Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

Being a gardener usually, in some form or another, involves pottery. Whether to use plastic or clay pots is sometimes a question asked by new gardeners. I find the answer is a matter of taste, but here are some pros and cons of both clay and plastic plant containers.

New plants from a garden center or box store come to us in plastic pots, but how long can or should a plant stay in that type container? Many plants could be happy forever grown in plastic pots, while many other types of plants could grow much better in clay pots.

Plastic is lighter and comes in a variety of colors, but it’s not very eco-friendly, and in today’s world, we are already drowning in plastics. Plastic containers do hold water much better than clay pots, making it ideal for plants that thrive in moist soils.

On the other hand, clay pots are porous, which quickly wicks up water and dries out faster than plastic containers. Clay pots are better at preventing root rot and soil fungus, which then helps to prevent certain bad insects that like moisture.

Over time, clay pots develop a nice patina coloring that is well liked by many gardeners. Clay pots are made from natural materials from the soil that eventually breaks down and adds back to the earth. Clay containers are usually less expensive and come in a large variety of sizes. Clay pots are heavy and less likely to tip over compared to lightweight plastic pots.

Many of the newer varieties of higher quality plastic containers have evolved and are now often recyclable. Any recyclability information is usually found on the bottom of recyclable pots.

I would suggest that whether you prefer clay or plastic containers to make sure all your containers have at least one or more drainage holes.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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