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What Is a Plant Stand?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A plant stand is a holder for a potted houseplant. It may be made of many different materials such as wood, metal, plaster or plastic. A stand or holder for plants is available in many different shapes and sizes. Plant stands may be a simple pillar to hold one pot or have multiple levels to hold many plants.

Openwork designs in black metal, such as wrought iron, are popular for plant stands. These may be corner varieties with a hinged section down the center and two scrolled panels with shelves to hold plant pots attached to them. Another type of black metal plant stand is a curved frame with a place in the center designed to hold one pot. Other kinds of metal plant stands are trough-shaped with a rectangular section on the top supported by narrow planter legs that may or may not have shelves between them.

Some metal plant stands are formed into whimsical shapes such as bicycles or figures. A bucket-shaped section is typically included within the shape to hold a potted plant. The most common metal plant stand designs are usually black, although some are white or another color.

Wooden shelf style plant stands are also very common. These may be a single narrow column with three or more shelves to hold plants. Some wooden shelf stands for plants are more spread out in design and may be made of wood slats for an airy look. This kind of plant stand design is often meant to be placed under or in front of a window.

Plaster pillars or columns are also sold as plant stands. Different heights of these stands may be grouped together to each hold a potted plant. Alternatively, one or two plaster plant stand columns may be placed in a hallway or other area beside a window. Some types of plaster plant holders are shaped into figures such as animals and sit lower on the ground.

A plant stand basically showcases smaller plants and/or adds height to the pot so it can be closer to a window to get needed light. Plant stands are not only sold in nurseries but also at home improvement and department stores. Typically, they are fairly inexpensive in price and are meant as a home accessory item either for indoor or outdoor use. Due to their size and often compact structures, plant stands are typically lightweight, which makes them easy to move to different areas inside or outside the home.

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Discussion Comments
By lonelygod — On Nov 28, 2011

@popcorn - I enjoy woodworking as a hobby and you can find free plant stand plans online. While they aren't full size, I find it easy enough to print the plans and take them into a copy shop to have them enlarged to whatever size I need.

If you aren't up for this, you can also order lots of woodworking plans from online. I find that I can get good deals on woodworking plans if you get some of the more out of date books. I got a great deal on a whole book of plans last week just from digging through a bargain bin at my local bookstore.

By popcorn — On Nov 27, 2011

Can anyone tell me where I can find some good plant stand plans?

I am interested in making some wood plant stands for my home and while I like the ones I have seen in store, I find them quite expensive. I just want something that is simple, attractive and easy to make.

As far as wood goes, I would prefer to use something cheap that I can stain to get the required look I want. There is a home renovation store near my home that is always having sales on lumber ends, so I am sure I can pick up the wood I'll need for a good price.

By Mykol — On Nov 26, 2011

Has anyone had trouble with iron plant stands rusting? I love the look of iron, and have a covered porch where I put some iron plants stands with some blooming flowers.

They added such a nice, colorful touch along with some comfortable chairs. I thought the porch was covered enough that the rain wouldn't bother my furniture or plant stands.

After a few years they started to look pretty rusty. I tried sprucing them up with some spray paint, but that only lasted for one season.

Are there any suggestions for some outdoor plant stands that will withstand the elements of the weather better than the iron ones did?

By SarahSon — On Nov 26, 2011

Depending on what the plant stand looks like, there are many times when I will use it for something other than a plant.

I have an ornate oriental plant stand that I use to display a large beautiful vase. Even though the plant stand has an oriental design, the color is solid.

My vase has all kinds of colors in it, so the plant stand is a perfect place to showcase the vase. I will use a small plant stand to display anything that I would like to be off the floor a few inches.

You can find plants stands that are as simple or exquisite as you want them to be. It all depends on the decor of your room and if you want them to be just functional, or add beauty as well.

By LisaLou — On Nov 25, 2011

There are very few things that make a home or office look nicer than some real plants. I have plants in just about every room in my house that gets good sunlight.

