A Guide to Selecting Indoor Pots and Planters

Selecting Indoor Pots and Planters

Incorporating plants into your living or working space can bring about numerous advantages. Not only do they enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area, but they also help in cleansing the air, introducing warmth and character, and even uplifting your mood. Nevertheless, it is essential to carefully consider the indoor pots and planters you choose before buying any plants. Selecting the perfect planters and pots for your requirements can make a significant difference in the growth and overall health of your plants.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Indoor Pots and Planters

Factors to Consider When Choosing Indoor Pots and Planters

There are several key factors to take into account when shopping for indoor plant pots and planters:


Consider the size of the plant you’ll be placing in the pot, both now and when it’s fully grown. Make sure to leave some room for growth – a pot that’s too small will restrict the plant’s development. Bigger is usually better when it comes to plant pots.


Proper drainage is crucial for healthy roots and to prevent rotting. Look for pots with drainage holes at the bottom. You can always place a pot without built-in holes inside a decorative cachepot (a pot cover that doesn’t have drainage) for display.


Indoor plant pots come in a range of materials:

  • Plastic – Affordable and lightweight. Go for thicker, high quality plastic that won’t crack or degrade over time.
  • Ceramic/Terracotta – Porous and allows air circulation to the roots. However, water evaporates through the material so plants may need more frequent watering.
  • Metal – Visually appealing but can transfer heat to the roots. Best used for drought-resistant plants.
  • Glass – Allows you to view roots growing. Not suitable for plants that need excellent drainage.
  • Concrete – Modern appeal but very heavy. Can crack over time.
  • Wood – Ideal for a natural look. Can dry out quickly so monitor soil moisture.
  • Fiberglass – Extremely lightweight yet durable. Provides good insulation for roots.
  • Self-watering/smart pots – Built-in water reservoirs reduce watering. Can be expensive.


There are endless style options when it comes to plant pots and planters. Consider your home’s existing decor – do you want the pots to stand out or blend in? Pots come in every color, shape, texture and pattern imaginable. Be creative and have fun with your choices!


Indoor plant pots can range hugely in price. Setting a budget beforehand will help narrow down your options. If opting for cheaper pots, be sure they’re still made from durable, quality materials. You can always elevate a simple plastic pot by placing it in a prettier, decorative cover pot.

Types of Indoor Plant Pots and Planters

Once you’ve determined the size, features and style you need, it’s time to choose from the various types of indoor pots and planters available.

Types of Indoor Plant Pots and Planters

Traditional Flower Pots

These basic pots are the most common choice for houseplants. The tapered cylindrical shape provides room for roots to grow. Opt for terracotta or plastic pots with drainage holes. Match sizes and styles to create cohesive displays.


A cachepot is a decorative, watertight container used to cover a nursery pot. Cachepots allow you to display plants in pretty vessels without affecting drainage. They come in ceramic, metal, woven and other materials. Using cachepots is a great way to elevate inexpensive plastic nursery pots.

Hanging Baskets

For displaying cascading plants like ivy or orchids, hanging baskets are perfect. Macrame and coir fiber are natural and breathable materials. Plastic and metal hanging pots often include built-in drainage trays to catch overflow. Opt for lightweight materials if hanging pots from the ceiling.

Self-Watering Pots

Self-watering pots have reservoirs in the bottom that hold extra water. The soil wicks up moisture as needed, helping to maintain an optimal soil moisture level. These pots are great for drought-tolerant plants or if you’ll be away for extended periods. Some high-tech models even have sensors and auto-watering capabilities.

Window Boxes

Window boxes allow you to display a row of small potted plants or herbs on a windowsill. Look for window boxes made of wood, metal or plastic. Make sure they have drainage holes and can securely attach to the window frame. An automatic drip irrigation system will keep plants in a window box evenly watered.

