under windows or along deck railings look best when full and lush with one type of flower. Another option is to use a mix of plant types that fill the box and spill out or cascade over the top edge of the box/planter to add a little softness.
For my railing flower planters, I went the en masse route. One type of flower with a smaller amount of a filler to make an impact.
In the fall, I would like find fake flowers or fall plants that spill over the top edge. It will all depend on what the craft stores have in stock.
That is the fun of styling flower boxes/railing planters with fake flowers – you can swap things on a whim or for the seasons into new and interesting arrangements without even having to get down on your hands and knees or your hands dirty. :-)
How to Fill an Outdoor Flower Box Planter with Fake Flowers
- Window box or railing planter
- Styrofoam blocks saved from packaging that comes in appliance boxes or bought at a craft store.
- Fake flowers. I used 9 bouquets of pink flowers and 4 white for each planter from Hobby Lobby.
- Black or dark green trash bag
- 12″ Zip ties or florist wire
- UV Resistant Clear Spray in Matte
- Optional – wood skewers
Time needed: 45 minutes
Filling Window Boxes and Railing Planters with Artificial Flowers
- Spray Flowers With UV Protection
Before filling flower box planters with the faux flowers, you can spray each bunch with UV Resistant Spray. This will help lessen fading. Let dry.
- Hang Boxes/Planters on Railing or Under a Window.
The Vigoro English Horse Trough railing planters were a cinch to hang. They come with brackets that are easily adjustable to fit your railing. I simply screwed the brackets to the railing.
- Find Long Pieces of Styrofoam to Fit in Bottom of Planter
To help keep the fake flowers from blowing away, I placed a long piece of wrapped Styrofoam into each planter and made sure it was snug.
- Attach Coco Liner
To keep the coco liner from slipping down into the planter, use black Zip-ties to attach the liner to a few of the metal rungs on the planter. I used 3. One in the front and one on each end of the planter.
- Optional: Attach Smaller Pieces of Styrofoam Together
I didn’t have one long piece of Styrofoam to fit into the planters, so I used wood skewers to fit a few smaller pieces together to make one long piece.
- Wrap a Plastic Garbage Bag Around Styrofoam
I didn’t want to see white through the coco liner in the planter when viewing the planter from the lower deck or yard, so I wrapped the foam in a garbage bag and used wood skewers to hold the bag onto the foam. You could also use toothpicks.
- Optional: Place Covered Styrofoam in Box/Planter and Secure
If you live in a windy area. Use a Zip tie or wire to make sure foam is securely attached to the planter. I did this by pushing the pointy tip of a Zip tie or wire through the styrofoam and then around one of the metal rails on the planter. Then tightened the Zip tie.
- Add Fake Flowers
To begin adding the fake flowers, figure out spacing first. I started in the middle and worked out to each side to keep the fullness of the flowers, even across the box/planter. Spread out each stem or flower bunch and press the tip of the stem into the foam so it is secure.
- Keep Adding More Flowers to Fill In the Box/Planter
Keep adding more flowers until you like what you see.
- Add Fillers If Needed
Evenly space and then add an accent flower or plant in box, pushing the tips of the stems into the foam.
Flower Deck Rail Planter UPDATE:
Since adding these 2 deck rail planters, I decided the deck rail needed more impact. I added 3 more flower boxes for a total of 4.
By adding two more planters right next to the first two I added makes the flowers look like they are in one long planter on each side.
Can I Put Fake Flowers Outside?
When you use craft store variety fake flowers outside, the color should last for a season even if they are in full sun all day long. If you live in a shady area, the color will fade slowly over time and last longer.
Once you have the fake flowers arranged the way to want them, you can spray them with UV Resistant Clear Spray to help keep the flower color from fading too fast.
How to Clean Fake Flowers
If the color of the fake flowers doesn’t fade too much after a season, you can clean the flowers to remove dirt and mildew to ready them for another season of use.
- Fill a bucket with warm water and a squirt of dish detergent. Remove the stems and swish them in the bucket. Use a rag to gently wipe mildew stains. Rinse in a bucket filled with clear water or simply hose them off. Let dry .
- If possible, store them in a large vase with a loose fitting plastic bag over them until ready to use again.
I am so happy to see pops of pink up high on the house now. Next year, I think I may add flowers that cascade over the edge of the planters. :-)