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Succulent in Terracotta pot A modern pot

How to pick the right pot for your succulent

You have just bought a beautiful succulent plant, one that will fit in your home perfectly. But now you wonder: "How do I choose the right pot?". Choosing the right pot is an important point to think about because it can be the difference between your plant thriving or dying when you care for it. Picking the best pot for your succulent is not all about getting the right color; it is the kind of container that makes the difference.

In this guide, we'll go over a few different topics:

At the end of this guide, you'll know which pot is right for you and your succulent and you'll be ready to give your succulent the best living conditions to help it thrive.

What should I look for when getting a pot for my succulent?

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Firstly, ensure the pot has a proper drainage system so that it prevents any excess water from gathering in the soil, this can be extremely harmful to the plant. Drainage is essential for the healthy growth of a pot plant.

As well as proper drainage, it is worthwhile to consider the material and size of the pot. If we keep that in mind, we have set out the best way to choose the right pot for your succulents in this guide.

What material is right for my succulent plant pot?

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The vital thing to remember when buying a succulent plant pot is the material from which it is made. Here are some of the more common materials used so you can pick which works best for you.

Terracotta and Ceramic Pots

Either of these makes a beautiful succulent container. They are ideal and work well both indoors and outdoors because they are made from breathable materials. In any event, succulents can typically deal with harsh climates like intense heat, and terracotta is the ultimate material as they soak up the heat.

Hanging terracotta pots A hanging pot

Tip: When planting succulents in either terracotta or ceramic pots, choose plants that can handle the frost better. That way, you will not have to move the containers inside during the winter months. Once planted, they can be heavy and hard to move!

Plastic Pots

Plastic pots are very light and easy to move around. However, as you have probably guessed, plastic does not have the breathable qualities like that of terracotta and ceramic pots. So, when you water your plants, it will not seep away or evaporate. For this reason, it is essential to make sure you use a good draining soil as well as create some holes in the plastic so that it can drain away. Succulents do not like sitting in water!

Wooden Pots

Although wooden planters are great containers, you must always make sure you treat the wood to stop it from rotting. If they're not too large and awkward to lift, they are great, as they can be moved. This will prevent your plants from getting too hot.

Wooden pot with succulent A wooden pot

Tip: If you use wooden planters, be sure to add a plastic container or pond liner inside it. This will not only help prevent any moisture from getting into the wood, causing it to rot but will also stop the plants from getting damaged. Their roots can rot in the moisture.

Glass Pots

Despite glass containers giving a contemporary look, without any drainage holes, they are impractical. Overwatering of succulents is probably the most common reason for the plants dying. It is important to remember that with any succulent, you need to have good drainage.

Metal Pots

Although metal pots may look cool and trendy, they are not suitable for this type of plant, ultimately because they are prone to rust, which can cause damage to the plants. If you decide to use a metal planter, be sure to use it in the short-term and then move them to a different type of container permanently. Long-term use of metal pots is not recommended.

How much space do I need in my pot?

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When you're putting your succulent in a new pot, you should leave at least 2.5 cm (1 inches) between the edge of the pot and your plant. This will give the plant plenty of space to spread and grow. If you intend to plant more than one succulent in your pot, again, leave 2.5 cm (1 inches) between each plant, so they have guaranteed growth room. This is crucial if you are thinking about creating a terrarium or garden with your plants.

While it is vital to allow your plants room to grow, avoid the impulse to give them too much space as this can also be counterproductive. When you give your succulent too much space, it could cause the plant to spread its roots out too far, too quickly. This can prevent the plant from growing correctly overall.

Tip: Light and water are the two vital things a succulent plant needs, primarily if you are grouping different types in a single pot. If you do not think about this carefully, the taller plants benefit from the light, and the shorter plants will suffer from a lack of it.

How deep should my pot be?

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One of the common mistakes beginning plant owners make when planting succulents is using a pot that is too deep. This can cause insufficient light to reach the plant. If the lower leaves of your succulent look unhealthy or seem to be rotting, planting them in a pot that is too deep could likely be the cause. In this case, planting your succulent in a pot that is less deep will help your plant to be healthier.

How deep should I plant my succulent?

Be sure that your plant is in the soil enough so that the lower leaves sit level with the rim of the pot (or a little higher). The exception of this rule is if you have planted your succulent in a glass container. In this case, sufficient sunlight will get through to the plant even if they are planted slightly lower down.

Why should I consider the roots of my succulent?

Ultimately, when choosing the best pot or container for your plant, their root system is an essential factor to note. They have two types:

Hair roots: these are fine, hair-like roots which grow on the soil surface where they can absorb moisture. The best type of pot for succulents with hair roots is a shallow pot.

Taproots: typically, these grow deeper in the soil in search of water. If your plant has taproots, then you must provide it with a deeper pot, which should be filled with wholesome and nourishing soil.


When you're picking the right pot for your succulent, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. What kind of roots does the succulent have, do you want to plant several in a single pot and do you want to move them easily? This guide answers those questions and after going through this guide, you'll have a much better idea of which pot is right for you and your plant.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: succulent, pot, soil, sun-loving

Posted on: Jun 6, 2020 Last updated on: Mar 7, 2021

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Frequently asked questions

What should I look for when getting a pot for my succulent?
The most important thing to look for is proper drainage. Succulents are easy to kill when overwatered, so proper drainage is essential. The material and size of the pot is also important.
What material is right for my succulent plant pot?
The material of your succulent pot depends on the kind if succulent and where you're going to place your plant. If you place the succulent in a very warm area, a terracotta pot is best. If you place your succulent in a dark place, a glass pot with proper drainage might be your best option.
How much space for my succulent do I need in my pot?
You need about 2.5 cm (1 inches) between the edge of the pot and your plant. If you add more succulents, then you need about 2.5 cm (1 inches) between the different succulents as well.
How deep should my succulent pot be?
If your succulent has hair roots, you want a very shallow pot for your succulent. If you have a succulent with taproots, a deeper pot will be a better choice.
Are the roots of my succulent important for choosing a pot?
Yes, the roots of your succulent are a very important factor when you're looking for a good pot for your plant. The thin hair roots on your succulent means you should choose a shallow pot and the thicker taproots mean you should find a deeper pot.

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