With numerous shapes, colors, and sizes available, choosing the perfect planter can be intimidating for the inexperienced gardener.
It’s such a crucial part of gardening and picking the wrong planter can lead to a lot of wasted time, money, and most importantly a damaged plant.
But don’t fret – we’ve prepared a handy guide to help you pick the perfect planter every time.
Maintaining your plant’s health should be your primary concern when choosing a planter. The four vital factors you should take into consideration are drainage, porosity, size, and weight.
- Drainage – Having an adequate amount of drainage holes in a planter keeps your plant from drowning in excess water. Drainage holes are also important in making sure the roots receive the right amount of oxygen to avoid the fatal root rot.
- Porosity – The ideal planter is made of material that allows moisture and air to circulate through them. Porous materials such as unglazed terracotta or clay, timber, pulp, and other natural materials are what you should be looking for as much as possible. However, these materials tend to dry soil easily, so keep in mind that plants with highly porous planters need more frequent watering. Less porous materials, such as metal, plastic, or glass are only advisable for plants that require less hydration (e.g. succulents).
- Size – Your planter should be the right size to accommodate your plant’s ever-growing roots. You should also pick the appropriate size for the space you’ve allotted for your planter.
- Weight – Calculate the total weight of your plant, container, soil, and water. A watered pot made with heavy material is tough to move around, so be mindful of choosing the appropriate container to avoid any injuries (it can happen!) and structural damage.
- Use a lightweight potting mix instead of the regular heavy potting soils that retain too much moisture. This will make your planter easier to move around.
- When it comes to size, choosing a bigger planter that can house multiple (but smaller) plants is better than having individually potted plants scattered around your space.
- Carefully plan where you’ll be placing your planter so you can pick the appropriate style for the environment. Bigger and bulkier planters are suitable for wide outdoor spaces, while smaller planters work better in smaller enclosed spaces.
- Because a plants roots will continuously grow (except for certain types of plants), you will have to regularly check its roots to see if it needs a new pot.
Now that you’ve got the basic needs covered, you can now focus on other aspects such as aesthetics, cost, and durability.
These factors are completely up to your personal needs, preferences, and tastes – and when you’re shopping for one, these are the types of planters you’ll normally see:
Ceramic planters are non-porous containers that are suitable for plants that don’t require too much hydration.
Since they are not porous, they’re great at retaining moisture – and because they are great at this, it’s not advisable for plants that rely on its roots for sustenance as the excess water may cause root rot. Ideally, these are used for smaller plants as bigger varieties of ceramic planters are extremely heavy.
Metal planters are very attractive containers that adds character to any indoor display. However, they require extra maintenance to keep it a viable planter, as they have a tendency to accumulate rust which is bad for your plant’s nutrition.
They can also heat up relatively easily which can destroy your plant’s roots if left unattended and un-cooled.
Glass planters make stunning containers and never fail to add a modern touch to any space you add them to.
Glass Planters are often used to build terrariums and are also ideal for hydroponic plants. But because of their non-breathable property, glass planters often collect water mineral deposits and are highly discouraged for plants that are neither hydroponic or succulents.
Concrete planters can add a rugged and industrial feel to your living space. These planters are highly porous which makes them suitable for a wide range of plants.
Concrete planters also provide good insulation that protects your plant from sudden temperature fluctuations. The downside is that they’re quite fragile, so they should be handled with extra care.
Carefully choosing your planters will definitely go a long way by providing the best environment for your plants to live in.
Got some tips about choosing planters that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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