Choosing pots entails knowing which type is right for plants to grow well. Whether you place it indoors or outdoors, the right kind of container is a must to avoid future problems. Along with choosing a pot is knowing the correct sun exposure, watering frequency, and climate. The material of your planter must be suitable to the conditions of your environment as well. You wouldn’t want your planter to be toppled by the wind, right? Here are the pros and cons of various pots to consider:

Terracotta and clay

Terracotta clay pots are fragile yet highly absorbent planters. This makes a good container as air freely flows inside, allowing excess moisture from the soil to evaporate. It also prevents root rot caused by overwatering.  However, these unglazed pots tend to dry out easily, hence, your plants will demand more watering. It can also be very weighty and fragile, which makes it harder to move them in many circumstances like moving houses or transferring them indoors during stormy seasons. If not carefully held, it can also easily break when dropped.

Ceramic

Compared to unglazed terracotta, ceramics are less porous. They don’t easily dry out and retain moisture longer. These also have wider style choices than terracotta clay pots. But they can be heavier and more costly. This type of container is not recommended for condo or high apartment dwellers, especially for those whose garden is found on their balcony. If exposed or placed in cold conditions, most types of ceramic pots may also break from repeated freezing.

Plastic

Plastic is lightweight and flexible to weather compared to the first two containers. This pot type won’t break, even in great heat or cold. Besides longer moisture retention, this is also very handy as you can simply move it from one place to another. The downside of this is that not all plastics are food-grade, hence if you are planting food, double-check if the plastic you’re getting is food-grade stable to ensure that it won’t spread toxic chemicals onto your crops. An efficient alternative to this are BPA free plastic gallons.

Fiberglass and resin

Like plastic, fiberglass and resin are also lightweight and tolerant to various climate conditions. These are durable that can also be good substitutes for clay or ceramic pots. However, there are times when fiberglass and resin containers can be more costly than ceramic pots.

Concrete, stone, and cast stone

These are heavy planters that are extra weather-resistant because strong winds can’t tumble them due to their weight and resistance to prolonged rain and humidity. Apart from being durable and long-lasting, these materials also provide heat insulation in hot weather. They also come in various styles, shapes, and sizes. But like the other heavy containers, they are hard to move.

Fiber Cement

Lightweight concrete may be an alternative to real stone not only because it is less expensive, but also because it looks and feels like natural stone. It also retains more moisture than clay pots. However, being made of cement, it may leak lime into the soil.

Hypertufa

Hypertufa containers are formed using cement, peat moss, and perlite. This type of planter can be creatively made at home, and can be decorated with additional designs like rope or leaves. However, hypertufa pots may also require weeks to cure and to remove the lime from the cement that can harm the plants.

Wood

Other than its distinctive look, wood containers can also last long when maintained. Many types of wood like teak and cedar are weather and rot-resistant and are good for planting. This can also be inexpensive and can be simply constructed at home by repurposing your used materials like discarded dressers, barrels, or old crates. To lengthen its use, maintain it by painting and resealing the wood from time to time.  

Metal

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty and lasting container, consider ones made from metal. However, metal can get really hot, especially when exposed to excruciating summer heat. As a sun-absorbent container, it can stress the plants and damage their roots. To prevent this, it’s best to place metal planters in areas with less sun exposure, to add a layer of mulch on top, and to water often to keep the soil moist and cool.

Textile grow bags

Yes, textile grow bags are also a thing in the market. Its designs have Velcro straps and zippers. This is a durable, breathable, convenient, and reusable type of planter. If created with great drainage, fabric containers can protect roots from diseases and pests.  An alternative to this is reusing a fabric eco-bag from the grocery. However, huge bags filled with soil may be hard to transfer. It may also tear if not properly carried and supported at the bottom when moving or changing its location. If available, you may also use biodegradable shopping bags with handles as a hanging planter.

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