Select Best Succulent Pots? | Choose Right Size, Material

Succulent plants require a well-draining potting mix, the proper watering schedule, and bright light to thrive. It is also essential to choose a succulent pot that is suitable for the size of the plant. Containers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials.

If you have a well-drain succulent potting mix, but the container does not have suitable drainage holes and is large enough, it keeps waterlogging at the bottom. The size of the pot is also important, as the pot is larger than the plant, and the soil mixture will take longer to dry.

This waterlogging can lead to succulent root rot or stunting the plant’s development.

So you can understand how crucial it is to choose the best pot for succulents. Hence you need to pay more attention. When choosing pots for succulents, you need to consider many factors. We will discuss all these factors one by one.

Choose Right Succulent Pots

How to Choose Right Succulent Pots.

Good succulent pots can make your succulent happy and healthy. When selecting a home for your succulent first, you have to check the size.


Succulents Pot Size – Right size pot for my plant?

Does pot size matter for succulents? Yes. It is a crucial factor when choosing the right pot for succulents. Too small or too large cactus or succulent containers cause problems.

The size of the container is a critical component in water retention. When the size of the container is larger than the size of the plant, the potting mixture takes longer to dry up. This high moisture retention can lead to succulent root rot. On the other hand, suppose the pot is smaller, then the root system compress and tangles. It can reduce your succulent health and growth.

The height of the pots is also important. These arid plants do not develop a larger root bowl. As a result, deeper pots are not appropriate.

Succulents and Cactus prefer shallow pots. A pot that is 2 or 3 inches larger than the edge of the plant is the best size. This measurement will give enough room to grow the plant. More than that is considered as a larger pot.


Drainage Holes.

This is one of the most important factors to consider choosing the right succulent pot. Succulents do not like to sit on wet soil. These arid houseplants are more sensitive to moisture. It is crucial to have a drainage hole large enough to allow excess water to flow out easily.

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Succulent Planters pots Drainage hole
Succulent pots Drainage hole

Always choose a succulent pot with a good drainage hole; if it does not have larger holes, you can extend it using a drill. Unfortunately, most of the glass pots do not have a bottom hole. Therefore these types are not suitable for succulents.

You may see that some of the succulents arrangements use pots that do not have drainage holes (terrarium). These containers have special soil arrangements than the regular succulents.


Material – The best material for Succulent cacti pots.

When it comes to the material, it is also an important thing that you should concern about. Because some of the materials are not the right choice. While choosing the right pot for succulents, you have to select the material that supports the plant growth.

Porcelain: Porcelain pots made out of clay-type materials fired at high temperatures (over 2,000°F 1,000°C). Then apply glaze to waterproof and make it strong. Therefore succulent plant pots made from porcelain do not absorb moisture and keep the wall dry all the time. These are great for indoor as well as outdoor locations. Porcelain pots have a nice aesthetic.

On the other hand, one of the most significant drawbacks is that when the porcelain succulent pots expose to extreme temperatures, the outer layer gets hot or cool. However, these containers have thick walls; therefore, that heat or cold less likely to damage the roots. Other cons are heavy and breakable. Another cons is since porcelain pots apply glaze, they are not breathable. Therefore it does not help to absorb potting soil moisture.


Ceramic: Ceramic pots are also made of clay-type materials fired at higher temperatures (over 2,000°F 1,000°C), like porcelain. These pots also applied a glaze in the outer and inner layers. Ceramic pots are suitable for indoor and outdoor not only that these pots seem pretty lovely.

Ceramic pots have a thicker wall. Due to that advantage, plant root bowls can protect against adverse climates like extreme temperatures. Another cons ceramic material is heavy and breakable.


Terracotta: Terracotta succulent pots are made of clay and fired at high temperatures, but not as high as porcelain or ceramic. Unlike porcelain and ceramic, these containers do not apply a glaze which means they are unglazed pots. As a result, this material absorbs moisture readily.

The most significant advantage of terracotta material is it can absorb potting mix moisture. This is helpful to keep your plant soil mix dry. The biggest cons are when the pot exposes to freezing cold; terracotta pots can crack. Also, if the succulents potting mix does not well drain, these pots help keep excess moisture and lead to succulent root rot.


Plastic: This is another good solution. Plastic pots are lighter and come in various colors at a lower price than other available options.

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These plastic containers do not absorb water that is the major cons of this type of pot. These plastic containers do not have thick walls, so the pot mixture and soil can be easily exposed to high heat or cold.


