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Everything You Need to Know About Choosing and Caring for a Ceramic Planter

Are you looking for a great way to dress up your front door, porch, walkway, or front entry of your home?  A ceramic planter might be the perfect pick, but there are so many to choose from!  What size and color are right for the style of your home and how do you care for them?  Also, what plants do well in ceramic pots and will give you the look you are shooting for?

We will answer all of these questions in this post and hopefully, by the time you have finished reading, you will know exactly which ceramic planter will add the perfect touch to your space.

Are Ceramic Planters Good for Outdoors?

First of all, what are ceramic planters?  They are planters made from clay.  You can buy unglazed or glazed in which they are fired at high temperatures increasing their durability.

Perhaps you recognize the traditional orange/red color of terra cotta leaning itself toward Mediterranean design.  These pots are inexpensive and a great introduction into clay pots.  Usually, terra cotta is not glazed making it more porous which is good for most plants, but not as durable.

Let’s explore the positive and negative of using ceramic planters outdoors.

Ceramic Planter Pros

  • Keeps plant roots warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Porous, allowing for over-watering or stormy weather.  There is some controversy to this.  Glazed is more waterproof and will not provide the same drainage as the above mentioned terra cotta.
  • Durable
  • Provides a classy, more manicured look.
  • Heavy, providing for stability as well as the ability to grow larger plants.
  • Does not fade in the summer sun.

Ceramic Planter Cons

  • Because they are porous, watering often is necessary.
  • They can be very heavy, especially a large one filled with dirt.
  • They will chip more easily than say plastic.
  • Good quality ceramic pots are more on the expensive side.

Will Ceramic Pots Crack in Winter?

Taking care of your ceramic planters through cold weather is key to your success.  Ceramic pots will crack if left full of water or wet soil when freezing temperatures come around.  Here are a few tips to overwinter your ceramic pots:

  • Empty pots or any plants that will not overwinter in your climate. Wash and dry to prevent disease and mold; store upside down in a garage or shed.
  • If you have plants that will overwinter, be sure the pot is draining properly.  The drainage holes should not be blocked and the soil should be well draining.  If your soil has gotten a bit “hard” trying working a little perlite into it.
  • Put your overwintering plants up on a pallet or a couple of pieces of wood to prevent them from freezing to the floor of the garage or shed.  Be sure not to block the drainage holes, we want that plant well drained before freezing temperatures arrive.
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What Plants do Well in Ceramic Pots?

Most plants will do well in a ceramic planter as long as you use a good quality potting soil.  A common gardening trick for pots is a three point design.  This design includes a thriller, a spiller, and a filler.

A thriller is the showy flower in your pot.  It will have big blooms or colorful leaves.  It is your main focal point.  Zinnias, geraniums, begonias, coleus, and dianthus are great examples of thrillers.

A spiller is the plant that will vine out of the pot such a petunias, English Ivy, sweet potato vine, and baby’s tears.

The filler is just as important as the thriller providing a well rounded and eye catching design.  Fillers are often pretty colored greens or smaller flowers such as verbenas, chalobrachoas, and sweet alyssums.

For great ideas check out Southern Living’s “125 Container Gardening Ideas.”  I will spend the winter dreaming of these lovely designs this year.

Outdoor Ceramic Planters

One last word before diving into the wide variety of ceramic planters available to you.  If you are going for a more modern look, be sure to check out “The Ultimate Modern Planter Guide: 33 Picks for the Home.”

Outdoor ceramic planters come in all shapes and sizes.  I’ve divided them into three categories: general outdoor ceramic planters adaptable to almost any situation, large glazed ceramic planters, and ceramic planters with a stand.

When choosing the size of your ceramic planter, be sure to consider that many plants will grow over the summer months.  Choose a planter that is a couple of inches larger than what you are planting.  A squished plant is rarely a happy one.

Also, with the wide range of colors you can compliment your space and your flowers perfectly so have a little fun, be a little daring and leave a lasting impression on your guests (and those of us who are nosey landscape observers!).

This beautiful pot has a color name of “tequila sunrise” and is sure to make a statement.  Can you picture it with a few bright flowers and leafy greens cascading down the side?  It is a perfect size for almost any space or flower arrangement.

If you want your flowers to be the center of attention and not your ceramic planter, these lovely pots will do the trick.  They are designed to be a little more durable, especially for colder weather, but are still stylish and pretty.  They are 9 inch pots so perfect for growing smaller plants and herbs.

If your home has a more modern vibe, these sleek black planters will be a great accompaniment to any outdoor living space.  This is a set of three different sizes giving you freedom to arrange them in a variety of ways.  The ceramic is thick and not easily breakable.

