Indoor Outdoor Garden Planter

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Plant Pots, According to an Expert

We rounded up 13 top-rated picks.
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Like planning the perfect barbecue or remodeling a laundry room, selecting the right pots for your plants is an art form. The process becomes even more complex when you decide to take your seedlings outside—which is why we asked an expert to break down everything you should know before shopping for outdoor plant pots.  

"It's helpful to always consider what the intended usage is for the pot," says Stephanie Horton, the professional plant consultant behind Instagram account @botanicalblackgirl. "Are you interested in container gardening, or is this strictly ornamental? We can then determine how much wiggle room we have (or don't have) as it pertains to size." For example, potted vegetables require closer attention to the space and depth, while ornamental plants will allow you to "lean more on the aesthetics and style of your pot versus the efficiency needed with veggies and herbs." 

When it comes to materials, Horton is a fan of the classics, but she's quick to note that many lightweight alternatives are just as visually pleasing and functional. "Terra-cotta is a staple both indoor and outdoor for me because it's porous for when I mistakenly overwater, easily accessible, and very cute," she explains. "However, I'm fairly indecisive and often want the ability to move things around. Heavy terra-cotta or ceramics can make it difficult to achieve that." If mobility is a priority, she recommends opting for high-density plastic pots that mimic the appearance of stone, ceramic, and concrete. 

Hanging pots have a whole other set of factors to take into consideration. "The best advice I can provide is that you make sure whatever you hang is stable," Horton says. "There's nothing worse than minding your business at home, perhaps relaxing, eyes closed, beverage in hand… Then—BOOM! CRASH!" To avert such crises, take extra time to determine the most secure hanging method possible. "Think of the total weight of your pot, hanger, and plant when watered to give you an idea of what type of hanging apparatus to use for your plant baby."

And don't forget: Houseplants experience a culture shock when moved outdoors. According to Horton, taking it slow is the best way to avoid snafus. "Introduce them to a shadier area first and watch for sunburn on the leaves," she says. "Make sure to keep your plants hydrated, also. They will generally dry out faster outside, so keep that in mind." 

Above all else, Horton wants you to give every plant the TLC it deserves. "Don't get carried away with so many plants that you forget about a few," she advises. "Plant maintenance can be a little time-consuming, so don't overwhelm yourself."

We used Horton's advice, coupled with customer reviews, to find the best outdoor plant pots money can buy. Keep scrolling to learn what makes these picks stand out. 


Best Overall: La Jolíe Muse Plant Pot with Drain Hole

$16–$46, AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 6.7 inches; 14.2 x 14.2 x 10.6 inches

Weight: 1.45 pounds; 3.04 pounds

This cylindrical planter may look luxe, but it's actually made of powder-coated plastic that's weather-resistant, easy to clean, and even recyclable. Four raised drainage holes make it especially practical for outdoor use, which explains why it's earned more than 2,000 five-star ratings. 


Best Rated: Classic Home and Garden Premiere Collection Rosie 10" Copper Planter

$11 (WAS $16), AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 5 inches

Weight: 1 pound

Upwards of 3,600 customers have given this sturdy resin pot a perfect rating. Reviewers cite its UV-resistant coating, attached drainage saucer, and copper-inspired finish as standout features. "I love this pot! It is very sturdy, yet light enough for me to move from the outdoors to the indoors when the weather makes it necessary," one wrote.


Best Small: D'Vine Dev Ceramic Pot with Drainage Hole and Saucer

$16–$27 (WAS $22–$35), AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 4.6 x 4.6 x 4.8 inches; 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.6 inches; 6.2 x 6.2 x 6.3 inches

Weight: 1.9 pounds; 2.91 pounds; 4.2 pounds

This ceramic pot clocks in at almost 2 pounds in its 4-inch size, so you don't need to worry about your favorite small plants blowing over in the wind. It comes with a stainless steel net to prevent soil from leaking out of the drainage hole, and its design of embossed leaves is incredibly elegant for the price.


Best Medium: Classic Home and Garden Honeysuckle Planter in 13" Fossil Stone

$19 (WAS $20), AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 10.5 inches

Weight: 0.96 pounds

This bell-shaped pot creates the illusion of rustic stone with a high-density resin that's made to withstand the elements. It doesn't come with drain holes, but according to reviewers, adding your own is a breeze. "I'm using this on my porch—I drilled four drainage holes in two minutes," said one person, who raved about the pot's "high quality," "thick walls," and "great finish."


