Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:57

Planters: Plastic, Clay, or Fabric?

Plastic, clay, or fabric? Which planters should you use in your indoor, or outdoor container garden? In this article we provide a simple list of pros and cons for each material, and offer a few economical product suggestions that we personally use.



  • Cheap, flexible, and lightweight
  • Does not absorb moisture, so suitable for plants requiring infrequent watering or moisture loving plants
  • Thin plastic wall offers no insulation
  • Easy to overwater (recommend draininage hole with water collector dish, or self-watering planter with gauge)

Self-watering recommendations: start with simple round planters from $8 on Amazon; or browse a large array of box planters starting from $15 on Gardeners.com.


  • Porous and allow moisture and air to permeate through the sides, this compensates for over-watering
  • Thick walls insulate from temperature changes
  • Recommended for dry soil plants since the clay absorbs excess moisture from the soil (i.e. cacti)
  • Requires daily watering due to clay absorption and evaporation
  • Heavy and expensive

Check your local nursery or home improvement chain for larger planters. You can however find an assortment of small clay pots online.


  • Very light weight and relatively inexpensive
  • Allows air and water to pass freely through, great drainage
  • Can be dug indirectly into the ground for better insulation in the winter, and allow roots to cool in the summer; biodegradable in soil
  • No draininage, cannot be used indoors

Root Pouch, pack of 5 starting at around $10.


What material has worked for you, what do you use in different spaces, indoor and outdoor? Or do you know a material we missed to review? Discuss it here!

Read 3069 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 00:46
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