The 13 Best Pots For Indoor Plants, According To A Pro

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While having a pot that matches your decor is important, a well-designed pot will also save you a lot of hassle. The best pots for indoor plants will have design features like drainage and be made of the right material to keep those ferns, succulents, and other plants alive and thriving. To narrow down what to look for, I reached out to plant expert Emma Sibley, author of The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery and many more books.

When it comes to a material, consider the kinds of plants you have. “I would always suggest popping cacti and succulents in a terra-cotta pot, the terra-cotta absorbs a lot of water from the compost and whilst you shouldn’t be excessively watering these desert plants it’s great to have the terra-cotta as a fail safe,” Sibley wrote to Bustle, adding: “Terra-cotta is always going to be a great choice for any of your houseplants, but your fiddle leaf figs and rubber plants will just be much more forgiving.” For those more forgiving plants, plastic and glazed ceramic are popular options. Style will be a big factor here, but plastic is lighter and less likely to break — you’ll also want to water it less often than you would with terra-cotta since it’s much less porous.

Next, consider the drainage situation. Drainage holes let excess water run through and promotes air circulation around the roots. However, when you have drainage holes, you’ll also want to keep a tray under your planter. To protect your counters, plastic is the best option for trays. Terra-cotta or wooden trays will keep most water off your counters, since it’s a porous material, water damage can still happen on your tables. If you skip the drainage holes, “grab some pebbles or larger pieces of broken terra-cotta pots and line the bottom of your plant pots with them to allow any excess water to flow through the compost, not having this drainage can cause root rot and pests to thrive in the constantly damp soil,” Sibley explains. And, if you tend to forget to water, consider a self-watering style with a reservoir in the bottom.

And when it comes to the size of the pot, if your current pot is 10 inches wide or smaller, choose a pot that is an inch or two bigger than your current one (the plastic container your plant comes in from the store counts). If your pot is more than 10 inches, go up 2 to 4 inches.

Choosing the right planter will make caring for your plants way easier. Below, the best options on Amazon.


A Set Of Stylish Glazed Ceramic Pots

Reviewers love these ceramic pots for the "sleek, modern finish" and found them "very sturdy and well-made." Plus, the 6.1-inch diameter makes it a good choice for everything from pothos to flowers to herbs. There’s a drainage hole and a tray that’s good for most counters, but since it’s glazed, soil won’t dry as quickly as with terra-cotta. Get two per order, and choose from five colors.

According to a reviewer: “I was so pleased to get these pots. They came packaged beautifully, and all were in great shape (I ordered 3 sets). I love that Greenaholics thought to include a little mesh strainer to go over the drainage holes, so first doesn’t slip through. I’ll be using this trick in my other planters, as well”


These Terra-Cotta Pots For Succulents & Over-Watering

Terra-cotta is one of the best choices when your plant needs plenty of room to breath and have dry soil between waterings, making them a great option for succulents or anyone prone to over-watering. And since it's heavier than plastic, it's also a good choice for top-heavy jade plants that have a tendency to tip over. Just be careful with the trays since they can leave marks with extended use. And if you like the shape but are looking for another color, Sibley offers this clever idea: “Jazz up an old terra-cotta pot or change the vibe of a group of them, then painting white and then choosing a select color is perfect for adding a new lease of life into your collection.”

According to a reviewer: “Fantastic succulent planters. The amply sized drainage hole & natural finish keep tough plants like lithops and pleiospilos happy, and the squat profile compliments their unusual shapes. The drainage tray is deep, meaning the planters sit in them securely. These feel sturdy and well made.”


The Best Pot For Large Hanging Plants

With a drainage hole and a rubber plug you can remove (handy when you water), this well-considered design cares for your plants while sprucing up your home. At 8 inches wide, it's perfect for Boston ferns, spider plants, pothos, and more, and also comes with the hanging rope. Since it’s made of glazed ceramic, it’s less porous than terra-cotta so be sure not the over-water.

According to a reviewer: “I liked it so much I bought another one and am planning on buying more. It is a beautiful white color, has a small hole in the bottom for drainage and yet comes with a small cork so it doesn't drain forever all over the place. I love that feature. It looks lovely hanging and yet I have sat it on a table and like that look as well. It is the perfect size for the plant I have in it and I'm totally in love.”


The Best Self-Watering Pot

With a large reservoir and carefully considered aeration slats to prevent mold and root rot, this self-watering plastic pot is a great choice for those who travel frequently or just forget to water from time to time. Available in six colors and four sizes, there's an option for almost any houseplant. "This is by far the best I’ve found," says one customer. "I’m using it for a cherry tomato plant that was in poor condition when I transplanted it but is really thriving in this new pot."

According to a reviewer: “I purchased 6 of these so far. And plan to purchase more. They are reliable, functional, easy to use, and my plants love them. They work well indoors and out. The little spout keeps water from getting everywhere.”


These Plastic Planters That Look Way More Expensive Than They Are

You might mistake these matte white plastic pots for ceramic. Well-sized for herbs, flowers, and ferns, each pot costs less than $4 each and still offer a drainage hole and a stopper. And since they’re made of plastic, they’ll weigh less than a clay or ceramic pot of the same size. However, since they’re plastic, they won’t let the soil dry quite as quickly. Choose between 5.5- and 6.5-inch sizes.

