How To Measure Plant Pots | Industry Guide

Container gardens are a great way to beautify any commercial environment. Pots and planters come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can always find one that works for your space, no matter the industry. But what happens when you make the WRONG decision?

The dangers of wrongly measured plant pots

How flower pots are made
How flower pots are made

If you are a project manager or an architect, you know that one of the worst things you could do is to get a minute detail wrong such as the specs for specific equipment or the measurements for a building. These blunders can lead to delays as stock is returned, and plans revised.

When all the problems have been fixed, you’re still left with imperfect results and unhappy clients.

The solution? Measure your pots accurately rather than approximately, and we will show you how later in this article.

What else could go wrong? Not only do you need to make sure the pot fits the place, you now need to measure the pot to fit the plant. Decide what pot volume, size, and shape you need for your plant in order to keep those plants looking happy and healthy, or else the whole project was a waste of time!

With a bit of foresight and careful planning of your pot measurements, you can avoid costly and unnecessary landscaping hiccups while having confidence that your plants will grow healthily over time.

How are plant pots sized?

Measuring plant pots
Measuring plant pots

Measured by diameter

Pot size is typically found by measuring the pot diameter, also called the width. For example, a 30cm pot will be 30cm wide at the top from edge to edge. Circular plant pots are measured by the diameter and the depth. However, a rectangular planter will have a diameter AND a length and depth.

Here at Vietnam CDM, our products are listed by width/diameter first, as it is usually the most important measurement for determining which plants will grow best in the pot. We also measure the length and depth of the pot for your convenience, so you can decide with precision and accuracy which planters are right for your space.

Note: Vietnam Creative Design Manufacturing products are measured in inches for the American and global markets. To convert, multiply 1 inch by 2.54 cm.

Measured by volume

Sometimes, pot size is determined by volume. Depending on the shape and depth of the pot, these measurements can vary. In other words, a short 12 cm square planter will have a different volume than a tall 12 cm round planter.

Knowing the volume of your pot is helpful to get a general idea of the size. You can calculate the approximate container volume by multiplying all the dimensions together e.g. Width X Height X Length. This works perfectly for a square planter.

In order to measure a circular planter, simply calculate the size of a square with the same dimensions and then reduce the volume to 78.5%.

How to choose the best pot size

8 planters
Outdoor composite planters

Pots and planters come in a wide range of dimensions, so you should take into account the needs of your plant, as well as your space when choosing pot sizes for your garden.

In order to create a long-lasting landscape, it is important to select pots that not only look great in your space but can also accommodate the natural growth of your plants.

An established container garden will require extra room for your plants to grow, so you should consider their full-grown size when purchasing your pots. While you can have them trimmed, planning for growth can prevent costly maintenance and unnecessary repotting as your commercial landscape matures.

Rules of thumb for measuring plant pots

How flower pots are made
How flower pots are made

As a general rule of thumb, you need a pot that is at least 2.5 centimeters wider than your plant’s root mass. If you expect the plant to grow quickly, choose a pot that is up to 10 centimeters wider.

However, be careful that you don’t overpot your plant. If the pot is too big, the roots will not be able to reach the bottom, resulting in over-watering and root rot. Similarly, if the pot is too small, the roots will not have enough room to grow and your plant will grow very slowly, or not at all.

Make sure the plant pot is big enough to drain properly

Drainage holes are also essential for the proper health of most plants, so make sure your pots have them. Without adequate drainage, you risk over-watering your plant.

When it comes to repotting, you should expect to re-home your plant every 2-4 years to a pot that is 5-10 centimeters larger. You can check with your local nursery or gardening center for repotting advice when you buy your plants.

Measure your space

Of course, there is nothing worse than purchasing a planter and realizing it doesn’t fit in your space. You should always measure the dimensions of your garden or interior to ensure that your pot will fit well, and remember to take into account the full-grown width and height of the plant when doing so. Make sure to use a tape measure to get tight-fit measurements.

Generally, planters have a small lip that adds a few centimeters to the length. If you opt for drainage holes, your indoor planters will need a saucer to collect excess water.

Need more drainage solutions? Check out these no-drainage plant pot solutions!

Plant pot size guide

Once you have determined which pots will work best for you, you can start designing your landscape! Here are some tips for using different pot sizes in your commercial space.

Here’s a simple chart to help outline the sizes available and what this means for plants.

Standard plant sizes

Small pots

CDM’s small fiberglass planters // Installation by the Plant guy

Typically less than 10 litres in volume and 30 centimeters in diameter, these pots make perfect planters for desks and tables. Whether you want to brighten up the reception desk with a small succulent garden or add a few poinsettias to your lobby at Christmastime, this size pot will suit your plants well.

Medium pots

Better suited as floor planters, these pots measure 10-30 litres and 30-40 centimeters in diameter, depending on the manufacturer. They will look lovely in corners of the office that need a splash of green.

When arranged together, you can even create a room divider with a few medium-sized pots. The Casablanca Bowl Planter is rather short, but when paired with a full-grown dracaena plant or a tall shrub, this pot can easily define a space.

Large pots

This rooftop uses our Montroy Cube Planter
This rooftop uses our Montroy Cube Planter to bring nature to difficult-to-reach places.

At more than 30 litres in volume and 40 centimeters in diameter, these planters are designed for large plants and trees whose roots need lots of space to spread out and grow over time. They would function best in an outdoor setting, or even a large, open lobby.

Our Montroy Cube Planter comes in a variety of sizes and can accommodate small plants or large, imposing trees. With its sleek, symmetrical shape, it is sure to make a statement at the entryway or as the centerpiece of a lounge area.

Custom pots

CDM employee checking an order
A CDM quality control expert checking an order

If you can’t find a pot size that works for your project, custom planters are available to create your dream landscape.

There are many reasons why a custom pot would suit your needs. Perhaps you have a space with very specific dimensions or a plant that needs a very specific soil depth to thrive. No matter the reason, custom planters will stand out from the rest and take your landscape to the next level.

Final thoughts

Fiberglass planters on a desk
CDM planters in the office

Whether you wish to add a bit of greenery to the reception desk of your hotel or decorate the whole office campus with trees and flowers, choosing the correct pot size is essential. Not doing so can endanger the life of your plant, and it also means you will be burdened with the unnecessary costs of repotting your plants too soon.

Choosing plants that can thrive in planters is advantageous because they stay smaller, making plant maintenance even easier. And with our patented fiberglass resin blend, pot maintenance can be just as easy! Contact us today to order wholesale pots that will work perfectly for your project.

Are You Ready To Work With Us?

Whether you require bespoke planters tailor-made for your project or just want to get your hands on a supply of our world-class planters, reach out to our team today and let’s create something special!

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