A quick way to give your outdoor space a freshen up this summer is with a stylish pot. But do you know how to differentiate one pot from another and which pots are best for your specific circumstances?
"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."
Feel like you're going potty yet? Here's Melissa's tips on what to consider when choosing a pot for your outdoor spaces.
Terracotta. With their warm earthy look and feel, Italian terracotta pots are a timeless addition to the garden. 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. They are suitable for most areas of Australia - just be aware that they can be vulnerable to cold weather and may crack in extreme conditions.
Glazed pots. Bringing a splash of colour to a garden or patio, the glaze seals the outside of the pot and makes the clay less permeable, so the pot holds onto moisture better. The glaze also creates a stronger, more resilient pot and the thick walls help to protect the soil from absorbing excessive heat. In most cases they are therefore a smart 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.
Lightweight. 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.
Plastic. 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 any garden décor. Unlike porous clay pots, plastic containers don't dry out as quickly, so they're 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.
Self-watering. 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.