What are the Different Types of Outdoor Flower Pots?

S. Gonzales
S. Gonzales
Some flower pots are made from terracotta clay.
Some flower pots are made from terracotta clay.

Outdoor flower pots are very popular among gardeners who want flowers outside of their homes. The average consumer can be faced with many choices, including pots made out of clay, resin and metal. In addition, some consumers will have to decide whether they want their pots to be plain, glazed or self-watering.

Clay pots probably are the most common solution for those who want to invest in outdoor flower pots. The unglazed varieties can be referred to as earthenware or terracotta. Unglazed pots are great for gardeners who want to keep their plants outside, because these pots are suitable for exposure to high temperatures. Their look often complements the natural colors of plants.

Glazed pots can be called stoneware or ceramic. Glazed clay pots cannot be left outside during all seasons; they must be removed from the elements and placed inside during cold winter months. They also are more decorative and artificial-looking. An advantage of using glazed clay pots is that they can also double as part of a home's d├ęcor. They can be painted, so glazed pots can easily become part of a greater design scheme.

Resin flower pots are the outdoor flower pots of choice for people who cannot or do not want to invest in clay pots. Resin pots can be substantially lighter than clay pots and can be the ideal choice for someone who doesn't have the strength of move heavier flower pots around. In many cases, resin flower pots look and function very similarly to clay pots.

Self-watering pots are an option for people who are interested in maintaining flowers but don't have a lot of time to do so. These types of pots are capable of watering plants on their own by tapping into a water reservoir that their owner has previously filled. A wicking system included in the pot periodically waters plants for the owner. Self-watering pots are viable outdoor flower pots, but they do not take care of all of a plant's watering needs. An owner will still have to replenish water supplies and water the plants themselves every once in awhile.

If a gardener wants to go for the nontraditional look, he or she can look into outdoor flower pots that are made out of metal. These pots can be made out of variety of types of metal, including zinc, copper and wrought iron. Metal pots typically are heavy, so that can be a consideration that many gardeners will have to take into account before deciding whether to use them.

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Discussion Comments


@Iluviaporos - Personally, I love re-purposing other items to use as outdoor flower containers, or using alternative materials. It can be tricky to get the look right so that it doesn't just seem like you've put a pile of junk outside and there just happens to be some plants growing in it, but I like to think we've managed to find the balance.

The trick seems to be to try and match up the colors of the different objects, so we basically just paint them all different shades of blue.

We've got an old wheelbarrow with herbs and some other objects like tea pots and tires and some of those big cinder bricks with the holes in them.

They make quite a cute, bright area of the garden and didn't cost anything except for time to put in place.


@clintflint - If you have the right equipment it's not difficult to punch a small hole in the bottom of a pot. Alternatively, you can line the bottom with rocks and stones so the water will drain there and be kept from soaking the roots of the plants. But in that case you would have to make sure that it wasn't going to be completely flooded by rain.

I do prefer the look of unglazed pots though and I think they weather better outdoors.


Remember that glazed pots will be watertight unless they have a hole or holes in the bottom of the pot or elsewhere. This is why they can be painted, while unglazed pots cannot (without proper prepping anyway) because the water will seep through the clay and ruin the paint from the inside.

So if you have a glazed pot without any opening for water to escape, you can't plant anything in it unless you overcome that fact. Otherwise the water will get trapped and harm the roots of the plant.

This might not seem like a problem but many cheap flower pots you find at sales will not be intended to be anything except decorative.

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    • Some flower pots are made from terracotta clay.
      Some flower pots are made from terracotta clay.