According to a reviewer: “These pots are very nice, better than what I expected for the money. I thought these would be the thin plastic that some grower pots are made of but I was wrong. The plastic is pretty sturdy but not rigid. Between the shape and the matte finish, they don't read as plastic.”


A Set Of Classic Terra-Cotta Pots

These porous terra-cotta pots with drainage holes make avoiding over-watering way easier, and since they come with trays, that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about. The tapered shape is timeless, and with a 4.7-star overall rating, reviewers vouch for their quality.

According to a reviewer: “Beautiful real terracotta pots. Packaged very carefully. Also comes with little grate to put in bottom of pots and plastic plant labels to stick in the soil.”


The Raised Planter In 3 Sizes An Editor Loves

“Personally, I love a raised planter, they are ideal for filling a space in a room if you into have a small houseplant but want to make it seem more impressive,” Sibley explains. And when it comes to raised planters, BDG Commerce Editor Kate Miller recommends this one: "This planter and stand completely exceeded my expectations. I paid more than double for a similar set off of Etsy and this one actually feels more artisanal. It has a great texture and the stand is really sturdy. I consider it one of my best Amazon purchases to date." Choose from three sizes and seven colors.

According to a reviewer: “Beautiful planter pot and stand. Very high quality in appearance and feel. Searched for stylish planters (mid-century modern) at all sorts of stores and couldn’t find anything. Everything was very round and didn’t have the clean lines I was looking for. I was hesitant ordering online for one, but it was a great desision! After factoring in a planter pot of this size plus the stand, the price seems about just right.”


The Best Pots For Small Hanging Plants

This colorful hanging pot option will complement the greens of succulents, cacti, or any other small hanging plants you have since they’re made from unglazed ceramic that breathes like terra-cotta. With a drainage hole and a rubber stopper to prevent drips, it'll also make caring for them easy. Get them in a set of one or two.

According to a reviewer: “This small hanging planter is perfect for succulents. It has a drainage hole so water does not collect and cause root rot, though I do have to move it to over a sink for watering. Or if you are good about the amount of water you provide it comes with a plug in place to seal the hole.The color is beige with terra cotta accent so will match pretty much any decor and looks great with green plants. The macrame is sturdy enough that it should late a good amount of time before you need to worry about replacing it.”


The Best Budget Pots For Indoor Plants

These sturdy plastic planters come with well-designed drainage at the bottom and free replacement by the seller if they break in the first year. At barely more than $1 for each set of pots and trays, it's an affordable choice that will look great in a variety of rooms.

According to a reviewer: “Great price for the amount and quality of product. I would say these are very versatile to be either indoor or outdoor pots. You can see in my pictures they are great for succulents, I also have my snake plant growing in there till it gets a little bigger.”


A Large Resin Pot For Instant Drama

This 10-inch fiberglass resin plant pot is a best-seller on Amazon for good reason. With a versatile look, three colors to choose from, a large drainage hole, and a rubber plug, one reviewer noted: "I liked the pot so much, I ordered another, and then I ordered a third." (Plant stand not included.) It won’t breath like terra-cotta, so be careful not to over-water.

According to a reviewer: “It really is a beautiful planter. We put our small, growing snake plant in it in hopes we won't have to replant it for a while. The planter is tall, the color really is so nice. I love the matte white!”


A Variety Pack Of Glazed Ceramic Planters

This affordable set of ceramic planter pots offers three different sizes: 6 inches, 5 inches, and 3.8 inches. Each pot has a small hole in the bottom and sits on a bamboo dish. The shallow bowls are perfect for succulents or any other plants with short roots. Plus, their overall aesthetic is simple enough to blend in an array of decor styles. But since these are glazed ceramic, just be sure to use a well-draining soil mix and not water too often.

According to a reviewer: “I was worried these would not be deep enough, but they are just right for a cute succulent garden. There is also drainage so the plants don’t get too soggy. We topped ours with pea gravel to add extra moisture protection.”


This Set Of 2 Rounded Terra-Cotta Pots

If you want a terra-cotta pot but want an updated shape, consider these stylish rounded pots which comes in a set of two with one that’s 4.7 inches and another that’s 6 inches. There’s a drainage hole but if you want a saucer, you’ll have to pick that up separately. However, it does come in two shades, a brown and the classic orange terra-cotta color.

According to a reviewer: “Great pots, the material is so easy to clean and the style is beautiful. They were packaged amazing too.”


A Cute Set Of Tiny Plant Pots

Another great set of glazed ceramic containers, these bite-size shallow pots with drainage holes will keep your succulents happy as long as you don’t water too much. Plus, at less than $3 for each set of pot and bamboo tray, your wallet won't mind either.

According to a reviewer: “Very nicely made, love that they have a drain hole, covered nicely with a little round mesh fabric so the dirt doesn’t drain out as well. Will be using these as little gifts at a shower! Will be buying these again for sure.”


Emma Sibley, author of The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery