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Containers for Gardening – How Do I Choose the Right Container

When it comes to containers for gardens, there are many different options available. Which container should you choose? Read on to find out!

And if you are looking for pretty containers to pot up some plants? Wait until you see these beautiful planters that I’m loving today!

Gardening oftentimes requires a lot of space.

So choosing to go with a container garden affords the opportunity to garden no matter the size, shape, or location of your garden.

Because you can garden with containers anywhere.

And choosing the right container for your garden is so important.

Some types of planters are better made and more weather resistant to others. While other planters look prettier than others.

Or maybe you prefer farmhouse to french country style of containers for gardening.

So reviewing the different options together with their pros and cons is essential before planting a container garden.

And there are so many beautiful planter options out there too!

Wait until you see what I’m loving lately at the end of this post!

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How to Choose Containers for Gardening

Before choosing a container, consider what style you gravitate too.

Do you love natural or organic colors and textures?

Do you prefer a sleek modern look or something more vintage?

And consider your price point before shopping around because some containers can be pretty pricey!

close up of whiskey barrel planter with pink geraniums, calibroca, bacopa, latte superwave petunias, euphorbia, coleus and canna lillies

Types of Containers for Gardening

There are several different types of containers for gardening to consider. And they each have their pros and cons.

Do you have a favorite?

Depending on where I plan to use them is how I decide what types of containers to purchase.

Gorgeous container garden with ranunculas and pansies in front of flowering crabapple trees in spring with lenten rose -Gardening 101: Container gardening basics for beginners
Container Gardening Basics for Beginners

Plastic Containers

In general, plastic or resin type containers are pretty weather resistant and quite durable.

Some are made so well they almost look like true terracotta, stone, or concrete.

They help plants retain moisture and are much lighter to move around than other types of containers.

And as such, they tend to be less expensive. Although that really depends on the overall appearance of the containers.

Since these types of containers help plants retain moisture, it’s easier to overwater plants – which isn’t a good thing.

To learn the secret about knowing when to water plants, CLICK HERE.

mixed container garden with geraniums, sweet potato vine, coleu, bubble gum pink superwave petunias and bacopa in front of stone wall on bed of river rocks next to astilbe plant.

I have several resin containers that look just like terracotta that I’ve had for several years. And I love them!

You can find some truly beautiful plastic or resin containers for gardening that look like their organic counterparts.

However, some plastic containers or resin pots look cheap and not well made. If the aesthetic does not matter, then get what you want.

But if you want the plastic or resin pots to look more real and authentic, then you’ve got to really look at the details and ask yourself, does this look real like the real thing? If it doesn’t, put it back on the shelf.

So keep that in mind when shopping shopping for plastic or resin pots.

front porch garden close up with hosta and container garden of pansies in resin pot

Wood Containers

Wooden containers are another option for growing plants. These containers come in various sizes and shapes and are generally made from pine, teak or cedar.

When planting in wood-based containers, I recommend adding some sort of lining because over time, that wood will break down and rot.

If you don’t care about future wood rot, then lining wood pots may not be an issue for you.

Cedar or teak lasts longer than some other types of woods, but add a liner regardless to extend the useful life.

close up of whiskey barrel container garden with pink geraniums, bacopa, superwave petunia latte, coleus and cann lillies

Metal Containers

I love the look of metal containers don’t you?

They add some texture and color to the garden or decor that help make some plants and flowers pop.

Metal containers last a long time and weather well when exposed to the elements.

Be sure to make sure there is are good draininage holes as not all metal containers have them.

If some are needed, simply grab a drill and make a few holes so water can drain out and not water log plants.

Gorgeous and simple faux flower centerpiece idea in a vintage galvanized metal lattice planter decorated for fall in farmhous dining room with black china cabinet and hutch -Centerpiece Ideas for Every Season

Terracotta or Clay Pot Containers

Clay pots are another type of container that gardeners use.

These pots are made from clay and are usually fired at high temperatures, making them durable and heat resistant.

Clay pots come in various sizes and shapes and are readily available.

The drawbacks to using terracotta or clay pot containers, is that they draw moisture away from plants, which dries planters out more quickly.

So you might need to water more often if using terracotta or clay pots as oppose to resin.

Such containers are perfect for succulent type plants that prefer drier soil conditions.

Potting Bench Idea made from wood pallet and has lots of terracotta pots with houseplants, flowers and potting shed sign

While these types of planters are more durable in one regard, they break more easily and are not made to withstand extreme winter conditions. So be sure to handle with care and bring them indoors or protect when frosts arrive.

Moreover, clay pots can be pretty heavy if they are on the larger size and filled with soil.

And while that sounds like a lot of negatives, terracotta clay pots add lots of color and texture to the garden and are beyond beautiful!

I’m a huge fan of using them but make sure I keep the above in mind when deciding where to use them in my gardens and outdoor living spaces.

close up of container garden houseplants in my sunroom renovation my houseplants are super happy now
How to Grow and Care for Houseplants

Stone or Concrete Containers

Concrete pots are also used by gardeners. They are easy to make and can last for several years.

However, concrete pots need to be sealed with a sealant every few months to keep water out.

If you live in an area where freezing temperatures occur, then you will need to add insulation to prevent the pot from cracking during cold weather or move them indoors (if you can!)

I’ve not used concrete planters until recently. We found some GORGEOUS concrete planters tucked away in the garden shed and behind the fence shortly after moving here and I love them.

But they are extremely heavy so be mindful where you place them because they will not be easy to move around later.

cottage garden in front of green wood picket fence with perennials, pink flowers and concrete planter

Looking for Containers for Gardening?

Now that we’ve covered the types of garden containers plus their pros and cons, here are some great resources if you are in the market for planters.

Keep in mind your decorating style, as well as the size, location, and durability of each planter.

Container Gardening Ideas

If you are just starting out with container gardening, here are some basics as well as some inspirational posts.

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close up of whiskey barrel container garden with flowers
close up of whiskey barrel container garden with flowers

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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  1. When I moved from CT to VA I had to deal with red clay and lots of roots from large trees so I turned to more container gardening as a solution and found I loved it. My favorite containers are the urn shaped ones and as big as I can find at reasonal prices. The larger your container the less watering and more room for a combination of plants.I also move them around my garden to fill in seasonal bare areas. When we moved to N.C I brought all my pots and I wouldn’t be without them. They are emptied and cleaned each fall and stored till spring. Some weather proof ones can be used for autumn and later Christmas decor so they are well worth the cost.Another great aspect to gardening in all seasons.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! I’m doing a lot more with containers this year. It’s one of my favorite types of gardening. xo

    1. They are beautiful! I saw a lot in texas and wanted to bring them all back with me. would have been tough on a plane!