What Is the Best Material for Planters: The Pros and Cons of Popular Pots

Gardening is becoming an ever greater trend. A lot of people enjoy gardening, either indoors or outdoors. When it comes to gardening, we care not only about the plants, but also the planters. There are a variety of factors you should consider before choosing a planter for your plants. These factors include height, weight, shapes, sizes, and materials. Does the planter accommodate your plant? Is it easy to move the planter around? Which shape suits your plant and your design? Does this planter suit your aesthetic? 

Despite not getting much attention, materials for your planters are more important than you think. Materials can determine not only the appearance of your planters but durability, drainage, compatibility with your plants. There are different materials for planters on the marketplace, for example, plastic, wood, terracotta, ceramic, fiberglass. Among them, what is the best material for planters? We offer you a list of materials, along with their pros and cons.

Plastic pots

It is the one of cheapest options in the marketplace. If you buy a new plant, this is the pot you will come home with.

Advantages:

  • Versatile in appearance: Plastic pots can mimic different kinds of material like stone, terracotta, ceramic, but they do not appear so realistic.
  • Low price: Plastic planters are one of the cheapest among all kinds of pots.
  • Easy to customize: Plastic pots are easy to handle. You can always paint or spray paint to change its look. You can also drill more drainage holes into your planter if needed.
  • Lightweight: Plastic is light which makes it easy for you to rearrange your pots. This feature also makes plastic planters a good option for your balcony or on your working desk. 

Disadvantages:

  • For temporary use: Plastic pots only last for a few seasons. Its color fades away soon and the pot becomes more fragile when exposed to the direct sun. Therefore, you need to change your pot after a few months. 
  • Not safe for the root: when under direct sunlight, plastic planters absorb heat quickly which can cause the root to wither. 
  • Not sustainable: Plastics are petroleum-based which is not eco-friendly. Its short life span causes often discharge and replacement. If they are not collected and recycled in the right way, plastic planters are harmful to the environment and wasteful of resources.
what is the best material for planters

Wooden planters

There are different types of wooden planters on the market. Most of them are made from pressed wood or rot-resistant wood. You can DIY your own wood planters. 

Advantages: 

  • Attractive appearance: Wood looks great with everything. You can also paint or spray your wood planters according to your desire. 
  • Weight: Wood planters are mild weight. It is easy to shift or move it around the house. 
  • Eco-friendly: If you don’t want to use plastic pots, wooden planters are a natural alternative that you should consider.
  • Weather-resistant: It is not vulnerable to weather. You don’t need extra care for your planters in summer or winter. However, humidity can cause them to rot. To make sure your wood planters do not rot, choose rot-resistant wood planters or use preservatives on your pots.
what is the best material for planters

Disadvantages:

  • High maintenance: the planters require frequent caring like preservative treatment, rustproof layers for metal bands or nails every year. 
  • Durability: Wood planters do not last long. Even though they do not break, they are prone to pests, rotting, splitting. 

Paper pots

If you want another natural option for your plants, you can consider paper planters. They may not be the best option if you want long-lasting planters, but they are a practical option for your garden.

Advantages:

  • Eco-friendly: Paper pots are the superstar for being sustainable. They are made from recycled paperboard or newspaper. The pot can biodegrade and give nutrition to your plants.
  • Cheap: Paper is cheap. These pots may be the cheapest on this list. You can also make your own containers using newspaper.
  • Lightweight: These containers are super lightweight, easy to shift and move around.
  • Airflow: The containers allow oxygen to go through and enrich the soil. Good airflow makes it a perfect option for seed starting pots.

Disadvantages:

  • For temporary use: Paper pots are not designed to last for life. They will easily tear away or rip when saturated.
  • Susceptible to mold: Because paper pots can absorb a lot of water, they are an ideal environment for mold to develop. After some time, your pots can get slimy, and you know it’s time to let them biodegrade.
what is the best material for planters

Metal containers

Metal containers are famous for being colorful and aesthetic. Containers made from aluminum and steel have become very trendy.

Advantages:

  • Durability: Metal planters are durable. They are shatter-proof and crack-proof, but they can dent. 
  • Decorative: Metal containers are super decorative. If you love industrial rustic decor, the planters are definitely for you. 
  • Affordable: The price for metal planters is low. Plus, you can always reuse any of your metal containers as a pot for your plants.

Disadvantages:

  • Overheat: Metals are known to absorb heat quickly. The surface tends to be overheated when it stays under the sun. This can damage your plant roots. To avoid this problem, you can use your metal containers as a cachepot.
  • Rust: Some fertilizers can react to metal pots. In the rainy season, humidity and rainfall can make your pot degrade. Therefore, your planters should be painted with a non-toxic rust inhibitor to prevent damage. 
  • Drainage: Metals are not porous so the water can be stuck inside the planter and damage your plant roots. Make sure to choose pots with enough drainage holes. You can also choose plants that tolerate standing water and flooded areas. 
  • Weight: Metal containers, especially those made from cast iron are extremely heavy. 
  • Toxins: Metal containers are made from aluminum, iron, zinc,… The pots can release these toxins which can harm your plants. 
what is the best material for planters

Terracotta planters

Terracotta is an Italian term for baked clay. Terracotta is one of the most common materials for planters. 

