Have you ever heard of a hypertufa planter? And, did you know it was pronounced “hyper-toofa”? I’ve been wanting to make one for quite some time, but I never knew how to pronounce it until a bunch of you told me over on IG! I’ve always wanted one of those ancient stone looking planters and so I decided to give it a try! I thought at first that I would just use it for a faux tree, but seeing as how I think that I’m a professional plant person now (insert haha), I decided later to go real!
I’ve made lots of concrete planters in the past, but I’ve never tried it the “hypertufa” way. I just have to say, this was so much fun, and I want to do it again and again! It was super easy!…it’s just mix, and pack!
*Affiliate links used in this post
I started off with:
- one of these large buckets …but ended up needing two and the come in twos online
- another smaller planter that I picked up for the center part
- a bag of portland cement
- 3-quart bags of Perlite
- 3- quart bags of Peat Moss
- a trowel
- plastic drop cloth
I had another bucket for mixing but it was too small so I found another one of these huge buckets in my son’s room…don’t tell. I mixed 1 bag of the Perlite, Peat Moss, and about equal parts of the cement (eye balling it, as usual) in the large bucket until it was goopy consistency. I did this three times, because mixing all 6 bags and the cement at once would have been way too much and too heavy to handle while mixing. Once I had all of the parts in my plastic bucket, I just added water as needed and kept stirring. It was nice that my hubs helped me with this part…my arms turn into gummy worms real fast.
Before I mixed everything together, I had taped plastic drop cloth into my large black bucket (that was going to be the base for my pot) with painters tape. I sprayed it with cooking spray before adding the mixture to try to keep it from sticking when I was ready to remove it later on. I think next time I may try it without any plastic, and just spray the bucket instead. The plastic did give it a lot of extra “cracks and grooves” that gave it a more aged appearance, but there were a little too many for my liking (which I fixed later on). Maybe I could try adding thinner plastic next time?…or smooth out the plastic more?
I made sure not to add too much water to my mixture. You can always add more water if needed. I did add a little more cement when I felt like I had maybe a little too much moisture in the mixture.
Once I had it all mixed, I started adding it to the bottom of the black plastic bin. Just make sure to squish it down good into those grooves. I made the bottom part of my pot to be the thickest…it is probably a good 5-6 inches thick. I think that helped with the durability when we removed it after drying.
Once I had the bottom as thick as I wanted it, I added the extra smaller planter to the inside and shoved and packed the mixture around it. I had to mix the mixture 3 times remember, so it was packed in stages, after I had more of the mixture done. You can see how the inside planter is sitting lower in this photo…I took it out and added more to the bottom after this photo because it was too low to round off the top and have a taller planter when finished.
After I had it all packed in, I covered it and let it is sit overnight. I wanted the top rim of the planter to be a little uneven and rocky looking, so I rounded it off, and stacked it a little higher, after packing the sides.
In the morning, I removed the inside. I knew from experience, of doing concrete planters in the past, that it would be set up enough to remove, and that would help it not to stick in the end. There was a little water puddling in the bottom the morning after we made it, but no biggie, I just scooped the water out and then let it sit again, covered with the plastic. I would uncover mine during the day and then cover it over night. I had a few of you that had done these before tell me that it helps them not to dry too fast if you cover it. We do live in the desert, but I also made it in the winter here, when it’s a little more humid and chilly.
Below was day two after drying. still really wet, but it was setting up great! We let it sit for a good 4-5 days before we took it out of the bucket and removed the plastic.
We let it sit upside down so that we didn’t have to move it too much! There were a lot more deep “liney” grooves than I desired, so I mixed a little more cement and added some into the grooves.
I then let it dry again for another day or two with the cement mixture that I added into the grooves. I did leave a lot of the grooves and texture, but there was just too much to leave it all without adding some cement, in my opinion.
This hard bristle drill attachment was a huge help to shave down the outside chunky parts a bit. Once the cement that I had added into the grooves was dry, I used the hard bristle attachment to allow some of the “grit” to show through the cement and to smooth out areas that I wanted to, which gave it a rockier look.
I let it dry outside for about 7-8 days before we moved it at all. We then brought it inside once it was all set up and mostly dry to help it to dry out better. It’s actually still damp on the inside bottom and it’s been over two weeks since we made it. These things do take a while to dry completely and I’m glad that I didn’t rush the drying, as so many of you recommended over on IG.
After the faux olive tree that I ordered came and I didn’t really love it, I decided to get a real tree. My hubs, Trav, drilled through the bottom to add two holes for me for drainage and I will get a saucer for the bottom. The drill went through the bottom so great, that is when we could tell that it was still damp on the inside.
I’m so in love with it!!!!!! This is so much more budget friendly than buying one of the real ancient rock looking planters for thousands of dollars!
I probably spent around $70 total for all of the supplies…well worth it to me!!
I found this sweet fiddle fig tree that fits perfectly and I will actually keep it closer to a window in the long run. I just thought it looked so cute beside the church pew here for a photo.
Do you think this is a project that you would tackle? I don’t think you will regret it! It truly looks like it has been around for hundreds of years! This one is huge…I would also love to make an even larger one!