You’ve just bought a new beautiful houseplant, or perhaps you’ve just re-potted an old favourite that’s stood the test of time, but now you need to find the perfect pot. If you’re trying to achieve that winning plant pot combination that really stands out, here’s our 10 pence worth.
Now this sounds simple, but it’s crucial, so don’t rush it. We’ve been there way too many times; a beautiful pot catches your eye, you love it, you want it. “14cm – yeah that sounds about right, I’m sure it’ll be fine.” Click, click, done. Then the day comes to introduce your beloved plant to its shiny new home and…. Oh sh*t… it doesn’t fit.
Before purchasing a decorative pot for your plant, check its internal diameter, and then measure the external diameter of your plant to ensure it’s the right size. You want to avoid that ugly plastic lip of a nursery pot sticking out of your new planter, and ruining the whole look.
The only exception to this rule that we’ve found here is if your plant has really dense and trailing foliage, something like a Rhipsalis Baccifera (or a Mistletoe Cactus for those of you who haven’t recently been brushing up on your Latin!) In this scenario, you might just about get away with it, but it’s really not worth the risk.
Our top tip: don’t get the exact same measurement of planter as your plant’s nursery pot – it’s best to give yourself at least an extra few millimetres. But if you’re in doubt, just get a plant pot that you know is slightly too big for your plant. It’s always better to have a little extra room to play with!
You do need to take care when doing this, as often suppliers of pots show the external measurement… Not us though! See our size guide for more information.
And don’t forget the height!
Seriously, getting the right sized pot gets you about 85% of the way there when it comes to creating an Instagram-worthy plant pot combination. Measuring the internal height of the pot & and the external height of your plant is just as important as checking the diameter.
If your decorative pot is tall and narrow, you might find that a small plant will get lost in there and look kind of like you did when your parents bought you some oversized clothes as a child that “you’ll grow into.”
However, this can be easily solved – if your plant needs an extra boost, try padding out the bottom of your pot with one of our tried and tested objects:
- The inside ring of a finished Sellotape – it’s ideal, as it gives your plant a good extra inch, and is nice and even.
- Gravel, little pebbles, or even shells
- An old drinks coaster (you know those ones that you have in the house from a gift shop you went to 12 years ago? They work perfectly.)
- A terracotta plant pot saucer, flipped upside down.
We’ve seen some people suggest using sponges, but in our experience, this can end up as a bit of a balancing act as they’re not too sturdy.
How to choose a complementary shape of planter for your plant
Just as you seek out clothes that complement your body shape, you’ll want to find a pot that suits your houseplant. Whilst a lot of this comes down to personal taste, some combinations are certainly easier on the eye than others. We find that plants & pots usually suit their opposites. For example, round, curvy shaped pots often pair well with a slim upright plant, such as a Snake Plant.
Here are some winning combinations, in our opinion…
Tapered pots, such as a classic terracotta pot, are relatively versatile but tend to suit something leafy – think various species of Pothos, Alocasia Zebrina, Philodendron, or even Pileas.
For a straight edged pot, you cannot go wrong with a cactus. We think the clean lines of a straight edged pot contrasts nicely with a spiky cactus. Another of our personal favourites is a Curly Spider Plant – the curves of their long leaves playfully bounce round the straight pot to take the edge off.
Rounded or curved pots suit a straighter plant, or something with a longer stem. Any variety of a Snake Plant is always a winner, but a Monstera Deliciosa or Alocasia Amazonica always go hand in hand with a curvy pot too!
Colours & pattern, or there lack of in some cases
Choosing the colour and pattern of a planter of course depends on your home decor style and where you plan for the pot to go in your house. For example, an energetic statement pot would liven up a dull bookshelf, and a more plain pot may make more of an impact when paired with a larger plant in the corner of your living room.
But you should also consider your plant’s leaves! Louder patterns on pots may distract from plants with unique and beautiful markings. For example, a Pinstriped Calathea or a Tradescantia Zebrina is going to want to do all the talking, so pairing it with a multi-coloured pot may look a little out of place. For plants with coloured or patterned unusual leaves, consider picking a plain or subtle patterned pot. That doesn’t mean you’re limited to a plain white pot – picking a pot with similar tones as your plant’s leaves always harmonises nicely.
Plants that only have shades of green lend themselves to all sorts of coloured and patterned planters – if that’s your thing!
If you’re a minimalist, you may want to consider sticking to a colour theme, or at least pots that mix & match together. To do this, look out for pots that are part of a trio, or wider range, or even just made from the same material.
Looking for some inspiration? Take a look at our range of pots & planters! We hand select pieces from highstreet brands, as well searching far and wide for artists who create totally unique handmade plant pots. Plus, get 10% off your first order when you sign up to hear more from us!