Grow Lush Philodendrons: The Perfect Pot Selection Guide for Beginners

Have you ever stared at your struggling Philodendron, wondering where things went wrong? Well, guess what? The secret might lie in the pot you’re using! Read on to uncover how to choose the Best Pot for Philodendrons – the ultimate guide to help you elevate your indoor gardening game.

Best Pot for Philodendron

When it comes to the care of your indoor Philodendron, one factor that plays a critical role yet is often overlooked is pot selection. The right type of pot can significantly contribute to your plant’s overall health and growth.

A few factors come into play when choosing a pot for your Philodendron: material, size, drainage, and aesthetic appeal.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through each of these factors and how you can balance each to provide the ultimate home environment for your plant baby.

So, make yourself a coffee and prepare to take your parenting skills to the next level.

Choosing the Best Pot for Philodendrons

Many often dismiss the importance of pot selection for their Philodendrons, a crucial decision that can be the difference between a smooth or turbulent parenting journey.

Here are the factors we consider when finding a home for our indoor Philodendron plants.

Material & Types

First, let’s talk about the pot materials that will help your Philodendron thrive indoors.

Terracotta, Concrete, or Clay Pots

Terracotta pots are great for Philodendrons

Terracotta pots are our first choice of pot for our philodendrons.

Terracotta pots are the classic orange Tuscan clay color that you often see used for tropical plants. While concrete pots are generally more muted colors, such as shades of grey.

These pots have a charming, rustic aesthetic and are porous – meaning water can pass through them. This is great for your Philodendron as it prevents overwatering and allows the roots to breathe.

Plastic Pots

These are lightweight and affordable, making them popular among many plant owners. Plus, they come in all shapes and sizes! They retain more water than terracotta pots, so you won’t need to water your Philodendron as often.

However, this also means you need to monitor the amount of water you give your Philodendron because overwatering can result in unwanted problems, such as root rot or pests.

Ceramic or Glazed Pots

Want to add some artistic flair? Ceramic or glazed pots come in so many beautiful designs and colors. They’re similar to plastic pots because they retain water well, but remember, they can be heavy and more delicate.

Remember, whatever material you choose, ensure your pot has suitable drainage holes at the bottom. It’s essential for preventing soggy roots!

This is the perfect segue into the following factor when choosing the best pot for philodendrons – drainage.

Look for Excellent Drainage

Without adequate drainage, water may accumulate at the bottom of the pot, creating a wet environment that makes it hard for your plant to breathe.

Here are the main benefits of excellent drainage:

  1. Prevents Waterlogging: Proper pot drainage ensures that excess water drains out of the potting soil rather than being trapped within. This reduces the risk of roots becoming waterlogged and developing diseases like root rot.
  2. Encourages Healthy Root Development: When there’s enough room for water to flow through, roots can stretch out and grow stronger. This helps your Philodendron thrive.
  3. Maintains Soil Balance: Good drainage helps maintain an optimal balance of air and moisture in your soil. Philodendrons prefer well-draining soil that can retain moisture while allowing excess water to escape.

Garden Bench Top Tips for Optimal Pot Drainage

  • Choose pots with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Consider adding a layer of coarse material like pebbles or clay balls at the base of your pot before adding soil to aid in draining excess water.
  • Regularly check and clean the drainage holes to prevent blockages.
  • After watering, allow excess moisture to drain completely before placing back on a saucer or decorative outer pot.

Pot Size and Shape Considerations

The size and shape of a Philodendron’s home (their pot) can make a big difference in how well they grow.

Many pots for different sized philodendrons

Picking the Right Size

The size of your pot matters for a few reasons:

  1. Growth Room: Philodendrons grow pretty fast, so they need space. If the pot’s too small, it can stop them from developing correctly and make them unhealthy.
  2. Water Balance: Bigger pots hold more soil to store more water. This is usually good since philodendrons like their soil damp (but not soaked). Remember not to give them too much water, or their roots might rot.
  3. Keeping Stable: Larger pots are better at staying put, especially with larger philodendrons varieties that get heavy at the top as they grow.

Finding a Good Shape

The pot’s shape is also essential for your plant’s health:

  1. Root Spread: Pick a pot shape that lets the roots spread evenly across the soil, helping them get food from everywhere.
  2. Air Supply: Tall, upright shapes are often better because they let more air reach your plant’s roots.
  3. Draining Water: How well water drains away depends on the shape; pots with wider bottoms usually do this job better.

There you have it – that wasn’t too daunting.

Choosing the right pot for your Philodendron can be a game-changer in your plant’s growth and health.

So next time you’re looking to house your green friend, remember these factors will create the ideal environment for your Philodendron to thrive and flourish!

Should I use a Self-Watering Pot for a Philodendron?

Self-watering pots are super useful and perfect for helping us avoid giving our plants too much or too little water.

How Do Self-Watering Pots Work?

They work by storing water in a unique reservoir at the bottom. Our plant’s roots can dip into this stash whenever needed, so it’s always getting the right amount of hydration.

