With summer on the way, it’s time to spruce up tired gardens, terraces and alfresco areas. A quick way to give an outdoor room a new look is with a stylish, functional container gardening pot. Unfortunately, research shows that 61% of consumers can’t distinguish indoor pots from outdoor ones1.
“Picking the right pot isn’t just about style and design, it’s also important to consider the functionality of the pot and how you’ll be using it in your garden,” says Melissa King, Horticulturalist and Northcote Pottery Ambassador. “Outdoor pots are designed with holes in the bottom to allow the potting mix to drain freely. On the other hand, cache or cover pots don’t have a hole at the bottom, so the plant is placed inside the cover pot in the original black plastic pot. Plants need to be removed before watering to allow water to drain completely. Consider self-watering options if you want to make watering your container garden simple.”
Here, Melissa shares the main features to consider when choosing different pots for your container gardening needs.
Italian terracotta pots are a timeless addition to the garden with their warm, earthy look and feel and they go with just about anything. Terracotta pots are porous, allowing air and water to pass through the walls of the pot, so they are an ideal choice for dry-loving herbs such as rosemary and oregano or Mediterranean style plants like geraniums and lavender. You can even paint them to express your potted personality.
Terracotta pots are suitable for most areas of Australia, just be aware that they can be vulnerable to cold weather and may crack in extreme conditions.
Bring a splash of colour to the garden or patio with glazed pots. The glaze seals the outside of the pot and makes the clay less permeable, so the pot holds onto moisture better. The glaze also results in a stronger, more resilient pot and the thick walls help to protect the soil from absorbing excessive heat. So, in most cases they are a good option for hotter areas.
Glazed pots can be heavy, but you can use that to your advantage by growing larger plants that might need a more stable base. The most stable shapes are square or squat pots that have ‘wide shoulders’.
Glazed pots make a bold and stylish statement, so position them in a spot where you can enjoy them for years to come.
Lightweight pots are made from a combination of fibreclay, glass reinforced cement and fibreglass so, they’re tough and light enough to manoeuvre, even when full of potting mix and plants. They are an ideal choice for city dwellers or renters, particularly those who like to chop and change their potted displays. Look out for Northcote Pottery’s Wave Pots in Drum or Cylinder shapes, which combine style and functionality. With this collection, you get the look and style of a decorative clay pot without the weight.
Alternatively, the Northcote Pottery PrimoLITE collection is perfect if you want the glazed look without the weight. The range is made from high-density resin, so they are light, tough, UV resistant and hold their vibrant colour.
Plastic pots are strong, lightweight, easy to manoeuvre and plant up, making them suitable for balconies and decks. They come in a variety of modern designs, styles and colours that are sure to match your garden décor. Options like Northcote Pottery’s Whisky Barrel Planters mimic natural materials, so you get the appearance of wooden barrels, without the concerns of aging, splintering or rusting.
Unlike porous clay pots, plastic containers don’t dry out as quickly, so they are ideal for moisture loving plants, or if you don’t want to water as frequently. Avoid using dark coloured plastic pots in hot areas as they absorb heat. Sunlight can fade poorer quality plastic pots or make them brittle, so look out for UV treated plastic planters such as the Northcote Pottery’s Villa Range, which maintain their look and feel in Australian conditions.
If you have a small space and like your potted garden to be ‘easy-care’, then self-watering pots are the way to go. With a self-watering system, plants can access water as they need it and in most designs the overflow hole drains away any excess. These pots also help to retain nutrients and reduce watering time.
Another advantage of self-watering pots is that moisture doesn’t sit on the foliage, so there is less chance of fungal disease.
To find out more about choosing suitable container gardening pots for your garden, visit and watch Melissa King’s Masterclass Webinar here - https://bit.ly/2IZgtVU. It will go live at 1pm on 18th December.
1 Based on recent research from Northcote Pottery