Best Large: Southern Patio 20-Inch Brown Resin Garden Pot

$50 (WAS $58), TARGET.COM

Dimensions: 16 x 20 inches

Weight: 4.55 pounds

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more practical planter than this resin one from Southern Patio. The drainage hole at the base comes with a handy stopper, which makes it easy to control moisture levels. Plus, it features a 40-quart capacity, so you can bolster your greenery with all the rich soil it needs.


Best Terra-Cotta: Mistana Brown Winchester 2-Piece Terra-Cotta Pot Set


Dimensions: 4.75 x 13 x 13 inches; 6 x 17 x 17 inches

Weight: 29 pounds (both pots)

These stunning planters have a short and wide design that makes them look more like art than useful homewares. Both were fired in temperatures above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, and as a result, they're practically impervious to environmental stressors. Not only do they come with drainage holes, but as Horton mentioned, the material's porosity will absorb excess moisture.


Best Ceramic: Opalhouse Textured White Ceramic Planter

$8–$40, TARGET.COM

Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4 inches; 6 x 6 x 6 inches; 8 x 8 x 8 inches; 10 x 12 x 12 inches

Weight: 0.69 pounds; 1.81 pounds; 3.28 pounds; 7.26 pounds

One reviewer called this creamy white pot "too cute for words," and while that may be true, the durable ceramic piece has more to offer than looks. Its peekaboo stoneware base hides a useful drainage hole, and it's even available in five sizes that could bring a sense of uniformity to almost any plant collection. With prices starting at $8, you really can't go wrong.


Best Metal: Allgala Galvanized Planter Pot

$15–$46, AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 5 inches; 7 x 7 x 6 inches; 8 x 8 x 7 inches; 9 x 9 x 8 inches

Weight: 0.3 pounds; 0.45 pounds; 0.7 pounds

According to shoppers, this ribbed pot is lightweight without feeling cheap or flimsy. It's made of galvanized metal, which is coated with a layer of protective zinc to prevent rust and other forms of wear. Its multicolored ribbed design is distinctive yet versatile, and an embossed plate that reads "Flowers & Garden" adds a whimsical touch.


Best Hanging: La Jolíe Muse Set of 2 Large Hanging Planters


Dimensions: 13.2 x 13.2 x 6.7 inches

Weight: 3.76 pounds (both pots)

Two of these top-rated hanging pots will cost you just $32, which is a pretty sweet deal given that they're built to withstand even harsh winter weather. At just over a pound each, they're light enough to hang almost anywhere—but reviewers say they're surprisingly sturdy. "These are amazing and have held up all summer in blistering heat, severe winds, and torrential floods," one wrote.


Best Budget: La Jolíe Muse Plant Pot 2-Pack

$18–$19 (WAS $20), AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.7 inches; 8.6 x 6.7 inches

Weight: 2.2 pounds (both pots)

This matching pot set is available in seven colors, but no matter which you choose, you'll pay less than $20, or under $10 per pot. They have all the same features that made the original La Jolíe Muse pot our Best Overall pick, from their strong plastic material to their raised drainage holes.


Best Splurge: Veradek Galvanized Steel Planter Box

$90–$274 (WAS $140–$302), WAYFAIR.COM

Dimensions: 13 x 25 x 11 inches; 15 x 32 x 10 inches; 15 x 38 x 15 inches; 13.5 x 42 x 24 inches; 15 x 60 x 15 inches

Weight: 11 pounds; 20 pounds; 30 pounds; 55 pounds; 70 pounds

If you're willing to spend a little extra, this rust-resistant pot will make caring for outdoor plants easier than ever. Its thick steel base can withstand extreme heat and cold, while its interior contains drainage holes and a layer of styrofoam insulation, which protects soil from sudden changes in temperature.


Best Self-Watering: HBServices 10" Self-Watering Plant Pot


Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 9.25 inches

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Most self-watering pots might sound too good to be true, but this one uses patented technology to virtually eliminate the possibility of overwatering. Its hollow legs reach into a water reservoir, which allows soil to draw out moisture naturally while keeping the plants' roots above water and preventing flooding. Several slats on the base help maintain air circulation through soil, which lowers the risk of root rot.


Best Wall Planter: Tosnail 2-Pack Metal Wall Planter Baskets with Coco Liner

$18 (WAS $20), AMAZON.COM

Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.3 x 11 inches

Weight: 0.93 pounds (both pots)

These circular planter baskets can be attached to any wall using a hook or nail. Their most compelling feature could be their coco fiber liners, which encourage plants to absorb water gradually by holding the excess. They also provide effective drainage, and they're porous enough to aerate soil and keep roots healthy.