Use Them With Caution

But there’s one thing we must remember while using these self-watering pots: even though Philodendrons like moist conditions, they aren’t fans of being overly soaked. So let’s make sure we’re filling the reservoir appropriately. A simple way to check this is by feeling the soil – once the top inch feels dry, we know it’s refill time.

Garden Bench Top Tip

Also, just because we’re using a self-watering pot doesn’t mean you should leave our plant alone entirely.

Regular check-ups like touching its leaves and observing any changes in its behavior – are the leaves perky or droopy?

Staying attuned to your Philodendron will help you spot any potential problems early on, so you can quickly stop it from becoming unmanageable.

We will help you recognize these signs in the next section.

Signs Your Philodendron Has The Wrong Pot

Root Bound philodendron

When placed in an incorrect pot, your plant may manifest several signs indicating it needs a change. Here are some key indicators:

1. Root Crowding

Root crowding happens when the plant’s roots take up all available space in the pot, leaving no room for expansion. You can check this by gently lifting the plant out of its pot; if you see roots tightly wrapped around themselves or growing out of the drainage holes at the bottom, this is a sign of root crowding.

2. Water Drainage Issues

Philodendrons need well-draining, fresh soil to thrive. If water stays on the surface for too long or the pot doesn’t have enough drainage holes, this could lead to overwatering and root rot – symptoms include yellowing leaves or a musty smell from the soggy soil.

3. Stunted Growth

If your Philodendron isn’t growing as expected or has slowed down drastically, it might be due to insufficient room in its current pot. A cramped environment hinders appropriate development.

Check out our guide for troubleshooting a Philodendron experiencing slow to no growth HERE.

4. Leaves Changing Color

A healthy philodendron should have vibrant green leaves. If they begin turning yellow or brown or developing spots, it might indicate stress caused by poor conditions such as an unsuitable pot.

Repotting Philodendrons

If you recognize any symptoms we identified in the previous section, it may be time to repot your Philodendron.

Repotting a philodendron showing signs of being in the wrong pot is crucial because it allows for root expansion and better growth. It also aids in replacing depleted nutrients in the old potting mix, thus enhancing the plant’s health and vitality.

If you are new to the plant parenting space, repotting your Philodendron may sound daunting.

credit: Gifer

Fret not. We have a guide for stepping you through the entire process of How to Repot a Philodendron.

Does Pot Selection Differ for Philodendron Varieties


There are two main indoor Philodendron varieties for pot selection; climbing and non-climbing.

Consider how you should adapt your pot selection to these two types.

Climbing Philodendrons

Climbing philodendrons, or vining philodendrons, are plants that prefer climbing or trailing habits. They include varieties like heartleaf philodendron and velvet-leaf philodendron. For these types:

  1. Pots with Vertical Support: Since they naturally climb trees in their native habitats, pots with vertical support (such as a moss pole or trellis) can help them grow healthier and happier.
  2. Deep Pots: They have extensive root systems to support their climbing habit. Deep pots help accommodate this growth.
  3. Plastic or Ceramic Pots: These materials help retain moisture effectively, which is essential for healthy development.

Non-Climbing Philodendrons

Non-climbing philodendrons, known as self-heading or bushy types, include lacy tree philodendrons and bird’s nest philodendrons. For these types:

  1. Wide Pots: As these plants spread out instead of up, a wide pot will provide them enough space to grow.
  2. Heavy Pots: Heavier pots, such as those made from ceramic or clay, will stabilize large bushy types to prevent them from toppling over.
  3. High-Drainage Pots: Non-climbers generally prefer well-draining soil to avoid waterlogged conditions leading to root rot.

Frequently Ask Questions for the Best Pot for Philodendrons

What size pot is Ideal for Philodendrons?

The answer depends on the size and maturity of your Philodendron plant.

Selecting a larger container, approximately one-third larger than your Philodendron’s root ball, is a good rule of thumb.

Do Philodendrons prefer deep or shallow pots?

Good question! Your Philodendron is going to love a deep pot. It has an adventurous root system that loves to explore and spread out. A deeper pot gives them the space they need.

Should I use a Terracotta Pot for my Philodendron?

Absolutely! Terracotta pots are great because they’re super porous. Any extra water can escape easily, keeping your plant roots nice and healthy by preventing rot. We discussed terracotta pots and their benefits earlier in this article.

How do I grow a Healthy Philodendron Indoors?

Growing a philodendron indoors is fun! We recommend following the three LAWs (LIGHTING – AWARENESS – WATERING) of Successful Plant Parenting we teach at the Garden Bench Top to give yourself a solid understanding of indoor plants’ core needs. Begin with the first law; LIGHTING.

Can Philodendrons be Grown Outdoors?

Sure thing! Some philodendrons can live happily outdoors if you live somewhere warm enough (think USDA zones 9-11). Remember, they prefer filtered indirect light over direct sunlight, so pick their spot carefully.