There are so many different types of planters. How do you choose the right one for your plants? I have been researching the options when it comes to planters. I thought I would give y’all the benefit of my research and compile it all in one place. Here is my guide to choosing the right planter for your container garden.
First, be sure to determine what you are going to plant and where your planters are going to be located. That is key in the rest of your research. For me, I am going to be revamping my container herb garden. For the past few years it has basically looked the same and well it has seen better times. The bench actually fell apart y’all. So it is time to start over and make it look awesome.
Types of Planters
There are several different factors to consider when picking your planters. Keep in mind what you are planting and where as you work your way down the list below.
I feel the material that the planter is made of is the most important decision. I am going to list some materials below along with the pros and cons of each one.
- Ceramic is not good if you plan to leave your planters out during a cold winter as they will crack when frozen. Most ceramic planters do not have drain holes so drilling of holes in the bottom may be required. They are generally very heavy so do not use them if you expect to move the planter. Ceramic is excellent at retaining water so your containers will not dry out as quickly. They are also readily available in lots of colors and designs.
- Metal may actually overheat the roots and soil if used in direct sunlight. These also require maintenance due to rust issues. The outside of the container will get a lovely patina but you don’t want to rust through the inside. A plastic liner may be useful with metal containers. Most come without drain holes so you may need to add once purchased. They are generally affordable and lightweight for movement after planted.
- Plastic or fiberglass planters are actually long-lasting but they can become brittle over time when left out in the weather. However, they will not break when dropped, kicked, or knocked over by balls (ask me how I know). The brittleness however is exactly why the planters I have now are going to have to all be replaced. These planters are very lightweight and are not useful for any plants that are top-heavy. They are readily available, affordable, and there are so many options as far as design and color.
- Terra Cotta planters are gorgeous in my opinion but there are drawbacks. Did you know that because they are so porous they dry out very quickly? I am not the best at watering my plants so I was very concerned about this. I did find an article that suggests soaking the terra cotta pot in water for at least 30 minutes before planting anything in it to help the pot to retain moisture. Other drawbacks include that they are breakable, may crack if frozen, and can be heavy when planted. I love that they already come with drainage holes and I won’t have to worry about any drilling. Plus they are definitely budget-friendly.
- Wood planters are another one that makes my heart pitter-patter. They do require maintenance and can rot. A liner may help to protect the inside. They can be heavy if they are large but just think of the possibilities of building whatever you want! Those planters that are half of an old barrel really make me smile. I love that aged and worn patina. Plus wood provides good drainage and is affordable.
Use the material descriptions above to narrow down your options before you even head to the store. There are so many types of planters so heading to the store can be overwhelming without the right knowledge.
Size of Flower Pots
Size is the next factor after I narrowed down my materials. What are you going to be adding to your container? Make sure you know the fully matured size of your plant. Allow enough room for the plant, soil, and roots. I will be adding multiple herbs to one pot so I need to keep that in mind when looking at types of planters.
Look up your plants to see if there are recommendations about watering, soil, planters, how large the plant will get, etc. Also, think about the fact that the larger your planter is the harder it will be to move once full. Maybe you don’t want to move it now but will you in the winter? However, smaller pots will dry out faster and hold less water.
Watering of Your Plants
Watering is a huge consideration for me. My brown thumb mostly comes from being overly busy and not watering properly. There are some great self-watering pots available now and you can be sure I will check out all of those options. Also if you choose a pot like terra cotta or drill holes in your ceramic pots, be sure to grab a saucer to help hold water under your container.
I will also add that you need to think about where you are going to put your container. Think about the surface under the container and what it is going to be subjected to. Are you adding containers to a wood deck? Not adding saucers or lifting up your containers could cause rot. I am actually adding these containers to our freshly poured concrete deck. You can be sure I will be cautious to try to avoid any stains.
Flower Pot Design
Color and design are also considerations when choosing your types of planters. However, don’t let that completely affect your decision. You can always use a variety of methods to customize your planters. So choose based on the other factors and get a container shape you love.
We have been talking mainly about containers that rest on the ground, table, or porch but there are so many other options to consider. Maybe you are in the market for window boxes this year? The same design considerations apply to those as far as materials, size, etc.
Price of Garden Pots
Price is always a factor in any decision. We all have a budget. So while I have listed this factor last we all know it is primary in your quest to find the perfect planter. Be sure to look at pricing as you shop and consider the above factors with choices that fall within your budget.
Now that you know what types of planters are out there and how they work with various plants, use this information to choose the best flower pots for your container garden!