Introduction to Modern Planters:
So you are looking for planters for your home, patio, deck, or poolside, but you’re not quite sure what you want or where to find it? We can help! In this article we will break down all the various options of planters that are out there, and hopefully point you in the right direction! There are a few things you need to consider, before you can choose the right planter.
What Type of Material?: Now this might seem like a dumb, or obvious question, but the material used to make modern planters will vary considerably from plastic to concrete, aluminum to fiberglass, foam based products, and everything in between. The material a planter is made out of will determine what type of application it can be used in, how long it will last, what kind of maintenance you can expect to put into it, not to mention how the plants themselves grow in them.
Clay & Plastic Modern Planters:
Clay: Clay pots for instance offer superior drainage, and unfinished clay will actually breathe, which is great for root development. Clay however is extremely fragile, so if you are looking for planters to sit in a high traffic area, this is probably not a good solution. Ceramics are also a commonly used material for planters, which share similar characteristics with clay. Typically ceramics are painted and glazed for the final product, so the end result will not breathe, and it will still be extremely fragile if mishandled.
Plastic: Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials for making modern planters, because it is one of the most versatile materials out there. Since plastic begins as a liquid it can be injected or drawn into any mold imaginable, offering limitless designs and detail that is not attainable with other materials. The downside of plastic is that it doesn’t breathe, and you must ensure proper drainage or else you run the risk of your plant developing mold or fungus. Plastic also turns brittle in cold temperatures, so if you leave your planters outside all year long, its life expectancy will be greatly reduced.
Fiberglass & Concrete Modern Planters:
Fiberglass: Fiberglass planters are very common nowadays in retail and big box stores. Fiberglass is a relatively newer material for making planters and it offers a lot benefits for practical, every day use. Modern planters made out of fiberglass will be extremely light, giving you the option of moving the plant from one location to another as the seasons, or your tastes, change. Fiberglass is also deceptively durable. Some sports car bodies are made almost entirely from fiberglass, and while it can be cracked, it generally takes a pretty good hit before it breaks. Unlike plastic or clay planters, if you crack a fiberglass planter and you just can’t bear to part with it, you can repair it and repaint it and make it as good as new.
Concrete: Concrete is often used in planters that will remain permanent for years and years. These you will typically see in urban environments, such as along sidewalks in front of apartment or office buildings. The biggest drawback to a concrete planter is obviously the weight of the material. Even a small concrete planter will be extremely heavy and difficult to move. They are however extremely durable and some last for decades with little maintenance. Planters made out of concrete can weather any climate, rain or shine. These are great planters for lining a sidewalk, a driveway, or even a permanent planter in front of your home. Concrete planters are typically special order due to the extreme weight.
Metal Modern Planters:
Metal: Metal planters have been around for years and many people love them. Modern planters might be made out of stainless steel, aluminum, tin, galvanized metal, and some are made from plain old steel. Metal planters offer a nice rustic, or industrial look for those who are interested in that. It’s very common for folks to take old watering cans and fill them with plants and hang them from posts. Or to take old wash basins and bury them half in the ground to recreate that old farm style look that many people enjoy. Metal planters, no matter how well built however will never hold their original look for more than a few seasons.
Metal inherently rusts when left out in the weather, no matter how well it’s made. Even planters made out of stainless steel will eventually show signs of degradation in a few seasons. Ever see a stainless steel utensil rust if left in a small puddle of water too long? There is nothing wrong with a metal planter, but if you go this route, you should be prepared to refinish the planter every couple of years. Most metal planters are also made of very thin material to keep the costs and the weight down. This unfortunately also makes it very susceptible to dents and dings.
Foam & Wire Modern Planters:
Foam: If you take a walk through a lot of garden centers these days, you will see increasingly large numbers of attractive planters made out of foam materials. Foam is actually ideal because it can also be pressed into a mold, but the end result is thick and durable, yet lightweight and highly adaptable to painting and detailing. With today’s painting techniques, a lot of time you will be looking at a planter that seems to be made out of granite or other stone, but in reality it is just a foam base with an ornate paint job. This type of Modern planters is very popular because the cost is low, and they are easy to transport.
Wire & Moss: One last type of planter for you to consider is the moss planters that sit into wire frames. These styles of baskets and planters used to be outrageously expensive, but as synthetic mosses have come into the marketplace, the cost of these items has dropped significantly! Moss planters have unbeatable drainage and breathability, and they add a classy look to just about any environment you could put them in.
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