We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to make it easy to choose the perfect pot for your orchid.
Some people say orchids are tricky to care for. Other growers call them fussy or difficult plants. But, truly, you only need to master a few basics to grow a thriving orchid.
Of course, your orchid needs sunlight, adequate water, and the right fertilizer. But your orchid also needs one more important staple to grow comfortably. And sometimes this staple is overlooked.
Your orchid needs the right pot.
Many houseplants will adapt to their potting conditions or make do with whatever pot you have handy. But growing a healthy orchid requires a pot with few particular features. Namely, your orchid pot should provide the perfect conditions for your orchid to drain after watering and adequate space for its roots to grow.
Whether you’re new to growing orchids or you’re a seasoned professional, this ultimate guide will help you buy the best pot for your most beloved orchid plants.
Below are 5 orchid pot features you’ll want to consider as you browse the rows of pots at your local nursery or choose one online.
Orchid Pot Feature #1: Drainage
Arguably the most important feature of your orchid pot is its drainage holes.
Orchids don’t do well in pots that hold water. Pots without drainage holes keep the growing medium damp, and your orchid will be prone to root rot in these conditions.
It’s important to avoid over-watering your orchid, and a pot with multiple drainage holes will help dry out the growing medium quickly. In other words, a well-draining pot is your orchid’s best friend.
Buying a pot without adequate drainage holes (or none at all) might be the number-one mistake new orchid growers make.
Professional Tip: The best orchid pots will have multiple drainage holes to allow water to easily run through the growing medium and out of the pot.
Orchid Pot Feature #2: Ventilation
Another unique feature of the ideal orchid pot is that it allows air to reach your orchid’s roots.
Orchid roots need airflow to stimulate absorption of moisture and nutrients. Without adequate airflow to its root system, your orchid can suffocate and will eventually die.
Proper ventilation holes help aerate the growing medium and encourage the mix to dry. Since your orchid doesn’t enjoy sitting in wet conditions, this feature will go a long way to keep your plant happy.
Ventilation features can come in many shapes and sizes. Some pots have holes or multiple slits in the pot’s side. Be careful when choosing a pot with large ventilation holes since these can be a bit frustrating. Large ventilation holes often allow your orchid’s growing medium to leak out of the pot, which ultimately requires additional orchid care and attention.
Professional Tip: When choosing an orchid pot, it’s best to pick one with plentiful small ventilation holes.
Orchid Pot Feature #3: Transparency
Perhaps one of the most unique features of the orchid’s root system is that it thrives in sunlight. This is a feature that most of us overlook when we think about plant roots and plant care.
A transparent orchid pot allows sunlight to nourish your orchid’s roots. This encourages new growth and stimulates absorption of nutrients from the growing mix and other growing mediums.
Transparent pots also allow you to keep an eye on your orchid’s root health. It can be a bit difficult to monitor root health in opaque pots. When you use a transparent orchid pot, you’ll be able to easily identify when your plant’s root system is too compact. This is a good sign that it’s time for repotting.
Professional Tip: When buying a new orchid pot, consider one that’s transparent so your plant’s root system can absorb optimal sunlight. A transparent pot will also allow you to keep an eye on the health of your plant’s root system.
Orchid Pot Feature #4: Size
Interestingly, the size of your orchid pot is essential to your orchid’s health.
If your orchid pot is too small (a common problem), then your orchid won’t produce new growth. Your plant can easily become unhappy in a pot that restricts its root system.
If your orchid pot is too big, your orchid’s root system won’t be able to get adequate light or air—two essential properties for orchid health. The plant can be easily overwhelmed with too much growing medium. If your orchid’s roots are lost in the pot, your ventilation holes won’t be able to allow air to reach the roots.
Professional Tip: When you repot your orchid, choose a pot that is slightly bigger than your current pot. For this reason, it’s best to take some quick measurements of your orchid’s pot before you shop around for a new one. This way, buying a slightly larger pot will be easy.
Orchid Pot Feature #5: Material
Like all plant pots, orchid pots come in a variety of materials. Of course, the type of material you choose for your orchid pot will depend on two things: your plant’s needs and your budget. Each type of pot material has its own pros and cons. We’ll briefly cover some of them here to make your buying process a bit easier.
Glass orchid pots
One of the key features of glass orchid pots is its transparency. Glass pots make it easy for your plant’s root system to absorb sunlight, and they make it easy to monitor your orchid’s root system.
Glass pots, however, are typically heavy and more expensive than lightweight pots. You’ll also want to make sure you buy a glass pot with pre-drilled ventilation and drainage holes, since it’ll be difficult to add those features yourself.
Plastic orchid pots
Plastic orchid pots are sunlight- and ventilation-friendly. They’re easy to use, won’t break your budget, and they allow for modifications like adding additional drainage and ventilation holes. Plastic pots, however, aren’t always ecologically friendly, and they aren’t as durable as other pots made of sturdier materials.
Wooden basket orchid pots
Perhaps the number-one feature of a wooden basket orchid pot is its ability to drain well. Wooden baskets are typically hung, a nifty way to use gravity to encourage water runoff. These orchid pots are usually environmentally friendly and reusable, though they can be a bit more expensive than pots made out of plastic.
Ceramic orchid pots
Ceramic pots are perhaps the most stylish. They come in both matte and glazed finishes and are found in a myriad of colors and designs. These can be the most expensive orchid pots, but your investment will go a long way to enhance the plant’s already elaborate aesthetics.
Ceramic pots are durable, reusable, and often unique. The pots, however, don’t always come fitted for orchid success since they prevent sunlight from reaching the roots and don’t lend themselves to easy modification.
Professional Tip: When choosing an orchid pot, consider the pros and cons of each material type. Remember, the best orchid pots will have features that allow for good drainage, ventilation, root space, and sunlight.
Bonus Orchid Growing Tip: Use orchid fertilizer
Once you’ve chosen the perfect pot for your orchid, you’ll want one more feature to encourage your orchid to bloom: the right orchid fertilizer.
Some orchid feed can leave you guessing about how much fertilizer product to use. With our unique Premium Orchid Food, you can’t go wrong. It’s made especially for orchids and has their needs foremost in mind.
Premium Orchid Food is gentle so it won’t harm your orchid, and it’s liquid, which is an optimal delivery method for orchids since it’s easily absorbed. Our fertilizer is also designed to be used every time you water, so your plant gets a steady dose of fertilizer to encourage plant health, growth, and bloom. It’s like a multivitamin for your plant.
Our fertilizer is also beginner-friendly and easy to use. Add the recommended dose of fertilizer to your water routine—it’s that simple. No guesswork, no risk of burning your orchid, and no counting days or weeks between fertilizing.
With the right orchid pot and the right orchid fertilizer, you’ll be well on your way to nurturing an orchid plant that shows off its stunning blooms year after year.