10 Stylish Planter Trays for Under $20 to Save Your Windowsills from Destruction

published Mar 3, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

I learned the hard way that a plant-filled window can wreak havoc on your windowsill. Between regular waterings and planter rotating, my freshly painted living room windowsill turned into a soil-and-water-stained eyesore within just a few weeks. 

Of course, all of this could’ve been prevented if I’d employed a simple plant tray under the plants on my windowsill. Designed to collect the water that drains from your pots, plant trays are a sleek, affordable way to save your windowsills from destruction — no post-watering cleanup necessary! To prove my point, I rounded up 10 stylish planter trays priced under $20 that will protect your windowsills from water and soil damage without breaking your bank account (or sacrificing style). 

Credit: Terrain

1. Habit + Form Rectangle Brass Tray

A metallic plant tray can add a dash of drama to a windowsill while shielding the surface from water damage. Composed of 26-gauge galvanized steel, this powder-coated rectangular brass tray is both watertight and rust-resistant, so it’s every bit as pretty to look at as it is practical.

Buy: Habit + Form Small Rectangle Tray in Brass, $16.00 for a Small Size from Terrain

Credit: Etsy

2. Colored Concrete Tray

For an eye-catching way to protect your windowsills, consider a colored concrete plant tray. This oval-shaped tray is handmade from cement and gypsum and is the perfect size for a pair of succulents and other small plant pots.

Buy: AiryHomeStudio Oval Concrete Tray, $11.99 from Etsy

Credit: Gardeners

3. Self-Watering Tray

Why buy a traditional plant tray when you can have a self-watering style instead? This self-wicking humidity tray has a built-in capillary mat that will keep your plants hydrated for up to two weeks — no hand-watering required!

Buy: Self-Watering Windowsill Tray, $14.95 from Gardener’s Supply Company

Credit: Bloomist

4. Artisanal Tray

For an artisanally-made planter tray with a bit of oomph, look no further than this circular model from Bloomist. Handcrafted from terracotta clay by artisans in Honduras, this one-of-a-kind tray is greenwashed by hand after being fired in a kiln and will only set you back $8, so you can definitely order a couple. 

Buy: Studio Planter Tray in Greenwash, $8.00 from Bloomist

Credit: Amazon

5. Acrylic Tray

Modern design lovers, rejoice! I found an acrylic plant tray at Amazon for $20! Sized for holding herbs, succulents, and other small plants, this clear plastic planter tray is both durable and watertight. If you buy two or three, the price per tray goes down, too.

Buy: Window Garden Multi-Use Acrylic Planter Tray, $19.99 from Amazon 

6. Flowerbox-Style Trays

For a classic planter tray in a colorful finish, consider the Countryside Flower Box Tray at Root & Vessel. Not only are these sturdy plastic blend trays designed to resist all weather conditions, they contain UV-inhibitors to prevent fading and cracking.

Buy: Countryside 36” Flower Box Tray, $9.00 from Root & Vessel

Credit: CB2

7. Rubber Coated Tray

Good news: A waterproof catchall tray can moonlight as a sophisticated plant tray in a windowsill. This dapper stoneware tray at CB2 features a matte black rubber-coated finish, making it both water and crack-and-chip resistant. A white colorway is also available, too!

Buy: Rubber Coated Black Tank Tray, $14.95 from CB2

Credit: Amazon

8. Bamboo Tray

A simple bamboo planter tray can complement an array of decor styles without costing you an arm and a leg. This $10 streamlined style from Amazon is constructed of sturdy, waterproof bamboo and boasts clean lines and curved corners to boot. 

Buy: WITUSE Bamboo Tray, $10.01 from Amazon

Credit: Terrain

9. Pinch Pleated Tray

A plant tray with a pleated edge and metal feet can bring a touch of flair, texture, and height to a plain windowsill. This model is made from durable dark zinc and has a ridged border inspired by the style of traditional tart pans.

Buy: Habit + Form Medium Tart Plant Tray in Dark Zinc, $14.00 for a Medium Size from Terrain

Credit: Bloomist

10. Contemporary Terracotta Tray

For a traditional terracotta planter tray with a hand-hewn twist, consider the Rustic Terra Cotta Clay Tray at Bloomist. Hand-thrown in terracotta and aged outdoors, this shapely tray can catch water from a small plant without compromising its natural patina.

Buy: Rustic Terra Cotta Clay Tray, $8.00 for a Medium Size from Bloomist