When picking the right plant pot as a home for your plant, there's more to consider than just style or color. Yes, it greatly set the mood of a certain area, but the health of your plants should also come into play.
You might need to compare the strengths and weaknesses of different pots relative to the needs of your plants. Not following where I'm getting at? Read on below to read the most important factors you need to consider when picking out a planter.
One of the first things you should check out when it comes to choosing a plant pot is the material it’s made out of.
There are many types of plant pot materials, some of which can affect soil and moisture retention resulting in your plants being overwatered or underwatered. Here are some of the common plant pot materials.
Terra Cotta Pots
The classic and versatile pots that we usually see in many gardens. They have a natural brick orange-brown color which easily complements green foliages and colorful flowers.
Terra cotta pots are made from porous clay meaning they let more moisture and air pass through allowing moisture to be released from the soil more quickly. This is great for plants that come from arid climates and prefers dry soil like succulents and cacti.
Plants that would love Terra cotta pots:
- Aloe Vera
- Snake plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Ponytail Palm
- Christmas Cactus
- Jade Plant
Note: Terra cotta pots can age more quickly as opposed to their plastic or glazed counterparts due to water and mineral deposits so if you're someone looking for a planter that can be used multiple times or for longer, you should consider this too.
If you're looking for a more modern look for your plant nook, ceramic pots are a great option. Ceramic pots usually have a variety of beautiful colors, patterns, and styles making terracotta seem a little dull in comparison.
But then again, as I've mentioned earlier, we also have to look beyond the aesthetics of the pot. So how are ceramic pots different from other pots?
Unlike terra cotta pots, ceramic pots are typically glazed with lacquer which means they are non-porous. They can prevent the soil from quickly drying out and instead holds moisture for a longer time. This will work perfectly for those of you who are "underwaterer". They're also a perfect match for tropical plants, which typically like their soil to stay moist.
Plants that would love Ceramic pots:
- Boston Fern
- Baby's Tears
- Elephant's Ear
- Spider Plant
- Lucky Bamboo
Honestly, I'm not a really huge fan of plastic pots due to their aesthetics, which is why I usually cover those black nursery plastic pots in bigger ceramic pots or plant baskets. But of course, they have their merits too.
Similar to ceramic pots, plastic pots are non-porous which also makes them excellent for plants that love damper environments. Compared to terra cotta and ceramic pots, plastic pots are much more lightweight so you'll have to think twice if you're planning on putting larger plants. Personally, I think they'd be great only for smaller cute plants for table surfaces and not for floor plants. Ceramic or terra cotta pots look more natural, in my opinion. But to each his own 🙌
It may not seem as important, but the size of your pot also has an impact on the health of your houseplant.
Plants are living, growing things so over time they may outgrow its space. So does this mean you can just always opt for the bigger pots to be able to accommodate these plant changes? No. The basic rules of houseplant potting are simple: larger plants need larger containers, and smaller plants need smaller containers.
Whatever the size of your plant is, you have to get the pot that's just right for its current size. And as the plant grows, you'll just have to re-pot it to make room for growth and let its roots extend. But the general rule when repotting is to increase your pot size only by a few inches to avoid "transplant shock."
Lastly, it’s also important that you consider containers with a drainage hole/s at the bottom so your plants can breathe and that excess water has somewhere to escape instead of just sitting there in the pot causing root rot! This is especially important for plants that likes to keep their roots dry.
So what can you do if you happen to fall in love with a pot that has no drainage holes? Well, lucky for you, you have a few options.
- Drill your own drainage hole into the bottom of the pot. Be careful though, as this might not work for fragile materials.
- Add a layer of pebbles or landscape rocks to the bottom of your pot before adding any soil. This technique allows excess water to flow into the space with the pebbles, keeping water away from the roots and acting like a "drainage system" for your plant.
- Try "double potting." You can get a smaller container with a drainage hole and saucer and then place it inside your decorative pot that has no drainage.
- Stick with your chosen and just remember to drain out excess water.
Last tip: It's also a good idea to invest in a saucer so the water doesn't leak onto your floors or rugs.
Now, good luck with your Plant Pot Hunt! 😉