Windsor Greenhouse - 10 Different Types of Containers-terracotta planters

Container Garden University: 10 Different Types of Containers

Eager to start designing your container gardens? Bn types of plants than others. 

Think about the kinds of plants you want to grow, the overall design aesthetic you’d like to achieve, and your budget. Then, you’ll be better able to choose the best containers for your garden. Here are ten common types of garden containers and their basic features.


This natural clay material has a nice warm tone that feels classically Mediterranean. Terracotta is porous, so moisture evaporates more quickly than other garden containers. Choose drought-tolerant plants like native Echinacea and Rudbeckia or succulents and cacti. Plants that crave consistently moist soil, like ferns and fuchsias, won’t be happy in terracotta.

The best terracotta comes from Italy, and these pots can last for decades without cracking. However, cheaply made terracotta is much more likely to crack. To test the quality of your terracotta, place the pot upside down on a flat surface and tap the bottom edge with a metal butter knife. If it makes a ringing sound, it’s good quality, but if it makes a thud, it’s the cheap stuff.

Windsor Greenhouse - 10 Different Types of Containers-concrete planter

Concrete Planters

Concrete garden containers have a cool, neutral colour and are often poured into cubist shapes, creating an ultra-modern, effortlessly artsy look. Concrete insulates your plants from temperature shifts and doesn’t release moisture as quickly as terracotta. However, it is very heavy, so large concrete planters are not easy to move around if you want to switch up the layout of your container garden. 

Metal Planters

Corrugated metal has an urban, industrial look that feels edgy yet stylish. The thing is, it heats up in the sun, so you’ll need to choose drought-tolerant plants. Water consistently, early each morning, to help protect your plants’ roots from hot temperatures. 

Windsor Greenhouse - 10 Different Types of Containers-vertical herb garden

Mixed Herb Planters

These nifty pots have several openings coming out from the sides where you can plant different edible herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, and dill. Simply fill the pot with soil, add all your different herbs into the openings, and it will be so much easier to tell them apart. 


Want to make some DIY garden containers? Hypertufa is similar to concrete but with a chunkier, more rustic look, and they’re more lightweight. Mix perlite, peat moss, and quick-setting concrete, then pour it into a planter mould (you can find tutorials online). Hypertufa is more porous than concrete, so you’ll need drought-tolerant plants like natives or succulents for this kind of planter. 

Windsor Greenhouse - 10 Different Types of Containers-bag planter for potatoes

Grow Bags

We love grow bags because they’re so easy to pack up and store over the winter without taking up too much space! They’re made from a porous material similar to felt, so you won’t have to worry about overwatering. It allows the roots to breathe, and they don’t trap in heat, so plants grown in grow bags often have very healthy root systems.

Self-Watering Pots

If you have an issue with remembering to water your container gardens consistently, then self-watering pots will be a lifesaver. These have built-in reservoirs that store and distribute water to your plants at the root level, so they stay hydrated for much longer. 

Windsor Greenhouse - 10 Different Types of Containers-reused container gardens

Upcycled Container Gardens

Practically anything with a concave reservoir can be a garden container with a little creativity! If you want to reduce waste and go the eco-friendly route, give some old junk a new life as a beautiful planter! We’ve seen people successfully upcycle all these items:

  • Bathtubs
  • Chests of drawers
  • Toy chests
  • Teacups
  • Canoes
  • Typewriters
  • …and so much more!

Resin Planters

If you love the look of concrete or stone, but you’re worried the heavy material might damage your porch (or your spine), opt for resin! This faux stone is composed of stone aggregates mixed with plastic resins or fibreglass, so they’re more lightweight but still have that classic stone look we love. They’re also super resistant to frost and cold temperatures!

Plastic Pots

Perhaps the most budget-friendly option, plastic pots are lightweight, frost-proof, and super durable. They come in every colour imaginable, so if you want your container garden to be ultra-vibrant and whimsical, you can find all sorts of adorable plastic pots that won’t break the bank. 

Want to explore different types of garden containers in British Columbia? While we don’t carry everything listed in this blog (we’ll leave the upcycling to you!), we do have a wide variety of containers that are sure to make your garden look fabulous. Visit Windsor Gardens in Abbotsford to see everything available for 2022!