Pots, planters and vessels to amp up the drama in your indoor garden

Pots and planters can add new life to a space. Here are some of our favorites.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

When it comes time to select vessels and pots to contain our indoor plants and greenery, the hardest part is choosing between an assortment of designs in every size and shape imaginable. Styles of pots can range from minimalist, modern and architectural to rustic, bohemian and vintage.

“It’s not just something to hold the plant,” said Stephen Block, owner and curator of Culver City-based Inner Gardens. “Whether you are purchasing new, vintage or antique, the planter is part of the decor, and it needs to add to the room and the design.”

In our research, we found three major points you should consider as you pick a decorative home for a new favorite plant.


Seeds of inspiration: Well-designed planters are a perfect marriage of form and function. They offer a quick, easy and, in many cases, affordable way to refresh a space through color, texture and personality. Pots with sculptural and organic shapes can add visual drama to a room, while plant stands and hanging pots will give you a chance to put greenery at varying eye levels around a space. And yes, the size of the pot matters. (We like big pots and we cannot lie!)

“Scale is a big deal,” Block said. “You don’t just get a 16-inch pot for a 15-inch plant; you also need to scale the size of the planter to the height and width of the plant or tree — and also to space.”

A tale to tell: Telling a story through home accessories is essential for creating a room rich in personal history and individual style. Include pieces from local artists and favorite makers in your collections to lend a sense of novelty and place. Invest in heirloom-quality containers to showcase a favored era or design influence. Create decorative tableaux by using groupings of pots in a similar color or style.

Most of all, the best containers add soul to a space. “It’s part of the joy of collecting them,” Block said.

Besotted with potted: Check for drainage holes on the bottoms of pots. Planters without holes, sometimes called cachepots, will require the addition of landscape rocks and charcoal horticultural soil for drainage or the use of a smaller, secondary interior pot that can be removed for watering.


Pots for plants

Raya pot
Raya pot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Striped ceramic Raya pot, $34 at Poketo,

Dolores pot
Dolores pot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Small ribbed Dolores pot, $15 at the Sill,

Even Steven pot in black-and-white resin
Even Steven pot in black-and-white resin.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Even Steven pot in black-and-white resin, $145 at Hawkins New York at the Row DTLA,

Vintage French cast iron urn with swan handles.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Vintage French cast-iron urn with swan handles (circa 1930), $3,500 (one of four available) at Inner Gardens,

Tapered ivory planter
Tapered ivory planter.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)


Tapered ivory planter with gold stand, $54.99 at World Market,

Plaxl Planter in blue shino glaze.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Plaxl planter in blue shino glaze designed by Los Angeles artist Bari Ziperstein, $1,500 at Bzippy & Co.,

The Circle Pot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The hanging Circle Pot, $115 in orange at Potted,

Preta caged brass hanging planter
Preta caged brass hanging planter.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Preta caged brass hanging planter, $32 at Poketo,

Terrazzo Banjo pot
Terrazzo Banjo pot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Terrazzo Banjo pot by Capra Designs, $115 at Hawkins New York at the Row DTLA,

"Naked" Louise brass cachepot
“Naked” Louise brass cachepot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)


“Naked” Louise brass cachepot, $85 at Hawkins New York at the Row DTLA,

Sonora hand-painted terra-cotta pot
Sonora hand-painted terra-cotta pot.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Sonora hand-painted terra-cotta pot with leather hanging straps, $38 at Poketo,

Vintage French Diablo planter
Vintage French Diablo planter.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Vintage French Diabolo planter in fiber cement by Will Guhl (circa 1970), $1,450 at Inner Gardens,

Story Planter
Story Planter.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Black five-piece Story Planter by Afteroom, $395 at Design Within Reach,