Metal: Containers made of metal are not durable. Over time, iron buckets can become rusted due to water retention. Stainless steel contains can get a bit of extended protection.

Another major drawback is that these metal pots do not provide good insulation to the root system from exposure to high temperatures. Moreover, unlike terracotta, metal pots cannot absorb potting mix moisture.


Wood is also another good solution. However, some of the woods retain moisture. When choosing the right pot for succulents, the ideal material is laminated or coasted glue woods. These wood preservatives prevent the container from decaying and protect its durability. Since woods succulent containers have thick walls, it helps the plant root bowl protecting against extreme temperature. This is one of the significant pros of wood succulent pots.

When the pot waterproof, it is not a breathable pot. Therefore it limited the potting mix excess water absorb.

Glass: Glass succulent and cactus pots are mainly used for terrariums. However, we can use these pots for succulents and cacti. Therefore always choose glass containers that have a drainage hole.

Unlike other materials, these containers nice-looking and useful for indoor. The biggest cons are glass is fragile and non-breathable. Therefore these pots, do not help absorb the potting mix moisture level. Consequently, you have to handle it more carefully.


Cement/titanium: These materials can absorb moisture like terracotta pots. However, with the help of ambient temperature, container walls absorb water and evaporate quickly. Concrete or titanium containers also suitable materials for cacti and succulents.

The main disadvantage is titanium/concrete succulent pots are heavier.

The recommended succulent plant pot materials are ceramic, terracotta, plastic, wood, or even cement or titanium. These materials do not absorb moisture. Pots that are made out of either clay and steel are not recommended. These materials retain water for a longer period and not durable.


Succulents woods pots


Pot Type Pros Cons
Porcelain Pots
  1. Waterproof.
  2. Suitable for indoor and outdoor.
  3. Available attractive design.
  1. Not breathable.
  2. Fragile.
Ceramic Pots
  1. Waterproof.
  2. Suitable for indoor and outdoor.
  3. Available in many designs.
  1. Fragile.
  2. Not breathable.
  3. Bit heavier.
Terracotta Pots
  1. Suitable for indoor and outdoor.
  2. Help to absorb soil mix excess moisture.
  1. Fragile.
  2. In Freezing temperature can break.
  3. Bit heavier.
  1. Lighter.
  2. Price is lesser.
  1. Non-breathable.
  1. Available in many designs.
  2. Attractive.
  1. Nonbreathable.
  2. Not durable.
  1. Breathable.
  2. Available in much fancy design.
  1. Can decay over time.
  1. Available in nice-looking.
  1. Most of the pots come drain hole less.
  2. Fragile
  1. Breathable.
  2. Durable.
  1. Heaver.
  2. Limited design.


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Do succulents need deep pots?

Succulents do not need deeper pots, and it is harmful to use such containers. These plants have shallow root bowls. When the succulent planting pots getting more profound, it retains higher moisture at the bottom of the container than regular pots. This does not necessarily mean that shallow pots are the best. You have to pay more attention when planting smaller plants in larger pots. Therefore always follow the above pot size selection guideline.


Can Succulents Stay In Small Pots?

Succulents can stay in small pots until the plant has outgrown its current pot. Since succulents do not grow faster, these plants can remain in the current pot longer without interfering with growth. Generally, these plants can stay in small succulent pots over 18 months without any issue.

Once the plant has outgrown, you can identify it closely by checking the plant and soil appearance. You can read more about how to repot outgrown succulents and cactus.


Can succulents grow in pots without holes?

Succulents and cactus can grow in pots without holes. However, they need special arrangements—this arrangement call terrarium. When growing succulents in pots without drainage holes, a different potting mix is used than when growing succulents in regular pots.


Should you put rocks in the bottom of a succulent cactus pot?

Adding a piece of gravel or rock to the bottom of a pot can prevent the drainage holes from clogging the potting mixture. However, putting layers of gravel or rocks does not improve the overall container drainage or aeration. If you can find a mesh pad or something similar, it is more beneficial than adding a layer o gravel or rock.


Do succulents need deep or shallow pots?

Succulents have a shallow root system. When the succulent is planted in a pot larger than its root system, it needs to fill more potting soil and therefore needs to apply more water. In this case, the potting soil takes a longer time to dry, which causes your succulents’ root rot.

When the pot is more profound, it takes a longer time to dry out to the bottom soil (subsoil). This is not good for plant overall health. Succulents and cacti prefer shallower pots that can help potting soil quickly dry out. This will help to make your succulents healthier and happier.

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