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What Are the Pros and Cons of Plastic Flower Pots?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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Like most other types of flower pots, plastic flower pots have several advantages and disadvantages. First, plastic pots are generally very strong and flexible, but if they do get damaged, they are inexpensive to replace. Plastic pots can also be found in a wide range of colors and styles to match nearly any type of décor, and they are very lightweight. These types of pots are also not as porous as clay or terra cotta pots, however, and this can cause them to hold excess water.

One of the biggest advantages of plastic flower pots is their strength. Heavy plastic is generally a very strong and durable material, and pots made from this material are less likely to break than pots made from clay. Plastic pots are also flexible to a certain degree, whereas clay pots are not. On the other hand, plastic pots are much more likely to crack than metal flower pots.

Plastic flower pots can get broken, but gardeners usually do not need to spend much to replace them. Gardeners on a budget usually prefer plastic pots, because they are inexpensive. Several of these pots can often be purchased for the same price as one terra cotta or metal pot.

Flower pots made from plastic can also be found in nearly any color and style. Some may be brightly colored, for example, while others can be molded to resemble more ornate metal or ceramic flower pots. This wide range of choices makes it easy for a gardener to choose a flower pot to match his décor.

Another major advantage of plastic flower pots is their weight. Since plastic is a much lighter material than clay or metal, plastic flower pots are much lighter than flower pots made from other materials. The weight of these pots often makes it much easier to move plants around when necessary. Some gardeners may not even be able to lift a large terra cotta pot filled with dirt.

Unlike terra cotta pots, however, plastic flower pots are not porous. This means that instead of water leaching out the bottom and sides of the pot, it can become trapped in it. An excessive amount of water pooling in a flower pot will often damage the plant's roots. As a general rule, gardeners should make sure that their plastic flower pots have enough drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to escape.

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Discussion Comments
By clintflint — On Feb 14, 2015

@pleonasm - They are a good option for older people as well. My mother tends to coddle her house plants like children. She's always lugging them to the sink for a soak or outside so they can sit in the sun during the day.

She's got a fairly low upper limit as to what she can carry though and plastic pots are much lighter than the porcelain ones she used to use.

By pleonasm — On Feb 14, 2015

@umbra21 - It does depend on the kind of plastic. I think cheap flower pots look cheap because they aren't made to look good or to be sturdy. But you can get plastic pots that have been made to look good and even ones that have been made to form a kind of patina because they have enough texture for moss and lichens to grow on them.

I'm a fan of plastic pots because I move a lot and I like being able to take my plants with me. If you've got big plants in big, heavy pots you've got to make an allowance somewhere.

There's also much less chance someone is going to break the pots during a move if they are made out of plastic.

By umbra21 — On Feb 13, 2015

Plastic flower pots always look so cheap and tacky though. I only really use them at the beginning of a project, when I'm thinking through the right kinds of permanent pots to use.

I think it's because they don't really weather well. Terracotta pots eventually become an integrated part of the landscape, and even metal pots can change over time and develop a patina, but plastic pots are completely inert.

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