How to Choose the Best Planter for Your Artificial Plants & Trees
So you’ve found your perfect artificial plant or tree on Artificial Eden (or, let’s be honest, probably more than a handful of them!) and now you need the right planter. Pots, planters, and other containers are often the most overlooked part of indoor and outdoor artificial plants. Your plant may be beautiful, but if you choose the wrong container, you may end up with something that’s boring to look at, or even too garish.
Fortunately, with just a few tips, you can choose planters that suit your décor and your artificial plants. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right planters for your artificial plants and trees.
Do I have to buy my artificial plant a new pot?
Most artificial plants come fixed in a black plastic pot, and while some are usable as a main pot, most aren’t. In most cases, this fixed pot is too small to keep the plant weighted to stand upright, and it’s not exactly visually appealing. You’ll find a few exceptions, but in most cases, you’ll want to purchase a new pot for your artificial plants. The good news is, unlike real plants, you won’t have to buy it a new bigger pot every six months or so!
What’s the difference between a pot and a planter?
We use the terms interchangeably here, but they’re both essentially the same thing. A pot is quite specific, as it’s nearly always the same shape, where as a planter can really encompass anything that can hold an artificial plant. The term “planter” can also refer to large, trough-like pots and planters you use outside. Since artificial plants and trees offer so much flexibility, we’ll use pot and planter interchangeably.
Does a planter for an artificial plant need drainage?
Your artificial plant pot or planter only needs drainage if you’re going to place it outside or somewhere else where it may get wet. If you don’t, the pot will fill up with water and then anything you have inside it may spill, get mouldy, or stale. For any other placement, you don’t need a drainage hole since you won’t need to water the plant!
What material should I choose for my artificial plant pots and planters?
You’ve really got free rein when it comes to choosing what material you want for your artificial planters. While bigger artificial plants will need a purpose-built planter (in most cases), we’ve seen people place small artificial plants in glasses, teacups, and even the odd boot! To help you decide, we’ll cover some of the most popular planter and pot materials:
Terracotta is that classic, orange-coloured ceramic pot, and it works just as well inside the home as it does outside. Terracotta is fairly eco-friendly and inexpensive to buy, and terracotta pots are readily available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
For outside use, terracotta dries quickly and looks bright and cheery year round, which perfectly suits the nature of artificial plants. The real weakness of terracotta is its brittle nature. It will crack if dropped or knocked over, it may chip if knocked with something hard, and can crack when temperatures suddenly drop below freezing.
Some people recommend you bring these pots inside when temperatures drop below freezing suddenly, but generally, they are inexpensive enough that it’s worth the risk leaving them outside. After all, those first frosts usually take us by surprise!
Glazed terracotta are any pots with a glazed finish – they can come in almost any colour, design, and style. Glazed terracotta is also more durable than normal terracotta.
Wood planters offer a natural finish inside or outside, though they generally look most at home outside.
Wood planters dry quickly, provided they’re in the right environment. Elevate the wooden planters if possible with pot feet or bricks so the bottoms can’t trap damp. If you don’t, the bottom of the planter will rot away over time.
Fibreglass pots are best for large outdoor artificial plants, as they are light to handle, are cheap to buy, and often have a realistic cement or stone finish.
Plastic is lightweight and, depending on how they’re made, can be more durable than other choices. Plastic comes in a huge range of colours and finishes, but can be brittle and shatter if you buy one that’s too cheap. Fortunately, there are now a huge range of plastic pots made from recycled plastic that are more environmentally friendly and durable.
Concrete pots are ideal for outside use, but you can also find houseplant-sized concrete pots and planters. Concrete is heavy and sturdy, so perfect for large outside artificial plants that need to be able to withstand heavier winds. Grey concrete planters are very on-trend, but they also offer you the option to paint them later down the line or to match other planters if needed.
Ceramic pots are the most common form of pots and planters for inside – they typically have a smooth, glazed finish and are often painted. There are endless styles, colours, patterns, and options out there, including some artistic options. Ceramic is heavy, so it makes for a good anchor for larger artificial houseplants and trees.
The only real downside to ceramic is that they can be expensive, but the investment is worth it, especially for artificial plants. Since your plants won’t be outgrowing the pot, you won’t need to replace it. The only real downside to ceramic is it will smash if knocked too hard onto the floor, but unless you’re choosing a pot for a high-traffic area of a business or have some particularly boisterous dogs or children, that won’t be a problem.
