How to Choose the Right Pot for your Cactus | An Expert Guide


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Anything that can hold soil and drainage holes in the bottom may be transformed into a container garden or pot for terrestrial plants like Cactus. The pots for the plant must provide adequate space for roots and soil media for vibrant plant growth, allowing the plants to grow well. Before going into the details about how to choose the right pot for your Cactus, I want to mention some significant facts that many cactus lovers forget to think about before buying the proper pots. These facts include looking for indoor or outdoor plants, the exact place to grow the Cactus, and many more. 

How to Choose the Right Pot for your Cactus

how to choose the right pot for your Cactus

To choose the right pot for your cactus you should consider the following points;

  • Drainage
  • Material
  • Clay
  • Wood
  • Plastic Pots
  • Metal Containers
  • Ceramic Pots
  • Size of the Pot
  • Best Size
  • The depth of the pot
  • Width of the Pot


Biologically, the cactus plant is adapted to grow for a more extended time without water. These adaptations will not work well if you water them more frequently or in lesser amounts. Therefore it is good to check while buying a pot for your Cactus to have the drainage holes. If your pot does not contain drainage holes, it is easy to drill the holes in the pot before putting the plant in it.


It is commonly the first factor that comes into the minds of cactus lovers. However, there are several options regarding materials used as pots for cactus plants. Following are some materials which are considered as best for cactus plants.


  • The pots made of clay are the most popular option for planting cactus plants as these pots drain water very fast. 
  • Their porous property provides the conductive entity for the cacti.
  • They also absorb water quickly, so you can easily check the moisture level in the soil. That is the reason when the clay pot soaks water in it, they turn dark in color.
  • The excellent news about clay pots is that they are very affordable as compared to any other material.
  • They are also available in a uniform color to complement your entire home decoration as well. 
  • The main drawback of clay pots is that they are very delicate and break if they fall due to any reason. Due to the high level of drainage property, the water will dry out very quickly.


  • Wooden pots are excellent for outdoor cacti plants, as they can hold water for long periods and resist cold temperatures.
  • Wood has a beautiful look and can add decoration to your home. Beautifully crafted wood containers are also available in the market. 
  • The main disadvantage of the wood planter is that these pots can rot very quickly, which can affect cactus growth. So to ignore this issue, it is better to line the inner side of the pot with plastic.

Plastic Pots

  • Plastic planters are the most convenient pots for cactus plants because they are cheap and readily available in the market, as you can easily reuse them.
  • They are available in different sizes, colors, and shapes.
  • Plastic planters are the best alternative to clay pots due to their excellent functionality. 
  • The plastic planters remain beautiful for a long time because they do not change color due to salt formation as the clay pots do. 
  • While the plastic pots are not suitable for proper drainage like other materials.
  • They do not work well outdoors because they can be damaged due to exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Moreover, if you search for such pots that can add color to your home decoration and save your money, you should choose plastic planters. 
  • You can also paint the pots to give them the look of rocks with different shapes using advanced technology. 

Metal Containers

  • Metal containers are very durable as they can be reused for planting Cactus for more extended periods.
  • Metal containers provide an aesthetic look because they are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Brass and copper pots are the most common metal containers that look trendy due to their beautiful nature.

Ceramic Pots

  • If you want to add something decent and unique to your home decoration, ceramic pots are a perfect option.
  • These pots are available in different patterns, designs, colors, and shapes.
  • The big-sized pots are not practical because they are cumbersome in weight and are not suitable for large-sized plants.
  • There are two kinds of ceramic pots available in the market, glazed ceramic pots and unglazed ceramic pots.

Size of the Pot

Might you ever think that does the size of the pot matter to plant Cactus?

The answer is undoubted yes. The general fact that you should consider while choosing the pot for cacti is that the pot’s size should be big enough to allow its natural growth when living in the natural habitat.  

  • The cactus plants do not require big pots.
  • If you select the smaller pots, it will stop the plant’s roots from growing well and leave no room for the soil.
  • On the other hand, if the pot is significant for the cactus plant, it will be difficult for you to water it.
  • Therefore, the pot must be of the right size for good growth.

Best Size

  • The best size of the cactus plant pot should have 1.4 of an inch between the end of the rim of the pot and the main body of the plant.

The depth of the pot

The depth of the cactus plant pot is critical because if you select the wrong spot with the bad center, it might affect its growth.

  • The depth of the pot is dependent on the type of succulent plant you want to plant. 
  • The depth of the pot should be according to the natural growth of the plant cactus.
  • If your cactus plant has deep roots and tends to grow tall, you should opt for a deep pot that can accommodate the plant’s roots. 
  • On the other hand, if the plant has shallow roots, you can buy a small-sized plant pot.

Most professional gardeners suggest using a container that is approximately 10% more in length in diameter than the width of your plant size. Similarly, the height of the plant container should be 10% greater than the plant size. So you should not go for the 10% more than the size of the succulent.

Width of the Pot

Some specific cactus plant species have roots that grow in the horizontal direction, and such plants cannot grow in deep pots. Therefore, you should know about the species of plants that you want to grow.

  • If you plant such types in deep or cylindrical pots, you can find their roots to expand from the sides of the pot. When this is the case, it is the perfect time to repot your Cactus into the other bank.
  • Another essential tip to consider the pot size is its width; it should be according to your plant size. 
  • If your plant has a width of 4 inches, your pot should be 4.5 inches in width.
  • In other words, you should check the width of the cactus plant and select a pot that is 10% wider than its size.

How to Choose the Right Pot for your Cactus: FAQs

What kind of pot is best for Cactus?

The best pots for growing Cactus are ceramic, plastic, and hanging pots.

How do you pick a cactus pot?

Many seasoned gardeners suggest using a container or pot that is about 10% larger in diameter than the cactus plant at its widest point.

How do I choose the right size pot for my plant?

Ideally, place a plant into a pot that is a little bit larger than the original size of the plant. When replanting because a plant has outgrown its current pot, shift to pot 2-4 inches larger in diameter. Select the larger size pot for plants that proliferate. For slow growers, a pot that’s 1-2 inches larger works well.

Do cacti need pots with holes?

Succulents and cacti thrive in well-drained porous soils. Gravel and expanded shale can be added to the bottom of the container to help increase drainage. Never let the container sit in the saucer of water. If your container does not have a drainage hole, you will need to be waterless. 

What kind of pot is best for succulents?

The best pots for succulent plants are made from either clay or terracotta, or ceramic. Both of these materials are breathable and porous, which encourages proper water drainage and air circulation. However, do not forget that both terracotta and ceramic are heavy, especially once you add soil and plants.


Therefore, it is evident from the above-given facts and figures that the pot should be of the right size to plant the Cactus. You remember that you should not go over pot the cactus plant if you want the incredible growth of it because if you overpot the plant, it would lead to root rot. If your plant gas the minimal root structure and the dense stem structure, plant it in a small pot but provide it support plant it in the big container. To give it enough base support without having the risk of root rot due to the overwatering, fill the space between the two pots with gravel. Hope you have learned how to choose the right pot for your Cactus.

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