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Pumpkin Planter

make your own jack-o-plantern

DIY Pumpkin Planter

Create your own jack-o-plantern by cutting open a pumpkin and planting your favorite fall flowers and foliage inside!

Step 1
Cut top off of the pumpkin & scoop out insides.

Step 2
Coat interior with vaseline. This helps it stay fresh longer.

Step 3
Add a handful of charcoal to the bottom. This will soak up excess water, helping your pumpkin planter last longer.

Step 4
Fill pumpkin about halfway with Pike Potting & Container Soil.

Step 5
Arrange plants according to diagram, then add more soil to fill in gaps between plants. The plants in this jack-o-plantern prefer full sun. If you have a shady yard, you can choose shade-loving plants like impatiens, cyclamen and more.

plants planted in a pumpkin


A - Carex Grass

B - Pansies

C - Purple Kale

C - Green Kale
D - Variegated Vinca
E - Variegated Box Honeysuckle
F - Ornamental Pepper

a drawing of a face

Care Instructions

  • Once planted, your jack-o-plantern will only last about 10-14 days before turning to mush. At that time, you can discard the pumpkin and transplant the flowers to another container or a garden bed.
  • Be judicious while watering! Excess moisture will speed up the pumpkin's rotting process. Use the "touch test" by sticking your finger about 2 inches into the soil to determine if the planter needs water. Since the pumpkin does not have a drainage hole, be careful not to give too much water at one time.
  • Place in a location that gets full to partial sun. Less sun will help the pumpkin last longer. If you choose to use shade-loving plants, place your jack-o-plantern in a suitably shady location.

Shopping List

  • 1 - Medium to Large Pumpkin (classic orange or heirloom)
  • 1 - Carex Grass
  • 1 - Ornamental Pepper
  • 1 - Purple Kale
  • 1 - Green Kale
  • 2 - Pansies
  • 1 - Variegated Vinca
  • 1 - Variegated Box Honeysuckle
  • 1 - Bag Pike Potting & Container Soil, 8 qt.
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Horticultural Charcoal

Other Jack-o-Planterns for Inspiration

a vase of flowers on a table
plants inside a pumpkin
flowers in a pumpkin on a hay bale by a front door
succulents in a pumpkin
a vase of flowers on a table
a close up of a flower