The thing about outdoor pots and plants is that you want them to last. Big pot plants can have a striking impact on the look and feel of your outdoor living spaces and smaller pots can also be stunning highlights. Read on to find out how to choose potted plants that will thrive under the Australian sun.
Terracotta and concrete pots
The raw, earthy colour of terracotta—a type of clay—will enhance the beauty of any plant. Ceramic plant pots come in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes and are often glazed in vibrant colours that will add depth and complexity to your garden. Glazed pots are great for plants that get a lot of sun—raw clay pots are porous and tend to dry out more quickly.
Concrete is an insulating and porous material, providing a similar plant-root environment to terracotta. A quality paint job can transform the look, but the sun may cause the paint to peel over time and require repainting. One drawback of concrete and ceramic pots is that they are fragile and can crack in frosts.
Plastic is durable, versatile and lightweight. It’s a more affordable option that can look as good as other materials. Multiple plastic plant pots in complementary colours can add sleek, sophisticated layers to your decor. Plastic is also a good option for seed propagation and short-term storage if you want to grow cuttings and small plants to fill your garden.
Black plastic pots can be a problem in the sun because they absorb heat and dry out quickly. The smaller the pot, the more quickly it will dry out. Wherever you place your pots, ensure that they have good drainage. You could use wall bracket plant pot holders, hanging baskets or tiered shelving to raise pots off the ground if your space is limited.
Wood, glass and fibreglass pots
Timber planters should be made from rot-resistant timber or they could become host to mould, mildew and fungi. They can be effectively used for something like succulents that don’t need a lot of water. Timber containers for plants are often used as a facade, hiding the more practical plastic pot within.
Glass plant pots like terrariums can be used in filtered sunlight to create a special micro-climate within, ideal for growing tropical plants if you live in a drier or cooler climate. Fibreglass plant pots can also be very stylish and useful—they are lightweight, waterproof and less fragile than ceramics, providing a better soil environment for plants that don’t like to dry out.
Plants that love the sun
Plants for pots in full sun need to be hardy and not averse to feeling hot and dry. Succulents such as aloe vera, mother-in-law’s tongue and agave do well in full sun. Flowering perennials—for example, daisies—and annuals like sunflowers are also weather-resistant. Grasses are fairly tough and can be impressive in tall pots. Fruit trees, in particular dwarf varieties, can also do well in pots.
Head to Gumtree to find durable pots and plant pot ideas for every plant and situation.