Planters come in a huge variety of materials, shapes, colors, sizes and prices. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and it’s helpful to know what’s best for your lifestyle and climate.
Shopping for containers can be an expensive and even daunting because of the sheer variety! Some of the factors you need to consider in deciding for the right planter include the planter’s aesthetic value, the local climate, the place where you want to keep your potted plant, how easy it is to maintain, and the cost.
Here are some of the popular types of planters to choose from and the corresponding advantages and disadvantages of each.
Cast Stone or Cement
Cast stone or cement planters can make a great focal point of your garden. Cement or concrete planters can help give your garden an old-world appeal, particularly if they have aged a little.
Some old planters are made of natural stone material which allows them to weather. They are solid, long-lasting and provide good heat insulation.
However, they can be really heavy and may come as a pricey choice if you’re only using such type for plants that are small in size. Use them for larger plants instead in order to be more practical. You may want to carefully consider the area where you would place your planter since they can be difficult to move because of their sheer weight.
Terra Cotta or Earthenware
One of the classic choices for planters is terra cotta or earthenware. Known for its traditional warm burnt-orange color, it looks good with almost every decor. Moreover, it’s also commonly available and admired for its functionality, lightweight quality and is relatively inexpensive. Terra cotta or earthenware planters are great for growing plants that don’t require being overwintered, particularly herbs. They are also relatively heavy which allows them to withstand strong winds.
Terra cotta tends to break easily, so pick a spot it is less likely to get bumped or knocked around. It will also crack when exposed to freezing winter temperatures. Due to its porous character, terra cotta planters lose moisture faster compared to other materials. This means you may need to water your potted plants more often than usual.
Glazed or ceramic planters are typically more expensive as compared to their unglazed terra-cotta counterparts. However, they also offer immense choices in terms of pattern and color.
For one thing, glazed planters are some of the most beautiful planter types which can become the perfect accents to a landscape, patio or deck. They are also not porous which means that they don’t lose moisture compared to the terra cotta variety.
Similar to terra cotta, glazed planters are just as heavy and tend to break as easily. If you’re using a type that is not glazed on the inside, it may be wise to move your planter to a sheltered area indoors. This can be particularly helpful if you live in an area where winter temperatures drop to a hard freezing level.
Pots made of polyethylene material are almost indistinguishable from stone, cement or terra cotta pots. However, they are undoubtedly much lighter and have a number of valuable benefits. They can also more affordable and are easier to move around.
Most polyethylene pots measure up to a half-inch thick and possess the feel of hardened plastic. They have medium insulation capacities which help in keeping plant roots from overheating during the summer while extending the warmth of the season in the fall. These pots are expected to remain unaffected by chipping, fading, cracking and freeze damage for a period of up to 36 months. Moreover, pots that come with no drainage hole in the bottom can be easily drilled when needed.
Due to their lightweight character, polyethylene pots may not be an ideal choice for anyone who lives in a windy area. They also tend to dry out faster compared to any other container types.