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Tire Planter Ideas

Got a spare tire you want to get rid of? We can’t help with the one around the waist, but if it’s from a car, we have a great idea for it! Car, truck, and tractor tires make fantastic planters. With a little creativity, you can grow anything from a single plant to a great variety!

It can be tough to get rid of old tires; they’re heavy and it can cost a bit to have them recycled. But you can put yours to great use. You might even find yourself asking your auto mechanic if you can buy (or be given) some from the shop, or you could check out the junkyard for them!

Is It Safe?

Before getting into how to create your tire planters, let’s address a common concern: is it safe? Do tires contain dangerous chemicals that may leech into your soil or your plants? 

The chemicals in tires can be dangerous. However, the biggest danger is when they’re burned. Otherwise, they break down so slowly that they won’t hurt your lawn or garden. And you’re helping the environment by keeping them out of landfills and from being burned.

If you want to grow herbs or vegetables in your tire planter, you may want to use a plastic liner inside the tire.

What Kind Of Tires Can I Use For Planters?

You don’t need special tires to use them as plant containers. As long as they are wide enough to hold enough soil for the roots, you’re all set! Truck, tractor, or car tires are all suited for this great form of reusing them.

Car tires are typically about twelve inches wide; it’s the width that’s going to be your planter depth. So as long as that’s enough for the roots of your plant, you’re covered. Of course, you could also stack two or three tires for a deeper planter.

Truck tires measure about 15 inches wide, and tractor tires can be even larger.

What Can You Plant In Tire Planters?

Most plants that do well in other containers can thrive in tires. Even some shrubs will do perfectly well! 

The rubber will hold heat, and if you don’t paint the tire, the black color will also warm things up. So you can even get an early start on your planting. If your favorite flora likes warm soil, they’ll also appreciate a tire as their new home.

two white tire planters on wood siding with hanging plants

Setting Up Your Tire Planters

Setting up a tire planter is really simple! 

The easiest way is to pick a spot, lay it flat, and fill it with soil. That’s all there is to it!

But we do suggest that you drill some holes in the side that will lay on the ground to allow for drainage. Most water will go straight through, but these holes will make sure none sits in the sides.

As we mentioned, you can choose to line the inside of the tire with plastic if you’re concerned about chemicals seeping into the soil and your plants. 

Some people cut the sidewall off the top of the tire planter to allow more space. You could also cut it into a design. It’s not necessary to cut it at all, but it can add space as well as an artistic element.

And you can brighten it up with some paint, too! Solid colors, stripes, polka dots – whatever you like!

Of course, there is a lot more you can do, too.

A Few Unique Ideas

You’re not limited to just single, isolated tires. There are so many great ways to arrange them!

Create a wonderful pyramid by stacking tires in rows. The tires below will cover most of the hole, although you’ll want to add some plastic so the soil doesn’t just fall through.

You could also stack two tires directly on top of each other to create a much deeper planter for bushes or small trees that send their roots straight down.

Tire swings are fun, but you can make a tire swing planter! Just drill two holes about 6 inches apart on the tread side. Pass one end of a rope through each hole and knot the ends on the inside. Hang the rope over a branch or pole. Fill the bottom with soil and you have a unique, beautiful planter!

tire planter painted red on red brick wall

If you don’t want to hang that planter from a branch, you can also attach it to a wall to create a wonderful “porthole” style look.

There are many, many more ways to style your tire into a planter – it just depends on your creativity!


Recycling can be great, and there are many ways we can incorporate it into our gardening, whether it’s through composting, decorating, or some other awesome way! Using old tires is one of many great ways to reduce waste. And it offers us a fun, unique look that will be a great addition to the yard!

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.