We can all agree that repotting is a crucial step in the proper care for your plant, which is why picking the right pot for indoor plants is an important step of that process. We fall in love with the greenery we see emerging from the plant and we want it to grow and prosper, isn’t that so? But, to make that happen, we need to take a good care of its roots and pot plant wisely.
In this insightful guide, I shall address all the aspects you need to take into account when selecting indoor plant pots. Here’s what you will find out:
Stay tuned to discover the benefits of repotting as well as how to choose the best plant containers!
Why is Repotting Important?
Imagine growing up and wearing the same shoes throughout the years. Your feet would suffer enormous consequences and stump your general health and development. Does that sound pleasant to you? Of course not!
The same happens when you don’t repot your plants. To make it grow bigger and healthier, the roots need space to grow properly. If the roots don’t get enough space, your plant will slowly wither and die.
To prevent this from happening, you need to transfer them to a larger planter pots and add new soil. This way, roots will get all they need, and that would be more space and more nutrients.
Besides these, you will also enable new divisions of the plant and promote its propagation. Plus, its visual aspect will benefit as well, because once you transplant it into large pot, your plant will look more luscious and healthier than ever.
How to Choose the Right Planter?
Repotting is directly linked to choosing the best pots for your plant. So, how to make that perfect choice? Questions are many and hard to answer at a first glance. But, it’s quite simple. As I mentioned, there are a couple of things to take into consideration when moving your plant to a new indoor planter.
1. Know your plant
The first factor that you simply must consider is the plant itself. You need to know what it likes and dislikes, the soils it tolerates, etc. But above all, you need to know its size. By this I mean both part that goes above the ground, as well as the one that’s below- roots.
For example, you cannot keep a plant that needs moist soils in a pot with too many holes. This only creates an additional task for you – watering all the time. Aloe’s ball roots require different spaces from, let’s say, roots of a money plant. Some are shaped as balls, the others are more like long strings. That’s why when we talk about dimensions of large pots for plants we should mind both the depth and width.
Once you learn these details, the following factors will come to you naturally.
2. The size of planters
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the size does matter! At least it does when we talk about pot sizes.
The basic rule when repotting your plants from grow pots or their current containers is to go for a size up with pot.
As the plant grows, so does the root. Consequently, there comes a time when root stems have nowhere else to go, so you have to look for large pot and move your plant. Since you won’t be able to see what is happening inside the soil, you can easily tell by the general state of your plant. If it looks lifeless, then you know what to do.
This is why you should move your dear green friends from small plant pots to larger ones.
Tradescantia Pallida and Variegated Monstera, for example, will require a new pot that is 25 to 50 mm deeper than the previous one and a wider one, too.
Aloe, on the other hand, will require a wider pot over a deeper one when repotting. This is why it is important that you know what kind of plant you are dealing with when searching for indoor flower pots.
You cannot treat the succulents the same way as you would treat angiosperms. So, be wise, and always check what your plant prefers before you decide to move it to a new planter.
3. Material for planting pots
Although you might never have thought about this, the pot material is often crucial for the proper care. Most typically, we all grasp for the plastic pots for plants. These are definitely the most available ones.
But are they truly the best option?
Clay and terracotta planters are an excellent choice for those plant that like drier soils. Due to the iron compound, they come in an earthy mud-red color which can vary slightly based on other materials in the clay. Anyhow, you can spray them over if you feel like having them in a different color.
- Made from natural and durable material that is porous so they facilitate soil drainage
- Heavy; hence, more stable
- A traditional and rustic appeal, contributing to archaic home décor.
- Easily breakable
- Pricier (than plastic planter)
There is also the option of glazed clay that is something in between terracotta and let’s say, plastic. Neither do they let the soil dry too fast nor do they keep it moist for a long time. Still, they are more expensive than typical terracotta pots.
These are also a rather common type of planters used for your house plants. They look simple and sophisticated, you can easily match them with versatile plant types. Let’s check the benefits and drawbacks of using them.
- Made of porous materials making drainage easier
- Thick-walled, preventing abrupt temperature changes
- Heavy, so not easily toppled
- Hard to move around
- One drainage hole so could retain way too much moisture
Honestly, I don’t see why anyone would choose a concrete planter for indoor use. Unless you plan on planting a eucalyptus or something so gigantic inside your home. Anyhow, these are the facts if you decide to go for a concrete planter for your house plants.
