3 Expert Tips To Choose A Planter

Planters are an easy and convenient way to store various plants throughout your house and outdoor spaces. They can range from super simple to intricately designed and come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

With all that choice, deciding on the perfect planters for your home may be a tad tricky, so check out these expert tips below to help you get started!

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What types of planters are there?

The first thing you'll need to consider when purchasing planters is exactly what type you will need. This will mostly be determined by what you consider physically appealing, and what sorts of plants you're looking to plant in them.

Need something cheap and simple? => Flower pots

  • Standalone flower pots are the most basic and cheap option when it comes to planters.

  • They come in lots of different sizes and materials, including plastic, metal, and terracotta.

  • These pots can be used both indoors and outdoors, standing directly on the ground or resting on an elevated surface.

  • They're easy to replace quickly, so choose individual flower pots if you happen to have lots of fast growing plants.

  • While they are the cheapest options, they are also often the most boring - you'll find yourself having to pay premium prices for nice colors or intricate detailing around the rim.

  • Also, flower pots aren't the most durable option, as their most common materials can be easily broken; you may find yourself having to replace these pots faster than you'd expect.

Light Gray Pot Planter
White Iron Pot Planters Set
Yellow Plastic Pot Planter
Fiberclay Pot Planter in Stone Color
Gray Stone Pot Planter Set
V-Resin Plastic Pot Planter

Want to save on space? => Mounted and hanging planters

  • Mounted planters can be attached to railings, fences, or other ledges, allowing you to grow plants without taking up any floor space.

  • Hanging planters usually come in the form of baskets that can be hung practically anywhere: on a fence, on a door or window handle, on a railing, etc.

  • Both mounted and hanging planters are best suited for smaller flowers and herbs, as there is a limited range of sizing options.

  • These planters are usually similarly priced to flower pots, and they are quite a bit more durable, making them a great bargain!

  • However, there aren't many choices when it comes to the material, so if you don't like wood or plastic, mounted planters probably aren't for you.

  • Also, you'll probably find yourself having to replace these more often if they're outdoors and not properly protected from the elements.

Black Composite Hanging Planter
Steel and Wood Hanging Planter
Brown Plastic Hanging Planter
Hoop Metal Hanging Planter
Self-Watering Resin Hanging Planter
Gold Iron Hanging Planter Set

Have a lot of plants to tend to? => Raised beds

  • Raised beds are the perfect solution for those wanting to have lots of different plants and flowers in their garden, as they provide you with a lot of prime gardening space.

  • There are two main types of raised beds: those that rest directly on the ground but still keep your plants elevated, and those that stand on some sort of base.

  • Both types make gardening very easy, especially for older individuals, as they will not need to bend very far to reach their plants.

  • While raised beds are an overall great option, they do require a lot of open garden space, making them practically inaccessible to anyone living with little to no outdoor space.

  • Also, maintaining these raised beds can get quite expensive - since they're permanently outdoors, you'll need to make sure they're protected from the various elements, so you'll have to invest in various sealing treatments and protective layers.

Cedar Wood Raised Garden Beds with Crates
Cedar Wood Raised Garden Beds
Freestanding Wood Raised Garden
Raised Garden Beds in Light Wood
Freestanding Raised Garden Beds
Small Cedar Raised Garden Beds

Want something completely unique? => Decorative planters

  • Decorative planters can come in pretty much any shape, size, color, and pattern, making them an incredibly versatile option.

  • These planters are often made from non-conventional items or are fashioned to look like them.

  • Some examples include statues, wheelbarrows, urns, shoes, and barrels, amongst many other items.

  • This is probably the most expensive option when it comes to planters, unless you happen to have a spare wheelbarrow lying around that you can convert into a planter!

  • Also, while you have many options, not everything may match your home's aesthetic. Say you buy a statue planter, then remodel your house and garden; that statue planter may no longer match with your other décor.

Urn Decorative Planter in Rustic Brown
Stone Statue Decorative Planter
Black Polypropylene Urn Decorative Planter
Rabbit Cement Statue Decorative Planter
Small Stone Urn Decorative Planter
The Face Papa John Statue Decorative Planter

What materials are best for planters?

The material you choose for your planters will determine how long they will last. This is an especially important factor if you plan on using your planters outdoors, as they will need to be durable enough to withstand any sort of weather condition.