Most of the large plant stands I have indoors are all on wheels. I love big, tall plants, and once you get the pots full of dirt, it can be back breaking of you need to move them around.

I discovered this the hard way, and now only look for large stands that are easy to move from place to place. You don't have as much variety to choose from, but the end result is worth it to me.

For my smaller plants, I usually have them on smaller stands that are different heights so the plants are showcased depending on how tall they are.

By SteamLouis — On Nov 24, 2011

@ysmina-- I'm not too particular about getting tall plant stands. I just want them off the ground. I do have a couple of really tall ones in my yard though. One looks like a miniature staircase and holds 8 plants! The trouble with tall plant stands is that they do weigh a lot more. That's why I generally get them for the yard and don't move them once I've decided where they will be.

Inside my home, I prefer smaller ones because some of my plants have to be moved around in winter to get more sunlight. So I need to be able to easily lift and carry the stand and the plant. I also have a small home, so all of my indoor plant stands are pretty small and hold one plant each. I like the elaborate multiple plant stands too but I just don't have room for it.

By ysmina — On Nov 23, 2011

At stores, I generally see metal and wood plant stands and the metal ones are generally black like the article said.

I personally prefer the metal ones in my home because I think these look more modern and elegant. The wooden ones are nice too but they would suit a classically furnished home better.

The one thing I always pay attention to in a plant stand is for it to be fairly high. This is because I want my plants to at least reach my waist. One reason is sunlight and the other is that it makes it easier to water the plants. I don't have the kneel all the way down to water them.

I also prefer multiple level ones that hold two or three pots. The price is usually not that different between plant stands that hold one or two plants. So I might as well get a bigger one that holds more plants. There are more than enough plants in my home to go around.

By StarJo — On Nov 23, 2011

Baker's racks make great plant stands. My sister has one, and it really brings out the color in her plants.

The rack is black with latticework shelving. It looks so wiry that it almost disappears in the background, putting the focus on her greenery and blooms.

The bottom shelf is the tallest and widest. This is where she puts her potted chrysanthemums.

The next shelf is narrower, and they are progressively narrower as they go up. She has plants of many sizes, so this was ideal for her.

The rack fits snugly in a corner. She put it in one where it can receive sunlight from a window across the room. In the afternoon, the light shines directly on the plants.

By wavy58 — On Nov 23, 2011

I like to start seedlings indoors in the spring, so in order to get them raised up into the sunlight by a window, I got an indoor plant stand. It basically looks like a bedside table, except for the slightly raised rim on the surface to keep the pot from sliding off.

I have a couple of those rectangular planters, and both of them fit on the stand. I fill them to the brim with soil and plant the seeds in it. I keep them moist and leave them by a window with the curtains open.

This helps me keep them alive during a time of unpredictable temperatures. One night of frost outdoors, and they would die. I grow them inside on the plant stand until mid-April, and then I transplant them to the garden.

By Perdido — On Nov 22, 2011

@Oceana - I agree that putting all your plants on the same level just looks bad. That's why I got a tiered plant stand. I have a cactus, an orchid, and some ivy, and I think it's good to put each of these very different plants on their own level.

The plant stand is made of wood that has been painted black. It resembles a round bar stool, but it has three round “seats” at levels equidistant from each other.

I put the cactus on the bottom, the ivy in the middle so it has some room to cascade, and the orchid on top, because it is the tallest and most colorful. The plant stand gives plants a place to shine by presenting them in the most attractive way possible.

By Oceana — On Nov 22, 2011

I have several house plants, so I bought a plant stand with different levels to showcase them. I found what's called a “nesting table,” and it's basically three tables of slightly different heights tucked under each other.

The slightly staggered heights add interest to my plant display. The plants would look crowded if they were all resting on one surface next to each other, but because they descend as if they are on a staircase, the display looks artistic.

The tables have black metal legs and frames, and various shades of brown tile make up the surface area. They resemble patio floors, adding an outdoorsy look to the inside of my house.

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