- Available in different colors/design so as to adapt to interior
- Good temperature buffer
- Inadequate, or no drainage whatsoever
- Too heavy for indoor use
- Contains lime that is toxic to some plants
Here’s a cool planter for ya if you are a fan of purely natural things! These are great to use for your indoor plants since they break the routine and are an excellent choice for organic planting.
- Made from biodegradable material that provides a natural habitat for your plant
- The pot itself contains nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium
- Lightweight, so easily moved around the house
- Poor durability
- Pricier than the traditional materials -plastic or clay
5. Pressed paper
Believe it or not, you can pot plants in containers made of pressed paper. You’ve heard it well! This might seem like a cool option too. But is it truly so?
They are mostly good for short-period transitions and are not meant for actual plant growing.
- Cheap and you can make them yourself if you have any extra pressed paper at home
- Cannot be used long-term
- Sensitive to water and low temperatures
6. Fibreglass/resin & plastic
These materials are typically the first choice when it comes to planters and are the cheapest and the most available pots. They are made from non-porous materials so they do not allow the passage of air through the walls. This is why they are suitable for plants that need moist soil.
- You don’t have to water frequently
- Strong, but flexible and lightweight
- You can add drainage holes
- Gets brittle over time and easily cracks (not the fibreglass/resin, though)
- You can easily overwater
- PLASTIC WASTE!!!
Wood planters are also a frequent choice for house plants, but they might work better as an outside planter. Still, if you decide to use them indoors, here are the things you need to know.
- Visually appealing, adding to the rustic home décor
- Good insulation properties, keeping the soil at optimum temperatures
- Good durability and resistance to cold
- Wood can split and chip, leaving a mess behind
- Sensitive to water
The planters made of this material are highly decorative, but are, in all honesty, not very functional. Namely, their make material is such that they heat up fast and consequently the soil dries up quickly too. Besides these, here are some other things to pay attention to, so check out the pluses and minuses.
- Highly durable
- Additional drainage holes, when necessary, are easily drilled
- They add up to home décor giving it kind of rustic and industrial look
- Poor insulator
- May rust over time, especially in regions with higher humidity
9. Textile bags
Textile bags are the new, hipster-ish hack for growing your plants indoors. They are cool, they are different. Do they work?
- Durable (believe it or not), considering the weight they hold
- Convenient (lightweight and typically with handles, so you can carry them around)
- Provide proper drainage
- Not quite adequate for long-term growing
- Prone to bending if the soil isn’t well-distributed
Yes, these are all materials to choose from. But then again, listen to your plant’s desires. This is how you’ll never go wrong.
Drainage option is a rather important factor to consider when we talk about pots. No matter how much your plants love water, you will still have to provide proper drainage.
This is typically achieved by the pierced holes at the pot bottom. These are pierced based on the pot diameter, though some planters have only one hole at the centre.
The good thing is that the majority of materials allow you to pierce additional holes.
Now, what to do when your pot does not contain any holes and you still need to avoid the excessive moisture?
1. Read the sentence immediately before the question.
One way to do this is to put pebbles in your pot first and then add the potting soil. By doing so, the water will go through the soil and settle at the bottom, slowly evaporating. Another possibility is to add some sand into the original soil mix since sand will be a perfect tool to drink in the excessive water.
3. Self-watering pots
These are a great solution that will spare you a lot of trouble and thinking whether it’s the time to water or not. Such a pot includes a watering container that you need to fill with water and the pot does the rest.
The shape of the pot does not bear much relevance. The only aspect where this is important is if you simply MUST have all the pots in the same shape. Otherwise, the planter shape is not a limiting factor.
6. Visual Appearance/Colour
This is definitely not a crucial aspect for the general well-being of the plant. Still, you can take this into consideration if you want to keep your interior within the already set color limits. Anyhow, this depends on personal preferences so it’s completely up to you whether you are going to use pots in one, two or more colors.
As for the die itself, some materials allow you to paint/spray them over, so if you are into DIY projects, paint away! Still, avoid painting the inside. It’s better to keep the insides as it was originally since in time the paint may release chemicals that can be detrimental to your plant’s health.
Choosing a pot for your plant is a fun and relaxing activity for all plants’ lovers. Options are many so you need to be careful. The most important thing is that you let go of the visual aspect and focus on the functionality (size and material) of the planter. Once you make the proper selection of these, the rest is easy.
Share your lovely pots with us in the comments!