Illustration for the article titled The Difference Between Terracotta, Ceramic, and Plastic Pots and Why It Matters to Your PlantsPhoto: Sergey Ryzhov (Shutterstock)

Different pots have different uses for your home plants and planters. Plants behave differently in plastic containers than they do in glazed ceramic pots, and each pot has its own set of Care instructions. So what’s the difference between these different pots and planters? It depends on breathability and moisture retention. Here are the things to consider when looking for the perfect potted house for your plants.

What are the advantages of a plastic flower pot?

Plastic pots refer to the hard plastic pots you can find at your local gardening or hardware store (not to be confused with the thin plastic pots that come with newly purchased plants). The advantages of plastic pots are their ability to retain moisture and their overall low weight.

Plant maintenance technician Paula Palma With Planter place uses large plastic pots for her citrus plants. The lemon trees she plants need a lot of space to grow and she needs to be able to move the pots easily. The high moisture retention of plastic pots is perfect for water-loving plants like ferns and orchids. Plastic containers are also very durable and don’t break as easily as a ceramic pot. An average plastic pot will run about $ 3.

When should you choose a glazed ceramic pot?

Ceramic pots can sometimes feel like terracotta, but they vary greatly in appearance and function. Both are porous clay, but ceramic pots are usually glazed, which changes their capacity. The glaze prevents the soil from drying out as fast as its terracotta cousin. Just be careful when moving a ceramic glazed pot – it can get quite heavy once your plant is in.

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Ceramic pots are great for spider plants, Baby tears, and other plants that thrive with slow drainage. Glazed pots are also at the more expensive end of the pot spectrum and cost around about $ 80- $ 150, depending on the size and where you shop. When choosing your pot, be careful that some do not have the necessary drainage holes, so make sure you are purchasing the correct pot before buying.

Why choose terracotta pots?

Terracotta pots are known as quick drying Pots. The clay draws water away from the inside and allows the potting soil to dry faster than a plastic pot without porosity. The texture of the pot allows optimal airflow for the plant roots to thrive and the quick drying prevents root rot.

Terracotta pots are perfect for succulents, cacti, and other desert plants. These porous pots can create the perfect drainage and growth environment, but they are too break easily. These pots can cost anywhere from under a dollar to $ 10 or more, depending on the required size.