Many different materials are used to build our common flowerpots. The choice is plenty, and some of us doubt that we’ve chosen the type most suitable for our plants. Here’s a rundown of some of the containers out there to help you with your choice!
Clay (Terracotta & Ceramic)
Clay is one of the most common flower pot materials. Used for more than just a few centuries, it’s durable and its classic look suits almost every corner of the house.
These pots are, of course, more than prepared to grow healthy plants. They’re excellent because clay not only absorbs excess moisture from the soil but also gives it back when the earth starts drying out.
There are many more advantages to choosing clay. This type of container has a rustic appearance that never gets old, and it also immobilizes some harmful salts present in the water and substrate.
Since they’re often quite heavy, they are also less likely to topple — that’s a big plus!
Unlike clay plastic flower pots don’t benefit the plant in any way, but they are light in weight without being less durable than the former.
Compared to regular clay, these are often more colorful and certainly the cheapest a gardener can find.
Plants in this type of container won’t need as frequent watering as the rest because plastic walls are impermeable, and the dissipation of water is minimal. Plastic has a bad rap these days, but this material has a lot to it that makes it so useful.
Metal is tough; the hardest you can get. Rustic by nature, they’re likely to add to that look by developing some rust around the seams.
One aspect that plays against them is the low thermal mass of most metals, meaning that they heat up quickly. This, linked to an equally low specific heat capacity, makes metal a material that promptly transfers both heat or cold to the soil.
These simple laws of physics tell us how metallic pots are at a disadvantage when the objective is to guarantee our plants’ comfort.
Concrete is generally used outdoors and for bigger containers instead of tiny 10-centimeter pots. So, first of all, there’s an obvious limitation that comes with these containers being stuck in one place.
On the other hand, you can decorate them as you wish, either by painting or letting them merely age, get mossy, and look more vintage with time.
This material is also impermeable unless there are any cracks, but unlike metal, concrete is excellent for temperature stabilization and keeping moisture in the soil.
Despite being unpractical for the regular gardener who has no space for monstrous vases, they’re interesting because they foster healthy and stable growing conditions for our plants.
Wooden flower pots aren’t easy to find; I don’t think I ever stumbled upon one — not that I have tried much either.
I’m skeptical because I don’t see how they can be fully impermeable or “aseptic” like you’d expect a regular flowerpot to be. I fear they’ll grow moldy.
Still, they’re good looking and add up nicely to any classy veranda!
Maybe after a coating of damp-proof paint, they’d deserve a fair chance.
What do you say to a bit of risk?