Black planters are a perfect way to create an extraordinary space in your home. Planter boxes can be used as the backdrop for plants, flowers and statues or light fixtures that will change up any ordinary living area into something more vibrant and entertaining.

Black planters are great for holding the heat from sunshine, and in colder climates this is a real bonus. In warmer seasons or hotter areas it can become problematic because they may get too hot on sweltering days. To avoid this problem make sure you use a big enough pot and water your plants sufficiently but don’t over-water them!

For more on black planters as well as planters with the modern vibe, you might enjoy these two articles:

These little ceramic planters are another great example of how fun it is to play with colors and textures.

Large Glazed Ceramic Planters

Larger planters are fun because they allow you a greater variety of plants and flower arrangements to help you decorate your space.  They are also heavier and will not get blown over in a strong wind.

These tall faux ceramic planters come in a pack of 2 giving you the opportunity to provide a modern and lovely entrance to your home or yard.  The glazed, cream white finish is clean and lends all of the attention to the plant arrangement you place in it.

As imitation glazed ceramic planters, they come with advantages:

  • Durable resin material
  • UV and frost resistant
  • Lightweight but sturdy enough for outdoor use
  • Chip resistant

This is another example of the beautiful colors and designs found in ceramic planters.

With the included saucer, this Mediterranean blue ceramic planter is perfect for indoor use.

How about adding a pop of color with this ceramic planter that is handmade in Mexico?

Talavera ceramic planters are handcrafted, individually painted with lead-free pigment and glazes. The process is precise but lengthy, taking 4-8 weeks to create each piece of art.

As a result you will notice small variations in color, shape or design; occasionally there may be smudges from fingerprints or other imperfections that speak volumes about the human hands involved in their creation!

A Talavera ceramic planter is not frost or freeze proof. They must be taken indoors before the first frost, and they don’t like to sit in water; even sprinklers can cause damage!

Over time your Talavera may develop small lines called crazing that come from being exposed to drastic temperature changes or saltwater. Don’t worry as this is just part of the natural aging of the glaze and will not affect the durability of the ceramic planter.

Ceramic Planter with Stand

Putting a ceramic planter in a stand gives it a different dimension.

One fun design to create with a ceramic planter that has a stand is one of a flowing gown.  This can be achieved by using a flower that “pops” at eye level such as large, brightly colored caladriums, then a smaller flowering plant around the base to hide the pot.  Finally, use creeping jenny to cascade over the sides and flow down to the ground.

You don’t want to hide the beauty of this pot though!  The lovely light green ombre will add a subtle touch of color to any design.

This lovely design does not specify that it is appropriate for outdoor use, but it is a perfect way to accent any design.

This stand does not come with the pots, but it is too lovely not to include.  It is made of faux wrought iron and provides places for three separate pots. Not recommended for outdoor use. We stress that this is not real wrought iron. It is made of a lightweight material.

Indoor Ceramic Planters

No article on ceramic planters would be complete without mentioning those that decorate the interiors of our homes.  There is just as much variety and opportunity for design using a ceramic planter indoors.

Many people use smaller planters for herbs, succulents, small flowering arrangements or house plants.

Did you know that many house plants purify the air?  Not only are they beautiful, bringing a bit of nature indoors, but they are also beneficial.  The following plants are known to help remove toxins from the air inside your home:

  • Pothos
  • English Ivy
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Dragon Tree
  • Mother-in-law’s Tongue  (I have one of these and love it.  I always laugh at the name!)
  • Peace Lily (these are mildly toxic to people and animals so caution might be needed)
  • Spider Plant
  • Rubber Tree

This lovely indoor planter has a walnut stand, providing a simple elegance and beauty to any space.

While many of the ceramic designs lend themselves to a more modern appearance, this one boasts a “vintage” polka dot pattern making it not only unique but beautiful.  It is a 6-inch pot and comes in the following colors: blush pink, cream white, Mediterranean blue, hydrangea blue, and teal.

If you are looking for an elegant design, this one has more of a globe shape, providing visual interest.

Remember we mentioned terra cotta earlier?  Terra cotta, like the planter featured below, is a popular choice for indoor plants especially those who like drier conditions such as succulents, aloe vera, and cacti.

Final Thoughts on a Ceramic Planter

To sum all of this up, ceramic planters are a wonderful addition to any space.  They provide a sturdy home for both your indoor and outdoor plants and give a design element that is subtle and yet effective.

Not only do plants and flowers bring us enjoyment, but provide endless ways to decorate and make a space feel inviting and comfortable.

They come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and designs, making them an expression of our own personalities.

Which ceramic planter did you like the best?  Which ones show your design style and personality?

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