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Choosing the Right Pot for Succulents

Choosing the Right Pot for Succulents

Indoor and outdoor containers
Even if you don’t have a strong preference for what type of planters to use for your cacti and succulents, knowing the differences between these containers will help you decide which ones are more appropriate for your search.

You want to choose the right containers for your plants not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to ensure proper use and longevity of your plant arrangements. Certain containers may work better for a specific purpose, while some planters may not be appropriate for the type of project you are putting together.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the different materials used to make planters and pots to help you decide which is best for your particular needs.

pottery
Ceramic pots are made from clay and then permanently hardened by heat. Unglazed ceramic pots are porous, which allows air and water to flow through the sides of the pot.

The clay also draws moisture from the soil, making ceramic pots a better choice if the plants prefer dry soil or if you have a heavy hand when watering. Glazed ceramic pots don’t dry out as quickly and aren’t as porous, which can restrict air movement from the sides of the pot.

Ceramic pots tend to be thick and heavy, but they can also be expensive. The weight of ceramic pots will serve very well for plants that become top-heavy. Although heavy, ceramic pots can crack if left out in cold or freezing weather. These pots are not as durable outdoors in the cold. Ceramic pots, due to their thickness, protect plants from rapid outdoor temperature changes. They also hold their weight well and are not as easily blown over by the wind compared to lighter pots.

Pros: Provides some protection from temperature changes; heavy and can hold top-heavy plants well; are available in a variety of attractive colors and styles to choose from

Cons: Tends to be on the heavy side; can be more expensive; may crack when exposed to cold or freezing temperatures

To see my recommendations for ceramic pots, please click on my resources page for ideas.

terracotta
Terracotta pots are made from clay and are typically unglazed. Often sold in a reddish-brown, earthy color, they are widely available as pots and planters of various shapes and sizes. They are often sold at an affordable price, which increases their appeal.

Unglazed terracotta planters are very permeable, which allows air and water to easily penetrate through the walls of the pot. These containers are porous and dry out quickly due to moisture loss from the outside. These pots are good for plants that like dry soil, but additional watering may be needed to prevent the plants from drying out completely. They tend to be heavy and can break when exposed to freezing temperatures. When choosing terracotta pots, look for thick walls for durability.

Pros: Good for plants that like to stay dry; porous material allows the soil to dry out quickly and prevents root rot; widely used in various shapes and sizes; affordable; classic and timeless look

Cons: Fragile; can crack in cold or frost; More watering may be needed as the plants can dry out quickly due to the porous material; can get very hot under the heat of the sun and burn the roots of the plants

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