Trough Planters

Trough planters are long, narrow containers that allow you to grow multiple plants in a single pot. The rectangular shape makes them perfect for displaying plants on shelves, mantles, or other horizontal surfaces. Arrange plants with similar care needs in a trough planter for easy watering and maintenance.

Pedestal Pots

Elevate bushy, trailing, or vine plants in pedestal pots. The raised base lifts the plant closer to eye level and provides visual interest. Opt for lightweight plastic or fiberglass pedestals that can support the weight of a heavy potted plant. Use sturdy ceramic or concrete pedestals for smaller plants.

Strawberry Pots

Strawberry pots or pocket planters allow you to display numerous small potted plants in one container. The column-like design has openings or “pockets” on the sides where plants can emerge. Strawberry pots are whimsical, space-saving options perfect for succulents, cacti and other tiny plants.

7 Tips for Successfully Growing Plants in Indoor Pots

Successfully Growing Plants in Indoor Pots

Choosing the perfect indoor plant pots is just the beginning. Follow these tips to help your potted plants thrive indoors:

  1. Select the right potting mix – Use a potting soil or mix formulated for indoor container plants, which drains well and provides nutrients. Regular garden soil can get too compact.
  2. Allow room for growth – Only move up one pot size at a time as plants grow bigger. A pot that’s too large can hold moisture and lead to root rot.
  3. Provide drainage – Ensure pots have drainage holes at the bottom and place pebbles or broken pot shards over them to allow airflow and drainage.
  4. Elevate pots – Place pots on saucers or plant stands to prevent waterlogging if there’s no drainage hole.
  5. Water carefully – Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom, but don’t overdo it. Allow the soil to partially dry out between waterings.
  6. Fertilize when needed – Use a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season to provide nutrients. Don’t over-fertilize!
  7. Repot annually – Replenish old potting mix and move plants to a slightly larger pot each spring to accommodate growth.

Following these tips will give your potted plants the healthy start they need to thrive inside your home. Don’t hesitate to get creative and have fun with unique pot and planter styles – your plants will love the attention!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I put rocks or pebbles at the bottom of pots for drainage?

No, this outdated practice can actually worsen drainage by creating a perched water table. The pebbles just take up space needed for soil and roots. Instead, make sure pots have drainage holes and place them on saucers or plant stands.

2. How often should I repot my indoor plants?

Most indoor plants need repotting about once a year in the spring, or whenever roots start circling the inside of the pot. Move plants up one pot size at a time, into pots just 1-2 inches larger. Avoid huge shifts in pot size to prevent transplant shock.

3. What are signs my plant has outgrown its pot?

Indicators a plant is root-bound and needs repotting include stunted growth, wilting, crowding/twisted leaves, roots growing out the drainage holes, and soil drying out much faster between waterings. Gently remove the plant to inspect the root ball.

4. Should I put rocks, pebbles or gravel in the bottom of cachepots?

No, the bottom of a cachepot should be empty since these do not have drainage holes. Any rocks or gravel at the bottom can actually raise the inner nursery pot above the cachepot’s base, disrupting water drainage.

5. Can I use a pot without drainage holes as long as I water the plant carefully?

It’s not recommended. Without drainage holes excess water can accumulate at the bottom leading to root rot. The soil surface may appear dry even when the lower half is soggy. If using a vessel without holes, place the pot inside an outer cachepot or plant stand with empty space for drainage.


Choosing the perfect indoor pots and planters for your indoor plants is an enjoyable part of being a plant parent. Consider factors like size, drainage, material, and style when shopping for pots. Select types designed for indoor use, such as traditional flower pots, self-watering containers, hanging baskets and strawberry pots. Discover the best small flowering trees in Florida and elevate your indoor gardening experience by following proper care tips, such as providing the right potting mix and fertilizing when needed. Your plants will thrive with excellent drainage and room to grow in their indoor abodes. With the endless pot and planter options available, you can showcase these beautiful trees in style, transforming your space into a flourishing botanical haven.