Pots and planters may look great, but before you buy, make sure you know what they’re made of and if they’ll work well for you. Plant containers are made from all sorts of materials, from the inexpensive plastic pots to the ceramic and fiberglass resin planters. Because they are the most readily available and least expensive, plastic and clay are the two most popular options. Drainage is very important for all plants to prevent root rot so make sure that whatever container you purchase there is a drain hole in the bottom of the pot or a way to drill a hole.

Plastic containers
Plastic is by far the most popular material used in plant containers. It can easily be molded into all shapes and sizes, and comes in colors as varied as the rainbow.

Terra cotta/Clay containers
The classic Terra cotta, or clay pots are another popular option. You’ll find them in all shapes and designs at your local gardening store. They are usually red, but can be painted any color or add your own masterpiece to the pot.

Terra cotta has two (rustic) looks.
One: You leave them alone and let them age. The salts and alkali will stain the outside of the pots. Moss and mold will grow on the outside of the pots. The life of the pot will be short — about 3 to 4 years before they breakdown and crumble.

Two: To maintain the natural clean look of terra cotta without adding a glaze spray the terra cotta pot with a sealant such as Spray N’ Seal a pottery sealer. The sealant waterproofs the clay to help prevent the alkali and salts from accumulating and prevents the moss and mold from growing on the pots. By sealing your terra cotta pot it strengthens the pottery against chipping and flaking in frosty weather which will extended the life of the pots.

Foam containers
These containers come in a variety of shapes and they are lightweight which makes them easier to handle.  The drawback, however, is that they are not very durable.  If knocked around they can crack and brake easily.

Fiberglass resin urns and planters
Fiberglass containers are lightweight, durable, and resistant to water and extreme weather damage. They come in a variety of colors and designs. They can cost as much or more than ceramic pots, but are extremely durable.

Ceramic glazed containers
These come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and styles. You can find something to match just about every decor. The glazing on the outside makes them durable, but over time, you may have problems with chipping off of the glaze by water seeping through the clay from the inside of the pot. To prevent this spray the inside with Spray ‘N Seal Pottery Sealer before adding soil.

Wooden barrels and planter boxes
They come as the traditional half whisky barrel or the red wood or cedar wooden barrel and planter box made to be planters, and add the rustic look of wood to your garden. They are heavy and the bottoms rot out after a few years. By giving them a lift it will extend the life of the planters.