Are Ceramic Pots Good for Orchids?

Orchids need unique pots with a lot of drainage holes to thrive. The best orchid pots are usually ceramic, terracotta, or plastic — these pots are also generally smaller than others, so you may need to pick a perfectly sized one for your flowers. However, how good are ceramic pots for orchids? 

Ceramic pots are good for orchids if they have ample drainage holes. The planter needs to include drainage holes on the base and lower sides to be suitable for an orchid. Finding ceramic pots that come with them can be challenging but still possible. You also need to consider the pot’s size.

This article covers everything about orchids and ceramic pots. After reading, you should know precisely what planter to choose to grow your flower. Let’s dive in!

How Well Do Orchids Grow in Ceramic Pots?

Orchids can grow well in pots made from any material if they meet a few conditions. You want the pot to have ample drainage since wet soil can be a problem for orchids.

These flowers like dry conditions and don’t want their soil wet, as they can get root rot exceptionally fast. Having better drainage allows the soil to dry faster after watering. Plus, more holes mean more aeration for the plant.

Next, you also want to ensure the ceramic pot is the correct size. Orchids can be very picky and want to feel snug in their planter. If you put it in a pot that’s too large, the roots will struggle to absorb enough moisture. Most orchids like pots that are between four to six inches around. 

So before you purchase a new ceramic pot, you’ll want to ensure that it meets those two conditions. If it does, the material it’s made from won’t impact the orchid much.

The rumor that orchids don’t do well in ceramic pots arises from them not having proper drainage. Most orchid pots are plastic because it’s much easier for manufacturers to add more holes to them.

In short, orchids don’t mind the material that the pot is made from. Although, they can be very picky regarding drainage, aeration, and space in the soil. 

How To Use Ceramic Pots With Orchids

Ceramic pots are fine for orchids, but they need to come with drainage. You can find plenty of unique designs and colors for your ceramic planter, so many people like to choose ones that match the rest of their room.

However, if your ceramic pot doesn’t offer drainage, you can still use it for your orchid. You’ll need to have the orchid in a small plastic pot with many drainage holes on the bottom. Then, you can easily set it inside your ceramic planter

When watering the orchid, you’ll need to remove the plastic pot from the ceramic one so it can drain. Otherwise, root rot could become an issue due to overwatering.

Combining your plastic and ceramic orchid pots allows you to benefit from both. Your plant will get the drainage it needs, plus you can choose a ceramic pot with a design that you like. Many people prefer how their flowers look in ceramic planters over clear plastic pots.

The clear plastic pots also let you easily inspect the soil and roots. The roots should appear healthy and green. You’ll know to water the plant more if the roots shrink and appear dry. 

In short, you can either plant the orchid directly in the ceramic pot or set a plastic one inside it. What you do depends on whether the ceramic pot will be small enough for the orchid and if it has many holes in the bottom.

How To Choose a Ceramic Pot for an Orchid

First, you’ll need to ensure that the ceramic pot is the correct size. If you’re putting a plastic pot in it, it should be only a few inches larger. However, if you’re planting the orchid directly in the ceramic pot, you must choose one between four and six inches.

Most mature orchids want a six inches-wide (15 cm) and six-inches-tall (15 cm) pot. You should start with the one that’s four inches, then replant it later in a five-inch one when growing them from seeds. You don’t need the pot to go deeper, but you will want it to be wider to give the roots more growing space.

These small pots prevent root rot since they can’t hold much water. They also keep the roots tight together, which prompts flowering in orchids. So, the planter should be almost the same size as the root mass.

After finding ceramic pots of this size, you need to ensure they have enough drainage. Many ceramic pots don’t come with enough holes for orchids. Generally, many orchid planters come with a large hole on the bottom, then some on the sides. You can add more holes to the pot if you have a drill.

Most like to choose ceramic pots that match the rest of their decor or the color of the flower’s petals. However, you can always choose one with a design that you love. If unsure, a plain white ceramic pot doesn’t distract from the flower and looks lovely in any setting.

How To Add Aeration Holes To Ceramic Pots

If you already have a planter that’s a good size for an orchid, you can add a few additional holes on the sides. You’ll also want to ensure it has a large one at the bottom. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Attach a masonry drill bit to your drill.
  2. Put on eye protection.
  3. Flip the pot upside down and place the drill bit where you want to make a hole.
  4. Apply moderate pressure as you drill into the ceramic pot in a slow setting.
  5. Blow the dust away as you drill.
  6. Repeat along the bottom and sides of the pot until you have enough holes for your orchid.

What Are the Best Containers for Orchids?

The best containers for orchids are small fabric or woven pots. These pots are very aerated, which allows for air-pruning. They also drain exceptionally well, so the plant won’t get root rot. Many people set these fabric pots into ceramic ones to showcase the pot’s design. 

Air pruning is particularly beneficial to orchids. Since you shouldn’t trim its roots, they can easily succumb to root binding. However, a fabric pot can offer more aeration in the soil, which promotes air-pruning.

However, small plastic pots with many drainage holes can work just as well for orchids. They offer ample drainage and allow the soil to dry fast after watering. It also lets you see the roots up close.

So, you can choose between multiple pot materials for your orchid. It should work perfectly as long as it lets a lot of air enter the soil.

Are Ceramic or Plastic Pots Better for Growing Orchids?

Generally, most people will say that plastic pots are better for growing orchids. However, you can successfully raise them in any type of pot. 

Plastic pots are much more cost-efficient, lightweight, and can trap more humidity, which the orchid loves. Ceramic pots look better and last much longer, although they cost more.

No matter which material you choose for your orchid, you can have success with it. You’ll need to ensure the pot is suitable for your orchid and consider what features you need it to have the most before buying.

Do Orchids Like Deep or Shallow Pots?

Orchids like shallow pots. These flowers have roots that spread outward, not downwards. So, a shallow pot gives them more room to spread their roots. However, as long as the pot is snug around the roots, it should work fine for growing orchids.

You can place lava rock at the bottom if you have a deep pot. It helps you save potting soil that the orchid won’t burrow into and may also improve drainage.

Most pots that are marketed for orchids already meet these size conditions. Therefore, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that’s perfect for your orchid. You can tell that the plant will love it if the container is about the same size or just slightly larger than the roots.

Final Thoughts

Ceramic pots can be great for growing orchids, but only if you choose a planter that meets this finicky plant’s preferences. Orchids want a lot of aeration and drainage, and they want their roots to feel snug in their pots.

You can either set a plastic planter inside your favorite ceramic pot or choose a pot specifically made with orchids in mind. This flower won’t mind the material of the pot as long as it has plenty of holes and is pretty tiny. 

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

Recent Posts