Choosing the right pots to contain your plants is a difficult choice to make when there are endless options available in the market.  One needs to not only decide the type, form, and aesthetics of the container but also the material of the containers. The two widely used materials are terracotta/ clay (glazed and unglazed) and plastic polymers. You need to choose a container not only to suit the budget but also suit the plant’s requirements and your upkeep practices.

Terracotta and ceramic glazed pots have always been the traditional favorites and have been used for centuries now. But the in the current age, plastic pots taking over.  Both the materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the factors to consider while making a choice.

 

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The terracotta or ceramic clay pots tend to be on the costlier side as they require more workforce in its productions. They are more durable and last longer. The plastic variants are way cheaper, and their durability depends on the quality of plastic used. The glazed pots are available in a wide variety of designs and colors to suit the aesthetics of your plant. But these types of containers are mostly available in a typical single pot form.

The plastic containers, on the other hand, are available in limited colors but their styles can vary from a traditional pot to large rectangular shapes as they are extremely light weight as compared to their terracotta/clay counterparts and is suitable for balconies and terraces where dead loads can be an issue to the building structure. Being lightweight has disadvantages too as the pot may topple over if the soil is dry and the plant size is big.

Watering and drainage are important factors to keep in mind while choosing a container for your plants. If your plants need regular watering and you don’t have the time to water your plants regularly, then it is best to choose plastic pots as evaporation losses are minimized.  Whereas, you need to b e careful of not water logging the plant by over-watering as drainage can be a little tricky in these plastic containers. Whichever pot you choose, make sure that there are enough drainage holes for the excess water to flow out.


The main advantage of having a polymer plastic container is that they can incorporate newer technologies and features like self-watering mechanism, inbuilt plant lights(grow lights) which make maintenance of plants a lot easier than in traditional pots.

To Summarize:

Parameters Ceramic/Terracotta Plastic Pots
Cost Costlier Cheaper
Durability/Quality More durable and last longer Depends on the quality of plastic used
Drainage Easily drained as the unglazed surface aids in evaporation More prone to waterlogging if drainage holes aren’t proper
Watering Require frequent watering if unglazed Less frequent watering as water doesn’t evaporate rapidly
Temperature Absorbs more heat Almost no difference in heat absorption (except for black colored ones)
Weight Heavy and bulky Lightweight
Design, Aesthetics & Innovation Glazed versions are available in many colors although size and forms are limited Available in a wide variety of shapes forms color and sizes.  Equipped with new technologies like self-watering mechanism (but makes them costlier too)



 

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