What Size Flower Pot Do I Need? How to Choose Plant Pots

By   | Last Updated :   March 2, 2022 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Choosing a pot for your plants is more than just a matter of looks.  A pot should be the right size for the plant’s root system, a suitable shape, made from quality material and have adequate drainage. Read on to find out what size flower pot you need for your plants.

flower pot size

Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

How to choose pots for plants

Sunlight, soil, and water are the most important factors that determine plant health. Next comes the pot. The right pot will ensure that your plant has enough room to grow.

Here’s how to select the right shape, size, and material for your pot:

Step 1 – Choose the right size

assorted succulents in clay pots

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

You can opt for a large or small pot, or something in between, depending on the plant you want to grow in it.

Large pots are easy to get started with. But the soil in a large pot will dry out slowly, making your plant more susceptible to root rot. In a small pot, the soil will dry quickly. But you will have to water it frequently.

Ideally, choose a pot that’s 2 to 4 inches larger in diameter than your plant. This will ensure that your plant will have ample room for growth. If you’re still in doubt about the right size for your pot, think of what you want to grow in it and follow the guidelines below:

Step 2 – Choose the shape

flower pots on a shelf

Image credit: @simplyflowersbrighouse

Plant pots come in a variety of shapes, from tall and narrow to short, round, and rectangular. While different shapes can hold the same amount of soil, they may not be ideal for all plants.

Step 3 – Choose the material

large flower pots with plants

Image credit: @sadolin_sandtex

Choosing the right material for your pot is also important. The material will determine how quickly the soil dries out, how well your plant grows, and how healthy its roots are.

Planters come in different types of materials, like ceramic, terracotta, plastic, wood or metal. You will easily find these at your local garden centre.

Let’s review the pros and cons of each type of material:

rectangle large flower pot

Image credit: @homewiththemarks

Step 4 – Check for drainage

When you’ve chosen your perfect pot, check for drainage holes. Good drainage will help excess water run through to the bottom of your pot without making the soil swampy. Stagnant water in your pot can turn your plant leaves brown and droopy and eventually lead to root rot.

If the pot doesn’t have any drainage holes, drill some yourself. Make a single large hole at the bottom or 3 to 4 smaller ones.

For wooden planters, simply use a hammer and a nail to punch holes. Be more careful while working with ceramic or clay pots. Too much pressure can crack them so it’s best to use a drill. You can use an electric drill to make holes in metal, fibreglass, and concrete pots.

Choosing pots for plants FAQs

outdoor plants in large clay pots

Image credit: @roombyroomdublin

Can I grow small plants in large pots?

Yes, you can. It can help you avoid overcrowded roots but if the pot is too large, the plant roots may not be firmly packed in the soil. Your plant may also look out of proportion to its pot.

Can I temporarily plant a large plant in a small pot?

If you have to transplant it or plan to give it to someone, you can plant a large plant in a small pot, but only as a temporary solution. A plant kept in a too-small pot may become rootbound, stop growing and fall sick.

Can I plant two or more small plants in a large pot?

Unless it’s a seed mix of different plants or well-suited companion plants, it’s usually not a good idea. Even if the pot is spacious enough, different plants have different soil, watering, and nutrient requirements. If their roots become tangled together it may hamper their growth or increase the risk of disease. We’ve written an article about how to plant a flower in a pot the right way.

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