Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
including planters, tubs and hanging baskets
There's no doubt that the basic black plastic pot is useful. Besides being cheap and durable, if you want to hide a plant amongst existing vegetation, it's easily camoflauged in the shadows.
On the other hand, if your pots are on show in a balcony or patio situation, you'll probably want something more attractive. With so many decorative containers widely available, there's sure to be something to match your outdoor theme. Pots can actually be a feature in themselves, with or without plants.
Suppliers of pots and pot plant accessories
The following advertisers may include online suppliers. For the most up-to-date information on plants in stock, opening hours, prices etc, be sure to visit the seller's website or contact the business directly.Most Garden centres, in addition to hardwares and variety stores, also offer lots of pots for sale. Some Landscape Supply Yards might also have some containers like half-barrels (real or fake) and planter boxes (call ahead to ask).
People looking for pots specifically designed for special types of plants (bonsai, orchids etc) might also like to try looking on the appropriate subject page. Specialist nurseries often supply pots appropriate for their plants. Site Search
You might have to seek out a dedicated pot shop if you're after the widest selection of decorative or extra-large pots. A specialist supplier may be required for something unusual like pots to fit a theme, unusual materials (metal, glass etc) or planting systems for difficult locations (vertical gardens etc). If you operate a business that specialises in plant containers or accessories for sale to the public in Qld, go to Information for advertisers.
For the most up-to-date information on opening hours, items in stock, prices etc, be sure to contact the business directly. The above list may include online retailers and mail order suppliers.
For suppliers of the larger types of galvanised wire plant shelves and shadehouse benches, try the Shadehouses Page. If you're interested in raised garden beds, try Garden Edging Products.
Do you sell planting containers to Qld? This page is intended to let Queensland gardeners know about various plant containers for sale to the public plus where to buy pots (plastic, terracotta, terrazo, ceramic, metal, reconstituted stone, fibreglass, resin, timber etc), hanging baskets, planter boxes, growing bags etc and associated items such as saucers, pot feet, pedestals, hangers and decorative pot holders or stands.
Perhaps you offer innovative planting systems? Perhaps your plant containers look like traditional earthenware pots but are made from lightweight synthetic materials more suitable for use on balconies or indoors? How about unusual metallic or stone-effect finishes? If your products are available to Queensland retail consumers, you can find out more about advertising on this page here: Information for advertisers.
Different materials and pot designs will have different properties with repect to water retention, overheating and stability, so factors such as overall size and shape (relative to the size of the plant), weight, durability, drainage will also be a consideration in the choice of pots and the way they are used.
Keeping the plant in a plastic pot and slipping that inside a more decorative container provides flexibilty, although this usually means wasting a lot of space in the outer pot. However, the air gap will help reduce the amount of heating caused by direct sun hitting the sides of the actual planting container. If you're still worried about overheating of roots, you could pack the gap with mulch or other insulating material.
Keeping water up to plants can be a challenge, especially in the hot dry conditions experienced over much of Qld, so look out for pots designed to conserve moisture. Some have a water reservoir with various mechanisms to supply the soil with water while avoiding waterlogging.
Simply sitting a pot in a saucer will provide a temporary water reservoir. This may be particularly useful if you have a big thirsty plant of trouble rewetting the mix. Problems may occur with waterlogging (and mosquito breeding) if the gardener is overzealous or if there is prolonged rain, so keep an eye on those pots.
Some containers have been developed for specialised garden applications or to suit certain types of plants. Check out orchid nurseries for special orchid containers, bonsai nurseries for bonsai pots and so on. Such places are probably also good for specialised potting mixes and fertilsers.
Other Information Online
These links are for general information and research - some of the specific details contained on the following pages might not be appropriate for Australian conditions.
Containers for Growing Plants An overview from Missouri Botanical Garden
Line Pots To Conserve Moisture Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information, University of Arizona
Houseplants: containers Colorado State University
Using Clay or Plastic Posts? University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Faux Pots: The New Planters Synthetic subsitutes for traditional materials. University of Wisconsin
Polystyrene Planters Are More Than Plastic Pots Iowa State University
How to make your own self-watering pot Green Culture Singapore
Homemade self-contained gardening systems A how-to guide from Josho
Gardening in Wood Barrels Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information, University of Arizona
Make landscape containers that look like stone with hypertufa Extension Service Garden Hints, Oregon State University
How to make hypertufa for garden containers and accents Extension Service Garden Hints, Oregon State University
Making Your Own Hypertufa Pots Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information, University of Arizona
How to Make your Own Container Post about making hypertufa at the Container Gardening blog
A Place to Take Root The History of Flowerpots & Garden Containers in North America. Check out the articles about this exhibition
Place to Take Root Exhibition More on the exhibition, including photos and information about some of the pots on display. Botanic Garden of Smith College, Massachusetts
Travelling Pot Exhibit at RBG Centre Another article about the above exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada
Unusual, Antique, and Collectable Containers Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Terra Cotta Information on traditional Nepalese terracotta. Spiny Babbler Museum, Nepal
POT - TER MANIA Example or terracotta pots in India, at the India Garden blog
Shopping in Thailand - more fun than Disneyland Adeniums in a large Thai plant market. (check out the terracotta pots at the end of page 2)
Plants & Japan a fascinating range of information and pictures about plants and gardening in Japan. Check out the range of highly specialised containers and cultural methods developed to grow particular plants
Water Requirements of Three Foliage Plants in Self-Watering Containers Affected by Indoor Light Intensity and Plant Type University of Florida
Hanging Baskets some general tips from University of Florida
Pelargonium wall Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (note how the overhead pots are watered)
Plastic Pot Recycling at Missouri Botanical Garden
Biodegradable pots research
An American study which looked at strength, water loss and decomposition of plant containers made from various types of biodegradable materials shows that for successful use in nursery production, choice of pot will depend on the type of plants and conditions under which they are being grown. Media release including link to the HortTechnology journal article here: New information provides sustainable options for greenhouse operations (April 2011)
Would you pay more for sustainable pots?
In a study at Purdue University in the USA, participants were given money asked to bid in a silent auction on plants in pots made of various materials. Results indicate that consumers there are indeed willing to pay more for plants in "sustainable" pots, although pots made from rice hulls or wheat achieved a higher price than pots made from straw. Read more at the Purdue University website: Auction shows consumers will pay more for sustainable flowerpots (April 2010)