You may not think you need a special pot for orchids—that any old flower pot will do the trick. While some regular flower pots or planters may work out okay, if you want to ensure that your orchids grow and thrive properly, investing in a specialized orchid pot is the best choice for your flowers. In the wild, most orchids grow by clinging to trunks or limbs of large trees, which leaves their roots exposed to the open air and humidity. Thus orchids thrive best in pots that best mimic these conditions, which most normal flower pots and planters don’t provide.
Why buy orchid pots?
The answer here is pretty simple– you’ll want to buy orchid pots if you plan on buying or growing orchids for your home. Orchid roots grow outward rather than downward, unlike many other species of flowers. And even though most orchids are native to wet tropical and subtropical climates, they’re susceptible to overwatering. Thus orchids pots are specifically designed to accommodate these needs. One large drainage hole at the base isn’t going to cut it; an orchid pot will have multiple holes all over the container to ensure that your plant receives the proper drainage and airflow it needs to survive and thrive.
What should you look for in orchid pots?
- Ventilation and Drainage: Good drainage and airflow are key to a good orchid pot. Since orchids are such a high risk for overwatering, a quick-draining orchid pot is crucial to ensure your plant’s health. Look for orchid pots with multiple holes or slats along the bottom and preferably along the sides, too. The holes can be any size, but larger ones are generally considered better. Not only does this provide optimal drainage for your flower, but it allows better ventilation and air movement as well; since orchid roots are exposed to the air in the wild, this helps to mimic the breezes and airflow they experience in nature.
- Design: Orchid pots come in all different shapes and designs. Hanging pots, for instance, can be great since they closely imitate orchids’ natural growing environments. And a design with a sturdy bottom can be a big asset, especially for top-heavy orchids. Shallower, squatter pots are usually the best choice for an orchid’s roots. As long as your orchid pot meets this requirement, feel free to choose whichever shape or color you like and best suits your home.
- Material: Ceramic, terracotta, mesh, glass, and plastic are viable options for orchid pots. As long as the pot has the appropriate drainage and ventilation, you can pick whichever material you prefer. Many people love ceramic pots because they’re glazed and colorful, making for beautiful home decorations and accent pieces. Terracotta is sturdy and stone-like but porous, so it’s an excellent choice for orchids. Plastic is lightweight and inexpensive, and its transparency allows orchid roots to soak up some extra light. Glass offers this same advantage in a more aesthetically pleasing package. Mesh is another nice porous option, especially in humid environments that allow the flowers to gradually soak up the moisture in the air through the mesh material. Wooden pots are an option, too, as long as they’re rot-resistant.
What size orchid pot should you buy?
As mentioned, most domesticated orchids tend to do better in squat pots that aren’t particularly deep. Too much extra room or depth will have to be filled in by extra potting soil, which has a tendency to trap water and may cause your orchid’s roots to rot. Your orchid pot should contain your plant’s roots snugly without cramming or squishing them. Anything more than 6 or so inches deep is likely too big unless you have a terrestrial (ground growing) variety of orchid.
The average orchid pot has a 4- to 6-inch diameter, which will suit almost all varieties of orchids. However, if you buy your flower as a seedling, you’ll want to start with a smaller pot (less than 4 inches in diameter) and then repot it into a container that is an inch wider than the previous one, but not any deeper. Miniature varieties may need a smaller than average pot as well. And some extra-large species of orchid may require something a bit bigger, around 7 or 8 inches in diameter.
Keep in mind that some orchid pots, usually plastic ones, can be placed inside a larger, more decorative flower pot if you so desire.
rePotme Slotted Clear Orchid Pots
These are classic plastic orchid pots with an optional colorful twist.
Pros: These plastic orchid pots have all the classic features necessary to grow your orchids as healthily as possible. They’ve got plenty of ventilation slots, not just along the bottom but along the sides and rim as well. The clear bodies allow you to see the roots as your orchid grows. They come in four different sizes, perfect for repotting, and you receive two in each size, so you have spares or are able to host multiple orchids at once. If you don’t plan on placing these pots in a larger container, they also come in several different colors for a more decorative look. A butterfly clip to help hold your growing orchid upright comes included with your purchase.
