While having a pot that matches your decor is important, a well-designed pot will also save you a lot of hassle. The best pots for indoor plants will have design features like drainage and be made of the right material to keep those ferns, succulents, and other plants alive and thriving. To narrow down what to look for, I reached out to plant expert Emma Sibley, author of
and many more books. The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery
When it comes to a material, consider the kinds of plants you have. “I would always suggest popping cacti and
succulents in a terra-cotta pot, the terra-cotta absorbs a lot of water from the compost and whilst you shouldn’t be excessively watering these desert plants it’s great to have the terra-cotta as a fail safe,” Sibley wrote to Bustle, adding: “Terra-cotta is always going to be a great choice for any of your houseplants, but your fiddle leaf figs and rubber plants will just be much more forgiving.” For those more forgiving plants, plastic and glazed ceramic are popular options. Style will be a big factor here, but plastic is lighter and less likely to break — you’ll also want to water it less often than you would with terra-cotta since it’s much less porous.
Next, consider the drainage situation. Drainage holes let excess water run through and promotes air circulation around the roots. However, when you have drainage holes, you’ll also want to keep a tray under your planter unless you’re
using it outdoors or have a plant stand you aren’t concerned about protecting. To protect your counters, plastic is the best option for trays. Terra-cotta or wooden trays will keep most water off your counters, since it’s a porous material, water damage can still happen on your tables. If you skip the drainage holes, “grab some pebbles or larger pieces of broken terra-cotta pots and line the bottom of your plant pots with them to allow any excess water to flow through the compost, not having this drainage can cause root rot and pests to thrive in the constantly damp soil,” Sibley explains. And, if you tend to forget to water, consider a self-watering style with a reservoir in the bottom.
And when it comes to the size of the pot, if your current pot is 10 inches wide or smaller,
choose a pot that is an inch or two bigger than your current one (the plastic container your plant comes in from the store counts). If your pot is more than 10 inches, go up 2 to 4 inches.
right planter will make caring for your plants way easier. Below, the best options on Amazon. 1 A Set Of Stylish Glazed Ceramic Pots
Reviewers love these
ceramic pots for the "sleek, modern finish" and found them "very sturdy and well-made." Plus, the 6.1-inch diameter makes it a good choice for everything from pothos to flowers to herbs. There’s a drainage hole and a tray that’s good for most counters, but since it’s glazed, soil won’t dry as quickly as with terra-cotta. Get two per order, and choose from five colors. According to a reviewer: “Sturdy, attractive planter perfect for propagation [of] small plants. These pots were perfect for our needs. We used them to root fiddle leaf figs, and have had zero issues. [...] Even my partner who is picky about home things was happy with them for the price and suggested we get a couple more.” 2 These Terra-Cotta Pots For Succulents & Over-Watering Terra-cotta is one of the best choices when your plant needs plenty of room to breathe and have dry soil between waterings, making them a great option for succulents or anyone prone to over-watering. And since it's heavier than plastic, it's also a good choice for top-heavy jade plants that have a tendency to tip over. Just be careful with the trays since they can leave marks with extended use. And if you like the shape but are looking for another color, Sibley offers this clever idea: “Jazz up an old terra-cotta pot or change the vibe of a group of them, then painting white and then choosing a select color is perfect for adding a new lease of life into your collection.” According to a reviewer: “Very cute, I bought a sealant and painted mine for fun [...] They're very cute on their own too. Shape is nice and I feel unique to most terracotta pots out there.” 3 The Best Pot For Large Hanging Plants
With a drainage hole
and a rubber plug you can remove (handy when you water), this well-considered design cares for your plants while sprucing up your home. At 8 inches wide, it's perfect for Boston ferns, spider plants, pothos, and more, and also comes with the hanging rope. Since it’s made of glazed ceramic, it’s less porous than terra-cotta so be sure not the over-water. According to a reviewer: “It is a beautiful white color, has a small hole in the bottom for drainage and yet comes with a small cork so it doesn't drain forever all over the place. I love that feature. It looks lovely hanging and yet I have sat it on a table and like that look as well. It is the perfect size for the plant I have in it and I'm totally in love.” 4 The Best Self-Watering Pot
With a large reservoir and carefully considered aeration slats to prevent mold and root rot, this
self-watering plastic pot is a great choice for those who travel frequently or just forget to water from time to time. Available in five colors and four sizes, there's an option for almost any houseplant. "This is by far the best I’ve found," says one customer. "I’m using it for a cherry tomato plant that was in poor condition when I transplanted it but is really thriving in this new pot." According to a reviewer: “Classic and simple. I also love the versatility of both indoor and outdoor use. I have placed this plant pot in my self-aerating? Self-watering? Trying one as I have a black thumb [...]. Attractive and small planter, looks great with new house plant. Working so well, plant doing great that I came back for another color. Highly recommend.” 5 These Plastic Planters That Look Way More Expensive Than They Are
