Why are terracotta pots so expensive? | 5 Tips to save money on pots

Large terracotta pots can be incredibly expensive as due to the cost needed to transport them. Terracotta pots are bulky, heavy items which increases the cost of transport or postage. To save money on pots visit thrift stores to find second hand options or re-use materials like old ceramic cups to hold succulents.

Check out my top 5 tips to save money on terracotta pots below.

How to save money on pots

1. Recycle pots for succulents

Succulents are perfect for planting into recycled ceramic dishes and tea cups instead of pots. A cute tea cup with a chip can be turned into the perfect home for a little succulent. Place it on a sunny window and water every few weeks. This is a less expensive way to house your succulents rather than buying pots new.

2. Share with your neighbors

Friendly neighbors can be the perfect source of free pots. Chat to people living close by to see if they have any old pots sitting around they don’t need. Hard rubbish can often include plant pots so check out if your neighbors have finished with any of their own before going out to buy new ones.

Spray paint terracotta pots your favorite color and they are a great way to save money on pots.

Terracotta pots are perfect for decorating with your own patterns and colors.

3. Thrift shops

Thrift shops are the perfect place to pick up discount pots. You can pick up pots with fake plants and remove them or find used pots that just need a good clean. Pick up pots anywhere from $1-$5 at a Thrift shop and save money.

Mix a variety of pots together for a fun eclectic look.

4. Garage sales

Garage sales are the perfect place to pick up pots for a good price. These will definitely be less expensive than a new pot and are often sold with the plant still in them. Decide yourself whether you want to keep the plant it comes with or replace it with something new.

5. Keep your nursery pots

Keeping a stash of nursery pots that come from the plants you buy is the perfect way to save money. These are great for raising seedlings or cuttings and can be placed inside ceramic pots for a different look. 

When recycling these pots remember to disinfect them before planting something new. For more on this check out my previous article: How to disinfect plant pots without using bleach.

Keep your old nursery pots and clean them before reusing to save money.

Terracotta Pots without holes

Many people wonder why pots come without drainage holes and this is because they are mean to hold another pot. Pots without drainage holes are perfect for indoors and can hide a cheaper plastic pot. For all of my indoor plants I leave them in their original plastic pot and place them inside a pot without drainage holes.

As the plant gets bigger I can move it to a new pot and re-use the other one for a new plant or cutting. Pothos are perfect for taking cuttings as they will start growing roots within a week when a stem is cut off and placed in water.

Succulents are great for terracotta pots, but make sure there is a hole in the bottom.

Are expensive pots worth it?

Expensive pots with fancy design features can be the perfect addition to your garden if you are wanting to add interest or hide an ugly wall. One large pot can go a long way to change the look of a space and draw a person’s eye away from any area that you are trying to hide.

I have recently bought 4 large pots to house some Bird of Paradise plants that were at our home when we moved in. These pots look great, and I was able to save money because I didn’t have to buy the plants as well.

Protecting expensive pots from breakage is an important step once you have invested money in them. Make sure they are placed on a stable base away from walkways or where dogs and kids can knock them over.

Why are terracotta pots so good?

Air movement

Terracotta pots are good for your plants as they are porous so air and moisture can flow in and out of the soil. This is the perfect condition for Mediterranean herbs which like to dry out between watering and can rot if their roots are kept wet for too long.

Terracotta pots are also great for succulents as they also like dryer soil between watering. Succulents can be planted together with other varieties to form a cool, rustic display for outside.

Great patterns

Terracotta pots also form a nice patina or interesting pattern on the outside as they are used. These lines show the minerals moving from the soil and water through the pot. This can add interest as your pots start to age.

Less expensive

Terracotta can actually be less expensive than stone or concrete pots that are in your garden center. These pots can be painted using a sealer and then a spray paint to match your outdoor furniture or painted brightly for a pop of color.

For a terracotta pot pack ready to plant your succulents check this out from Amazon.

What is Terracotta?

Terracotta pots are made from a clay that has a dark red or orange color. The word Terracotta originates from an Italian word meaning “baked earth”. While terracotta is often used to make pots it can also be made into statues, roof tiles or water pipes.

The main feature of terracotta is that it is porous so when used to make plant pots the soil can breath and water can penetrate the pot and escape. This make them perfect for plants that like to dry out between watering like lavender, rosemary, thyme and succulents.

Are terracotta pots better for plants?

Terracotta pots are great for plants that do not like to have wet roots for a long time. This includes Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage, flowers such as lavender and succulents. The soil can breathe and water can move in and out easily. Terracotta can be sealed to keep more moisture in if you plant to plant moisture loving plants in the pots.

Bottom watering terracotta pots

Terracotta pots can be watered from the bottom by placing them in a terracotta or plastic tray. Fill the tray with water and allow the pot and the soil to draw the water up to the plant roots. After a few hours all of the water should absorbed out of the tray into the plant roots and soil.

Why are terracotta pots so expensive? | Summary

Terracotta pots can become expensive if you buy large sizes brand new. The tips top save money on pots include buying secondhand from thrift stores or garage sales, recycling old nursery pots and reusing pots as your plants get bigger. Invest in 1 large pot as a feature to home your favorite plant.