How To Plant Flowers In A Bird Bath

How to Plant Flowers in a Bird Bath

Birdbath flower beds are a spectacular sight to outdoor spaces. They usually add an antique appearance to the garden. Besides that, they come in amazing artistic shapes and designs.

They are mostly molded from either ceramic or concrete, though at times metal is used.

Image Credits: Pinterest

Maintaining a bird bath for its original purpose is too demanding. It involves cleaning and changing the water frequently because it gets contaminated with twigs and bird droppings. If left for long, it produces a bad stench.

Most people, therefore, give up on their bird baths after a short time, because of the liability. Remember they are these beautiful structures that look so cute standing in your compound. You would not want to get rid of them completely.

Birdbath Decoration
Image Credits: West Coast Gardens

The next best thing to do is to plant flowers in the bird bath. These flower arrangements if done well give the bird baths and the surrounding spaces a new lease of life.

Steps on How to Plant Flowers in a Bird Bath

1. Consider the Depth of the Bird Bath

Most bird baths, because of their function, are shallow. This means that you cannot plant your flowers directly into it as the roots will not have space to grow. If you are making a bird bath with the sole intention of planting flowers in it, then you will consider making it deeper.


Going back to the normal bird bath, because of the shallowness, you will need to use another planter, which you will place on top of the bird bath.

2. Position the Bird Bath in its Permanent Position

After filling it with soil and planting the flowers, the bird bath will definitely become very heavy and immobile. You, therefore need to think about where you will place it permanently. The location will be determined by several factors including:

  • The type of flowers you intend to plant and the most ideal conditions under which they grow.
  • The position of the sun, rain and direction of the wind. Some flowers need the rain more than others. Sunlight is important to the general health of plants because it helps in photosynthesis. Because of the height of the bird baths, you will want to consider a less windy location, so that they can remain standing for a longer time.

3. Develop a Drainage System

Potted plants do not have natural drainage systems, unlike garden plants. Therefore, if you are using a planter or bird bath, ensure that you provide for drainage. Without sufficient drainage the roots will be clogged with water and start rotting as a result.

You, therefore, need to get planters that already have holes at the bottom or you make the holes. If you go for this option, make sure you place some stones between the planter and the bird bath surface.

For bird baths, consider using one that is already cracked, or if you are making a new bird bath, provide for a hole at the bottom. You can also drill an existing bird bath, though this is risky as it may break apart.

4. Put Soil in the Planter/Bird Bath

Birdbath Filled with soil
Image Credits: succulentsandsunshine

The next step is to put in soil in the planter or bird bath. The best soil for planting flowers is loam soil, because it is highly porous and it comes with loads of nutrients. Once you get the right soil, pour it in the planter/bird birth up to two thirds full.

This is also the other reason why you cannot plant flowers in shallow bird baths directly. If you believe that your soil does not have sufficient nutrients, you can add small quantities of organic fertilizer.

5. Plant the flowers into the Pots

After you have put the right soil in the bird bath or planter, remove the flower seedlings from their pots and shake off excessive soil, to loosen the roots. Do not pull the roots apart with your own hands since this can cause them to break.

flower pots

Place the flowers on the bird bath and ensure you leave enough space for the roots. Pour some soil over the roots such that they are covered adequately. Repeat this procedure with the other seedlings.

Depending on the type of flowers that you are planting, space appropriately to accommodate their growth and also to make them and also to make sure they will cover the whole surface once they are grown.

6. Water the Flowers

Now that all the flowers are well-placed in the bird bath, you should water them by spraying using a very fine nozzle. Remember the soil is still very loose, and so you should avoid using too much force when watering at this point. The soil can easily be displaced.

Watering the flowers at this point is necessary because the roots will start grounding immediately. For the sake of evaporation, always plant your flowers towards evening and water them, so that they have time to absorb the water at night.

7. Throw in Decorations

Finally, you will need to throw in a few decorations to complete the artistic work. The material you will decide to use will depend on the impression you intend to create as well as just preference.


The available options include:

  • Pebbles can buy from any decor store. Pebbles are the most commonly used items for decorating a bird bath flower bed because they are available, and they come in many colors. This means you have a wider option to choose from.
  • Gravel is readily available in construction sites or stone blasting sites. The limitation however is that there is no variety of colors. The small stones can however be soaked in oil-based point before placing them on the birdbath flower bed.
  • Tumbled glass – These are glass pieces that have been broken into smaller particles. It is a good way of reusing broken glass such that you do not have to throw them away. You can also have them in different colors, but the downside is that they can be hazardous if not handled with care.

What Kind of Flowers can be Planted in a Bird Bath?

Flowers that grow too tall may not be appropriate for a bird bath. Short plants bring out the aesthetic value of the pieces quite well. Succulents make the best bird bath flowers because they come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. If they are mixed up well, the beauty that they bring is to behold.

Beautiful flower garden
Image Credits: Pinterest

Overflowing plants such as the sweet potato vines can also do well in bird baths. For bird baths that have two or more layers, you can combine the dwarf flowers or succulents and sweet potato vines.

Besides what is planted in the bird bath, the surrounding garden plays a role in bringing out the beauty. You should therefore plant flowers that will bloom beautifully around the bird bath flower bed.

You can also consider planting climbing flowers around the birdbath such that once they are fully grown they will cover the lower part.

Also remember that instead of filling the entire bird bath space with plants you can create an arrangement of flowers and rocks or miniature artifacts. You can come up with artistic expressions that mimic daily life activities.


Flower gardens do not need to be boring. There is so much that you can do to beautify the space. It is also important to note that besides the flowers you can also plant herbs, that you can use in the kitchen to add flavor to your food.