You might mistake these
matte white plastic pots for ceramic. Well-sized for herbs, flowers, and ferns, each pot costs less than $4 each and still offer a drainage hole and a stopper. And since they’re made of plastic, they’ll weigh less than a clay or ceramic pot of the same size. However, since they’re plastic, they won’t let the soil dry quite as quickly. Get them in six colors and three sizes. According to a reviewer: “These planters are simple and minimalistic, they will go with any decor, they look more expensive than what they actually cost, they're worth every penny.” 6 A Set Of Classic Terra-Cotta Pots
terra-cotta pots with drainage holes make avoiding over-watering way easier, and since they come with trays, that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about. The tapered shape is timeless, and with a 4.7-star overall rating, reviewers vouch for their quality. According to a reviewer: “These arrived in great condition, packaged very securely, and had additional items I wasn’t expecting. The little drainage covers and foam stickers to protect whatever surface they’re placed on were lovely little surprises! I’m very pleased. I can’t wait to get some plants in them and I will definitely order more in the future.” 7 The Raised Planter In 3 Sizes An Editor Loves
“Personally, I love a
raised planter, they are ideal for filling a space in a room if you into have a small houseplant but want to make it seem more impressive,” Sibley explains. And when it comes to raised planters, BDG Commerce Editor Kate Miller recommends this one: "This planter and stand completely exceeded my expectations. I paid more than double for a similar set off of Etsy and this one actually feels more artisanal. It has a great texture and the stand is really sturdy. I consider it one of my best Amazon purchases to date." Choose from three sizes and four colors. According to a reviewer: “Love love love! It is beautiful and well worth the price. Other planters on different websites cost double and sometimes triple this price. I got a large and it fit my fiddle leaf fig beautifully.” 8 The Best Pots For Small Hanging Plants
colorful hanging pot option will complement the greens of succulents, cacti, or any other small hanging plants you have since they’re made from unglazed ceramic that breathes like terra-cotta. With a drainage hole and a rubber stopper to prevent drips, it'll also make caring for them easy. Get them in a set of one or two. According to a reviewer: “Omg love this plant hanger! Very sturdy and the ceramic pot part is beautiful and thick. Not flimsy or cheap! Great purchase especially for the price.” 9 The Best Budget Pots For Indoor Plants
sturdy plastic planters come with well-designed drainage at the bottom and a streamlined shape, not to mention trays to keep your surfaces dry. At less than $2 for each set of pots and trays, it's an affordable choice that will look great in a variety of rooms. Choose from black or white. According to a reviewer: “These pots are a great size and a great deal. They are thick and sturdy. I love it when the pots come with the saucers. When I need more I will definitely buy these again.” 10 A Large Concrete Pot For Instant Drama
12-inch concrete plant pot has a 4.9-star rating on Amazon for good reason. With a versatile look, three colors to choose from, a large drainage hole, and a rubber plug, this hand-painted pot would look great indoors or out. And since concrete is somewhat porous, so it’s good for plants that need to drain. Choose from a few different sizes. According to a reviewer: “These are very beautiful pots. A little pricey, but the quality is great. They are heavy and well made. I Have two inside my home and always get compliments. Their Customer Service was excellent!! Very happy with my purchase.” 11 A 4-Pack Of Mini Ceramic Planters Also available on Walmart, $38 (6-Pack)
affordable set of ceramic planter pots is small enough to fit just about anywhere. Each pot has a small hole in the bottom and sits on a bamboo dish. The shallow bowls are perfect for succulents or any other plants with short roots. Plus, their overall aesthetic is simple enough to blend in an array of decor styles. But since these are glazed ceramic, just be sure to use a well-draining soil mix and not water too often. According to a reviewer: “I really love succulents and was happy I purchased these to dress up my kitchen windowsill. Very cute and like that they have the wood to collect any water/ dirt coming from the drainage hole.” 12 This Set Of 2 Rounded Terra-Cotta Pots
If you want a terra-cotta pot but want an updated shape, consider these
stylish rounded pots which comes in a set of two with one that’s 4.7 inches and another that’s 6 inches. There’s a drainage hole but if you want a saucer, you’ll have to pick that up separately. However, it does come in two shades, a brown and the classic orange terra-cotta color. According to a reviewer: “Very updated modern look to traditional terra cotta planter! So so cute and giftable. Packed very well.” 13 A Cute 6-Pack Of Tiny Hexagonal Plant Pots
Another great set of
glazed ceramic containers, these bite-size shallow pots with drainage holes will keep your succulents happy as long as you don’t water too much. Plus, at less than $3 for each set of pot and bamboo tray, your wallet won't mind either. According to a reviewer: “This set of planters is so cute. I love the bamboo trays for catching extra water and their having flat sides makes them perfect for placing on a small windowsill. The hexagon shape works nicely for sitting 3 of them together. Also a great price! Buy all 6!” Expert: Emma Sibley, author of The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery
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This article was originally published on
April 19, 2019