The Best Pots for Indoor Plants

Written by alyssa ideboen
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The Best Pots for Indoor Plants
Pots come in a variety of shapes and colours. (flower pots image by photobar from Fotolia.com)

Round pot, square pot, ceramic pot or plastic pot--there are many types of pots an indoor gardener can use to house their plants. Some may think the type of a pot does not make a difference, especially when it comes to a plants fecundity, but in order for your plant to thrive in an indoor environment, it is important to choose a pot or container that is conducive to your plant's needs.

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Pot Size

Pots that work best for indoor plants are large enough to handle the plant's root system. A seedling will work in a small pot, but as its roots extend and the plant grows larger, you should transfer the plant to a larger pot. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a pot that is twice the size of the root ball of the plant. This will allow the plant's roots enough room to acquire the nutrients they need from the soil.

Pot Material

Pots and plant containers come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Plastic pots are inexpensive and easy to obtain in a variety of sizes and colours. Plastic pots are not porous and can retain a soil's moisture for longer amounts of time. Clay or terra cotta pots are porous and will absorb water and allow oxygen to pass through, letting your plant's roots breathe. Plants will need to be watered more frequently when housed in terra cotta. Glazed ceramic or metal containers work well as indoor pots for plants. They will not absorb water but they do not allow oxygen to pass through to the roots.

Pot Structure

The structure of the pot you choose should depend on the plant type. If you have a plant with a long and deep root structure, a tall, narrow pot might be the best fit for that plant. If your indoor greenery has a wide, round top with surface roots that extend outward, a wide-mouth pot will work to your best advantage. For homes with tight living arrangements, consider a vertical flower box or a hanging basket to give you more floorspace.

Pots with Drainage

Plants need water, however too much water sitting in the soil of a potted plant can cause the roots to rot or decay. Investing in a pot with a proper drainage system will allow your plant to absorb the right amount of water without being soaked. A container with a hole at the bottom of the pot will allow excess water to drain out. A self-watering container will have two pots, an inner one punctured with holes to allow water to drain out, and an outer pot that hold the excess water until needed. Choose a pot with some sort of drainage for your plant to thrive.

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