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Container Materials: An Overview

Choosing your container material is just as important as choosing the type of plant you will place inside it. Pots now come in different shapes, styles, sizes, and colors. You can even customize and produce your own unique container! The dilemma observed by many gardeners is what type and style of container to choose. There are mainly five types of container materials available:. Wood, Stone, Clay, Synthetic, and Metal. Check out the chart below and find out which material is right for you.


  • Can be easily recycled.
  • Numerous amounts of shapes, colors, and styles available.
  • It is impervious to frost damage.
  • These containers are prone to rusting.
  • Can be easily scuffed and/or dented.
  • Must drill drainage holes.
The Tin Planter

Black Tin Planter

More about metal containers.


  • Nonporous and allows soil to breathe.
  • Well built and long lasting
  • Unlike wood, plentiful amounts of designs are available.
  • Strong but heavy. Transporting from one location to another is a daunting task.
  • More expensive as compared to other materials.
The Stone Planter

Faux Stone Planter

More about stone containers.


  • Durable and lightweight designs.
  • No frost damage possible.
  • Imitation stone, metal, and terracotta designs available at fraction of cost.
  • Damage is usually permanent.
  • Imitations amy look cheap.
The Fiber Glass Planter

Fiber Glass Planter

More about synthetic containers.


  • Very light and easy to work with.
  • Resistant to frost damage.
  • Can be re-painted easily whenever desired.
  • Nature of wood only allows a few types of designs.
  • Wood can decay if untreated.
  • Softwood needs to be maintained constantly to prevent rotting.
The Wooden Planter

Wooden Barrel Planter

More about wood containers.


  • Material is porous & plant friendly.
  • Unlimited color range.
  • Terracotta pots provide stability because of their large mass. Perfect for top heavy plants
  • Plants need to be watered frequently because it absorbs water from soil.
  • Prone to frost damage.
  • Easily breakable compared to other materials.
The Terracotta Planter

Faux Terracotta Planter

More about clay containers.