What Pots to use for house plants:
The most important thing about pots for indoor plants is that you understand the impact your choice has on the growing conditions for your plant.
Different types of Pots for your houseplants
I. Common materials used for making Indoor Plant pots
1. Terracotta Pots:
- Terracotta pots are classic planting pots, with a neutral and warm color that makes any plant look great.
- Come in a wide range of sizes from few inches to those that accommodate larger plants.
- The cost of these pots range from inexpensive to expensive.
- Good choice for plants that prefer drier & well-drained soil.
- Soil dries out faster in unlined terracotta pots so plants need to be watered more often than those planted in non-porous pots.
- Terra cotta pots filled with soil, especially larger ones can be heavy and hard to move. The material is brittle and breaks easily if it is dropped or damaged.
2. Ceramic Pots:
- Have a wide range of sizes, colours and styles, with some elaborately decorated.
- Are more durable than terracotta pots and don’t break as easily & are long- lasting.
- The soil in ceramic pots does not dry as quickly as in terra cotta.
- Choice for plants that prefer more consistently moist conditions.
- Pots are heavy and stable, and less likely to get damaged easily.
- Alike terracotta, larger ceramic pots filled with soil can be heavy to move.
- Ceramic pots, especially large ones can come with a substantial price.
- Some pots might not have bottom drain holes, leading to the possibility of soil remaining too saturated. You may have to drill a hole in the bottom of the pot.
3. Plastic Pots:
- Plastic pots are least expensive of all the pot materials.
- These pots are lightweight and not as heavy as ceramic or terra cotta.
- No material is more diverse than plastic; hundreds of options when choosing plastic pots.
- Plastic pots are resilient to damage. They may resist cracking, even when dropped.
- Soil stays moist for a longer time.
- A suitable choice for plants that require a bit moister conditions.
- Cheaply made plastic pots left out in the sun can lose their vibrant color, turn brittle and they may crack when they get old.
- Since plastic pots are not porous, overwatering can create soil conditions that are too saturated and possibly cause health problems for the plant.
- Be careful, if growing edibles in plastic pots. Some studies show that some plastics can leach chemicals into the soil, particularly if left in the sun.
4. Wooden Pots:
- Constructing wooden containers for plants is a relatively easy DIY project, requiring ordinary tools and materials.
- Wooden containers can be considerably less expensive than high-end terracotta or ceramic pots.
- Wooden pots can be made out of various recycled materials like wooden boxes, crates, baskets or bark.
- If not cared for properly, a wooden container may decay in just a year or more. To avoid decay, the soil should be removed when storing the pot for the winter.
- Wooden containers require high maintenance, as the wood needs to be resealed periodically in order to prolong the life of the pot.
- Depending on whether the pot’s wood is sealed, containers can be porous and the soil will dry quicker.
- More likely to leak, so it is better you should use a good drip tray when using wooden pots or planters indoors.
5. Metal Pots:
- Unusual choices that create a unique look and often serve as accent pieces.
- Many old metal items are available that can be repurposed as planting containers.
- Metal containers used indoors are durable and long-lasting.
- You can find metal containers in different sizes and styles.
- Depending on the various type of metal, some metal containers can rust.
- Larger containers made out of a metal like iron can be heavy to move once filled with soil.
- Majority of solid metal containers require drain holes installed on the bottom side.
- If placed in a hot &sunny location, container can heat the soil making it dry out fast.
- Metal is not porous so the soil stays moist for a longer duration which can be problematic if you have a tendency to overwater.
6. Fiberglass Pots:
- These can be elegant planting containers, hence suitable for designer gardens.
- Fiberglass is a much lighter material than other materials like clay or ceramics.
- These pots are very durable. Unlike clay, which gradually breaks down under weather, fiberglass pots can last for a longer time.
- It is non-porous, hence holds soil moisture for longer.
- There are not low-priced containers, their costs can be nearly that of high-end ceramic pots.
- The fiberglass fibers can wear and torn over time, giving the pots a ragged appearance. Harsh power washing can also deteriorate them.
- It is more brittle than plastic pots.
II. Choosing right pot size
- Choose a pot that is wide and deep enough to fit the root ball, with some space around the edges, and at the top to allow for watering.
- Use a pot that is one size larger (~1 to 2 inches) than current container where the plant is growing.
- Make sure the selected pot has adequate of drainage holes to avoid waterlogged soil.
III. Significance Of Proper Drainage:
When using containers that don’t drain the soil and stay moist for longer periods because there is no place for the extra water to escape, can lead to saturated soil conditions, which many indoor plants cannot tolerate, especially for long periods.
- Root rot can happen that often leads to plant death.
- Wet soil conditions encourage disease and pests.
- Fertilizer salts cannot be flushed from the soil which result in foliage burns.
- Saturated soil conditions reduce soil &root oxygenation essential for healthy root &plant growth.
Indoor plants are a living accessories for interior spaces, introducing texture and colour. They can infuse your home with warmth, soften transitions between spaces, serve as the focal point of a room and have other benefits. Pairing pots, plants and the right decor enhances health and makes plants vital for your home.
Reference links used:
1. – https://smartgardenguide.com/grow-plants-in-pots-without-holes/
2. – Practical Houseplant Book (RHS, Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway)