Finding the right indoor planters for your needs can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
There’s no question about it: indoor planters are incredibly versatile and can serve a ton of different purposes.
Whether you’re adding some uplifting greenery to your home, incorporating plants into your office space to boost productivity, adding planters into a hospitality environment to reduce noise transmission, improving a university campus, or using them to create healing hospital landscapes, the possibilities are virtually endless.
But with so much variety available to you, the idea of picking the perfect indoor planters for your needs can feel daunting.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Here are three things you need to understand before picking the perfect indoor planters.
1. Compared and Contrasted: Outdoor vs. Indoor Planters
Modern Elite indoor planters in foyer. Designed by Feigus Office Furniture
The first thing to know is the differences between indoor and outdoor planters. While they ultimately serve the same general purpose, there are some similarities and differences to keep in mind.
Durability and Hazards: Outdoor planters typically take a beating, between facing the elements to getting bumped, knocked, and scratched. But while indoor planters generally take a lot less abuse than their outdoor counterparts, it’s still important to consider where and how you’ll be using them because indoor planters in high-traffic areas won’t be immune to getting bumped and scratched either.
Drainage: Plants can’t have their roots sitting in stagnant water. Doing so will cause them to die. With outdoor planters, draining is a much less challenging issue due to the fact that runoff can be channeled in a way that ensures it doesn’t affect the surrounding area. But with indoor planters, you’ll need to consider how you can ensure the plant’s roots are not subjected to soil that is oversaturated with water.
Watering: The size of the plants — or trees — you want to keep in your indoor planters will dictate how much water you need. And while outdoor planters often receive watering from rain and are close to hoses or irrigation systems, indoor planters may not have the same conveniences. So, while you may be able to use a watering can for smaller indoor planters, you’ll need to think about what you’ll do about big plants and trees that require larger volumes of water.
Movability: Outdoor planters are often installed, filled with large plants or trees and soil, and left unmoved. And although indoor planters are fully capable of handling large plants and trees, they are also more frequently moved and relocated to modify the vibe and aesthetic of an indoor space. So, think about how likely you’ll need to move your indoor planters and factor this into your decision when purchasing.
Once you’ve considered these factors, you’re ready to start looking at the two biggest defining features of indoor planters.
2. Two Key Considerations for Indoor Planters
Modern Elite indoor planters at SUNY campus in Cortland, NY with casters
The last section might seem like a lot to keep in mind. But all of those factors can be encompassed within two main considerations for indoor planters:
Water Maintenance: Two of the common concerns with water maintenance challenges for indoor planters are draining and watering.
The good news is that there are simple fixes available for both of these issues.
To ensure that your plants’ roots aren’t sitting in stagnant water, you can do one of the following things:
- Fill the bottom of your planter with between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rocks or pebbles. That way, when the soil above the rocks becomes oversaturated, the excess water will drain into the rocks and slowly evaporate.
- Explore alternative planter fillers rather than soil, such as EZ Fill-ter Bags. Instead of filling your whole planter with soil, fill the bottom of the planter with EZ Fill-ter Bags, then the soil on top. This creates a spot for excess water to evaporate, which decreases the overall weight of the planter, thus decreasing the cost of planting as soil is expensive.
- Using plant risers such as the Lift and Level Kit to promote good air circulation and ward off potential disease.
If you’d like to learn more about this subject, check out our article: Optimal Plant Growth in a Planter Without Drainage Holes.
When it comes to watering, you can incorporate easy-to-use irrigation systems like the Ollie Round Plant Sipper or the Ollie Linkable Tank Plant Sipper.
These versatile water irrigation systems are easy to install and use, don’t require any electricity to operate, and reduce watering frequency and maintenance costs. They also eliminate the need to worry about having a convenient water source nearby.
And since they use capillary action — the natural means by which a plant obtains water — you won’t have to worry about under-watering or over-watering.
For more detail, check out our article: Optimal Plant Growth in a Planter Without Drainage Holes.
Material: Equipped with your understanding of the level of movability you’ll require as well as the potential risks your indoor planters will face, you can make an informed decision about the material that will be the best fit for your indoor planters.
For example, if there’s a high likelihood that your indoor planters will need to be moved frequently — or if they’ll be situated in a high-traffic area inflicted with run-ins — you might want to opt for something lightweight but durable, like powder-coated aluminum planters. These planters are significantly lighter-weight than you might expect and completely customizable from size, shape, and color.
If you don’t anticipate that you’ll need to move your planters quite as frequently and you’d like the ability to personalize the color to match your branding, fiberglass planters are a great option.
While aluminum and fiberglass planters are similar in terms of weight, fiberglass planters are less optimal for frequent relocation and overall wear-and-tear. Powder-coated aluminum planters, while more costly, will be a longer-lasting option under these circumstances.
Fiberglass planters are typically less costly, and their paint is a bit more prone to fading, but they are still a suitable choice for a commercial space with a tighter budget, less foot traffic, and a commercial product that is available in quite a few more shapes than aluminum that might fit the designs vision better.
On the other hand, when looking for indoor planters, it would be wise to shy away from certain metals. Things like COR-TEN weathering steel planters make an incredible and unique addition to outdoor spaces but, since they’re designed to form a natural patina over time, we don’t recommend them for indoor planters.
If you’d like to learn more, check out our Guide to Four Common Planter Materials.
3. What to Plant in Indoor Planters
ZZ plant in Modern Elite indoor planters at National Cancer Institute in Rockville, MD
Lastly, you’ll want to consider what types of plants you’re going to put into your indoor planters. This will have an impact on the size and shape of your planters. But most importantly, it will allow you to ensure you’re picking plants that will survive in your indoor planters.
When considering which plants to choose, here are a few things to keep in mind.
In an indoor environment, you most likely don’t want to be continually cleaning up debris from your plants. So, make sure to pick plants that don’t give off a lot of litter, such as leaves or branches.
It’s critical to remember that not all plants can survive in indoor environments, which typically offer lower levels of light and may present more in the way of hazards from being bumped or disrupted.
A few great options for plants that thrive in indoor environments are:
ZZ Plant: Originating in drought-prone Africa, the ZZ plant has become extremely popular because it’s attractive and tolerates neglect, making it one of the best indoor plants available. It was also proven as a powerful air purifier in a study from NASA.
Heart-Leaf Philodendron: There are few plants easier to grow than the Heart-Leaf Philodendron. And it makes a beautiful addition to any indoor space.
Monstera: Also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera is extremely easy to care for. It thrives in everything from bright to medium indirect light, making it a perfect indoor plant.
If you’d like to learn more about the best plants for your indoor planters, check out our article: The 10 Best Indoor Plants for Low-Light Spaces.
Picking the perfect indoor planters doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure you know what to look for and what considerations to make before you start shopping around.
If you’d like to learn about how to pick the right indoor planters for your space, contact us to speak with one of our experts today. We’re here to help answer any questions you might have.