Succulents are drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants perfect for a novice gardener or forgetful waterer. If you want to provide your indoor succulents with the best care, you first need to choose the right pots. Of course, the right type of soil, amount of sunlight, and watering techniques matter just as much. All of these factors combined affect your plant’s ability to grow and thrive, not to mention survive.
So, what material is best for pots used to grow indoor succulents? And why exactly does it matter? How can you find pots that are both functional and beautiful? Learn all about the best planters as well as shopping tips and recommendations to keep your succulents alive and well.
Why Does The Pot Matter?
Because their leaves store water, succulents are prone to overwatering. Since succulents are drought tolerant the type of pot you choose matters because some are better at providing drainage than others. If your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole or moisture wicking capabilities, there’s a good chance the plant will become waterlogged. Although, you also have the option to drill your own hole if the pot doesn’t come with one.
Aeration and breathability is important as this will allow the soil to dry out properly — succulents despise wet fee. In the same token, a porous soil mixture is essential to the health of your succulents. A combination of perlite, potting soil, and sand, or a store-bought bag of cactus soil will do. Also, if you provide proper sunlight for your specific succulent the soil should dry out faster. Overall, the right pot and care techniques will help your plants thrive.
Best Types of Pots For Succulents
When looking for the best types of pots for succulents, you’ll need to ensure the planter itself is able to drain so that the succulent isn’t sitting in stagnant water. Of course, you also want to pick a style that appeals to your preferences and aesthetic!
On top of that, keep in mind the size of the succulent in relation to the pot. If it’s root bound, repot in a larger size. If you have a huge pot with a tiny succulent, changes are it won’t be able to absorb the nutrients it needs.
But when it comes to materials, what should you be looking for?
Terracotta is the best type of pot for your succulents. It is incredibly easy to find at your local nursery and offers an attractive orange coloring. Terracotta’s rustic flare beautifully contrasts the green shade of many houseplants. The material is naturally porous, meaning it soaks up excess water.
High quality terracotta pots, which are usually more expensive, can last years. Cheaper pots tend to crumble after only a few years and will crack under drastic temperature shifts.
One of the best aspects of this type of top is that you can personalize them! You can paint them with acrylic or chalk paint or even cover them with shimmering accents. Painting may slow down the moisture release, but the untouched inside of the pot should still absorb excess moisture.
Pro Tip: Terracotta pots tend to develop salt deposits on the outside, which are usually white in color. To clean the pots, use a stiff brush to remove any packed dirt and build up. Then, soak them in a mixture of 10 parts water and one part bleach or vinegar for a half hour. Clean the remaining build up away with a cloth and allow the pots to dry.
Clay or Ceramic
Porous ceramic and unglazed clay pots allow for air and water movement. Proper air circulation stimulates root growth while the clay removes moisture from the soil, helping to prevent overwatering. Glazed ceramic pots don’t allow as much air movement, so it’s best to opt for an unglazed design.
Clay, ceramic, and terracotta pots are all similar, though clay pots can be any color and ceramic pots are generally glazed. Terracotta is a type of earthenware with a red hue and a porous fired body that is most often unglazed.
Like terracotta, clay pots can be heavy and breakable, so it’s best to keep them somewhere they won’t be easily knocked around. If you do break them, there are a number of cool things you can do to reuse them, such as create a fairy garden or plant labels!
Succulents are suitable for open terrariums because they provide the dry, arid conditions that succulents prefer. Make sure to use a well-draining cactus soil and water only when the soil is dry to ensure the plants do not become waterlogged. The compact space is perfect for their slow growing roots – just remember to repot before bounded roots become an issue.
Terrariums are also beautiful and easy to decorate with since there are so many different ideas from which to choose.
What About Plastic and Metal?
Plastic and metal pots are okay as long as they have a drainage hole. Many succulents will come in a plastic nursery pot when purchased at the store so, okay to continue using these pots. If you’d like to spruce up their look, place them in a more decorative container as a cache pot if you wish. One thing to keep in mind is that black plastic and metal containers will trap heat – keep an eye on your succulent as this can create a problem in the future.
Whatever you do, avoid planting your succulents in any plastic or metal pots that don’t have drainage! And if you do use a pot with drainage, remember that they don’t have moisture wicking capabilities or provide much aeration, and you should water only when the soil is fully dry. Also, remember to use a well-draining soil to improve the drainage for the plants.
You can also get your imagination going and have a fun night planting succulents with the family. Try your hand at creating living art with a succulent wall. Or, grab some colorful sand and make a gorgeous home for your plants with ease like the photo above.
Succulents are a versatile and easy plant to experiment with. You can display them in driftwood, terrariums, terracotta pots, teacups, or even hanging from the ceiling! If you can think it, you can design it.
As it turns out, the pots you use for your plants matter! Certain pots, such as clay, terracotta, and ceramic, will provide the aeration and drainage that your succulents need. Other pots, including metal and plastic, won’t work unless they have drainage holes. Fortunately, you can still use any pot you want even if it doesn’t have drainage as a cache pot!
Do you have any recommendations for pots for succulents? Share in the comments below! And, if you decorated your pots, snap a picture to share with family and friends!