Indoor plants can provide numerous benefits in your home, including to help you feel more relaxed. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology reveals that indoor plants can help you to reduce both physical and psychological stress. Other studies suggest that houseplants can boost productivity and sharpen levels of attention—with some plants improving the quality of indoor air.
The type of pots you use for your indoor houseplants plays an important role in their care, keeping them healthy and thriving. Read on as we dig into everything you need to know about choosing the right pottery for your indoor plants—from the different materials and sizes, to considering proper drainage and placement.
And as always, the experts at Decker’s Nursery are available to answer any questions or help you choose the perfect pottery for your indoor plants. Give us a call at (631) 261-1148 or stop by our garden center today.
Different Types of Indoor Pottery and How to Choose
Here are several different kinds of indoor pottery to consider.
“Terra cotta” is an Italian term that translates into “baked earth” in English. They’re clay pots with a traditional reddish-brown hue and are often (but not always) unglazed. These attractive pots are good for growing plants, especially ones that thrive in well-drained soil, and come in a range of sizes (more about optimal sizing later in this post). Terra cotta pots also come in a range of price points, making them available across budgets. Note: plants typically need to be watered more often in terra cotta, and these pots can break easily when dropped.
Ceramic pots for indoor plants are glazed, inside and out, and can be available in beautiful hues. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, decorative ceramic pots for indoor plants offer flexible options to add an attractive look to your decor. Less porous and more durable than terra cotta, they'll break less easily if dropped. Consider ceramic pots for plants that prefer moist conditions and check to see if the pot has a hole on the bottom for drainage. These pots, especially if larger or elaborately decorated, can have a higher price point than terra cotta.
Plastic pots come in a range of colors and styles, often mimicking the appearance of other types of indoor plant containers, having the appearance of terra cotta, for example, or concrete. These are lightweight, affordable options for plants, coming in at a range of price points based on durability and quality. You typically don’t need to water plants in plastic pots as often as you do with terra cotta. In fact, overwatering can lead to unwanted sogginess. Note: cheap plastic pots can crack and/or fade in the sun.
Fiberglass pots provide a touch of style to your home, and plants can typically thrive in them. Crafted from fiberglass and resin, they’re lightweight yet extremely durable and, like plastic options, they can appear like wood, stone, or another substance. As a non-porous material, they hold onto moisture longer, so adjust your watering to suit. Fiberglass pots can be more expensive than other materials and are more brittle than plastic counterparts. They can also fray on the outside over time.
Wood & Metal
Although you may not see wood or metal pots as often, they can be a good choice to consider. Wooden containers can be fairly inexpensive with quality pots often long-lasting. Wooden options can come in a range of sizes and styles, offering flexibility. Make sure that its metal fasteners are corrosion-resistant. Metal containers also come in a wide range of sizes and styles, a durable, long-lasting choice that can add eye-catching appeal to your decor. Don’t overwater in metal pots and make sure the material is rust resistant.
Concrete pots can be stylish in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and textures while often being quite affordable (although larger ones can come with a higher price point than other materials). They’re good for plant growth, as well. The major drawback of traditional concrete pots is their weight. Some types of concrete today are mixed with other materials lighter in weight, so consider that as you make your choice.
A Word About Planters
In this post, we’re largely talking about pots and, in many cases, the terms of “pot” and “planter” are used interchangeably. There are, however, key differences. Pots tend to be round while planters are typically rectangular. Pots tend to hold one specific plant while planters are created to hold several of them. Planters are usually placed outdoors while pots are containers that can be used indoors and out (and, in this post, we’re focusing on ones used indoors).
Pick the Correct Size Pot for Indoor Plants
Pots are measured and described by their diameter with standard sizes ranging anywhere from two to thirty inches (although you may not use the upper end of the scale as much indoors). When choosing pottery size for your indoor plants, it’s important to know the expected diameter of the plant’s root system and then select indoor plant pottery that’s at least an inch wider. If you expect the plant to grow quickly and more significantly, you can choose indoor pottery that’s up to four inches wider than the anticipated root mass.
When you select a pot that’s too small for the plant it will contain, the soil dries out much more quickly. Although that can benefit plants that can do well in drier soil, such as succulents, it will cause problems for species that require consistent moistness. Some plants don’t do well when there isn’t enough space for their roots to grow; if this plant is in a too-small pot, it will affect its health.
Although it’s normal to focus on not buying a pot that’s too small, you also don’t want one that’s too big. Indoor pottery that’s too large for your intended purpose can hold more water than your plant needs (more about that problem later in this post) and the soil can therefore take too long to dry out, which can trigger unwanted mold growth. Plus, plants that do well when root-bound won’t do as well in too-large pots.