Cons: Some people like to put plastic orchid pots into larger, more decorative flower pots. You can do so with these if you want, but they may fit oddly or awkwardly into the larger container or vase since the bottoms aren’t tapered. Also keep in mind that they aren’t made of the sturdiest plastic on the market.
Bottom Line: These quintessential orchid pots are an excellent choice for just about any orchid variety. Whether you want to display several different-sized orchids around your home or you want a set to keep repotting your favorite flower, these transparent, well-ventilated plastic orchid pots have you covered.
rePotme Hexagon Ceramic Orchid Pot
This lovely ceramic orchid pot is the perfect blend of decorative, colorful, and practical.
Pros: This is an excellent orchid pot for those looking for something more colorful or ornamental. The hexagonal, vase-like shape is lovely and decorative; even the drainage holes on the sides are carved in aesthetically pleasing shapes that enhance the pot, as opposed to standard slots or holes. It’s also available in 10 possible colors, both solid and multicolored. The built-in protective saucer catches the water that trickles out the bottom drainage holes to protect your tabletops, and the padded feet prevent scratches.
Cons: This orchid pot is a bit more expensive than most, especially since you only get one pot rather than a set of multiple sizes. This also means that you don’t get any larger sizes for when it comes time to repot your orchid.
Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of ceramic orchid pods, you’ll love this vase-like model. It brings a colorful, glazed elegance to whichever room you place it in and displays your orchid to its best effect, yet it’s still functional and practical enough to keep your plant healthy.
Mkono 7 Inch Plastic Orchid Pots Set
These well-aerated double orchid pots are perfect for larger varieties that need a little more space than the average orchid.
Pros: This is another double-layered orchid pot featuring an inner liner with four rows of drainage and aerations slots on the sides and more on the bottom. The solid outer pot also has several holes at the base; this high volume of double drainage ensures your orchid’s roots don’t get overly soaked and start to rot. These pots are also larger than the average size, so they’re perfect for repotting orchids that have outgrown 6-inch pots or varieties that need more space than most.
Cons: As handy as the extra drainage holes on the two outer pots might be at clearing away excess water, that water does have to go somewhere. It might go all over your tables or countertops since these orchid pots don’t come with a drip tray or saucer to protect your furniture; you’ll have to provide your own. And while the bigger size is great for larger species of orchids, these pots will be a bit too big for the roots of most orchids to grow and thrive properly.
Bottom Line: Orchids that need a pot with a diameter above 6 inches aren’t as common, but they definitely exist and still need a proper orchid pot in order to thrive properly. Fortunately, this well-ventilated pair of orchid pots are sized to properly accommodate the needs of bigger orchids.
Atri Ceramic Orchid Pot with Holes
This porcelain orchid pot comes with good-looking aeration holes and a detachable saucer to keep potting soil off your countertops.
Pros: Made out of handcrafted and kiln-fired porcelain and glazed in a creamy white color, this is a sleek, aesthetically pleasing orchid pot that will bring some subtle elegance to your home. The drainage holes on the side add an extra small but effective decorative touch while letting water out, the air in, and keeping potting soil contained. (There’s also a drainage hole at the interior base.) Should the potting soil or water spill out the bottom or sides, never fear; this pot comes with a protective saucer to catch both and protect your furnishings. The saucer is also detachable if you prefer to do without. Should your orchid outgrow this pot and need to be switched to another, this particular orchid pot is great for a variety of other plants like succulents, peace lilies, or African violets.
Cons: Due to being handcrafted and made of a sturdier material, this orchid pot is a bit on the expensive side, especially since you only receive this single pot with your purchase. And as attractive as the white glazing is, it’s the only color choice that this particular pot is available in.
Bottom Line: This nice-looking porcelain orchid pot will suit just about any interior decorating style. Between the rounded shape and neutral cream shade, it’ll also pair well with orchids of various shapes and really make their colors pop.
Whether you’re a serious gardener or simply want an orchid or two around your house for decoration, you want to ensure that your new flower is properly cared for. The right orchid pot will help your orchid live a long, healthy life and enhance the flower’s natural beauty and color.