How to Choose the Right Container for Your Houseplant - Backyard Boss
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How to Choose the Right Container for Your Houseplant

So, you’ve decided to get a houseplant. Congratulations! Plants are a great way to add life and freshness to your home. But now the question is: What kind of container should you get for it? And, should you get a small or big one? What about the material? Terracotta or plastic?

There are so many different options out there it can take time to decide. Learn all the tips on choosing the right container for your houseplant so it can thrive!

Consider the Size of Your Plant

House plants on window
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As your plant grows, so do its roots. A pot that is too small can limit the growth space and make the roots root-bound. However, that depends on the houseplant — for instance, jade plants and geraniums like being root-bound.

Conversely, overpotting (placing a plant in a container that is too large) can lead to leaf fall, wilting, and stunted growth. It will also make it easy for the soil to hold onto water, leading to problems such as root rot. Choose a pot that is just big enough for your plant’s roots. Select a container that is 1 to 2 inches wider in diameter than the preceding pot and not much deeper.

Consider the Material

Various types of mini zebra plant ,echeveria succulent house plants clay pots on striped table clothes background
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When choosing a pot for your plant, it’s necessary to consider the material. Some materials drain better than others; some hold moisture better than others. And some are just more durable than others.

Here’s a look at some of the most common materials used for pots and how they can affect your plant:


Terracotta is a classic material for pots, and it’s great for plants that like to dry out between watering. Terracotta is porous, allowing water to evaporate from the sides of the pot. Depending on your plant, this can be a good or bad thing. 

Terracotta is an excellent option if you have a plant that likes to dry out between watering, such as a cactus. However, terracotta isn’t the best choice if you have a plant that needs constant moisture. Some examples of plants that require consistent moisture are prayer plants, fernspeace lilies, fittonia, and anthuriums.  


Plastic is a popular material for pots because it’s inexpensive and lightweight. It’s also fairly durable. However, plastic does not allow water to evaporate, so it’s not a good choice for aloes, sedums, air plants, and hoyas as these plants like to dry out between watering.


Metal containers can be polished to a high shine or left in a more antique finish. But no matter what, metal containers always look regal and elegant. Of course, with that level of sophistication comes a bit more maintenance.

Metal surfaces need to be cleaned and sealed regularly to prevent tarnishing. Most metal containers don’t have drainage holes, so they’re best used as outer covers for plant pots. After watering, drain the water from the metal container outside or in the sink. That way, you can protect your furniture from water damage and still enjoy the beauty of plants in your home.


Wood planters are a great way to add a natural look to your décor. They come in assorted finishes and can be lined with a non-porous material to prevent staining and rot. However, it’s best to use them in outdoor areas where leaking is not a problem, as they may weather over time. If you want to preserve your wood planter, use a preservative recommended for wooden greenhouses to avoid harming the plants.


Ceramic planters are a great choice if you’re looking for a slightly more upscale option. They come in many styles, from natural and textured to painted and glossy finishes. Some are even hand-formed and imperfect, giving them a more artistic look.

And, of course, they come in a wide range of prices to fit any budget. Just be sure to get a water drainage tray if you go with a non-sealed surface — otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy mess!

Consider Drainage 

Green houseplants near white wall in room
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It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetic of a container when shopping. But it’s crucial to consider the practicalities too, or you may end up with a sickly houseplant. One of the things you need to consider is drainage. Does the pot have drainage holes? If not, your plant could suffer from root rot.

Some pots are designed to be used without drainage holes, but these are usually for plants that don’t mind sitting in wet soil, such as water plants and umbrella plants.  

Consider the Shape of the Pot

Colorful Houseplants Indoor Garden
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The differences between houseplant containers can be subtle, and it’s essential to consider the shape of your plant when selecting a pot. For example, azalea pots are usually shorter and squatter than standard pots. Plants with lower rounder growth habits would do better in azalea pots, while those with taller growth may prefer taller pots.

Avoid those with narrow mouths if you’re looking for a container that’s easy to plant. Narrow-mouthed pots can make it difficult to plant in as it gives barely any width at the rim.

Instead, opt for containers with a wider opening — they will make your life much easier and help you get your plants off to a great start. 

Consider the Style

Exotic 'Spathiphyllum Diamond Variegata' houseplant with white spots in basket flower pot in front of home decoration
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When considering the pot’s aesthetic style, you need to evaluate your home’s overall style. Consider choosing a sleek and contemporary pot if you have a more modern home.

However, if your home has more of a traditional feel to it, then you may want to go with something more classic. 

The Right Pot

Bright pink orchid in a pot sitting near a window
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When it comes to houseplants, there are a wide variety of containers from which to choose. Not all plants are created equal, and neither are their pots! The type of pot you choose can make a big difference in the overall health of your plant. Here are some great pots you can get for your houseplants:

Self-Watering DecoPots Pot for Plants: These self-watering pots are perfect for all kinds of houseplants, including flowers and herbs. They come with drainage holes to prevent stagnation, keeping your plant’s roots healthy. Plus, they’re a beautiful addition to any home décor.

T4U 3.5 Inch Plastic Round Plant Pot: These pots, made of hard, thick resin plastic, are ideal for seeding and cutting. Plus, they’re washable and reusable — perfect for any gardener on a budget.

Roylvan Succulent Pots: These ceramic succulent plant pots are just the right size for your small plants! They have drain holes on the bottom, and their colorful, glossy finish will brighten up any space. The delicate flower patterns also add a touch of elegance.

So Much Pot-ential 

Now that you know the basics of choosing a container for your houseplant, it’s time to get shopping! Be sure to share this article with your friends so they can pick the perfect pot for their plants, too!

And don’t forget to post pictures of your beautiful plants in their new homes on social media! Do you have any tips or tricks for choosing a pot for your houseplants? Leave a comment below!