Pots and planters can make all the difference for your outdoor plants. Although good soil, plenty of water and the right fertilizer are all important, the right container allows for optimal growth, health and sustainability. Each container type has its own benefits and drawbacks, depending on your objectives. Ultimately, the right choice depends on the type of plants you hope to grow and where they will be located.
Points to Consider Before Choosing a Container
When choosing a container for your outdoor plants, it is important to consider a few key points and the first is your budget and how long you want your containers to last. Next, consider the impact the container will have on the environment as well as the effects the environment will have on the container. For example, plastic planters and pots are relatively inexpensive, compared to some other materials, but the manufacturing process requires the inclusion of a variety of toxic chemicals. Plus, plastic containers fade and crack in the sunlight. Terracotta (clay) is a much more natural product and better for the environment, and this material is not significantly more costly than plastic. Unfortunately, its porous nature allows your plants to dry out more quickly than if they were planted in non-permeable containers.
Popular Outdoor Potting Containers
The most popular outdoor planting choices today are plastic, clay, metal, stone and wood. As noted above, plastic containers are harsh on the environment and contain more toxins than most alternatives, but are inexpensive and generally have good drainage. Clay looks good and is priced right, but you’ll have to water more often and scrub away at mineral deposits on the outside of the pots. Stone is a great option for permanency, due to its sturdy nature, but it can be too heavy to move easily or use on a balcony or deck. Wood and metal offer a multitude of options for design and can be made to look visually appealing. Generally both metal and wood are long-lasting and environmentally friendly, but be careful with the preservatives used in treated wood, as they are not all safe for outdoor plants.
Functional Container Options
The gardening world has gone crazy for so-called functional containers. Functional containers are all-purpose planters that can hold an entire mini-garden. On the top of the list are hanging baskets made from plastic, wire or wood. They are light, able to be hung in a myriad of locations, and they have the capacity to display many varieties of plants. Window boxes are ideal for a showy seasonal flower display or urban herb garden. Another popular style of functional container is the pot on wheels. Small but stable casters are tucked underneath a large pot, allowing you to easily relocate it with the season.
Choosing the right outdoor plants and containers is ultimately all about purpose and preference. For all your growing and gardening needs, visit Millcreek Gardens, where you’ll find a friendly, experienced staff and every conceivable type of pots and planters.