Planter Shape Guide | Why Pot Shapes Matter


You may have read in our previous blog post on planter size and learned that size does matter and it does affect the health of the plant. However, container size is also determined by shape, and some shapes create a large pot, whereas others may be tall, but from the perspective of the plant, these styles may be too small!

The general issue is that a larger pot can allow the plant to grow even bigger than it normally would. A smaller pot may damage the plant's roots, and hinder its growth. That's why it is important to measure both the plant and the container, to ensure you choose the right pot.

Explore our guide to planters; sizes, and styles.

Luckily, JBD Concepts fiberglass planters are available in a variety of sizes, to suit your every need. But we aren't here to talk about size, let's talk about the shapes of your containers!

Does Pot Shape Matter?

The answer is yes, pot shapes matter just as much as size. This is really for two reasons:

  1. The shape of the pot affects the container volume. The amount of soil your pot contains is dependent on the volume of the pot. If the pot contains more, your plant will have access to more nutrients. This will, in turn, benefit the health of your plants.
  2. The shape will determine if it is a wide or narrow pot, similarly, if they are shallow containers or tall pots. This is an important consideration because if the container is too short and narrow, the roots of a plant may become damaged as they are restricted or don't have adequate space to grow. If the container is too wide for the plant, it will struggle to absorb the water from the soil. This may stunt growth as the plant wouldn't get enough nutrients.

It is commonly thought that the shape of the pot also affects drainage, this is not strictly true as the drainage is dependent on what is inside the pot.

A good place to start with this is always to choose a pot with a drainage hole. Another thing to educate yourself on is the perched water table.

Perched Water Table

Okay, so in a nutshell, gravity affects everything, and your container is no exception.

When you water a plant, the water is pulled to the bottom of the container, and eventually through the drainage hole. The only thing is, is that at the same time, the soil in your pot is trying to suck the water back up.

The result of these opposing forces is that the bottom layer of soil is always saturated, this is known as the perched water table.

This is where shape comes into play. If you take various sizes of containers, water them equally, and fill them with exactly the same growing medium, the perched water table will be at the same height. A short container will have one at the same height as a large container, and therefore, a greater volume will be taken up with saturated soil.

It is important when choosing a container to consider how close the roots will be to the bottom. If the roots are too close to the perched water table, it is possible that they will develop root rot.

Root rot can occur when the roots are overly moist for a long period of time and it can ultimately lead to the death of your plants if it isn't diagnosed early.

Minda Daughtry from the agricultural education organization NCSU, suggests these problems can be minimized through proper irrigation, fertilization, and the use of well-aerated soil and other amendments.

How Different-Shaped Containers Affect Your Plants

Square Pots

Square pots such as the Cuba Low Corner Planter have the aesthetics of something neat and tidy, and they embody that image in their functionality also.

Square containers are extremely practical as they are well-suited to whatever location you wish to place them in. This is because they can fit into the natural corners of any indoor space, like a room, shop, office, or even restaurant.

This functional trait also suits growing outdoor plants. Their straight edges create an excellent container garden as the pots can sit perfectly together, making watering them an easy task.

Not only that, but their evenly proportioned sides can add to their stability. For example, square containers are more sturdy in the wind, compared to pots with tapered bases, which tend to tip over easily with a head-heavy size.

In terms of plant health, square pots can hold up to 8% more soil than traditional round flower pots, providing more nutrients for your plants, and giving them increased longevity.

Learn these square planter ideas to really take your planter project to the next level!

Rectangle Pots

Rectangle planters like the Hollywood Rectangular Planter make an excellent container for a variety of plants whilst only using one pot!

Rectangular-shaped containers allow for planting in rows, which is perfect when planting a variety of flowers or small plants. You can even grow shrubs and small trees in these containers as the width and volume are suited to such endeavors.

This category of containers also encompasses tall pots, for example, the Darwin Tall Rectangular Planter , which has both a large width and height. This can be good for growing plants with deep roots, which some vegetables such as tomatoes and pumpkins have.

Pots that are wide, and rectangular shapes are also optimum for plant watering needs as they can be tended to in one go.

Read more about amazing rectangle planter ideas to liven up your property.

Round Pots

Round planters most often have tapered bases, as seen with the Brannan Tapered Round Planter, and offer a wide growing size at the top with an elegant design moving down.

This shape is most synonymous with traditional flower pots and is often used in decor to look cute while adding pops of color and botanic beauty to almost any setting or location - commercial or residential. The main benefits of these small pots is that they look aesthetically pleasing with many different plants, and as they have less volume, you can save money on soil, and time on watering.

Not all round pots have narrower bases, however, and this can be seen with the more modern cylindrical shapes, such as the Rio Grande Cylinder Planter .

These cylindrical containers, tend to be more sturdy, as the bottom is not narrow or easily swayable. This makes them more suitable for outdoor use or anywhere where they could be subject to windy conditions. They also allow for more space in the pot, contributing to the increase in nutrients from the extra soil.

Check out these amazing round planter ideas to ace your next gardening or decor project.

Tall Pots And Short Pots

Due to the aforementioned perched water table phenomenon, it's important to consider the type of plants you want to grow in order to determine what height planter to purchase.

Short Pots

For plants like succulents, bonsai trees, and leafy vegetables like spinach, a short planter is needed for the plant's rootball to reach a depth where water is available.

Tall Pots

However, if your looking to plant a large tree, for example, choosing a tall planter is recommended as your tree's rootball will be able to reach much lower into the planter to seek nutrients, etc.

Ready to plant? Check out our collection of Tall Planters and let your plants thrive!

Watering Schedule

Potted plants tend to need watering more often than plants that are in the ground, it is therefore best practice to check them for dehydration at least once per week.

If it is summer and the weather is hot, it is possible you will need to tend to them twice a week. This is because water is lost through evaporation from the heat. If you find that this is the case, try watering your plants in the early morning or evening when the weather is a bit cooler.

The easiest way to see if your plants need watering is to check if the top layer of soil is dry. You can do this by sticking your finger about 1 inch into it. If the soil is dry, go ahead and pour. If it is still wet or damp, hold off, as overwatering can be just as detrimental as underwatering to a plant's health.

You can read our guide to installing fiberglass planters - from watering to filling!

How Planter Thickness Can Make Or Break Your Plant

Finally, another thing to watch out for is the thickness of your container. This also affects the health and well-being of your plants.

If you live in areas with cold, freezing temperatures, it is a good idea to choose a thicker pot or a pot that uses sophisticated planter materials. This will protect your plants from the harsh outdoors by providing some insulation. They also tend to be less likely to get damaged or cracked in these weather conditions.

JBD Concepts only uses high-quality fiberglass and resin for all of its products. These materials are extremely well insulated and the fiberglass resin sheets are so strong that they are also frost resistant and won't crack from the freezing and throwing cycle. This is important as it will give you peace of mind that your plants will be protected in all weather conditions. This is just one of the many benefits of using fiberglass !

If your fiberglass planter does get a little wear and tear over the years, don't worry, it's easy to maintain your planter and bring it back to perfection!

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

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 that the form, function, and beauty of your new planter will last beyond expectations.

Are you a landscape architect or designer and want to get more customers with our planters? Contact us today to learn more about the exciting opportunities our wholesale range can deliver!

All our planters are available for retail customers too. Simply visit our store, select your planters, size, and finish and enjoy incredible value at affordable prices!

Shop now and start your container gardening journey with our modern, durable, lightweight, and stylish fiberglass planters!