There’s no denying that, as any respectable houseplant collector would, we’ve also run into the problem of growing our plant collection faster than our planter collection.
Our first instinct is to scour thrift shops for cute and quirky plant pots to cover up the boring fake-terracotta plastic pots that plants usually come in. Using plastic pots makes sense from a business point of view: these pots are lightweight, easy to ship and easy to stack on the shelves. But they sure are unsightly once you bring them into your home.
Our thrift store habit notwithstanding, every now and then (when a special occasion arises) we opt for a more modern planter.
Here are a few trends we’re keeping an eye out for whenever we’re looking for a planter refresh.
1. Self-watering planters
A lazy plant owner’s dream or a perfectionist plant owner’s dream. Self-watering containers are all the rage nowadays because, as our houseplant collections grow, this type of pot can solve the problem for people with overwatering and underwatering tendencies alike. So if you forget to water your houseplants, or if your plants habitually get root rot from being overwatered, you should give these planters a try.
How do self-watering planters work?
They typically have a reservoir that you fill up once every couple of weeks (up to once a month, depending on its size). The plant draws water from the reservoir via a wick or by lowering its roots into the water.
Self-watering planters also come in handy when you go on vacation, so you can make sure you don’t return home to a crispy mess of a plant. (Check out other tips for taking care of your houseplants while you’re on vacation in this guide.)
2. 3D-printed planters
You may associate 3D-printing with producing technical parts. But 3D-printing techniques and materials can also be used to make beautiful works of art and elegantly designed pieces.
The beauty of this technique is that the final products are often made to order, so the production supply matches the demand, which makes this kind of planter a great option if you care about curbing wasteful overproduction.
And if you think that most 3D printing is done in plastic, rest assured, there are now other materials available, such as wood and bioplastics made of corn, coconut coir or cellulose. You can even get a planter that is fully biodegradable. For example, this planter from French design studio Minimum Design is made from a blend of sixty percent bioplastic made from corn and forty percent recycled wood fibers.
3. Mid-century Modern planters
The Mid-century Modern decorating craze has been around for over a decade, but we think it’s here to stay. The Mid-century Modern style is characterized by simple lines, fluid shapes, using natural materials and a lack of decorative embellishments. Even though the style itself was a North-American design movement post World War II, it was heavily influenced by the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian design.
Original Mid-century Modern planters are hard to come by (and usually very pricey or already in private collections), but MCM-inspired pots are just as beautiful. Have a look at this tall plant stand made out of red oak hardwood or this beautifully carved (and curved) wall planter from California-based Morse Studio.
4. Planters that incorporate crystals
Speaking of trendy comebacks, crystals are also back into the highlight. Whether they’re used for healing, cleansing or spiritual practice, crystals are rising in popularity with Millennials and Gen Z. And even if you don’t believe in alternative medicine or holistic practices, you can still enjoy the beauty of crystals in all shapes and colors - from the delicate rose quartz to the vibrant amethyst.
So it’s no wonder crystals have also made their way into houseplant decor trends too. This planter from Morse Studio has hematite inserts that shimmer in the light, while this artist chose to use crystals to create one-of-a-kind plant charms . But the most common way to incorporate geodes is by hand-pouring concrete planters. Take a look at this smoky quartz cluster planter from Earth and Gray.
5. Fabric planters
This may sound confusing, we know. Aren’t planters supposed to be sturdy and waterproof? Yes, and this is exactly what fabric planters can be too, if they’re made out of materials such as denim, cotton rope, hessian and jute. For example, Closed Mondays (a Brooklyn-based design and production studio) make theirs out of colorful rope. And zeynNY makes colorful indoor plant containers out of waterproof waxed canvas.
Some planters are made out of a plastic liner covered in fabric. These don’t look as nice, in our opinion, and the fabric tends to separate from the plastic pot in poorly-made designs.
6. Cottagecore planters
The heart of the cottagecore diehard fan is large enough to love many things: gardens and meadows, fungi and wildlife, cottages and creeks, old recipes and herbalism. So it's relatively easy to find a planter suited to any cottagecore interest. This is our favorite tree stump planter from Root Loot and our favorite handmade ceramic mushroom planter from Mostly Earth Ceramics.
We hope we’ve inspired a few of your choice of gifts this holiday season for the plant lover in your life. And if the plant lover you’re shopping for is yourself, more power to you. We fully support the joy that a healthy plant collection brings.