toilet planter know-how

jaymo49January 25, 2009

Hello folks,

We are replacing our old sky blue toilet, and I am planning to plant some flowers in it. I put it outside and cleaned it up, but the water (halfway up the bowl) will not drain out. I found one person with the same problem on the internet, and people suggested that she drill a hole with a ceramic drill bit (sounds expensive, and I am worried we would break the toilet). Would getting the water out, filling the bowl to the waterline with gravel, and then adding the potting soil and plants solve my water problem? I am hoping the plants would suck up any water that stuck around... any ideas?

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How about plants that love wet feet???? Water plants made for ponds. It is sure to fill up and not drain after a rain. My Hubs is very interested to see what you decide. Those ceramic drill bits are about $10.00.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 12:16PM
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Drilling a hole is the only way to get it to drain. A drill bit made for ceramic is what you need. Drill slow and it won't break. Otherwise a water plant sounds like a simple answer(-: I want to see pictures too(-:

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 1:17PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Candlelabra primroses like wet feet. Primula Japonica tends to be maroons and burgundy's so would look great with blue. Of course they bloom only for a few weeks in early summer so you'd want something else too. Ours keep gr0wing into the ditch and I have to take them out cuz we dredge it. Not sure where you live to know if they'd like it there.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:01PM
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Thanks to all -- I have a vision in my head of blue and yellow pansies in the bowl and snapdragons and variegated vines coming out of the tank, so I guess I am going to have to drill (plus I have a brown thumb with pond plants...I can't even keep them alive in my pond). Would a carbide tipped masonry bit work for ceramic? My husband has a couple of those, but is willing to get a ceramic bit if he has to (he is now curious as to how this project will look when it is done). I'll post a picture when the flowers bloom, maybe by then I'll have figured out how to get a picture on here. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:13PM
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why not try to scoop it out, and then use terry towels to suck it up? I would then find a black nursary pot that fits, or a plastic pot that you could trim down to fit and plant the pot... would be easier to replant and redo that way.. just lift the pot out.. when you drill.. make sure you keep pouring oil over it as your drill.... maybe tape around it too.....

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:53PM
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You can do this:

Snake in a long towel from the bottom of the bowl thru the serpentine throat of the bowl to the ground.

The capillary action of the towel will siphon the water and draw the water to the ground by gravity.

It works very slowly, but it works.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:41PM
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The drilling was a success. We bought a ceramic bit, but despite using a lot of water while drilling it broke off halfway through the second hole. So my husband used a masonry bit, again with water, and we now have 3 holes and the water is draining out like a champ! We put a little reemay and gravel over the openings to keep the dirt from washing out, and tomorrow I am going out to get my pansies. I'll try to post a picture when the flowers fill out in a month or son saw my new planter today and told me I had passed my Redneck exam...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:28PM
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yep, its official, yer a redneck GJ'er!!! I bet its gonna be so cute when ya get it all planted! ya gotta throw in some gnomes or bunnies or something to make it come alive. How about a sign sticking out the tank with a cute saying on it, like "the think tank" or "Gardeners dive right in!"
or something catchy!Are you gonna plant in the tank too? I can see something like a fern with some vinca trailing down the sides in it!
Whatever you do will be cute!
Don't forget to post when ya get done!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:07PM
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So glad to find the drilling info here! I've had a pink toilet planter for several years now, joined by a pale green one last year, & just yesterday a white one. Yes indeed, the water does collect in the bowl & while the tank of the first one got planted, the rest have been awaiting my attention. Hopefully this year all three will be planted full of trailing vines & other goodies to delight the eye. S'pose I too have passed - - or perhaps surpassed - - my Redneck exam! Also have a deep sink planted, which had been the drainage for a washing machine.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 7:29PM
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Or you could have copied an idea from a 'sculpture' in the Seattle Art Museum. It's a bathroom stool with bright gaudy paint splashed all over it and brown water in the bowl.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:47AM
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jajm4(z5 w. mass, usa)

Please post a photo for us once it's planted. I am looking for evidence of beautiful toilet plantings, to convince some skeptics that it's not a bad idea.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:31PM
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katie_in(zone 5b IN)

Toilets make the best planter. I have two of them plus a bathtub, two sinks, a kitchen plus alot of other items.

