A quick and helpful guide to the right plant pots

Whether you’re in a repotting stage of your plant journey, or you’re a beginner trying to figure out which pots to plant their new seedlings in, you’re in the right place. If there’s anything plant parents can’t have too many of, it’s definitely pots.

Giving your plant a home in a pot involves more than just appearance or aesthetics. The size, shape, and material of your planter actually have a huge impact on the health of your plant. After all, it’s where the soil/potting mix and water are contained, both of which are essential things that plants need to survive.

To make the decision easier, we’ve put together this super quick and helpful guide for your reference when making plant pot choices, with their long-term health and growth in mind.

Keep in mind that size does matter

By providing the right size of pots for your plants, you are giving them the proper amount of space to grow their roots and establish a foothold on their soil.

Of course, there are no official rules or measurements to this. The pot size ultimately depends on the size of the root mass. But to avoid confusion, keep in mind that the pots should generally be about an inch wider than the root size of the plant.

plant pots sizes

But if you have the type of plant that grows faster than the average rate, then we recommend going with a pot that is four inches wider than its roots. The size of the pot ultimately determines how much air and water your plant’s roots will get.

Shape is also closely related in this aspect. A pot that’s shallow and wider in structure will hold water closer to the roots, compared to a taller-sized pot. This is because gravity pulls water down through the container and out the drainage holes.

Consider the material of the pots

Planters are available in various materials, all fantastic for aesthetics and functionality. Each material serves a purpose that will aid you in achieving a specific gardening style.

Plastic Pots

Plastic pots are the most affordable types you can find, so they’re perfect if you’re shopping on a tight budget. They may look simple, but they’re lightweight, strong, and flexible. Available in every possible color, you can easily arrange them in a way that looks pleasing or blends well in your home.

plastic pots

They’re ideal for plants that thrive on absorbing moisture, or for gardeners who don’t water often. They also have thinner walls, so unfortunately they don’t offer much insulation from temperature changes. In fact, a black pot is very likely to absorb heat, sometimes up to damaging levels. If you’re going with a black or dark-colored container, make sure to place them in an area with lots of shade, so that heat build-up won’t be too much of a problem.

Ceramic Pots

Ceramic pots look quite elegant and exude a luxurious feel. They’re typically glazed with a coat of lacquer, which is to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Naturally, they’re much heavier than their plastic counterparts.

ceramic pots

If you’re going with a ceramic pot, make sure you have a plant that can handle sitting in stagnant water – and if you’ve been in the gardening game for a while, you know that there are very few of those types of plants. Nevertheless, even with a limited range of plant options, it’s still perfectly possible to have your plants thrive in ceramic pots. Just make sure that you’re always careful not to overwater and to monitor the soil closely.

Terracotta Pots

These beautiful red clay pots are the most common and recognizable types of planters. Because of their material, they are naturally porous and so can absorb a lot of water from the soil. However, as handy as this feature is, it also comes with a few disadvantages.

terracotta pots

Plants that thrive in terracotta pots tend to rely on the pots themselves to control the moisture in their soil. Because of their porous nature, they let more moisture and air pass through, and have a big drainage hole at the bottom. This causes the pot to drain quickly, meaning that you will have to take extra measures to make sure your plant is getting enough water.

You’d also have to be wary of weather changes, as terracotta plants have a tendency to break or crack under freezing temperatures.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are always chic and enthralling to look at. They’re perfect for spaces with minimalist design themes; they may even be just the thing you need to shake up your garden arrangement. Typically, they are suspended from chains and ropes, and the baskets themselves are made from wire and filled with burlap.

hanging baskets

This is your chance to get creative. Aside from picking out decorative plants to keep in these dangling planters, you can also experiment with the styles, shapes, and liners. Liners, in particular, are very important for your plant’s growth, as it is responsible for either helping or hindering water retention in the soil.

To prevent the water from draining through the basket and onto the ground, it would be wise to insert a drainage pipe to evenly distribute air and water.

Now that you’re better informed of the right housing choices for your precious plant babies, we hope that your journey only goes smoother from here. Be sure to keep all these tips in mind the next time you’re out shopping for planters. If you need more inspiration, feel free to take a look at the vast choices available from the best florist Melbourne has to offer!

Try another of my great garden posts:

Leave a Reply