Planters & Pottery for Plants


Decorative planters and pots help you create elegant displays of your plants, whether they are indoors, outdoors, or on a porch or patio. Gardeners will find a huge selection of planters in several materials and styles to fit any decorating scheme. Try to choose a plant container that meets the needs of the plants it will house. For instance, terra cotta pots dry out quickly, and glazed pots will hold soil moisture longer.


Terra cotta and ceramic are some basic earthen materials used to make plant pots. Wood planters are popular choices. Patterns to make your own wooden planters are available in many books and magazines. Concrete plant pots and urns are the heaviest, and plastic or resin are the lightest weight. Planters are made in any material that is waterproof, including metal and glass.


Terra cotta pots are either glazed or unglazed. Unglazed or partially-glazed terra cotta pottery will wick moisture and hold it, which can have a cooling effect on the root zone of plants in summer heat. Ceramic pots are kiln-fired, which makes them a bit more durable than terra cotta. Ceramic may be elaborately designed, and it is often beautifully painted and glazed. Glazed planters help prevent complete dry-out of the soil. Wooden planters can create a natural look, and they are often selected to complement decks and casual patios. Wooden planters are typically lined with plastic or metal to avoid rot from contact with moist soil. Planters cast in concrete are heavy. They are usually considered to be part of a permanent garden display. Many resin compounds will stand up to extreme weather conditions. Plastic planters tend to crack.

Sizes and Shapes

Shop for a planter that fits the space you have. You will find sizes and shapes to meet any requirements. Narrow planters for windowsills, saucered pots, various sizes of hanging planters, and large urns are only a few examples. Look for pots designed with a specific purpose in mind, such as "strawberry pots." These have a series of cupped openings through the sides of the pot so plants inserted in the openings will grow from the central soil and water supply. When purchasing a large pot that you will need to move occasionally, consider the weight of the soil and plant as well as the weight of the planter.


Manufacturers make planters for any use. Some are specifically made for small plants, seedlings or cuttings. Others are stable and durable for container gardening, where the planter must house the soil and plant as well as vegetables or fruits produced. This includes planters for container-grown dwarf fruit trees, which need to be set into a planter where they will remain for several years to mature and produce fruit. Use a cache pot to dress up a plain pot and meet your decorating needs. Simply set a plain potted plant inside the cache pot. This method makes it possible to rotate plants in the same cache pot for a fresh, continuous display.


The cost of planters and pottery varies a great deal, and it is not always tied to the quality of the planter. Shop for planters with purpose and design in mind first, to make sure you are buying what your plants need. Then look for quality and construction, and weed out those that will not offer the service you need.

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About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.