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Which whiskey barrel planter is best?

A whiskey barrel planter is spacious, sturdy and features rich natural tones that look beautiful in any garden. It brings a refined yet rustic look to any outdoor space and is particularly suited to plants that require more room to grow.

The Best Choice Products Set of Three Rustic Barrel Planters is a full planter set that features stunning matching wood barrels in different sizes.

What to know before you buy a whiskey barrel planter

Wood vs. resin

Most solid wood whiskey barrel planters are made from oak, acacia, walnut or maple. These barrels are water-resistant and hold up well. If you’re looking for a barrel that’s fully waterproof, then a resin barrel designed to mimic wood is your best option. Resin is lightweight and very durable, though you will forego natural wood tones. 

What to plant

Whiskey barrels are great for planting a wide variety of plants based on your climate and sunlight exposure. 

  • Annuals: You have to replant these each year, but they tend to last well through the season. They are also easy to swap out. Since whiskey barrels are large garden focal points, you don’t want to get stuck with wilting flowers halfway through the planting season.
  • Water plants: If you’re willing to set your barrel up with a water pump, you can grow a water garden. This will require sealing the inside, creating drainage, and lining the base to prevent rot. Water plants that grow well in a barrel planter include water lilies, papyrus, Japanese sweet flag, elephant ears, pickerel weed and parrot feather.
  • Vegetables: Barrels are well-suited for growing vegetables. They are great for little patio gardens. Some vegetables that grow well in a barrel are lettuce, onion, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and peas.
  • Dwarf trees: Small fruit trees don’t require a lot of space, and many are self-pollinating. Dwarf apple, pear, key lime, fig and pomegranate trees are all excellent choices.

Whiskey barrel sets

Since different whiskey barrels have different wood tones and grain, it’s a good idea to buy a full set of planters to ensure a few of them match. Sets come with two to five barrels and cost less than if you purchased five single barrels separately. Sets can come in one size or assorted sizes. 

What to look for in a quality whiskey barrel planter

Protective coating

While whiskey barrels are naturally durable, a protective coating will make them last longer. A polyurethane coating or sealer prevents water damage and rot. Keep in mind that a coated barrel won’t have that rough, unfinished look of natural wood and might have more of a shine to it.


Proper drainage is key when it comes to planters. Drain holes release excess water and promote healthy soil to help your plants thrive. Depending on the size of the barrel, you’ll likely want four to six evenly spaced holes. Each hole should be a 1/2-inch to 1 inch in diameter. 


Handles aren’t just decorative on a whiskey barrel planter. They make moving the barrel much easier. Plenty of wood barrels feature metal handles that match the barrel’s hammered metal hoops. Resin and plastic planters are less likely to have handles. 

How much you can expect to spend on a whiskey barrel planter

A single whiskey barrel usually costs $20-$100. This varies based on material, size and quantity. A set of two to five barrels costs around $50-$350.

Whiskey barrel planter FAQ

How big is a whiskey barrel planter?

A. A standard barrel planter is about 10-25 inches in width and height. Larger and smaller sizes are available if you have different planting needs, but you usually won’t see a barrel planter larger than 35-inches wide. 

Does a whiskey barrel planter need to be lined?

A. You do not need to line a solid oak barrel on the inside, but it’s very helpful to prevent rot. A lining also helps the soil retain moisture, which some plants need. Consider what plants you’re putting in the planter before deciding on adding a liner.

What’s the best whiskey barrel planter to buy?

Top whiskey barrel planter

Best Choice Products Set of Three Rustic Barrel Planters

Best Choice Products Set of Three Rustic Barrel Planters

What you need to know: The set comes with three stained wooden planters featuring metal hardware. The large barrel is 18 inches by 14 inches, the medium barrel is 15 inches by 11.5 inches, and the small barrel is 11.5 inches by 10 inches.

What you’ll love: These are made from real wood that looks beautiful with a stain finish. Each well-made barrel is durable and has built-in drainage holes.

What you should consider: These barrels only come as a set, and you can’t get three of the same size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top whiskey barrel planter for the money

Fox Valley Traders Realistic Wood-Look Barrel Planters

Fox Valley Traders Realistic Wood-Look Barrel Planters

What you need to know: This set comes with four round matching plastic planters. Each measures 8 inches by 13 inches.

What you’ll love: These are lightweight but durable. Each barrel is weather-resistant and features built-in drain holes. It’s a great price for a four-piece set.

What you should consider: The faux wood is a nice touch, but it lacks the visual appeal of real wood.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Southern Patio Whiskey Barrel

Southern Patio Kentucky Medium Resin Whiskey Barrel Planter

What you need to know: This high-density resin planter comes in four colors and two sizes. It measures 22.24 inches by 13 inches or 15.5 inches by 9.1 inches, depending on the size you select.   

What you’ll love: It’s attractive, durable and lightweight. It even has woodgrain detailing mimicked in the resin. It’s weather-resistant and UV-resistant.

What you should consider: There is a central plug but no additional drainage at the bottom. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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