I found that there are a lot of options when choosing a pot for your plants. You have terracotta, plastic, ceramic, and metal options. But there are a few benefits to using a ceramic pot.
Ceramic pots are good for plants because they absorb moisture from the soil and help avoid overwatering. This keeps the right moisture in the soil and prevents problems like root rot that can kill your plants.
I’ve written a lot more about the benefit of using ceramic pots, how you can choose a good one for your plants, and how to grow plants in them. So keep reading.
Why Ceramic Pots are Good for Plants
It is important to plant in a material that is not only one that is visually appealing, but one that can benefit your plants while also being durable enough to last more than a few months.
Ceramic pots are a great option for your planters because they are made of a porous material. This helps your plants with airflow and water absorption.
Because of their porosity, ceramic pots enable air to flow from the outside and into the soil of the plant. When the air reaches the soil, the roots are stimulated and more root growth results. This also keeps the soil from retaining too much moisture which can lead to root rot.
Ceramic pots are also fantastic at wicking moisture from the soil. Too wet soil can also lead to roots rotting which can kill your plants. Porous materials, like ceramic, can absorb excess moisture and reduce the chances of the soil staying overly wet.
So a ceramic pot can be helpful to a beginner gardener who tends to overwater the plants.
A Few Disadvantages of Ceramic Pots
There are a few disadvantages that ceramic pots can have when compared to plastic or terracotta pots.
Ceramic pots tend to have fewer drainage holes which means you either need to drill more of them or need to be aware how much water you add to the container.
Often, plants in ceramic pots take more water and work than plants in plastic pots because of their ability to absorb the water from the soil. Thus, if you forget to water your plants, then plastic pots might be the way to go since they do not allow water to permeate through them.
Finally, ceramic pots often come glazed compared with the raw terracotta pot. This can cause a restriction in the air and water flow that you don’t want. So, in this case, a terracotta pot will surpass a ceramic pot for providing an adequate environment for your plant to thrive.
How to Choose a Ceramic Pot for Planting
There are certain criteria that will help you make a good decision when choosing a ceramic pot for your plants.
Your plants need water, but those that are in pots also need to expel any excess. Plants that are in the ground have an endless depth to release the excess. By purchasing a pot with good drainage, you help to mimic the natural environment plants need.
So, to choose a ceramic pot for planting, be sure to check that it has sufficient drainage holes at the bottom. You might need to drill some holes to ensure good drainage.
Just as plants need water, they also need air. You want to purchase a planter that will allow a natural airflow into your plant. The air within the soil helps to promote root growth and also keeps the soil from being too damp.
A big factor to keep in mind here is to look for pots that are without a glaze on them. When a pot is glazed, it prevents air from being able to permeate it and thus leaves the plants soil and roots a bit starved for some good ole oxygen.
To choose a ceramic pot with sufficient porosity, be sure to look for those that are natural or painted. Since glazed pots remove the capacity for air to escape them, you are best to stick with ceramic pots that come in their natural, plain state.
If you are using a pot for planting, chances are you will have to move it some times. The plant, potting soil, and the pot can become quite heavy.
If there are chances you will have to move your pot, make sure that you choose one that is manageable for you, or with the help of another, to move. This will also give you the freedom to change the look of your garden when you feel it needs a new aesthetic.
When considering a ceramic pot for planting, be sure that the weight is appropriate for the location you plan to place your plant in. When using larger plants, you will need a sturdy, heavier ceramic pot that is ideally not moved frequently. For smaller plants or plants that you plan to move about, you can use a lighter weight ceramic pot for planting.
How to Plant in Ceramic Pots
Pay Attention to Drainage
When discussing plants, it feels like water is just as much of the conversation as the plant itself, but that is because how to water with your potted plant is so important. You now know that ceramic pots can benefit your plant, but there is a little something to consider when it comes to the usual construct of these planters.
Ceramic pots offer lots of pros for your plant, but because of the material they are made of, some producers only put one hole at the bottom and centered in the middle for drainage. This may seem like a non-issue, but with the placement and there being only one drainage spot, it can keep the plant from draining well and evenly. When this happens, your soil can retain too much water and cause the plant to wilt or die.
When selecting your pot and planting in a ceramic pot, try to find one that has multiple holes drilled over the entirety of its bottom. If you cannot find a ceramic pot with multiple drainage holes, you can carefully drill some on your own.
Just be sure that your hole size is comparative to the size of the pot you are using. Keep in mind that ceramic is easily cracked, so be sure to drill at a low level and with minimal force, or else you can end up with a broken home project.
Provide Good Food
Just as you need a wide array of nutrients to stay healthy, so do your plants. So many times you walk through the gardening section and see gigantic bargain deal bags of potting soil. It is so tempting to go ahead and pick this up and assume this is the only type of grub your plants need, but your plants will be left wanting for more if you only use potting soil.
You may be surprised to know that potting soil contains no accessible nutrients for your plants to snack on. Because of the lack of nutrients in potting soil, you need to be sure to add them in with soil to ensure your plant stays well-fed and healthy.
To do this, you can mix in a slow-release fertilizer with your potting soil by either mixing a big batch or by mixing it as you need it per plant. Once you have this done, continue to use a liquid fertilizer every few weeks to keep your plants from losing too much from this soil due to watering.
When using ceramic pots, this is no different. However, because of the high level of porosity often found in non-glazed ceramic pots, you will need to regularly check the moisture level of your fertilizer/potting soil mixture. You can do this by examining the base as well as observing the top few inches of soil in your ceramic pot.
Use Friendly Plant Pals
Many times when container gardening people will combine different plants in the same container. This is a great solution to save space or to make smaller plants look a bit fuller.
However, not all plants are great friends to one another. Some plants have very different needs than others, some are rather invasive when it comes to space, and some tend to suffocate other plants with their intrusive roots.
You want to make sure when you have plants growing together, that all the plants require the same amount of sun and water. By doing this, you will not have to worry about one plant doing well while the other suffers.
Just consider the likes and dislikes of your plants and go from there when potting them together. Acknowledge their needs just as you would your own. Specifically, when planting in ceramic pots, be sure to review the needs of the plant and how this type of pot will fit that.
For example, if your plant requires a lot of water as is, and you choose to use a ceramic pot that allows for a high level of water flow, then be sure that you are going to regularly provide adequate water for your plant to thrive in a ceramic pot.
Be Realistic With Your Potting
At first glance, it may seem that container gardening would be a total breeze. Truth be told though, container gardening is challenging. You are the one responsible for the environment in which your plant will grow and if you get this wrong, it could be the end of your plant’s days.
Even if you are the most experienced gardener, you have done everything completely by the book, and the care for your plant has been exceptional, sometimes plants simply struggle. The moral of this story is to give yourself some grace with ceramic pot container gardening, yet be realistic with how much effort and time you can give to your plants.
If you are newer to the gardening game or are simply one that tends to forget your plants, start small and give yourself a reasonable number of plants to care for. Also, find plants that do not require too much maintenance and upkeep if you lack the time to be super involved. Your plants will thank you.