Walk into any nursery or garden centre and instantly you’ll be confronted with an excess of planters. Every colour, style, material and price seems to be catered for. From the tall to the small, wide to narrow they are all available and begging for your attention.
So how do you go about choosing the right planter for your home and garden? Can it just be confined to price?
There’s nothing worse than getting home with your new pot planters and regretting the experience or your selection. Post-Planter-Purchase (PPP) is a crippling ailment that can produce serious procrastination-ary emotions and feelings of dejection and shoppers remorse.
So it pays to do some research before you head out into those unruly garden centres. Knowing what containers you’re searching for will make the adventure more like a walk in the park than a trek through the Amazon.
Here’s a few tips that might help make selecting ideal planters a little less tedious, and hopefully more rewarding.
What is the style of your garden?
This is ultimately the most crucial question you can ask yourself when selecting planters. Unless you’re happy with an eclectic garden approach – and there’s nothing wrong with this if you do – then finding plant containers that will fit in with your style will be the most important consideration.
For example, if you have a Mediterranean feel to your garden then selecting terracotta planters is quite appropriate. Choosing glazed Malay pots may not be. Wine barrel planters may work in a provincial garden but not a Japanese one.
What do you hope to grow in the planters?
The next important question is: What plants are you thinking of growing in these planters? A large ficus in a 1.5l plant container is probably going to cause some problems in the future. While growing a few annuals in a massive pot may be just sheer overkill.
Choosing the plant and planter together may be a better option than selecting the container by itself. Think through: How long will this plant last in this planter? Will a smaller pot suffice? Or, will this planter be durable enough to handle its growth?
Will a planters colour scheme affect the plants you grow?
There’s a reason why many *practical* interior designers suggest ‘beige’ for interior walls. Primarily it allows the person to decorate without colour limitations. If you had a strong pink wall it would restrict what other colours could be used in that room.
The same goes for planters. While a bright off-the-wall colour might be just the thing for that new silver foliage, it won’t work for the pinky hued pelargonium. If you only ever plan to grow one plant in this container then by all means choose it. However, if the pot is destined for general purposes stick with a colour that’s more neutral.
Do you like watering your pot plants?
Many planters, especially the plastic versions, now come with water storage and plant feeding devices. It can save a gardener a heap of time in maintaining the correct watering levels and making sure that your plants don’t keel over through lack of attention.
If spending an hour a day watering your planters doesn’t appeal or produce happy feelings within then finding containers with these features may be a bonus. For those pots that don’t have these extra characteristics, the best tip is to buy pots a size larger than you need. Larger planters don’t dry out as fast and your watering may only need to be every 2-3 days instead of daily.
How long do you expect these planters to last?
If you’re hoping to pass these planters on as part of your inherited estate then plastic containers may not be the best option. Plastic pots, especially those kept outdoors, are likely to crack, fade or become brittle over time.
If you’re after durability when selecting planters find ones that are well-constructed and that are made from materials such as stone, metal or glass. These are likely to last more than one or two seasons.
How much are you prepared to spend?
The final, most obvious, question is: How much can the budget afford? Sure, in an ideal world it would be unlimited and your spouse or partner would be excessively happy with your wanton spending on gardening items. But, for most of us the amount that we can spend on planters is …limited.
So, before you head for the nursery or garden centre, establish a budget before you’re confronted with too many options. Plus, working within a budgeted amount can actually make you more creative in which planters you decide on.
Wait for the sales, check out garage clearances or ask for a cash price rather than sticking it on the plastic. This way you should end up with some really good deals.
Choosing ideal planters doesn’t have to be an arduous affair. Providing that you’re willing to ask yourself these questions before starting your container pot excursion, you should come away proud of your purchases and eager to get your plants into them.