What to Plant in Shallow Bird Bath? – Bird Bath Planter Ideas


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

what to plant in shallow bird bath

Are you thinking of how to deal with an old birdbath that won’t hold water anymore? There is a way to turn this eyesore into something wonderful.

Knowing what to plant in shallow bird bath is a great way to repurpose this almost indestructible installation. You will benefit from these bird bath ideas to make your space welcoming and improve your garden’s landscape.

To get started, you need to know what plants will thrive and are suitable for an unused bird bath. Read on.


Bird Bath Planter Ideas

1. Choose the suitable plants


Do you want landscaping around a birdbath pedestal ideas? Before we discuss this, let’s know some of the best plants you can use for creative bird baths.

When choosing a plant for your bird bath and around it, consider:

  • Location (Is it under the shade or in a sunny area?)
  • Depth (Is it ideal for plants with shallow roots?)
  • Watering Requirements (Can the plant handle a bit of water drought?)

After pondering these questions, you can better decide on which foliage or flower to pick. Here are some of the most common choices people go for:

  • Succulents (blue spruce sedum, stonecrop sedum, hens-and-chicks)
  • Vines (Carolina moonseed, coral honeysuckle, trumpet creeper)
  • Ground Covers (scotch moss, golden club moss, pink cranesbill)
  • Annual Flowers (California poppies, pansies, petunias, moss rose)
  • Dense or Flowering Shrubs (English lavender, California blue sage, common beardtongue)

2. Choose the bird bath design


Bird baths are designed to hold water for your neighborhood friends to drink and preen. While they come in different styles and sizes, most bird bath features these basic features:

  • Dish – A dish bird bath design holds the water. It is available in different styles, enabling homeowners to use it at a variety of heights, including hanging or on your doorstep.
  • Pedestal – A pedestal bird bath design features a main section that holds the shallow bowl. It is often three to four feet high and is made either of metal, plastic, concrete, or ceramic.
  • Heated- This birdbath is a must if you live in regions with a freezing climate. It will melt the frozen water and snow, providing a drinking source for the birds.

3. What to do with the bird bath

When reusing an old or new bird bath, it is important to first remove the heating system. Not all bird baths have these features and are only installed in areas where the cold season can freeze bodies of water.

The dish is where you can plant shallow-rooted foliage and flowers. You can also utilize the pedestal by planting vines and arranging plants around the base.

Since bird baths are initially installed in a shady place, at a lower height, and with a shallow dish, it is only waiting for you to transform it into a bird bath flower bed.

Even if it has reached the end of its life as a water source for the birds, you can still attract avians with a bird bath planter.

It does not require much to get started on your bird bath garden. With all the information provided above and more to be added in the following section, you are sure to have a successful outcome.

If plants are not an option for you, there are still other great things you can do with a bird bath.

Tips to Make a Potted Plant in a Birdbath

To make these shallow planter ideas a success, it is crucial to keep the following advice and tips in mind.

  • Combine a variety of plants for contrast in colors and texture.
  • When adding different plants to your bird bath, make sure they thrive in the same condition. They should have similar water, light, and soil requirements.
  • If the bird bath has some cracks at the bottom, you can start planting in it directly. Otherwise, you need to drill some holes in the bowl carefully.
  • Spread the roots of the plant around the bowl as wide as possible without blocking the adjacent plants.
  • Use a watering can for a gentle and fine spray when watering your plants.
  • Work around the arrangement of the plants while they are still in the pot. It’s easier and will leave the plant in a better shape.

If you still want to attract birds in your garden, opt for yellow, orange, and red flowering plants. Dense shrubs and trees provide a perch where your feathered friends can hang out.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Plant Flowers in a Bird Bath?

To plant flowers in a birdbath follow these simple steps:

1. Pick your plants

Decide on what flower you want to grow in your bird bath. Look at some of our recommendations in the previous sections.

2. Add potting soil

Depending on your preference, you can fill the bird bath to the brim or just pile it in the middle. Make sure the planter has good drainage.

3. Start planting

Sprinkle a bit of water to dampen the soil, then start arranging and planting your choice of plants. You can also add moss around the edge if you piled the soil in the middle of the bird bath.

4. Water the plants

Water your plants and set a schedule to water them regularly, depending on the amount of water they need.

How Shallow Should a Bird Bath Be?

The ideal depth of a bird bath is between 1 to 4 inches. This size is enough for a wide range of birds to bathe comfortably.

What Are Other Uses for Bird Baths?

Here are some bird bath bowl ideas you can consider other than garden bird baths:

  • Indoor planter home decor
  • Mini fairy garden
  • Curio table display
  • Garden art
  • Bee and butterfly feeder

Your imagination is the limit when upcycling used bird baths that don’t serve their purpose anymore.


Now that you know what to plant in shallow bird bath and learned some great bird bath decorating ideas, you are all set in transforming your unused garden installation. We hope you found everything we included in this article helpful in upcycling your bird bath. These are easy and simple recommendations you can try with minimal supervision!

If you know someone who will appreciate reading what we have here, share this with them. Do you have useful advice you want to share or a previous bird bath project experience? We love reading what you have to say.

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