The Best Clay Flower Pots

Clay pots and flowers go together. There is a wide range of color and size choices, and, according to the Iowa State University Extension, "clay pots provide a healthy environment for most plants. The porosity of clay allows air and moisture to penetrate the sides of the pot. This moisture and air is utilized by the fine roots located at the edge of the soil ball." Choose the right pot for your plants and they will thrive in any environment.

Proper Size

A flower pot needs to be properly sized. If the pot is too small, the roots will become bound and the plant will not grow to its full size. Flowering annuals such as geraniums, petunias and marigolds are content in 6- to 12-inch pots, while shrubs and small trees will require at least a 2-gallon container.

Drainage

If you are planting directly into a clay pot, be sure it has adequate drainage. A hole in the bottom center is good but holes along the bottom edge are better. If you are using a decorative clay pot as a cover for a plastic pot, drainage is not necessary but be sure the liner pot is elevated enough that it does not sit in accumulated water.

Glazing

Glazed ceramic planters are coated in a durable, impermeable layer of glass-like material. It adds color, strength and water resistance to a clay pot. Ceramic glazes can range from bright and glossy primary colors to subtle and earthy mattes.

Terra Cotta or Stoneware

Low-fired terra cotta pots are more fragile than highfired stoneware. Low-fired clay is lighter in weight and more porous, making it unsuitable for freezing temperatures. Terra cotta pots are made in Italy, Mexico and China and can be sealed to increase their durability. Vietnamese black clay, a hard, weather resistant clay harvested from river bottoms, is particularly durable.

Keywords: clay flower pot, terra cotta, ceramic planters

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on eHow.com, GardenGuides.com and VetInfo.com.