The Very Best Pot for Your Green Plant Babies Is Also The Cheapest

updated Oct 16, 2019
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Have you ever been paralyzed by too many choices when shopping? If I need to buy a new garden hand tool, I’ll obsessively scour the online reviews seeking out the best quality and the best price, add three to my cart, and then agonize over the final decision for two days. And let’s not get into how long it takes me to decide which tomato varieties to grow each year. But there’s one purchase I never need to deliberate on: terracotta pots. Yep, those classic clay pots are hands down the best choice for your green babies. Here’s why.

Your Plants Like Them

First and foremost, terracotta pots help keep your plants healthy. Because the clay is porous, water and air can pass through the sides of the pot. This allows the soil to “breathe,” preventing root rot, funguses, and other diseases that occur when the soil is waterlogged. They’ve also got drainage holes in the bottom and sit in a matching saucer to further prevent soggy soil. If you’re a bit over-enthusiastic about watering or have a plant that hates lingering dampness, terracotta is the answer.

(Image credit: Home Depot)

6 in. Terra Cotta Clay Pot from Home Depot; $1.25

They’re Cheap

You can get a medium-sized 6-inch terracotta pot for $1.25 at Home Depot. Even if your cat knocks it off a shelf next week, you won’t be too upset at having to replace it.

(Image credit: Amazon)

4″ Clay Terracotta Pots (set of 6) from Amazon; $18.99 with free Prime shipping

They Go With Any Decor

It can be hard to pass by all the beautiful glazed pots and whimsical plastic planters, but terracotta is timeless and you’ll have it forever. Terracotta is like blue jeans or white bedding. It will never look outdated and it will never clash with your evolving design tastes.

(Image credit: Wayfair)

5″ Garden Terracotta Pot Planter (set of 6) from Wayfair; $40.99 with shipping

They’re Easy to Customize

That said, terracotta is easy enough to paint if you do want to add some personal flair, so you can easily change things up if you’re bored with the plain look, without spending a bunch of money on artsy pots. You might even have already some acrylic or spray paint lying around.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Rolling Plant Stand on Wheels From Amazon; $16.99 (or $28.99 for two) with free Prime shipping

Okay, A Few Negatives

Yes, even darling terracotta is not without its faults. For one, it’s heavy, so it can be a pain for larger plants that you need to move around. (We recommend a rolling plant on casters for this.) And, if you’re using it for outdoor plants, the pot is likely to shatter if the water that’s been soaked up by the clay freezes. But for smallish houseplants? Terracotta will always be king.