With all the different shapes, sizes, and styles of pots and planters out there, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you and your plants. Do you want a large, fancy one that will really show off your personality? Or a small, conservative one that will let your plants shine? The most important thing to remember, of course, is what kind of pot will help your plant grow and stay healthy? Here's a few things to consider:
Drainage is by far the most important thing to consider when looking for a new plant pot. Holes in the bottom of a pot or planter allow excess water from the soil to drain away. If a plant is constantly kept in wet soil, it may suffer from root rot, which is often fatal. Ensuring your pots always have holes in – whether you buy ones with holes or drill them in your self – will keep your plants happy and healthy. If you’ve found a pot you really love that doesn’t have holes, and you don’t want to drill it yourself, consider using another, holed pot for planting, and then placting that pot within your favourite one.
A general rule is to use a pot just a tad bigger than your plant, as it’s important to allow your plants enough space to fully grow while also keeping them cosy. This means leaving ample room in a pot or planter for the roots to reach all the way down. Smaller pots may crush and confine the roots, meaning the top of the plant will never grow or flower fully. Of course, you also don’t want the pot too big, or else the amount of soil will retain water and cause root rot.
Long planters are great if you want to grow lots of different flowers or a crop of vegetables or herbs. Just make sure you know what kinds of seeds can grow together, and how far apart you should be planting them.
Square and wide circular pots tend to be the most stable, while tall, tapered pots are more likely to be toppled over by a strong gust of wind or someone bumping into them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use tapered pots – they always look so elegant – but if you do, take care to place them out of harms way or anchor them down.
While planters can be made from all sorts of materials, the three most common are plastic, terracotta, and ceramic.
Plastic pots are usually the cheapest, and a great starting point for anyone new to planting and growing flowers. They usually always have an adequate amount of draining holes, and can help regulate temperature as plastic warms back up and cools back down quickly after a change in weather.
Terracotta pots are the traditional favourite of many gardeners. Their classic design compliments many plants, and they’re usually quite affordable. Made of stoneware, they’re porous and so will help soak up water from the soil. This makes terracotta planters perfect for succulents, cacti, and other plants that love dry soil.
Ceramic pots are usually the most expensive. They’re often adorned with detail and colours, making them perfect for decoration. However, ceramic pots can be quite fragile, and must be handled with care. If you’re a seasoned gardener, then ceramic pots will bring an extra beautiful edge to your garden, but if you’re just starting out, we suggest you leave the ceramic pots until you’ve got a bit more confidence in your plant growing skills.
The great thing about planters is that there’s so many different types out there, you’ll definitely find one that fits your style and garden. But make sure you consider which plants you’ll be planting before choosing the prettiest, flashiest pot you can find.