What Are the Best Containers for Your Plants?
We've had a few new growers ask us what they should be planting their new clones and seedlings in. When it comes to plant containers, there are tons of choices out there: plastic, fabric, solid, mesh, and lots of sizes to choose from, too. There are advantages and disadvantages to any plant container, so it's important to use the right pot for your style of growing and more importantly, your plant. Plastic Grow Buckets Plastic grow buckets, pots, and grow bags are popular containers to grow plants in. Whether it’s clay or plastic, large or small, buckets are durable, long-lasting plant containers. If your plant’s roots need more room than your pot can provide, you’ll need to transfer it into a bigger pot. Eventually, when the plant gets bigger, you’ll either need to transplant it into bigger pots or in the ground to avoid root binding and all the problems that come with it. Though it may not drastically harm them, we suggest keeping transplanting to a minimum (experienced growers won’t have a problem, but novice growers may shock their plants by damage roots transplanting the same plant over and over). Air pruning your roots in plastic pots is possible, despite what some may say. If you’re the DIY type, you can drill small holes around your bucket/pot to help roots breathe. Air Pots and Water Drainage Pots known as air pots are made with air holes pre-drilled to help air prune roots. Buckets and grow pots can be easily washed, disinfected and reused between grows. Grow bags, on the other hand, will need to be washed and dried to ensure no harmful elements aren’t stuck in the fibers of the bag. With that in mind, water drainage is a little easier with buckets than with fabric grow bags. If you’re considering plastic pots, try to get an idea of the best size for your plant. You don’t want something so large that you’ll over-water plants when they’re young, but you don’t want something so small that you’ll need to transplant every few weeks while they’re growing Fabric Pots Fabric pots may not last forever, but they'll help you and your garden grow easier than plastic pots will. They allow roots to grow out of the fabric, so root binding is very easy to avoid with these. Fabric pots tend to give your plants more even feeding than plastic pots. When you feed your plants in plastic pots, the water tends to rush straight to the bottom and oftentimes you'll find dry areas in the medium when you transplant. With fabric pots, water has a better chance of spreading across your medium and giving your plants better nutrition. When you use fabric pots, you also have a better chance of expanding your root zone. With plastic pots, your roots will hit the walls and start to bind. Fabric pots, on the other hand, are way less confining, so when you go to transplant them into a new medium they'll tend to root better than in plastic pots. The downside to using fabric pots seems to be the maintenance and cost of them. Eventually, all pots will need to be replaced, but fabric pots usually don't last years on end. Constant saturation and drying eventually wear out the fabric. You can wash, disinfect, and dry but eventually, those pots will need to be thrown out- and it'll be much sooner than replacing plastic pots. But other than that, there are few reasons to not go with fabric pots, especially if you expect to transfer your plants into larger pots Choosing the Right Containers So which is the best container for your plants to grow in? Well, first we'd like to be clear: if it works for you, there's no bad container to grow plants in so long as they're able to get the nutrition they need to grow properly. That said, we have to say it's tied between fabric pots and plastic pots that allow for air pruning. They both allow for air pruning and lots of root growth and are great at making the perfect root zone for your plants. If you're looking for a longer-lasting container, we suggest going with plastic air pots, but fabric pots are just fine and will last a few grows or more. Now, that's not to say solid plastic pots aren't useful- they are. If you want to keep plants at a certain size, or if your plants won't get too big anyway, then you don't necessarily need pots that'll help air prune your roots. They're also good for keeping clones, seedlings, and saplings small until they're ready to transplant. In the end, there's a pot for every plant out there, but not every pot is the best for every plant (or for every grower)