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Information About 4 Common Garden Planter Materials


  • Plastic planters are inexpensive, uncompromising when exposed to the elements, and readily available in styles to suit every taste.
  • Plastic can be molded to resemble organic materials like wood and stone. It also looks great in fanciful colors, unique patterns, and surprising textures.
  • Lightweight by nature, these are more portable than those made from heavier materials e.g., stone. That makes them perfect for those with a penchant for rearranging their outdoor space.
  • High-density plastic is tough and won't crack when dropped, knocked over, or set off balance by a sudden gust of wind. Use dense plastic containers for all your plants, not just sprouts and bloomers displayed via deck rails and balconies.


  • Like plastic, stone can weather almost any weather condition.
  • Stone planters aren't just heavy-duty, most are just plain heavy. Be strategic when determining placement as stone containers are difficult to move.
  • While not always convenient, stone's heft is an asset that makes it virtually indestructible and the perfect choice for green thumbs who live in harsh climates.
  • Aesthetically, stone exudes classic elegance that intensifies with age. It wears distress well and won't ever go out of fashion.
  • For the budget-conscious: Consider choosing a planter of reconstructed or cast stone, which is just as robust but less expensive than natural cut stone.


  • Clay planters are inexpensive and an icon of garden culture. They're always in style and readily available in sizes to fit everything from tiny cacti to towering yucca plants.
  • Because unglazed clay, like stone, is a porous material, it's not as water-retentive as plastic or wood. Unglazed clay pots and planters are best for those who either live in wet climates or love brandishing a watering can.
  • Glazed clay, though similarly fragile, retains water better than its unglazed counterpart. The glazing process also lends clay pots a unique glossy aesthetic and color options beyond the familiar matte orange. A perfect way to add pizzazz to your collection.
  • Glazed or unglazed, clay is fragile and won't withstand impact like stone or high-density plastic. It's also sensitive to subtle temperature shifts, contracting when cold, expanding in heat, so reserve these for indoor greenery, displaying them outdoors only in mild weather.


  • Wood planters are extremely versatile in both style and utility. They retain heat better than other materials, conserving water by maintaining soil moisture levels. Truly green.
  • Treated wood won't rot or split and holds fast through erratic weather conditions almost as well as stone. But not all treatments are equal. Some aren't compatible with consumables. The wrong wood treatment can render your garden's good eats inedible.
  • Wood, unlike other materials, varies by species. For instance, pine is less durable than cedar or teak, and redwood won't rot or attract hungry insects. Know your environment to choose the right wood for your space.
  • Visually, wood brings out the beauty of green spaces better than any other material. It evokes the rustic simplicity - think picket fences, sunny skies, and breezy hues. Au naturel.