Terracotta versus Plastic Pots

What do you want to do in your garden?
Maybe plant some flowers in pots?

Brilliant plan.
But do you know which pots should you buy?
Terracotta or plastic?

Both kind of pots have their good and bad qualities and sometimes it is difficult to choose the right one.

Terracotta pots:

  • are made from baked clay
  • have a classic look
  • are perfect for a shaded area
  • will be heavy
  • can be fragile
  • are vulnerable to cold weather
  • dry out in high temperatures

Plastic pots:

  • are made of inert materials
  • come in various colors: green, buff, black, brown or white
  • are perfect for a full-sun area
  • are lightweight and flexible
  • hold water, so the plants will require less water than those in terracotta pots
  • are durable
  • are not suitable for large plants

I have used both kind of pots, but I can not tell you which one is my favorite, since I prefer both types.
I like terracotta pots because they are old-fashioned and plastic pots because they are easy to clean and to store.

Whatever pot you choose it should have drainage holes in the bottom.

Terracotta potsTerracotta potsTerracotta potsPlastic potsPlastic potsPlastic pots

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24 thoughts on “Terracotta versus Plastic Pots

  1. I love clay pots. There’s something about them…they are heavy, but that’s what I like. I do lose a few each year, to the cold weather, even though I do my best to protect them. Some I’ve had for years and years but I never know how they will look when I turn them over and take them out. I can also see the reason to use light weight plastic as well. Lovely post.

    • Thank you 🙂
      I love clay pots too. I have many old pots, probably over 20 years. All my Asparagus densiflorus are planted in clay pots and they look beautiful 🙂

  2. I like both kinds also! Very often I find pots that I like but that don’t have holes in the bottom. I used to just give up on them, but then I started drilling the holes in them myself! It’s easier to do with plastic pots than clay though ><.

  3. Good read. I never thought about the difference:) I use the terracotta pots for anything I need to keep long term and the plastic ones for starting seedlings and such because they slide out easier for transplant. Thanks for the info!

  4. I love clay but tend to use more plastic since it is so hot and sunny where I live. One quick question though…you mention that plastic pots are not suitable for large plants, why is that? I see so many large pots at the home center…

  5. I was just debating which pots to buy earlier today! Excellent tips. Thanks so much for sharing! Do you have any experience using metal pots? My neighbour has this lovely big metal washtub that would look lovely with some flowers in it, but I’m not sure if it’s conducive to growing….any thoughts? X

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