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Ceramic Vs Terracotta Pots: Key Differences and Best Uses

On the pathway to becoming a green thumb, understanding Ceramic vs Terracotta is one of the basic steps that is pivotal in growing plants in the long haul.

Terracotta and Ceramic are different pot types with varying preparation processes, porosity levels, and durability. However, both types exhibit faster soil drying rates than plastic pots, primarily due to the tiny pores in the pot walls.

Though these two pot types lower the risks of stagnant water in the pot, not all plants prefer to have them.

Thus, read till the end to understand what pot type to use for your plants with clear knowledge of Ceramic vs Terracotta pots.

What is Ceramic & Terracotta Pot?

Terracotta and Ceramic pot are popular pot types made of clay, making them more porous.

Unlike plastic pots, these pots feature natural water evaporation through the tiny pores. So, they are ideal pots for plants that despise wet feet for too long.

Moreover, soil dries much faster in these pots, meaning you might need to water more often.

They are also sturdy pots that can tolerate harsh weather conditions without cracking.

But these pots are heavier and can crack if you drop or hit them.

Likewise, both Terracotta and Ceramic pots are heavier than plastic ones. It presents both a curse and a blessing simultaneously.

Their heavy weight makes them more stable and hard to knock down. So they are ideal for outdoor plants.

On the contrary, they are often tough to move around, especially when the pots are big.

Do you know Terracotta pots are the oldest plant pots, followed by Ceramic ones?

Ceramic Vs. Terracotta Pot

Terracotta and Ceramic pots use similar clay materials but are made differently.

Ceramic pots are fired at higher temperatures and baked multiple times. Meanwhile, Terracotta pots are fired at lower temperatures.

Thus, Terracotta pots are comparatively more fragile than Ceramic to extreme temperature swings.

However, Terracotta has more porous pot walls, allowing better airflow than Ceramic pots.

ceramic vs terracotta pots
Pots of Distinction: Ceramic elegance meets Terracotta charm in a vibrant display of plant beauty.

Furthermore, the water absorption rate in Ceramic pots is lower than in Terracotta pots.

Nonetheless, the chances of root rot and mold formation are minimal in both types of pots.

Here is a categorized table of Ceramic vs Terracotta pots with distinctive features.

FeatureCeramic PotTerracotta Pot
MaterialRelatively denser clayPorous clay
Firing temperatureHigh temperatureLow temperature
GlazeOften glazed to give glossy, shiny finish to the potLeft unglazed with reddish-brown for natural rustic appearance
PorosityLess porousMore porous with breathable walls
Watering FrequencySoil dries relatively slow, so less frequent wateringFaster soil drying rate requiring more regular watering
InsulationBetter insulation for rootsLess insulation due to better airflow
Aesthetic OptionsSeveral colors, designs and shapes Rustic, natural, earthy appeal
DurabilityVery durable with minimal cracking chancesDurable but may crack under freezing temperatures
Compatible PlantsCacti, Succulents, Water-loving plants like Spider plants, Boston Ferns, Pothos, Herbs, Orchids, FernsSucculents, Cacti, Bonsai Trees, Mediterranean herbs, Hoyas, Croton

Is Terracotta or Ceramic Pot Better For Plants?

Terracotta and Ceramic pots are best and worst for plants depending on the plant’s needs.

In Terracotta pots, the soil does not stay moist for too long due to their porous walls. So, plants that grow best in moist soil must not be planted in this pot.

However, such plants thrive and enjoy the company of Ceramic or plastic pots more.

Meanwhile, it is an ideal pot for plants that despise having wet feet or ones more prone to root rot.

Thus, succulents like the Zebra plant, Watermelon Peperomia, and cacti enjoy Terracotta or Ceramic pots.

Likewise, African Violets, Begonias, and Bromeliads often prefer plastic plant pots.

Editor’s Note

Study Plant Nature Before Planting in a Pot!

Before giving your plant a specific pot type, you should check whether they prefer moist or dry soil.

If they like to sit on moist soil, a Ceramic or plastic pot is the one. Otherwise, please give them a Terracotta pot.

Aim for a flexible watering routine to keep your plants happy no matter what pot type you use.

All The Best!