If your deck gets a little too much sun for comfort on long summer days, adding a large market umbrella will cool things down in a jiffy. And while you’re at it, why not make your umbrella stand pretty with posies, too? Try this super-simple potted umbrella stand for a summer-time solution that’s shady and stunning at the same time.

potted umbrella stand materials

Gather your materials:
  • Large planting container
  • Several bricks or pavers
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • PVC pipe, slightly larger in diameter than your umbrella pole
  • Hacksaw
  • Potting soil
  • Annual plants

Tip: Bring more character to your planter with a repurposed container such as a half-barrel, a vintage washtub, or a large basket; just make sure it has holes for drainage.

Step 1

Stand the PVC pipe in your container and mark a spot slightly above the rim of the container. With the hacksaw, cut the pipe at the mark.


Umbrella stand step 1


Step 2

Stand the pipe in the center of the container and wedge it in place with bricks/pavers. A couple of layers should add sufficient weight but if you live in a windy area, err on the side of caution and include an extra layer.

Tip: When filled, the container will be heavy so place it where you want it before filling. Your back will thank you!


Umbrella stand step 2


Step 3

Keeping your pipe straight in the center, fill two-thirds of the pot with a mixture of sand and gravel. Make sure the mix fills areas between pavers.

Tip: In addition to adding weight, the gravel mix will provide drainage for your plants, but keep in mind that you should check that plants have enough moisture on a daily basis.


Umbrella stand step 3

Step 4

Insert your market umbrella into the pipe. Add a layer of potting soil on top of gravel and sand in the pot.


Umbrella stand step 4

Step 5

Arrange your plants in the pot with taller plants around the center pipe. Remove plants from plastic pots and gently tease roots out at the sides. Place the plants in the umbrella stand spacing them according to your design.


Umbrella stand step 5

Step 6

Fill in with potting soil between and around plants. Water well to settle soil and fill in any resulting pockets with additional soil.


Raise the umbrella


Step 7

Move the umbrella stand planter into position between or next to seating and raise the market umbrella. Ahhh, shade!


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