1. Plastic pots (light colored) – 

Pros –

  • They are cheap, unbreakable and heat and cool quickly so plant roots and microorganisms are not damaged as easily even when in a sunny location.
  • Generally have more drainage holes than terracotta, ceramic and concrete pots.
  • Easy to drill additional holes in base if needed.
  • Lightweight, so suitable for balconies and decks where weight is a consideration

Cons -

  • However, plastics are petroleum based products. They drain our natural resources so consider the environmental impact


  1. Terracotta, ceramic and concrete pots that usually only have one hole in the base –

Pros –

  • These materials generally offer more visually appealing options in terms of color and design.
  • Concrete pots are a good insulator so suits climates with severe changes in weather because it helps buffer plants and soil from extremes in temperature
  • Clay has been used for thousands of years and is generally considered to be a sustainable resource.

Cons -

  • Provide inadequate drainage for most species of plants.
  • You have to drill additional holes in the base without breaking the pot
  • Prone to cracking when soil freezes and expands in cold-weather zones


  1. Self Watering Pots

Pros –

  • More suitable for hanging basket situations that receive ventilation and are likely to dry out quickly
  • Are usually lightweight so may be useful where pot weight is a consideration
  • Handy for people who are busy, away a lot or forgetful gardeners
  • Can be more expensive for the initial outlay but benefits may outweigh this cost.

Cons –

  • Again, these containers are most often made of plastic so consider the environmental impact of this choice


  1. Hanging & wall mounted baskets

Pros –

  • Generally inexpensive to buy, the framework is usually made from plastic-coated wire which makes them light and rustproof
  • Available in a wide variety of materials including coconut fibre, synthetic, wrought iron, coated wire and metal that come with natural liners often made out of coir (coconut fibre) or sphagnum moss
  • After watering, water may drip out the bottom onto another surface so need to be located above other plants to maximise watering or positioned over a surface that does not matter if it gets wet


  1. Wooden window and planter boxes and container


Pros –

Are very functional when combined with other garden features like bench seats, trellises and storage

They are very attractive, provide good heat insulation for the soil and can be easy and cheap to make to the exact size you need

Cons –

  • Untreated wooden planters will lose their visual appeal and eventually rot in time


  1. Metal Containers

Pros –

  • Are usually attractive and very decorative.
  • Are durable – won’t chip, crack or break.
  • Often used as ‘cache pots’— decorative containers which hold a plant in a plastic or less attractive pot inside – also prevents the heat from directly affecting the plant roots

Cons –

  • Metal is non-porous so drainage is a major consideration.  Make sure you are able to drill adequate holes in the container.











Written by Potnplant. com — October 16, 2013

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