3 Great Ideas With Plants For Shallow Pots | How To Master Gardening Using Shallow Containers!


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In the bustling world of urban living, where space is every day becoming scarcer, the joy of gardening can sometimes feel like an unattainable dream. There are too many things one can potentially own that the thought of then adding nature into the mix leaves you with a picture of clutter more than anything. That's where plants for shallow pots can help you out.

A shallow pot is the secret weapon that makes it possible to transform even the smallest spaces into flourishing oases of greenery. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the possibilities when you use these containers.

To begin, we'll focus on what exactly makes a shallow pot a shallow pot, before then going into some advantages of using these containers. From there, we'll introduce some indoor plants to use for shallow pots. Finally, we'll get into the fun stuff--Our 3 favorite ideas for using plants for shallow pots! Regardless of if you're a seasoned gardener looking to expand your repertoire or a novice green thumb seeking an accessible entry point into the world of gardening, prepare to be inspired as we explore the art and science of cultivating plants in shallow pots.

See our collection of luxury Fiberglass Planters and get inspired!

What Are Shallow Pots?

commercial planters
©Plant Parents / Jay Scotts

When it comes to container gardening, shallow pots serve as versatile allies, offering a unique and distinct way to pot indoor plants.

But what exactly are they? As their name suggests, shallow pots refer to containers with relatively shallow depths. Unlike deeper pots, these planters prioritize horizontal space over vertical depth, thus allowing for the cultivation of plants with shallow root systems.

Shapes Of Shallow Containers

The shape of shallow pots can vary, offering gardeners a wide array of options that will suit their individual preferences. Some shallow pots come in the more traditional round shape, reminiscent of the classic terracotta container, while others showcase sleek and modern fiberglass designs with rectangular or square forms.

Want more inspiration? Check out these other great Container Garden Projects

Size & Dimensions Of Shallow Containers

When it comes to size and dimensions, shallow pots typically have a diameter ranging from 6 to 12 inches, and a depth that ranges between 4 to 6 inches. These dimensions strike a balance between providing ample space for plants to spread their shallow roots horizontally while still allowing for sufficient soil volume to retain moisture and nutrients. The relatively shallow depth of these containers makes them particularly suitable for greenery with a more shallow root system, such as succulents, herbs, and certain flowering varieties.

Learn everything about the best plant pot sizes!

Materials For Shallow Containers

There are numerous materials for shallow containers, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As it will take too much time to list them all, we'll leave you with one option that we believe to be the best overall. That one is fiberglass.

Not only are fiberglass planters extremely weather and temperature resistant, making them ideal for use in any petite space both indoors and out, but they are also stylish, lightweight, and low maintenance! Gardening with indoor plants, flowering plants, or plants with shallow roots is never as easy as when you use a fiberglass container.

Learn why fiberglass is the experts' top choice for planters!

Short planter on tabletop
©JBD Concepts

What Are The Advantages Of Shallow Containers?

planter with succulents on balcony
©Citiscapes / Jay Scotts

While you now know what shallow pots are and the material best suited for them, you might still be wondering about the advantages of using shallow pots. Let's take a look.

Space Optimization

First and foremost, shallow planters excel at making the most of limited space. Their compact size allows you to place them in smaller areas such as windowsills, balconies, or countertops, making them ideal for urban gardening or indoor gardening.


Shallow planters are often lightweight and easy to move around. This portability gives you the flexibility to rearrange your garden or bring your plants indoors during extreme weather conditions.

Do you think trees are the best indoor plants? If so, check out these 10 Small Trees For Pots for inspiration

Efficient Watering

A shallow pot typically requires less water compared to deep pots. Furthermore, their reduced depth allows for faster drainage, preventing overwatering and the risk of root rot. With the drainage holes that come in fiberglass planters, this because even more efficient. For these reasons, you'll find watering much simpler in shallow containers compared to deep containers.

Low Maintenance

Tying into the previous tip, a shallow pot is overall much more low maintenance than its deeper counterparts. They require less soil, reducing the weight and effort needed for potting and repotting. They also tend to dry out faster, which can be beneficial for plants that are susceptible to overwatering or if you've got a busy schedule.

Plants in an office? Find out more with this post on an Office Landscape

Creative Gardening

Lastly, because of their size and shape, shallow pots really allow gardeners to tap into more creative container gardening ideas. From potting super cute indoor plants to building a fragrant herb garden with your shallow pots, there are numerous unique ways in which to use a shallow container.

What Are The Best Plants For Shallow Pots?

If you don't know which plants to grow in shallow pots, we have listed various species of plants that are ideal for this type of container gardening. While we've separated the plants into specific categories, if you don't find what you're looking for here, you're going to want to follow the general guideline of using species with a shallow root system. Such plants work well in more shallow pots!