Proper Drainage for Indoor Plant Pottery
Plants need water to survive and thrive, and so their root systems absorb the water that surrounds them. When they receive the optimal amount of water, then this helps the plant to grow well—and, although we can all picture the signs of a drooping plant that isn’t receiving enough water, overwatering can also cause problems. That’s why, when choosing pots for indoor plants, you’ll need to consider proper drainage.
When potted plants receive too much water, soil becomes oversaturated, sometimes to the point of having standing water. Nature “tells” plant roots to continue to absorb the water around them and, when there is too much liquid, root rot can occur. When root health declines, leaves yellow or wilt and, if not promptly and properly addressed, the plant can die.
Pots for indoor plants sometimes come with a drainage hole at the bottom. This is common with earthenware containers. Other times, a double potting system works well using a cache pot. In this situation, the plant goes into a plastic or clay pot with a proper drainage hole and then this is placed into a decorative pot. Any excess water, then, can drain from the plastic or clay pot into the larger one, safely away from where plant roots can attempt to absorb this unnecessary (and possibly counterproductive) water. FYI: Decker’s offers a wonderful self-watering pot.
Potting and Repotting Indoor Plants
Learning proper potting techniques are also important in the overall care and health of indoor houseplants. There will also be times when your indoor houseplants will need to be repotted, whether your indoor houseplant needs a new, larger pot or simply needs fresh potting soil. Here are some tips right from the professionals here at Deckers:
- When putting your potting mix into indoor plant pottery, you can place a ceramic shard over the drainage hole to keep any from leaking out.
- Be sure to fill the pot with enough of the mix so that you’re able to position the root mass about an inch or two below the pot’s rim.
- When the plant is out of its pot, remove any brown roots and then use scissors (clean and sharp) to make half-inch horizontal cuts down the root ball every couple of inches.
- Once the indoor plant is back into a pot, nudge the soil around the roots, gently pushing down on the soil to get rid of air pockets.
Choosing the right potting mix is crucial for your indoor plants’ health with different types of plants thriving well in differing ratios of sand, silt, and clay. Fortunately, today’s potting mix products are more specialized than in years past, allowing homeowners to conveniently and more effectively fine-tune the soil used for their plants.
Many of the container (meaning, potted) plants you’ll grow can use an all-purpose potting mix. Some brands will contain slow-release fertilizers, as well, to incrementally feed the indoor plants. Some will include the phrase “organic potting soil” on the label, which indicates a lack of any chemicals, including any synthetic pesticides—while products without the organic label will likely contain non-organic material to assist in soil aeration and proper drainage.
Sometimes, you’ll want to use a product that’s more nuanced than the all-purpose varieties available. If you have any questions about what potting mix, fertilizers, and so forth to use for your indoor plants of choice, contact us online, call us at (631) 261-1148, or stop by our full-service retail garden center. Our experts will be happy to help.
Using Pottery and Planters to Decorate Your Indoor Spaces
Decorative ceramic pots for indoor plants, as well as ones from other materials, can liven up just about any space of your home: from bathrooms to kitchens and from family rooms to bedrooms and from floors to walls, it’s hard to find a spot where a potted plant wouldn’t add a wonderfully eye-catching touch to your home.
Steps to help you find the right decorative pots for indoor plants include the following:
- Consider what you’ll plant in a particular pot. What color are its flowers? Leaves? How tall and/or broad will these plants grow to be?
- Think about your home decorating style, overall. Rustic decorating schemes may lend themselves better to stoneware with more sophisticated styles pairing up more seamlessly with porcelain.
- That said, how important is matching styles to you? If you like the idea of adding unexpected touches, then doing so with unexpected choices of indoor plant pottery can be ideal. It’s a cost effective approach and one that allows you to change things up in affordable ways.
- Use a variety of shapes, hues, and heights in your indoor pottery in strategic ways. Where do you want to draw the eye of visitors?
Just like with any other decorative item, plants can go in and out of style—and some experts believe that 2022 will be the year of the ficus. Ficus Umbellata, for example, is expected to be in demand with its heart-shaped leaves appearing in more people’s homes. It grows straight up and, if this intrigues you, make sure the pot you buy is big enough. Another plant anticipated to make a big comeback: the beautifully textural fern.
Indoor plants, in general, are expected to be more desired because increasing numbers of people who worked remotely over the past couple of years will continue to do so. So, as more people spend extra time in their homes, they’re more likely to want to enhance their home office space—with stress-reducing plants, potted in attractive containers, fitting the bill perfectly.
No matter your unique situation, the experts at Decker’s Nursery are glad to help you brainstorm ideas and find the ideal decorative pots for indoor plants that match your creative vision.
Decker’s Nursery for Your Indoor Pottery and More
When you need indoor plant pottery, you can count on this: we have countless varieties, including ones that are just right for your home, and we can make personalized recommendations. So, stop by our retail shop any time during open hours or contact us online today or call us at 631-261-1148. We look forward to helping you make the perfect choices for your home!