Metal buckets and other planters have become increasingly popular, and while not ideal for real plants, make a stylish choice for indoor artificial plants. You can use metal planters outdoors, but you need to ensure they can drain sufficiently.
Slate is another option that has become extremely popular in recent years. Not all slate pots are actually made with slate, since it can be a fragile, but slate-look pots made from other materials will look just as good.
Baskets & Woven
Who hasn’t fallen in love with plants in baskets recently? From giant artificial palm plants in wool rope belly baskets to square woven basket planters full of artificial lavender, they are all on-trend. Typically, if you’re using them for real plants they need a plastic inner lining, but with artificial plants, you won’t need to unless you plan to use real soil. These are best used inside, and if you want a woven basket to use outside, make sure you buy one that’s designed for outdoor use. (For more help here, see our post Your Complete guide to Home Décor Baskets.)
What’s the best material for outdoor planters?
Terracotta (including glazed), concrete, and recycled plastic are best for outdoor use, because they’re durable and come in a wide range of stylish designs. If you choose to use plastic, you need to make sure that they are good quality (to prevent breakage) and weigh the plant pot down sufficiently to keep it from tipping over in the wind.
What’s the best material for indoor planters?
Indoors, you really don’t have any restrictions. If you’ve got the space and the décor to suit it, you can use it!
How do you choose the right size pot for your artificial plants?
Since you don’t have to worry about giving your artificial plants and trees room to grow, you really aren’t restricted on size. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can choose just any old pot – anything too small, and you may not be able to make the base heavy enough, and it will probably look out of proportion, too. Going too big isn’t often a problem.
You can choose any depth of pot you like, provided it hides the bottom of the travel pot and gives you enough room to weigh the pot down and hold the plant firmly in place.
Here’s a rough guide to choosing a pot width for artificial plants and trees:
- Plants up to 25cm tall – pot should be at least 15cm wide
- Plants up to 35cm tall – pot should be at least 20cm wide
- Plants up to 55cm tall – pot should be at least 25cm wide
- Plants and trees up to 1m tall – pot should be at least 30cm wide
- 1m – 1.5m tall – pot should be at least 35cm wide
- 4m – 1.8m – pot should be at least 40cm wide
- Up to 2m – pot should be at least 45cm wide
These guides are the minimum width, and you need to take the widest part of the plant into consideration, too. The width of the pot should be at least 1/3 of the width of the plant. For example, if you have a plant that’s 1m tall and 1m wide at the widest point, you’d need a pot that was a minimum of 30cm wide to look balanced.
You don’t need to overthink this – just don’t go too small, and you’ll be good to go. If your plant is tall and thin, such as an artificial olive tree, you can often increase the height of the pot and decrease the width, and it will still look good.
How do I choose the right colour and style of plant pot?
The aim of your plant pot or planter is usually to emphasise and highlight the beauty of your artificial plant or tree. There may be an occasion where you choose the plant to suit the pot, but since you’re here, we’ll continue assuming you know which plant you want to purchase a planter for, and not the other way around.
Your first step should be to consider the décor of the room or outdoor space you’re looking to enhance with your artificial plant and pot with, as this will dictate the style. There are some “plain” styles of pot that will suit any room, but generally, the architecture and décor will dictate the pot.
In terms of colour, avoid using a planter that exactly matches the colour of your walls. For example, it can be tempting to use a white planter against white walls, but often, off-white will look better as it won’t blend in with the wall. The same goes for your floor.
Look at the colour palette of the room and the plant you’re looking for a pot for and consider what will be complementary or contrasting. Green looks good with any neutral colour, as well as many bright colours, such as blue and yellow, but it needs to work in the context of the décor. If you want a soothing space, investing in a large fuchsia pot probably won’t give you the relaxing vibes you’re looking for.
How do I repot my artificial plants and trees?
Once you’ve chosen your artificial plant and planter, it’s time to repot it. This step is usually fast and easy, but you do need to be prepared ahead of time. Fortunately, we’ve done an entire blog post just on this subject, so you can find that here.
The good news is that, if you follow these tips, it’s very unlikely that you’ll purchase a pot or planter that is all wrong for your artificial plant, tree, or placement. Simply choose the texture you want for your space, decide if you want the colour of the pot to stand out or allow the plant leaves to shine, and then choose your pot. Natural colours will always put the focus on the plant, while coloured planters will be a focal point. We have an ever-growing range of planters available, so if you’re looking for something stylish, durable, and affordable, click here.