February 24, 2023

Introducing the Urban Bark Planter

Introducing the Urban Bark Planter

For several years our primitive planter has been a staple for natural gardening enthusiasts. We have been working behind the scenes to make a companion planter ideal for the in-home gardener who needs to maximize space on a counter or table. Unlike our primitive planter, the new urban planter sits flat on a surface. It can be set on a deck railing, table, or the ground, opening up new options for natural bark planters. 


A bright pink and purple orchid in an urban cork bark planter


First things first, we should get a little bit of background on what a cork bark planter is. All of our cork bark planters are made from the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber). Every summer, cork harvesters head out to the forests and carefully peel the bark off the cork oak trees scheduled to be harvested. The bark regrows and can be harvested again 7-10 years later. 

Typically planters are made from the bark harvested in the first or second harvesting for the most intriguing look. As a result, every bark planter is unique, with natural gnarls and features. However, the planter does have a seam where the bark is rejoined after harvest. 


A marked cork tree that has recently been harvested


When we began to design the urban planter, we started with a few goals. 


  1. The planter sits flat on the ground.
  2. Increase the planter's stability.
  3. Make the sizing more standard. 


With these goals in mind, we worked to find materials and a manufacturing process that would fit these goals. We landed on using a concrete base for the standard sizes and an insulation cork base for the air plant mini planter. These bases allow us to customize the base to fit each planter for the most secure fit. 


The concrete base of the urban planter with a drainage hole in the center


We found that with the concrete base in the standard sizes, the urban planter is more stable than the primitive planter. The added weight at the bottom of the planter lowers the center of gravity, reducing the likelihood that the planter will tip over in the wind or from being bumped. When this added weight is combined with a completely flat base, the urban planter is significantly more stable and perfect for deck railings, windowsills, or kitchen tables! 


two cork bark planters with flowers in them. The top planter has a pink/purple orchid and the bottom planter has bright yellow flowers.


We also added a drainage hole at the center of the concrete to help control drainage. Please note that the cork bark making the sides still have a seam that may have some leaking depending on soil type and amount, water amount, and humidity. 


We tested the urban planter with bonsai plants, spider plants, and orchids. The more delicate plants benefit from the cork's nutrients and moisture retention.  


An assortment of succulents in a cork bark urban planter


The air plant mini planter is an entirely new product. This planter is designed for little succulents, air plants, and other small plants that would be overwhelmed in a full-size cork bark planter like the urban and primitive planters. We wanted to focus on making these planters lightweight, breathable, and the perfect size for tiny plants. 


A urban planter and a mini planter on a teak table


For this reason, we chose to use an insulation cork base, which allows the soil or air plant plenty of fresh air at the roots. The base will also sit flat, making them perfect for windowsills, bathroom counters, and even shelving units! The smaller size ensures the planter won't overwhelm the beauty of a smaller plant while bringing an all-natural planting option to mini plants.


Interested in learning more about wholesaling the Urban and Mini Planter? Contact us at cork@jelinek.com!