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The best outdoor plant pots you can buy in 2023

best outdoor plant pot

Spruce up your patio and keep your leafy friends happy with our roundup of the best outdoor plant pots

Plants can be tricky to take care of, often needing specialised soil, frequent watering and lots of sunshine (or as much as the glum British climate can provide). However, one thing we can take care of relatively easily is our plant’s home. So, to that end, we’ve rounded up the best outdoor plant pots for all your gardening and patio decorating needs. Whether you’ve got a monstera that needs more space out in the garden, a herb box you’d like to start on your windowsill or an outdoor space that just needs some greenery to liven it up, we’ve got you covered.

Our handy buying guide will offer some green-thumbed tips and take you through whatever questions you might have regarding outdoor plant pots. A little further down the page you’ll find our round-up of mini-reviews, where we assess the materials, aesthetic appeal and suitability of our favourite outdoor plant pots.

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Best outdoor plant pot: At a glance

How to choose the best outdoor plant pot for you

What factors should I consider when buying outdoor plant pots?

You might wonder if it’s as simple as buying a pot and sticking the plant in it – unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. There are a few factors you’ll have to consider before purchasing an outdoor plant pot, namely:

Drainage: If your plant is still in a nursery pot (the plastic pot you bought it in) then this will already have drainage holes; if you intend to keep it in one, you don’t need to worry about drainage. If you plan to put your plant into a bigger pot, then you’ll need to ensure it has drainage holes, as well as a water saucer underneath to prevent drips.

Size: If you’re leaving your houseplant in its nursery pot, you can place it into any decorative pot that’s larger than the nursery pot, filling in the gap with soil or bark. You might need to repot your plant into a larger nursery pot as it grows to prevent it becoming root bound, so make sure to plan ahead and leave sufficient room in your secondary outdoor pot.

Watering needs: When purchasing an outdoor plant pot, it’s worth thinking about how much water the plant will need. This will affect your choice of material, as some, like terracotta or concrete, are more porous than others and help prevent overwatering and keep soil on the drier side. If your plant needs a lot of water, it might even be worth investing in a self-watering planter. This might sound overly high-tech, but it refers to a type of planter with a water reservoir, which you fill up and then let the plant drink from over time – much handier than watering twice a day.

Placement: Some plants need lots of sunshine, whereas others, like plants newly introduced to the outdoors, need a little more shade. Before purchasing your plant pot, check out its volume and dimensions to make sure it will fit nicely in both shady and sunny spots of your garden or patio, in case you’ll need to move your leafy friend around.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of the different materials?

Plant pots can be made from various materials, each with their own benefits and downsides.

Terracotta: This is a type of unglazed, porous ceramic which has a reddish-brown colour. Terracotta is a popular plant pot material as it is very pleasant to look at and can be very durable, even frost-proof, when well-made. However, lower quality terracotta can be quite brittle and susceptible to shattering in colder conditions, so try to assess its quality in your relation to your needs.

Metal: A popular choice for unique pieces and stand-out looks, metal containers can jazz up your garden or patio with shiny surfaces and interesting colours. One notable disadvantage is metal’s tendency to absorb heat in warm weather, which could lead to burnt or dried out plants if not properly managed.

Plastic: Lightweight, generally inexpensive and resistant to damage, plastic pots are a good all-round container for housing your plants. Plastic pots suffer a little in the looks department, lacking the character of metal or ceramics. They can also be potentially unsafe for growing food in the long-term – so make sure any edible plants you’re planning on growing are housed in food-safe plastic pots.

Wood: Using a material like wood provides a rustic and natural look, as well as being generally inexpensive. However, if not properly treated and maintained, wooden containers can suffer from accelerated decay compared to synthetic materials.

Fibreglass: This versatile, synthetic material is made from fibres and resin, and can be easily formed into various shapes and textures. Durable, light and suitable for elegant shaping, fibreglass’s main downside is its high-cost. Concrete: This is the material to go for if you want durability, as not much is going to damage a large, concrete pot. Often subtle and simply designed, concrete brings a touch of elegance to your outdoor spaces. The main drawback of concrete is its weight – make sure you have some helpers on hand if you’re going to be installing a concrete pot in your garden.

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The best outdoor plant pots to buy

1. Verve Lyna Natural Terracotta Round Plant Pot: Best all-round outdoor plant pot

Price: £10 | Buy now from B&QWhether you’re looking for an additional pot to compliment your garden’s rustic aesthetic or are starting from scratch, you can’t really go wrong with a simple terracotta pot. This Verve Lyna terracotta planter, with its rippled design and light colouring, is an especially pretty option, while being unobtrusive enough to fit into a variety of settings. With its 9L capacity, it would be a perfect fit for a mid-sized plant or a selection of flowers. It also has all the classic positive features of well-made terracotta – it’s lightweight, robust, porous and notably inexpensive. Beyond that, it offers weather-resistance and drainage holes to prevent over-watering.