Indoor Plants

short planter on table
©The Plant Guy / JBD Concepts
  • Snake Plant
  • ZZ Plant
  • Pothos Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Peace Lily


succulents in a planter
©Jay Scotts
  • Echeveria
  • Haworthia
  • Sedum
  • Panda Plant
  • Aloe Vera Plant

Flowering Plants

  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • African Violet
  • Flame Violet
  • Prayer Plant

A Tropical Plant

  • Bromeliads
  • Pinstripe Plant
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Ti Plant
  • Elephant's Ear


  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Parsley

Other Plants

  • Ornamental Grasses
  • Sempervivum
  • Money Plant (Money Tree)
  • Bonsai Trees
  • Carnivorous Plants (such as a Venus Flytrap)

Above are a few of the best plants for shallow pots. Now, while you have an idea of a few plants to pot, if you decide on one, it's vital to consider its individual requirements. Does it like indirect light or direct sunlight? Does it have well-draining soil to drain excess water? Can it withstand lower temperatures? These are a few questions you might need to ask before you go ahead and purchase a plant for a shallow pot.

Check out these Container Gardening Trends before we get into our ideas of plants for shallow pots

3 Great Ideas For Using Plants In Shallow Pots

The Best Indoor Plants For Low Maintenance Gardening!

Kicking off our list of ideas for using plants in shallow pots, let's make life easy by focusing on the best indoor plants for low maintenance gardening. While using shallow containers makes container gardening pretty simple to begin with, by growing the right plant, it's possible to make it even simpler!

The most important aspect to master in this scenario is to ensure you're potting the right plant. Out of the ones listed in the previous section, we'd like to recommend a Snake Plant, Prayer Plant, or succulents like the Aloe Vera.

plants for shallow pots
©Plant Parents / Jay Scotts

All of these have a shallow root system that makes them ideal for potting in shallow containers. Furthermore, so long as you get their individual caretaking requirements sorted, you'll find these plants fairly low maintenance which makes your gardening experience that much more pleasant.

No matter what plant you opt for--whether it be a Snake Plant, Prayer Plant, or Aloe Vera--low maintenance gardening is one of the best ways to start introducing greenery into a space. Once you get comfortable with these indoor plants, then you can move on to more high maintenance choices!

More on simple gardening? Read up on Low Maintenance Commercial Landscaping

Your Own Tropical Paradise

With their lush foliage and vibrant colors, tropical plants have long been sought after for the exotic touch they bring to an indoor or outdoor space.

However, when you think of a tropical plant, what comes to mind? While grand and towering species like the Palm Tree might be your first thought, did you know you can have smaller variants of tropical plants? Let's find out how you could use these in small pots!

©The Gates MB / Jay Scotts

To start, choose a tropical plant such as the Pinstripe Plant, Bird of Paradise, or Elephant's Ear. These tropical plants grow well in shallow pots, making them the ideal choices for creating your very own mini tropical paradise. Once again, consider each plant's individual caretaking requirements for the best results. Some prefer indirect light while others love the warmth of the full sun--However, one thing's for certain with them all, as you'll be potting in shallow containers, you won't need to buy too much soil!

Once you have the plant ready, you could take this tip a step further by complementing the plant with decorative elements like pebbles, shells, or a water feature to enhance the tropical ambiance. With a carefully selected tropical plant in a shallow pot, you can infuse your space with the essence of the tropics and indulge in a captivating, year-round getaway.

Optimize Space With Vertical Gardening

As briefly touched upon, one of the advantages of gardening with shallow pots is the fact that you're able to make the most out of the space you have. This third and final idea expands on that by embracing the concept of vertical gardening. By doing so, it's possible to optimize even more space, thus leading to a satisfying gardening experience in small areas or urban environments.

To get started, consider how you could best take up the wall space of a room with trellises, hanging planters, or wall-mounted planters. While initially, these might seem complicated to use in your container gardening, really, all it takes is a bit of know-how.

Take wall-mounted planters for example. One of the simplest versions of this idea is to install a shelf on a wall and then have a shallow pot sitting on top of said shelf. For the most dramatic results, pot trailing plants like the English Ivy or Sweet Potato Vine for a waterfall-like display of green.

On the other hand, you could simply choose a variety of flowering plants for a blooming effect--What about Prayer Plants, a Flame Violet, or an African Violet? Once you start getting more comfortable with vertical gardening, you can really begin to drastically improve the look and feel of a space. After all, what provides a more jungle-like feel than nature spilling from above?

Check out these Plant Combination Ideas for more playful container gardening.

JBD Concepts Offer You Or Your Customers The Best Planter Solutions Available

©Plant Parents / Jay Scotts

All of our planters come with an industry-leading warranty for both residential and commercial use giving you peace of mind that your investment is safe, and the form, function, and beauty of your new planter will last beyond expectations.

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