3 types of houseplant pots

Plant accessories are one area where I really want to up my game. I want to get new cover pots, plant stands, tables to put my plants on, big trellises and maybe even one of those new Terraplanters. At the end of the day, I know that none of it is really necessary. The aesthetic appeal of my plants is secondary to their wellbeing. In fact, you could probably already tell that by my rigid adherence to Latin pluralisation and my bad photos of my plants. I’m a grower first and foremost, and my blogging is secondary to that. However, the pot you choose for your plant will decide both its level and type of aesthetic appeal, as well as how you care for it and healthy it will be in the years to come. This means that it is one of the most important choices you can make for your plant. In the blog post, I’ll be talking about the characteristics of 3 types of plant pot that offer 3 distinct profiles in terms of what they do well, and their drawbacks.

terraplanter
Image via Kickstarter

Plastic nursery pots

These are the default pots you get most of your house plants in. These are low cost, reusable, and have drainage holes already inserted into the bottom of the pot. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t always have cover pots for your plants. Hell, I started a plant blog and I’d say about 1/3 of my indoor plants are still in nursery pots without cover pots. I kind of just shift nursery pots in and out of cover pots depending on the aesthetic I’m going for. Now if someone wants to buy me cover pots… haha jk… unless…

Plastic nursery pots are like the “jack of all trades but the master of none” kind of pot. Most plants will do well in them, but if you want to make your life easier, you should turn to other pots.

Plants in plastic pots
Image via Wallpaper Flare

Terracotta pots

Terracotta pots are great for those trying to maintain a good amount of aeration. The terracotta wicks up excess water in the soil and thereby helps avoid overwatering. If you’re a chronic overwater-er, opt for terracotta. In particular, it works really well with succulents, cactuses (not cacti), and orchids in some set ups (I’ve seen MissOrchidGirl on youtube grow her Phalaenopsis orchids in clay pots with clay medium inside of it and it all looked good to me.)

Terracotta pots are heavy, though, and require cleaning. They draw out salts from the medium, meaning that salt will build up on the outside of the pot. If the terracotta stays too wet, the outside will also accumulate mould. They’re also not ideal if you’re a busy person who often forgets to water, as they tend to keep the medium dry. When considering terracotta pots, remember to look at the undertones of your wood furniture first to decide if the pot will look good with it. Warm toned wood usually looks good with warm toned terracotta, and cool toned wood usually looks good with cool toned terracotta.

Plants in a clay pot
So you might be wondering: “Joseph, why did you put such water-loving plants in terracotta?” The reason is simple: I wanted a pot of plants to dote on and water (which isn’t a fern because they brown so easily), so I put them in a pot that would require more frequent watering.

Glass terrariums

Glass terrariums can be categorised into closed-top terrariums and open top terrariums. Both offer great moisture retention in the soil. Basically, plants grown in glass require minimal watering, and it can be great fun to watch roots emerge and press up against the glass, where they become visible. There is also great potential for bottom watering in these closed systems. To maintain the longevity of my glass terrariums, I prefer to use clay/terracotta beads instead of sphagnum moss, since sphagnum moss increases acidity in the terrarium as it slowly degrades. Closed top terrariums also have the benefit of retaining humidity well. Glass terrariums are easy to come by: simply store old bottles you have lying around. Glass jars are also fun propagators, as you can watch roots develop from their nascent stages

However, the glass terrariums increase the risk of overwatering, and are not ideal for people who want to dote on their plants like I do. It seems like an odd choice, but I actually sometimes like to put my succulents in glass terrariums, just because succulents are a plant that I aesthetically admire, but find it hard to truly love as a grower, because they’re invulnerable to any kind of mistreatment, and if you give them too much love, they can’t handle the water. As a result, I just pot them in glass and treat them as a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of plant.

Plants growing in glass
Plants in glass

I hope this post was informative for you guys 🙂

Published by plantboye

Tech illiterate and pretending to be proud of it.

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