Homeowners are often faced with the dilemma of choosing clay pots over plastic plots; and vice versa. At the end of the day, it all depends on the preference of the homeowner.
Nevertheless, you have to understand all the benefits and drawbacks pertaining to each type of planting pot. From there, you’ll know the best planting pot material that works best for you. Gardening experts also advise analyzing your requirements before purchasing a planting pot.
Advantages of clay pots over plastic pots
- Environmentally-friendly characteristics:
Clay planting pots are indisputably more eco-friendly compared to plastic pots. Clay pots are generally made from soil.
Therefore, when they are worn out, they disintegrate and go back to the soil. Also, if the pot breaks, its pieces will break down and complement the soil.
On the other hand, plastic containers are inorganic and do not decompose into the soil. Thus, disposing of them is hard. Today, there are so many littering problems that contribute to environmental degradation.
State authorities are still trying to figure out the best way to get rid of inorganic waste. So, if you are passionate about environmental conservation, use clay planting pots.
Generally, clay pots are more flexible. You can easily reuse a clay planting pot. Therefore, you can use clay pots for a long time. Plastic planting pots, on the other hand, cannot get reused.
When they get worn out, the only option is disposing of them and buying another planting pot. Subsequently, a clay pot can save your money in the long run due to its high durability.
Unlike clay pots, plastic pots have zero porosity. Plastic does not allow air/water flow. As a result, it remains wet for a long time. Clay pots are basically made from soil. Therefore, they have small spaces in between them that allow for air and water flow.
Clay pots have high porosity. And this safeguards the plant from infections like soil fungus and root rot. Also, pests that love moisture won’t get attracted to clay pots since the soil is likely to dry fast.
It takes time for water to dry in plastic pots. And this makes the plants more susceptible to pests and diseases. The other option with the same qualities is definitely getting an Aero-garden system kit.
- Bulkiness and durability:
Undoubtedly, plastic pots are lighter than clay pots. The heavy nature of clay pots makes them durable. This is because they are less likely to fall or trip over when placed on a table or window sill.
Clay pots are firmer due to their bulky nature. Plastic pots can quickly get blown off by strong winds and fall. Also, since they are not bulky, they can easily break due to harsh external conditions. Not to mention, sunlight makes plastic weaker.
Clay pots are highly versatile. Thus, they come in a wide range of designs, sizes, and colors. Compared to plastic pots, clay pots offer more aesthetics. Moreover, clay pots tend to look beautiful with time.
Advantages of plastic pots over clay pots
Although clay pots offer a wide range of benefits, plastic pots are also a good option. In fact, some experts say that plastic pots are better than clay pots.
Plastic pots offer more variety compared to clay pots. Plastic pots come in different sizes, shapes, designs, and colors. Nowadays, you can customize plastic pots to match your requirements. Clay pots are generally hard to customize.
- Water retention:
Contrary to popular belief, plastic pots hold more water than clay pots. Therefore, plastic pots are a better option for plants that thrive in high levels of moisture.
Plastic pots won’t dry out your plants if you forget to water them. Water in clay pots dries out quickly. Therefore, you will need to water your plants from time to time.
Earlier, we mentioned that clay pots are more durable. But this is not always the case. Modern plastic planting pots incorporate rigid, unbreakable material that can withstand the test of time. Also, clay pots tend to break and chip from time to time, especially in harsh weather conditions.
Plastic pots are rarely affected by extreme weather conditions. Therefore, they offer more durability. However, note that you have to purchase a twenty-first-century pot made with solid material.
Plastic is less bulky compared to clay pots. Therefore, it is more user-friendly and portable. Plastics are the better option when it comes to hanging gardens.
You can easily carry it around the house from one room to another without difficulty. Remember, you have to expose your indoor plants to sunlight during the day.
More often than not, you will require to move the planting pot to your balcony or porch area or hang the planters on your railing. If you have a clay pot, it can be challenging to move it. Conversely, plastic pots will give you an easy time.
Although plastic pots are inorganic, you can always purchase recyclable plastic pots. Usually, high-quality plastic is recyclable. Buying a recyclable plastic pot gives you the unique privilege of using it for a long time.
Once the high-quality plastic pot gets worn out, you can take it to a recycling center. Then, you can take it home and continue using it as your planting pot. Even so, clay pots are easier to recycle.
Overview: Clay pots vs. plastic pots
Plant growth in clay pots over plastic pots:
Gardening experts report that clay pots provide a better environment for plant growth. As mentioned earlier, clay pots have a higher porosity. Thus, they facilitate the movement of air and water much better. Additionally, clay planting pots have excellent water-wicking properties.
They prevent excess accumulation of moisture in the soil. Subsequently, they boost healthy plant growth. Plastic pots also offer a suitable environment for plant growth. However, plastic is not porous. Water can build up on the planting pot and attract fungi and root rot.
With a plastic pot, you won’t require to water your plants frequently. Ultimately, the planting pot you choose depends on your plant type.
Outdoor use of clay compared to plastic pots:
Unquestionably, clay pots are thicker and less susceptible to damage. Thus, they are perfect for outdoor use. The thick walls in clay pots safeguard the roots from harsh external conditions.
Also, due to their bulky nature, clay pots are not easily blown over by the wind. Plastic planting pots are best used indoors. They are not as strong as clay pots; they can easily fall over. Even so, high-quality plastic is robust.
Some plants thrive in areas with a lot of moisture. Avoid growing such plants in clay pots. The soil in clay planting pots dries up quickly. Therefore, moisture-loving plants won’t grow well in clay pots.
Instead, plant these plants in plastic pots. Plastic pots have low porosity; hence the soil remains wet for an extended period. These pots favor the growth of moisture-loving plants.
Portability of a clay pot over a plastic pot:
It is much simpler to deal with a plastic pot. These pots are lightweight and versatile. You can easily carry them from one room to the other without difficulty. Transporting a clay pot is difficult.
Clay pots are heavy and require extreme keenness during transportation. They can easily break when they fall. So, if you have to move your plants near the sun every morning, buy a plastic planting pot.
Sunlight can destroy plastic planting pots. Ultraviolet rays can make plastic pots weak. Luckily, you can treat your plastic pots with UV light inhibitors to prevent damage.
Which is better – Clay pots or plastic pots?
At the end of the day, the type of planting pot you buy highly depends on your requirements. For example, if you plan to grow moisture-loving crops, plastic pots are your best option especially if you are growing your plants on your patio.
Similarly, if you plan to place the pot outdoors, clay pots are your best option. Before you purchase a specific planting pot, always take time to analyze your requirements. Additionally, consider consulting a gardening expert on the best planting pot to buy and how many seeds to plant in each pot.