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Ornamental Plant Pots

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Ornamental Plant Pots

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Overview

Ornamental plant pots complement plantings and add interest to both indoor and outdoor gardens. Choose pots according to taste, or adhere to a specific theme. Other factors to consider when selecting ornamental pots include cost, location, weight, appearance and the best plants to pair with them.

Cost

Ornamental plant pots are available in a wide range of prices in garden supply stores, antique stores, in catalogs, at garage sales and even in the garages and attics of friends and family. Expensive ornamental pots might not be appropriate for a heavily trafficked area such as a deck or in a precarious position where they could be knocked over by children or pets. Some stores sell ornamental pots at a discount when they are chipped or cracked. These function well if they are placed so that the damage is hidden and if they do not require frequent relocation. If you love ornamental pots but don't want to spend much money, ask friends and family for cast-offs or place a want-ad stating your interest. Garage and estate sales offer another low-cost option for finding pots.

Location

Consider where your ornamental pots will be located. Delicate examples are best kept indoors, where they are less likely to be subject to damage from weather and animals. More rustic pots such as year-round terra cotta types look handsome outdoors and can withstand normal wear and tear. When planting, choose specimens that are appropriate for the amount of light the pot will allow them to receive in the spot you have chosen. Nothing makes a beautiful ornamental pot look worse than a sick or dying plant within it.

Weight

Some ornamental pots are very heavy. Even lighter examples become heavy when they are filled with soil and plantings. To avoid moving heavy pots, consider placing them before planting in the spot where they will remain. An advantage of heavier pots is that they are less likely to be knocked over. A heavy, expensive ornamental pot might be perfectly safe when fully planted in a secure corner of an outdoor area, even an area with lots of activity.

Appearance

Ornamental pots come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, shapes, colors, glazes and designs. Browsing garden shops and flea markets can give you a sense of the options available. Shiny copper urns make a dramatic statement outdoors, where they reflect the sunlight. Small, ornate glazed pots can beautify a kitchen windowsill. A cluster of terra cotta pots of various sizes in complementary shapes and planted with Mediterranean herbs can create a casual, European atmosphere.

Plants

Ornamental pots should balance in look and feel the plants they contain. A small houseplant could look awkward in a large, elaborately decorated ceramic pot. Much like choosing the right shade for a lamp, choosing the right plant for an ornamental pot requires paying attention to the overall look. A large, simple pot glazed in a solid color might be the perfect foil for a tree with a lot of visual interest, such as a flowering orange. A vibrant mosaic pot could be the ideal counterpart to a special herb, such as a Spanish lavender. Be certain that your pot has drainage holes, or your plant will not live long. For pots without drainage holes, line the bottom with rocks, and keep the plant in a smaller container hidden within it. To avoid suffocating the plant, a day or so after watering remove it and ensure that no water remains in the rocks.

Keywords: ornamental pots, plant pots, choosing pots

About this Author

Splitting her time between New York's Hudson Valley and Seattle, Fossette Allane has been writing about food, gardening, and culture since 1997. Her work has been published in newspapers and journals including "The Boston Phoenix" and "FENCE," and on various blogs. She has a master's degree in social work from Hunter College and a B.A. in theater from Oberlin College. She currently teaches undergraduates.