Choosing the perfect plant for your indoor garden is always a good time. But, like ice cream without a cone or a really cool hat without a head, an indoor plant without a planter just doesn’t work. Unless your home has a floor made of rich soil, or you’re going exclusively with air plants, all indoor gardeners will need the perfect pots and window boxes to hold their favorite greenery.
Luckily, choosing the right pot can be just as enjoyable as choosing the right plant. You’ll want to find one that compliments the plant that you’re putting it in, while also choosing the right material, style, and size for your home. The plant is the showpiece. The pot is an accessory. But as we fashionistas/horticulturists know, accessories are important!
Types of Plant Pots
Plant pots come in a wide variety of materials, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some are the best products for certain plants, while others are the best products for a specific type of architecture or living space. Some are simply more practical than others. A large pot might make a small space feel cramped, but flourish in a larger living room. Choosing the right material is essential to growing happy, healthy, aesthetically pleasing, sexy plants.
Don't just rely on TikTok and Pinterest recommendations for your pottery purchases—let us help you find the perfect pot for your space.
Terracotta pots are made from baked clay. It often comes in the natural brownish-orange clay color, and even if you didn’t know the word “terra cotta”, you’ve certainly seen terracotta pots before.
Terracotta is one of the most classic types of plant pot. Other materials often try to imitate the terracotta look, but there are pros and cons to terracotta all its own. One of the best aspects of a terracotta pot is its porous nature. The material absorbs water, which helps prevent over-watering, which can lead to root rot and other problems.
Cons of terracotta are its weight—it’s quite heavy—and the fact that it’s prone to cracking if it’s dropped or temperatures dip too low. Terracotta pots look great holding desert plants, like cacti and succulents. Plus, the absorbent material leads to dry soil, which is what desert plants prefer.
Plastic pots have quickly become one of the most popular types of plant pot in the indoor gardening world. One of the greatest things about plastic pots is their versatility. They come in any color of the rainbow, so you’ll have no trouble selecting the perfect pot for your space. They can also be simple or modern and flashy, depending on your sensibilities.
You’ll want to find a plastic pot that’s made from recycled plastic. The last thing we want to do when bringing nature indoors is to hurt the outdoors. Plastic is not absorbent like terracotta or wood, so it’s important not to over water plants potted in plastic, and to make sure plastic pots have drainage holes.
One of the best things about plastic pots is their late weight allows them to be perfect for hanging and wall mounting your plants. Plastic pots go well with tropical plants that need more water than the desert-dwellers.
Another very popular pot material, ceramic planters have a glossy look that is different from both terracotta and plastic. This is because ceramic pots are glazed with a coat of lacquer, which makes them less absorbent, but perhaps nicer looking, than terracotta ones. Ceramic pots can come in many different colors and patterns and can be placed on floors, tables, or ledges and fit right in. They also look great when placed on a stand.
Ceramic pots are often more expensive than other materials, so they may not be the best option for us botanists-on-a-budget. They work well with many large plants, including the Parlor Palm and the Snake Plant. They also are best used with tropical plants, as terracotta has them beat in terms of drainage.
Wood planters seem like they should be more popular than they are. There are many great things about them, but a few disadvantages turn some folks off. We love the fact that they are absorbent and porous. Like terracotta, they allow for dry soil and healthy roots. We also love the natural look and feel of wooden pots. After all, you won’t exactly find plastic planters in the forest. With wooden pots, you will feel more connected to nature than ever. Plus, they’re very eco-friendly.
That brings us to the cons. One of the main problems with wood is durability. Wood planters don’t last long, breaking or rotting in a way that plastic or ceramic would not. Also, wooden planters are prone to pests and require maintenance to use. Having a wooden plant pot is almost like having an actual plant!
While not as popular as a planter, wooden planter stands are a perfect way to elevate your plant game!
Yes, yes, we know. Fiberglass plant pots are often the most expensive. But, they’re also some of the best options out there, combining attributes of a few different types of pot. First of all, fiberglass is lightweight, especially in comparison to heavier materials like terracotta and ceramic. They’re also very durable and tend to last longer than wood or even plastic.
Fiberglass can be combined with other materials to make interesting plant pot options. For instance, this inexpensive pot was made with fiberglass combined with cement, sand, and stone.
Stone and Concrete
Stone and concrete planters are most often used for outdoor gardening, as the heavy weight and more harsh appearance suit large outdoor plants. However, these two planter types are an interesting choice for indoors, as their neutral light gray color can fit in with any room and with any plant.
Some plants may have a hard time growing in concrete pots. Concrete contains lime, which has a very high PH level, so plants that are sensitive to high alkalinity should not be grown in concrete. However, plants like succulents and orchids prefer a high-alkaline environment, and so they tend to thrive in concrete pots.
Metal pots are risky for plant health for a couple of reasons. First of all, metal may rust, which may cause oxidation to occur at the bottom of the plants, and also may create holes in the pot. Plus, metal pots are prone to overheating, which can be very damaging to a plant’s roots.
If you love the way a metal pot looks, you may want to consider placing a smaller planter with a drainage hole inside the metal pot. This will remove the problems of heat and rust while keeping the outer appearance that you love. Metal pots are relatively lightweight, and often pair well with lush, tropical plants such as the Chinese Evergreen.
No really, this is a true story. In 2017, a large container being used as a flowerpot at Blenheim Palace in England turned out to be a 1700 year old Roman Sarcophagus. An antique expert made the discovery, and the sarcophagus was appraised to be worth over $300,000. Not bad for a humble plant holder!
When you just don’t have enough space around the house, hanging planters are the perfect solution. With hanging planters, you can get creative with your indoor plants, and utilize your space for maximum indoor garden capabilities.
Hanging planters come in all different materials and styles. From simple plastic to ceramic, to unique steel, you have plenty of options. We find that the best plants for planters are the ones with long, beautiful vines that are able to spill over edges and hang below the bowl. A couple of our favorites are the String of Hearts and the Jade Pathos.
Another way to get creative is to use wall planters. These planters are amazing because they allow you to use plants as a wall decoration. So rip down those family photos, because the Crown of Thorns is far more beautiful.
Wall planters can be many shapes and sizes; however, they often come in plastic or metal because of the lightweight material. Some even have two shells, a no-leak outer shell, and a draining inner shell. They’re the perfect way to add life to your room without taking up a lot of space.
Stop the Pot Talk
Okay, we can all agree that’s enough pot talk for one day. You’re ready to fill your garden with the perfect pots and vases, and then fill those pots with some plants, herbs like basil and thyme, and flowers. Every little thing matters for a thriving indoor garden, from the pot, to the light, to the soils and mulches. The right pottery and indoor garden containers are the best way to support epic gardening at home.
Don't forget to choose the perfect size for your indoor plant pots. They should be between one to three inches bigger in diameter than your plant, and you might want an extra saucer to catch excess water or moisture.
Whether you're looking for outdoor planters for your patio, deck, or backyard or you want the perfect decorative container for your living room, you don’t want to leave your plant on the street without a pot to piss—sorry, live in. So get out there and get potting!