You finally settled on a stunning indoor plant. The spot in your home where your new plant BFF will greet you has been chosen. Now, it’s time to select the perfect planter that will not only complement the space but also keep your plant happy and healthy. Choosing the right pot for your new plant will hopefully help curb confused Google searches like, “Why is my fiddle-leaf fig dying?” But searching for a planter can feel daunting when you have to consider a ton of variables (light source, diameter size, and specific watering needs, just to name a few), and, of course, you need to also think about your pot as decor.
“I’ll go into a beautiful home where there are so many gorgeous details, and I’ll see a plant that is neglected standing in the corner in a clay pot,” says co-founder of NYC-based plant delivery service My City Plants and indoor plant guru Juliette Vassilkioti. “It’s important that plants get dressed up as much as everything else around you.” Here, (with lots of help from Juliette!), are five tips on how to choose the best pot for your indoor plant.
Choose a bigger planter than your plant
Planters need to allow room for the plant to grow. “Let’s say you have a 10-inch snake plant, you need a 12-inch planter in diameter,” advises Juliette. When choosing a plant and a pot, it’s important to ask yourself where will the plant go to determine sizes as well. My City Plant’s handy Home Guide recommends buying plants and pots that are a little smaller than what you want initially, since—surprise!—plants grow. Try to keep your plant in proportion to the rest of the room. If you’re keeping your plant in the grower’s pot, it’s important to make sure your decorative planter has a few extra inches of wiggle room for easy removal.
If your planter doesn’t have drainage, keep the grower’s pot
As a general rule of thumb: decorative pots that lack drainage holes can always be used, but only as an outside container around the grower’s pot. “The most important aspect of buying a pot is making sure it has drainage,” says Juliette. “Dropping the grower’s pot in freely is fine because you can remove it when you want to water it, and it can be in any planter—it doesn’t matter.” So don’t worry. You can still use the super-cute planter from your favorite ceramicist. You just need to make sure to keep the pot your plant originally came in.
Play around with shapes and color
As Juliette says, treat pots and plants like you would choose a paint color or a statement rug. “They shouldn’t just be stuck behind a chair somewhere in a corner in a plastic pot,” she says with a laugh. Get creative with not just color, but the shape of the planter, primarily when you are working with plant types that can manage to survive in just about anything, like air plants and mini succulents. An eye-worthy trend this year are minimalist planters that play around with texture and shape, like this wood air plant holder by Boyce Studio.
Match hanging planters with cascading plants
Don’t forget to look up. Ceiling planters and hanging baskets are a so-on-trend way to bring a little greenery to your space, especially if you’re blessed with big, beautiful windows. Choosing ceiling plants is a great excuse to play with stylistic choices like tethered rope and leather straps, bright colors and unique materials. But what plants are a good fit for hanging planters? Juliette recommends cascading plants that bring subtle drama to your window, like philodendron or ivy. String of Pearls and its cousin String of Bananas (real names!) are also great choices for hanging planters.
For smaller spaces, choose an upward-growing plant
A quick way to upgrade your windowsill, nightstand and vanity from zero to 100 is to go with plants and planters that work well in smaller areas. “I recommend plants that grow upwards, like snake plants,” says Julliete. “Plus, the snake plant can handle a lot of different light sources, so it can even manage to be happy with a little AC or heat near it.” If you already have snake plants, another option is the ZZ plant, which is both beautiful and easy to tend to. As far as planters go for these spaces, Juliette says getting a bunch of side-by-side windowsill planters will create a stunning plant collage, like this modern snake plant windowsill planter by My City Plants.
If you need a little help, try a self-watering planter
Need a mini caretaker in your planter to help you out? Some smart planters come with built-in self-watering systems that let you have a much more hands-off approach. This minimalist self-watering planter with a built-in drip tray from Glowpear is perfect for growing your own indoor herb garden. You just have to fill up the water reservoir and let the planter do the rest. My City Plants also carries a chic planter for statement floor plants that has a built-in sub-irrigation system, letting you water your plant three times less often than compared to regular pots. (Perfect for neglectful plant parents!)
Are you a proud plant parent? Did we miss any tips on picking the right planter? Let us know below!