Key details – Volume: 9L; Material: Terracotta; Height: 19cm; Diameter: 26cm; Weight: 5kg; Drainage: Yes; Weatherproofing: Weather-resistant

Buy now from B&Q

2. Panacea Black Round Coco Liner and Metal Frame Hanging basket: Best hanging basket

Price: £14 | Buy now from B&QA hanging basket is a fantastic way to get started with outdoor planting, being small and easy to maintain while not requiring any ground space to be taken up. This Panacea model from B&Q is a basic (but super functional) option, boasting a sturdy metal frame and durable coconut fibre lining. It has enough space to fit a healthy bunch of flowers and, handily, also comes with an easily-assembled wall bracket and screws – so first-time planters can hang their new basket anywhere they like.

Key details – Volume: 7L; Material: Metal and coconut fibre; Dimensions: 35cm (DIA); Weight: 705g; Drainage: Yes

Buy now from B&Q

3. Verve Gardon Fibreclay Hexagonal Plant Pot: Best outdoor plant pot for style

Price: £87 | Buy now from B&QFancy adding a touch of contemporary flair to your back yard or patio? This geometric planter from B&Q’s Verve Gardon line will bring a distinctly modern touch to your garden, offering simple elegance in the form of clean lines and a cool grey colouring which should fit neatly into most settings or design schemes.

Aside from looking the part, this planter is also made from a unique, modern material called fibreclay, also known as fibrecotta, which combines resin and minerals like stone or clay. Fibreclay pots are relatively lightweight, nicely durable, cheaper than real-stone pots and have an aesthetically pleasing natural finish. This pot also comes with drainage holes, allowing you to plant directly into it, and is nicely sized for mid-sized plants or small trees.

Key details – Volume: 57L; Material: Fibreclay; Height: 58cm; Diameter: 40cm; Weight: 11kg; Drainage: Yes; Weatherproofing: Weather-resistant

Buy now from B&Q

4. World Menagerie Geinbow Ceramic Window Box Planter: Best window box

Price: £23 | Buy now from WayfairNot everyone has a large garden or a patio, and even if you do, you still may not have the room for an army of plants and bushes. When space is limited, a small window box is a great option for working a little bit of garden into a compact outdoor space. This ceramic window box has a very pleasing tiled design, with an Iberian pattern that would add a touch of charm and flair to any windowsill. It’s well-sized, weatherproofed and not overly heavy, making it a perfect all-round pick for starting a herb garden or maintaining a small selection of flowers.

Key details – Volume: 1L; Material: Ceramic; Dimensions: 13.3cm x 39.4cm x 13.4cm (HWD); Weight: 3.85kg; Drainage: No; Weatherproofing: Weather-resistant

Buy now from Wayfair

5. Freeport Park Mosaic Plant Pot: Best self-watering planter

Price: £52 | Buy now from WayfairThis planter is made from a combination of stone, resin and fibreglass, which allows it to be super lightweight while keeping its strength and durability. It’s a fantastic option for those who don’t want to deal with constant maintenance, being frost and rust-proof, as well as self-watering. It has an attractive glazed finish and is available in two colours: two-toned, muted shades of green or a simple blue, both of which blend nicely into natural foliage or stone. Given the bevy of features and high-quality materials packed into this planter, it really justifies its price-tag, having one of the best quality-to-price ratios on this list.

Key details – Volume: 32L; Material: Stone, plastic, fibreglass, resin; Dimensions: 36cm x 37cm x 37cm (HWD); Weight: 2.4kg; Drainage: No; Weatherproof: Frostproof, rust-resistant

Buy now from Wayfair

6. Union Rustic Solid Oak Whisky Cask: Best large outdoor plant pot

Price: £117 | Buy now from WayfairRecycled from a whisky cask, this planter from Union Rustic is the perfect addition to any back garden or patio aiming for a natural look. This planter’s solid oak construction and unique wood grain finish make it the perfect option for those of you who don’t enjoy the look and feel of synthetic materials like plastics or fibreglass.

It’s also a solid large capacity option for anyone looking to bed larger plants, mid-sized trees or varied arrangements, with its 100L capacity and 64cm diameter giving you plenty of room to work with. You can plant directly into the cask, thanks to its well-placed drainage holes, and its weather and rust resistant properties mean you don’t have to fret about wear and tear taking too much of a toll on this already nicely weathered garden feature.

Key details – Volume: 100L; Material: Wood; Height: 45cm; Diameter: 64cm; Weight: 25kg; Drainage: Yes; Weatherproofing: Weather-resistant, rust-resistant

Buy now from Wayfair

7. Rowlinson Rectangular Planter and Lattice: Best outdoor planter for climbing plants

Price: £125 | Buy now from Tool StationIf you want to spruce up your garden while maintaining a natural style, then a pot with a timber finish is an ideal option. This rectangular, wooden planter is pleasant-looking and simply designed, adding a touch of rustic charm to any garden or patio. It’s a good size and shape too, ideal for anything from a small flower bed to a herb garden.

Another attractive feature is the large lattice blackboard, which not only looks elegant but also offers physical support for any ivys or other climbing plants you might want to cultivate. Additionally, the wood is suitable for painting and staining, should you wish to customise it, while also being treated to resist rot.

Key details – Volume: 85L; Material: Wood; Dimensions: 148cm x 42cm x 90cm (HWD); Weatherproof: Pressure treated to prevent rot

Buy now from Tool Station

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