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How to choose the right pot for your plants

3 Minute Read
When it comes to gardening, your choice of plant pots can have an impact on the health and growth of your plants. In this guide we'll explore the characteristics and best uses of different plant pots to help you make informed decisions for your gardening needs.

Potting perfection: Choosing the right plant pot

Growing in pots is useful when soil space is limited outdoors, or if you wanted to bring your garden inside to add more colour to your indoor space. 

Choosing the right plant pot is an essential aspect of successful gardening. Beyond aesthetics, the right choice of pot influences the foundations of your plants' growth. Understanding the characteristics and best uses of different pots ensure your plants get the best start in your garden.

Whether you prioritise manoeuvrability, durability, space efficiency or appearance, there is a perfect pot for every gardening need.

Each pot has a unique set of advantages and characteristics providing tailored solutions for various gardening needs. 

Types of Planters

Lightweight Pots

Lightweight planters are a versatile option suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. One of their primary advantages is their manoeuvrability allowing you to rearrange your space effortlessly. This feature makes lightweight pots ideal for defining a patio area or balcony.

These pots are well-suited for foliage plants, small shrubs, seedlings, and other shallow rooted species. 

Heavyweight Pots

Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, heavyweight pots are known for durability and longevity. These hard-wearing pots are crafted to withstand the test of time. Whilst they may not be reinforced for larger plants, they are perfect for young plants, small shrubs, crops, cacti, succulents, and pot bedding.

The sturdiness of heavyweight pots ensures that they can withstand various weather conditions, making them a reliable choice year-round.

Heavy-Duty Pots

Made from strong, recycled rubberised plastic, heavy-duty pots are extremely resilient. These pots are frost-proof and UV-stabilised, ensuring they ensure in all weather conditions and temperatures. Due to the strong, reinforced nature of these pots, they are ideal for growing young or small trees, fruit bushes, vegetables, herbs, flowers, salad crops, specimen plants and even bamboos. 

The wide base of heavy-duty pots provides stability and encourages good root spread, promoting the overall health of your plants. 

Square Pots

Square long tom plant pots are specifically designed for raising deep-rooted plants like strawberries, tomatoes, beans, sweet peas, and climbing plants. Their square shape allows for efficient space utilisation, making these pots a preferred choice for those with limited gardening space.

Manufactured from tough and durable plastic, square pots offer reliability season after season. 

Advice on keeping potted plants healthy

Plants in pots require frequent watering and feeding compared to those in the ground as they only have a small amount of compost to sustain them. They are more vulnerable in colder weather as their roots are more exposed than those buried in the earth, and at a higher risk of water logging during the winter.

To maintain the health of your potted plants, regular attention is required as certain pests and diseases are more common in planters.

Stressed potted plants are susceptible to diseases such as powdery mildew and rust, with planters also attracting ant colonies.

During the winter, to prevent waterlogged compost and root rot, elevate your pots onto bricks or pot feet, and ensure that trays and saucers are removed from underneath the pots to prevent them standing in water.

During the summer, the risk to your plants can shift from water logging to insufficient water, particularly for plants in smaller pots. Water twice a day in hot weather, using trays to catch excess water. Opting for drought-tolerant plant during the summer season minimises the requirement for frequent watering.

Avoid overpotting, as root rot can occur if a plant ends up sitting in too much damp compost. Select a pot that is only slightly larger than the rootball or use a larger pot for multiple plants.

Type of Soil to Use

The ideal compost for your pots depends on the plants you are growing. Here are three popular options of compost for your planters:

  1. Melcourt All Purpose Peat-Free Compost: Suitable for pots and containers on the patio and for planting shrubs. Not suitable for use with ericaceous, lime-hating plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons.

  2. Sylvagrow All Purpose Peat-Free with Added John Innes: Suitable for use throughout the garden in pots. Contains no peat or green waste compost. Includes fertiliser to give plants the best start in growing. Not suitable for ericaceous, lime-hating plants.

  3. Melcourt Sylvagrow Ericaceous Compost: Suitable for acid loving plants. Contains bark, wood fibre, coir, loam, and sand with added nutrients to help initial plant growth. There are several plants that prefer acidic soils – rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, magnolias, gardenias, and maples. Fruits that prefer acidic soils include blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries.

Successful container gardening involves choosing the right pots and soil for your plants. The various pot options, from lightweight to heavy-duty, offer tailored solutions for different needs. Careful attention to watering, protection from weather extremes and vigilance against pests and diseases are essential for plant health.

Ultimately, a well-balanced combination of pots, soil, and care creates a thriving container garden, whether indoors or outdoors.

Potting Essentials

11cm Round Lightweight Squat 

This lightweight pot is ideal for shallow-rooted plants and seedlings for herbs, some vegetables, and flowers.


13cm Square Black Heavyweight

Hard-wearing and made to last, this heavyweight pot is ideal for optimal root growth. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, this pot is able to withstand a variety of weather conditions.

XL Container Plant Pot with Handles

This heavy duty pot is made to last year after year in all weather conditions and temperatures. Two handles are attached either side to move the pot and plant with ease.

Melcourt All Purpose Peat Free Compost

This 100% peat free multi purpose compost from Melcourt can be used for pots and containers on the patio or planting out trees and shrubs in garden beds & borders.

23cm Square Heavy Duty Long Tom

These square long tom black plant pots are great for raising deep rooted plants such as strawberries, tomatoes, beans, sweet peas and climbing plants.


All Purpose Peat Free with Added John Innes 

Use throughout the garden in pots or garden beds and in vegetable grow bags. Includes fertiliser to give plants the best start.

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