Choosing the right pot for your plants does more than create an attractive display. Although appearance is certainly a consideration, the container must provide adequate room for soil and root formation, good drainage to prevent soggy soil and access for watering and plant care. Without these features, your plants will not grow or bloom as expected.
Choose pots in the correct size for your plant as the little seedling may grow many times its current size. Consider the size of the plant at maturity when determining the size of the pot for outdoor plants, particularly if you are growing annuals that reach maturity within a few weeks to a month or more. Place slow-growing plants in smaller pots and repot periodically to maintain the proper size.
Select a plant pot with adequate drainage holes. Terra cotta and plastic plant pots often have drainage holes in the bottom, but decorative ceramic or stone pots may lack drainage holes. If you choose a pot without drainage holes, provide a layer of rocks or gravel at the bottom to promote drainage and assume some risk of waterlogged soil that may inhibit growth.
Plant seedlings or plants in a pot that allows room around the base of the plant for watering. Although plants can be grown in funnel-shaped pots with narrow mouths, it is difficult to water or fertilize plants without damaging or wetting the foliage. Some plants may thrive, but others like African violets suffer when foliage is handled excessively or gets wet.
Choose colors and shapes that complement the plant and its setting. Neutral colors like natural terra cotta work for nearly any plant, but bright blues, yellows or reds may enhance the appearance of the plant. Keep in mind that color should enhance the plant's foliage and bloom.