There are a wide variety of planters to house your plants in, and they’re not all created equal. Concrete, plastic, fiberglass, ceramic, terracotta, and the list goes on. Depending on what your plant needs, selecting the right material can make the difference between a happy and sad plant.
Terracotta is one of the most widely-loved types of pots for its aesthetics and function. If you’ve never used terracotta pots, now is your chance to see they magic at work. Here are five of the best plants that will live happily ever after in these unglazed clay planters.
Why Terracotta Pots
Terracotta pots are made from natural porous clay, allowing plant roots to breathe while letting air and water move through the planter’s walls. This air circulation is especially helpful in aiding the prevention of soil disease and root rot.
In this way, terracotta pots are perhaps the greatest aid to plant parents prone to overwatering their green friends. These pots absorbs water from the soil, allowing it to dry out faster than plastic or ceramic options. Plants that love having their soil fully dry out between waterings (think cacti) are the perfect fit for terracotta. On the flip side, plants that prefer evenly moist conditions, such as ferns, should not be potted in these conditions.
Over time, terracotta pots also develop a beautifully aged patina if that earthy, rustic aesthetic is what you’re after. They’re some of the most affordable planters available, which is easier on the wallet when there’s a large plant that needs to be repotted. To top it off, they always come with a drainage hole.
Best Plants For Terracotta Pots
Fiddle Leaf Fig
As overwatering is one of the most common reasons behind an unhappy fig so, a terracotta pot might be the easiest way to intervene. Air circulation is at it’s best and these planter can save your plant from wet feet, or even worse root rot.
As a rule of thumb, the fiddle leaf fig is ready to be watered again after the top two inches of soil have dried out.
One of the fastest ways to kill a snake plant is by overwatering — Their leaves will begin to get mushy and their once erect foliage will fall down. So potting it in terracotta can protect it against over-enthusiastic watering can users. As snake plants are succulents that store water in their fleshy leaves, making them drought-tolerant. Ideally, you can water these plants once a month but it’s best to wait until the soil is fully dries out first.
Beyond the snake plant, succulents, in general, are all suitable for terracotta pots for the main reason that it helps dry the soil out. Another reason to use terracotta for succulents? They’re heavy enough to keep a succulent with small root systems upright.
Chinese Money Plant
Affectionately dubbed the pancake plant for its disc-like leaves, the Chinese money plant is another houseplant that would enjoy a terracotta pot. It only needs a moderate amount of water because Chinese money plants do not have a large root system and don’t enjoy sitting in wet soil.
It’s prone to root rot if overwatered, so it’s best to wait after two-thirds of the topsoil has dried out before soaking them again. Potting it up in this material will help with airflow for the roots and any excess water will be absorbed.
One of the most popular houseplants with beginners, the ZZ plant is another variety that would do great in a terracotta. That’s because the ZZ plant is drought-resistant and prefers water only when its soil is mostly dry.
This tropical perennial enjoys lower light conditions, so keep that in mind when making a watering schedule. It should not be exposed to direct light but other then that, these plants are tough as nails. A a strong plant deserves a strong pot.
Any Desert Cactus
Any cacti hailing from a desert climate would be happy to live in a terracotta pot, as their soil should be fully dry before watering again. One of the most common reasons for cacti problems is overwatering, so it’s best to use restraint when it comes to these desert dwellers.
Worth noting is that not all cacti are from the desert, and several cacti from the jungle require a different watering schedule. Jungle cacti like their soil to stay evenly moist in the active growing months of spring and summer. They can still live in terracotta, but it’ll be important to monitor their moisture levels more carefully than their desert counterparts.
Love Grows Here
Terracotta, the unglazed clay pot, is one of the best planters for your houseplants. This is especially true if your plants prefer to have their soil mostly or completely dry before taking more water or if you tend to overwater.
Terracotta is porous, so it absorbs water and aids in the process of drying out the soil mix. It also promotes airflow, helping guard against root rot. It’s inexpensive and always comes with the all-important drainage hole.
While it’s not suitable for plants that prefer an evenly moist soil environment, it is a great fit for almost all cacti and succulents. And any tropical plant that likes to have its topsoil dry out.
Can you think of more plants that would be happy in a terracotta pot? Share in the comments below!