  • Metal is probably the most physically strong planter material, meaning it will be able to withstand most climates. It's a quite attractive material, though it usually doesn't offer many color or pattern options. You will most commonly find metal flower pots and decorative planters, and they are often much more expensive than their plastic counterparts. You'll need to remember to maintain your metal planters -- incorrect sealing treatments may make your planters susceptible to rusting.
Gold Iron Pot Planter Set
2 Piece Metal Pot Planter Set
Rectangular Metal Window Box Planter
Rectangular Long Steel Pot Planter
 Farmhouse Metal Double Raised Garden
Aged Metal Planter Box
  • Wood is another relatively strong material, but only if it is consistently treated to make it resistant to water damage. It offers a beautifully natural look for your planters, and is most commonly used for raised bed and any sort of decorative planter fashioned out of a barrel, a crate, etc.

    You'll need to be very meticulous about wood maintenance, otherwise you'll find yourself having to replace your wooden planters very often - water damage and destructive rodents are a common worry for individuals using wooden planters.

Cedar Wood Long Planter Box
Cedar Planter Square Box
Acacia Wood Barrel Planter
Pyramid Solid Wood Raised Garden
Cedar Wood Raised Garden Beds
Freestanding Wood Raised Garden Bed
  • Plastic is the cheapest possible option when it comes to planter materials. Now, that doesn't mean that it's the least durable - it can actually outlive wood, for example, if it's protected from the elements properly.

    Plastic planters are incredibly versatile as they come in a huge range of colors and patterns, so your collection is easily customizable. However, you probably won't be able to find any plastic raised beds or flower pots that are much larger than average, so you'll need to look at other materials if you're after those types of planters.

Self-Watering Railing Plastic Planter
Large Plastic Pot Planter
Brown Plastic Raised Garden Beds
Plastic Urn Planter in Cream
Plastic Pot Planter in Aqua Blue
Small Brown Plastic Pot Planter
  • Terracotta is a great material for planters due to its porous nature. They allow water and air to move through the pot, which can help prevent things like root rot or bad soil. They're also quite inexpensive and can be found in a huge range of different shapes and sizes.

    However, their porous nature also means that you'll need to be careful about watering your plants - you may have to water your plants much more often than usual, especially if those plants prefer moist conditions.

    Also, while terracotta is technically suited for both indoor and outdoor use, it can actually crack or break due to the weather being too cold, so don't bother with this material if you live in a very cold climate.

    Also, cheaper terracotta only really comes in one color, so consider a different material if you want some colorful planters.

Sunflower Print Terracotta Pot Planter
Natural Terracotta Pot Planter
Hand Pressed Glazed Terracotta Hanging Planter
Large Terracotta Pot Planter Set
Jar 2-Piece Terracotta Pot Planter Set
Terracotta Pot Planter in Blue

How do I determine the size of my planters?

Getting the right size planters is really important as it can heavily impact the health of your plants. You need a pot that is large enough to comfortably accommodate your plants, otherwise you risk stunting your plant's growth, but it also can't be too big as that increases the chances of root rot and bad soil, due to the soil not drying fast enough.

  • When picking a planter, measure the diameter of your plant's roots and the planter itself. You'll need to pick a planter that has a diameter that's at least 1.5 times bigger than your plant's root diameter.

  • So, for example, if the diameter of your plant's roots is about 4 inches, you'll need a planter with a diameter of at least 6 inches.

  • Your plant will almost definitely outgrow its current planter, so you need to be prepared to re-pot it at some point.

  • If it's a slow growing plant, you'll only need to size up by 1 inch or 2 inches in diameter, but if your plant grows at a pretty fast rate, you'll need to size up by 2 inches to 4 inches each time.

  • For more stationary planters, like raised beds, you'll need to do a bit of planning ahead - work out the rough diameter of each plant, then leave at least that amount of space between each plant, more if they're fast growers.

  • For example, if your plants have diameters of 2 inches, leave at least 2 inches between each plant within the raised bed. This allows them to safely grow without invading each other's root space.

  • If you're growing plants with shallow roots, like vegetables, you can get away with having a pretty short raised bed of only about 10 inches in height.

  • If you're worried about rodents getting to your plants, invest in a raised bed that's at least 18 inches in height - things like mice or rabbits won't be able to easily reach your plants and will soon give up trying.

  • For older individuals, or those suffering from back problems, it's recommended to get raised beds that are at least 22 inches in height. This higher elevation will prevent you from having to bend down really far when gardening, reducing the risk of back pain.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.