Planters: 8 Things to Know Before You Buy

April 21, 2014

Planters: 8 Things to Know Before You Buy

No green thumb? No problem. Whether you’re looking to house a fern indoors or grow a small garden in the front yard, we give you a few tips on how to nail down which type of planter is right for your needs.

1. A Planter Is Not a Pot

Yes, the two terms are used interchangeably, but if you want to get technical they actually refer to separate items. The difference: A planter is rectangular and has holes for drainage. A pot is round and does not. However, since rules are made to be broken there are also round planters.

2. Survival Depends on Size

Pick a planter that gives your flora enough room to flourish. This means something with space for what’s above and below the soil. Also note: the larger your planter, the longer it takes the soil to dry out. If you have a habit of forgetting to water, skip the tiny planters with little space to spare.

3. When Indoors, Survival Also Depends on Sunlight

Choosing an indoor planter heavily depends on how much light your flora requires. You don’t want to make the mistake of placing a plant that needs loads of shade in a planter best hung in the window.

4. Synthetic, Stone and Concrete Work Best Outdoors

These three materials are durable and frost-proof making them a must for outdoor planting. Unlike with metal, terra cotta or wood, foliage is protected and you won’t have to replace the planter because of rust, decay or other types of damage.

5. No Space? No Problem

Thanks to living walls and hanging wall planters, homeowners with little room to spare can still enjoy a bit of greenery. When used indoors, these planters are better suited for smaller plants that don’t need direct sunlight.

6. Drainage is Key

To keep plants from rotting you need a planter with great drainage. One hole on the bottom won’t cut it. Look for planters with several holes that are each about a half-inch in diameter.

7. Catch Trays Prevent Mess

Check to see that your planter has a catch tray (or something similar) to hold excess water. If not, a little over-watering could lead to a big wet mess.

8. You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Style

Don’t feel married to plain Jane picks. Planters come in oodles of options to match an array of home décor. Think of your planter as a key accent piece and then feel free to indulge in unique materials like pressed metal, woven leather in wild colors and even unexpected shapes.

Megan Mostyn Brown


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