Advantages: 

  • Attractive appearance: Its color ranges from orange and brown. The high iron content brings a rich, earthy, and cozy tone to your planter. The color goes well with everything. 
  • Excellent drainage: The porous surface allows air and water to pass through easily. It prevents soggy soil and protects the root. It is the best friend for drought-resistant plants like cactus. 
  • Affordable: Terracotta’s cost and quality remarkably diverse – from super cheap to super expensive. You can always find a pot in your budget. 
  • Durability: Terracotta is a durable material. The high-quality terracotta planters are frost resistant. Terracotta with a shiny glaze on the inside could last longer as the seal prevents the planters from losing its moisture.

Disadvantages: 

  • Heavy: Terracotta is extremely heavy compared to other materials for planters. Its weight makes it a good choice for a big plant but at the same time, hard to move around.
  • Brittle: They are easily broken if you drop them.
what is the best material for planters

Ceramic planters

Ceramic and terracotta planters have a lot in common. They are both attractive, heavy, and durable. However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider. 

Advantages: 

  • Lacquer glaze: Ceramic planters usually come with a layer of lacquer. This glaze prevents the soil from losing its moisture, so you don’t need to water your plant so frequently. 
  • Attractive appearance: Different from terracotta whose color is warm tone at default, ceramic planters come in different colors. Its shiny glaze is also a bonus point to its appearance.
  • Durability: Like terracotta, ceramic planters can be used for a long time. 

Disadvantages: 

  • No drainage hole: Some ceramic planters are designed without a drainage hole. This can cause the root to be in standing water. Therefore, these pots best for moisture-loving plants. 
  • Vulnerable to weather: These pots are much more vulnerable to frost than terracotta planters. Frost or cold weather can crack your pots. Therefore, make sure to bring your pots in when the temperature drops. 
what is the best material for planters

Concrete planters 

Concrete planters are another beautiful option for your beloved plants. It has a distinctive blue-greyish color, and its look grows with time. 

Advantages: 

  • Durability: The planters are made from cement which is used for buildings. Therefore, concrete planters are sturdy and can be used from seasons to seasons. It is harder to crack, or break compared to ceramic and terracotta. 
  • Heat insulation: The planter can keep the soil at a warm, stable temperature. This is suitable for plants from warmer climates. The planters also protect the root from large temperature changes. 
  • Weight: Concrete planters are heavy; therefore, it is suitable for big plants. 

Disadvantages:

  • Vulnerable to low temperature: when winter hits, this pot is not a good option. Water can enter the pores of the pot in winter. When water drops or rights below or above the freezing point, it can cause the material to expand or shrink. This process can lead to cracks. 
  • Weight: Its heaviness may work for big trees but can also make it difficult to move around. You’d better decide where to put it before purchasing one. 
  • Preparation before planning: It is advised to wash your concrete planters several times before planting your trees or flowers. This will help wash away the dyes and chemicals leaking out from your pot. 
what is the best material for planters

Fiberglass planters

Fiberglass planters are made by molding spun glass fibers and hold them together with resin. Despite being a newcomer, this type of container gets a lot of spotlight because of its versatility. 

Advantages: 

  • Lightweight: Fiberglass planters are light weighted like plastic. People can easily mistake the two. You can easily move it around your house or garden without much effort.
  • Attractive appearance: Fiberglass planters come in different shapes and sizes. They are elegant, suitable for a casual garden or a designer one. Just like plastic containers, this container can be mistaken for terracotta, ceramic, or even wooden counterparts because the design can mimic different textures. 
  • Low maintenance: The planter is weather-resistant, shatter-proof, and UV-resistant. You don’t need to worry if the color will fade. Occasional cleaning with mild soap solution or waxing can help it look fresh new. 
  • Durability: Once you purchase your pots, they will last forever. Its durability exceeds that of terracotta and ceramic.

Disadvantages: 

  • Initial price: these pots can be more expensive than others. However, considering its durability, it’s worth every cent of your investment. 
  • No harsh washing: The planters are long-lasting, but washing them using harsh chemicals, stiff brushes, and an abrasive sponge can damage the coating of your planter.
what is the best material for planters

So, what is the best material for your planters? Combining all of the advantages of other materials, fiberglass is truly the winner. It meets all of the expectations for a planter: catchy appearance and design, excellent durability, low maintenance, lightweight. Fiberglass planters may be a bit pricey at the beginning, but for the long term, they’re worth every penny.

Our company is proud to be a high-quality fiberglass planter manufacturer. We offer a wide selection of planters, but we can also tailor your design. To produce the finest handmade fiberglass planters for some of the best-known brands in the world, our planters go through a complex operation. If you are curious about this process, see how fiberglass planters are made in our factory

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