Nowadays, many people wrongly assume that using planters made from natural materials is the most important requirement for growing healthy plants. In reality, most potted plants stay healthy and thrive as long as the light, temperature, humidity, and soil nutrient content are tailored to the individual needs of each plant.
While the plant containers made from natural materials, such as terracotta pots, may have their own advantages, fiberglass planters deliver a series of benefits, including financial advantages, which have turned them into the preferred choice of many decorators, interioscapers, landscapers, interior designers, and commercial property owners. To understand the reasons why fiberglass planters are used more often than terracotta pots, let’s take a look at the features of these two planter options.
Currently, there are two main types of terracotta plant containers:
- Unglazed terracotta planters, which are very porous due to the multiple air pockets that are embedded within the structure of the material. These air pockets facilitate moisture and air transfer between the potting soil and the environment surrounding the plant container, which could be beneficial to plant roots. However, the more air pockets within the structure of terracotta, the less dense, and thus, weaker the material is. Because unglazed terracotta planters can absorb water and moisture from the air as well as from the potting soil, they often degrade due to exposure to acid rain and microorganism attacks. Exposure to UV radiation will also cause unglazed terracotta planters to become brittle over time, which may lead to a rapid deterioration of the material.
- Glazed terracotta planters, which are covered with a vitreous substance and fired in a kiln. As the glaze penetrates the surface of the planter, there are fewer air pockets within the material. This makes glazed terracotta pots less permeable, restricting the air and water transfer between the potting soil and the outside environment. Glazed terracotta planters also tend to hold up better to weathering compared to unglazed pots. But the problem with these pots is that most of them are glazed only on the exterior. As the inside isn’t glazed, these planters can absorb water from the potting soil just like the unglazed pots.
Whether glazed or unglazed, terracotta is a porous material.
As a result, terracotta planters are quite fragile, thus easy to chip or break if bumped, dropped, or tipped over. Additionally, if a terracotta pot absorbs water, and the temperature drops below freezing, the planter may crack due to the pressure the water exerts when it turns into ice.
Terracotta planters also tend to stain and develop mold and salt deposits over time. As well, they’re difficult to clean and disinfect. Because plant pathogens and insect eggs can survive for months on residue left in terracotta planters, reusing the same pots could expose your plants to different diseases and pest infestations.
Depending on the type of pathogen or pest, your plants may lose some of their leaves, begin to wilt, develop brown leaf tips and edges, or even die. This will affect both the curb appeal of your commercial property and your budget, as you may need to remove and replace some, if not all, of your plants.
Coming down to the reasons why fiberglass planters are the best choice for growing potted plants indoors and outdoors, the first thing that comes to mind is durability. Since fiberglass doesn’t have any pores or voids within its structure, it delivers a strong material that can easily withstand hot as well as cold weather, rain, snow, strong sun rays, and freezing temperatures. What’s more, the fiberglass and coatings that we use to manufacture our planters are of similar quality to the ones used in boats, exterior doors, bathtubs, and shower enclosures.
The combination of high-quality fiberglass, marine-/automotive-grade coatings, and strict manufacturing process controls results in premium products that are available in different shapes and sizes, including very large containers that are suitable for heavy landscaping. Two examples are the 63-inch-tall Congress Extra Large Round Fiberglass Planter and the 60-inch Montroy Cube Fiberglass Planter.
Unlike terracotta pots, our fiberglass planters can be easily cleaned and sterilized, as often as needed. Disinfecting plant containers is the most effective way to prevent plant diseases and pests from spreading when repotting plants.
Our fiberglass planters are also lighter than terracotta pots. Besides allowing for a more flexible design—as these planters are easy to relocate around your commercial property—the lightweight nature of this material translates into a lower shipping cost than that of terracotta pots. Furthermore, our fiberglass planters can be shipped un-drilled and fully watertight for indoor use, or can be pre-drilled with drainage holes for outdoor use. Considering all the features and benefits of fiberglass planters, choosing these planters over terracotta pots will inevitably translate into a better ROI for your business.