Plan on adding a dishwater this year to my kitchen.

Hope this works - been along time since I've uploaded any picures

Here is a link that might be useful: garden of 08

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:20PM
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wile_e_coyote(Zone 9)

What happens to old toilets that get thrown out? Do they just end up in a landfill forever breeding mosquitoes? Some may think it tacky but it seems to me that reusing them as planters is better for the environment. That said, I guess when I replace my old ugly '70's style toilets I should put them in the backyard as planters so as not to upset the neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Hello folks,
I finally put my pictures onto Photobucket and hope they will come out larger in the message. The sedums and cannas around the toilet are filling in nicely, and thanks to the rain in the past few days, I will probably have to move a couple of the marigolds out of the bowl. The other picture is of my "bling tree". I wired together about 4 or 5 gnarly branches I fished out of the marsh, put some green bottles on the branches that would hold them, and glued together some half marbles onto fishing line (thanks to the garden junker who posted a picture of her beautiful marble tree and directions for this about 6 months ago!) to hang on the rest of the branches. Some plastic whirly things from the dollar store completed the tree...It is truly Magnificently Tacky and I love it! If the branches were a little sturdier, I'd hang a hummingbird feeder out there. The first day it was up a hummingbird was flying around the red marbles. Thanks for all the inspiration from all of you folks.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 2:03PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

I couldn't get the photos from your thumbnails. Here they are. The toto looks great and is a great color and the bottle tree is very cute. Linda

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:01AM
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amigirl(Fl 9)

I put a toilet in my yard and put pots of terrestrial orchids in them. They bloom for 6-8 months. Then I put a sign in front of it "Pot O' Posies". I also have a wash tub I painted blue and put a sign in front of it. "Tub O' Tunias".


    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:57AM
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Thanks Linda Sew and Sew -- how did you get the pictures bigger? I tried to go back and resave them on photobucket in a larger size, but they still kept coming out tiny.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:00AM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Hi Jay, I right clicked on your thumbnails and clicked on 'properties'. It gave me the photo info and where it came from. I cut and pasted it in the address line. This is the address that comes up.

Nothing comes up when you go to this address, because it's a particular photo added onto the site address. I took off the last part of the info and tried this.

This address took me to your album. Put your cursor on the photo you want to paste. A box will appear underneath that photo. It has 4 choices. Click on the HTML one, I think it's the third. It may copy automatically when clicked, but I still right click on the code, then hit 'copy'. Come back to GJ and paste it. You should be able to see whatever you post on the preview. If it isn't what you want, either use the back button, or erase the photo info on that page and try again. Hope this helps. We've all been there. Linda

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:47PM
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It worked! Thank you Linda!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 4:37PM
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jitterbug4756(zone 8)

Judy...I like your sky blue toitty & the way you planted & placed it. And I love your little garden angel hovering above... so cute.
I haven't seen or heard of another Judy in a looong time.......Hi....Judy

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 3:14AM
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Can you believe some poor woman in Lakemoor, IL is in jeopardy of being fined for her toilet planter? Don't people have better things to do than to complain about a planter in someone else's yard? I have had a toilet planter for years and I think that they make great planters. There is alot of creativity that goes into these planters and they are very pretty when they are arranged nicely with flowers and plants! Go Green!!!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 12:02AM
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I hope I can find that story on the internet, too bad we can't contact her and get her to log onto Garden Junk... on second thought, we might be a bad influence and result in more fines for her.. next thing we know, they'll be telling us what color of flowers we are allowed to plant!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 12:44PM
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A neighbor recently redecorated their bathroom and put their old pink toilet at the curb. it was clean and drained and waiting for me. But when I went back it was gone.
So sad. :(

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:47PM
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Here is a link to the story. Ignore the naughty stuff on the side of the page.
She even has nice messages written on the potty lids. Some people are just too mean and grumpy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:54PM
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My husband and I were just talking about doing this last night. I have two old toilets in my garage and am going to put them on my back porch with plants. You won't be able to see them from the road, but the neighbors might say something, but then again they might not. So we will see. Thanks for all the info on how to get drain holes in them!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:13AM
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