How to choose the right plant pots for your home and garden

Choosing the right plant pots for your chosen plants and space

Plant pots – with so many out there to choose from in numerous different sizes and styles, how do you know which is the right one for your chosen plant?

(source image – AtticMag)

So what makes a pot a good pot?

How it looks

Despite the fact you need the pot you choose to be right for the plant you wish to put into it the look of said pot obviously matters.  The colour and style of the pot will set the tone for your garden and complete the look you’re trying to achieve so getting the right one matters.  At the end of the day it comes down to your personal preference and style of garden.

Choosing the right size pot for your plant

Kew garden pots

It’s likely that the first pot you buy for your chosen plant will be the first in a long line, as the plant develops and grows beyond your original chosen design.

However don’t be tempted to go all out and buy the biggest pot going.  It will only swamp the plant until it becomes well established and may also hold too much moisture. This can cause root rot which will prove fatal for your plant.  A huge pot will also detract from the plants beauty.  Rule of thumb is to choose a pot 1.5 times the diameter of the rootball of the plant to keep it healthy.


Good drainage is vital for your plant to thrive and flourish.  So other than the usual hole add a layer of pot shards or large stones to avoid blocking the drainage hole.  Slightly lifting your pot with feet can also improve drainage.  It may be on the other hand that your plant dictates the pot as some thrive better when their roots are more restricted or they retain more or less water.  So know your plant and how to care for it before heading out for that all important pot.

All shapes & sizes

The majority of pots have a diameter much the same as their depth.  However some pots are deeper or taller to accommodate different types of plants and trees.

kew pots

Deep containers

Make sure you do your homework when it comes to choosing the right plant pot for your plant.  Some plants have very deep roots and therefore require a deeper container   You should also bear in mind what the plant will look like once it reaches full size to ensure the scale of your pot is in proportion for the right overall look.

royal kew pot

Shallow containers

Shallow containers provide the perfect home for plants that need very little soil to grow such as Spring bulbs, succulents, herbs and alpine plants.

Plant pots

Tall, slim pots

A little like a standard vase in shape these type of pots require a good amount of compost and can be a little unstable in windier spots.  It can be useful to weight them down by putting stones in prior to planting.  They are however great for creating a feature and look perfect filled with ‘architectural plants such as grasses or trailing plants.


Arranging pots and containers

Arranging pots in your chosen space inside or outside and how you do this can make or break the look you’re trying to achieve.

Consider how many pots you should have and how you should be arranging them in your chosen space.

Sometimes the size of the space will dictate.  If you have a very small space it may be that only one large pot or two or three small ones will fit anyway elevating the problem.


The main thing is don’t overrun the area with lots of small plant pots.  An attractive display can be made by filling the space with a selection of different sized pots and sometimes different colours too. After all the pot needs to compliment the plant inside it and the beautiful blooms that will come.

Mismatched or Uniform?

If a uniform look is what you’re looking for choose matching pots in different sizes.  Position your pots in different spots throughout your garden or space with different plant combinations in each. Alternatively group your pots in clusters around your chosen space with taller pots at the back and smaller pots arranged around it in a tight group.  This will give the effect of a  flower bed but with plant pots.


Choosing different size pots is important to avoid it all feeling too much the same and adds a feeling of scale and contrast.

If you fancy going a little rogue and hate the thought of anything with too much uniformity simply go out and buy a number of different plant pots in a range of different sizes, styles and colours.  Arrange them however takes your fancy for a totally unique look.


Our favourite pots

We have to say we do have a favourite when it comes to creating that cottage garden or courtyard garden feel.  We don’t think you can beat the shapes and colours of the Royal Kew Botanical garden plant pots.

These traditional terracotta style pots are beautifully stylish with a wide range of colours so there’s something to fit your style and taste.  Complete with the Royal Kew Botanical Garden seal of approval too, what’s not to love.

These pots look fabulous inside or outside and suit most plants when chosen in proportion and in complementing colour of course.

Kew garden pots

To get your Kew Botanical Garden plant pots and for more garden decoration and accessories visit our shop