Choosing Planter Colors

Why Is The Color Of Plant Pots Important?

If you’ve ever stopped to consider how the color of whatever you put your plants in affects them, here are some things for you to consider when making that choice. 

Best Color For Pots

The colors of the containers you choose to place your plants and flowers in can definitely affect how quickly they grow, their overall health, and certainly how much watering they’ll require. The shade of your pots also has a direct impact on soil temperature. 

Are Black Pots Bad For Plants?

Black plant pots are not necessarily a good choice (particularly if they’re plastic) for full sun locations, especially in extreme heat zones. Black and other dark colors absorb and retain the heat from the sun and push that heat into the soil. This can damage tender roots and inhibit the growth of additional roots, and ultimately the growth and health of the plant. That said, using them in a shadier, cooler location during the summer and then moving them into the sun in the fall when it has cooled off, can extend the season a bit!

Are White Pots Good For Plants?

White planters (as well as other light colors) do not absorb as much heat from the sun, reflecting the rays back out into the world instead of heating up the soil quite as much as darker colors. White or light colored pots are a good choice for plants that are more heat sensitive, especially when the plants are in full sun or in hotter climates. Some studies show that white planters are the best choice for plants to grow to their full potential.

Are Clear/Transparent Pots Good For Plants?

Unless they’re air plants, clear containers generally are not at all a good choice for plants. Roots search out darkness and moisture. Transparent pots do not offer a way for roots to get away from the light. Roots are light sensitive and will pull back from the light and their growth will be slowed or even stopped all together. Incoming light will also dry the soil out quickly, further damaging the roots. Opaque containers are the superior choice for outdoor plants. 

Most Popular Planter Colors

Earth tones are some of the most popular colors for container gardens, they possess some of the best traits of both dark and light colors and they blend into the background allowing the plants to be the star of the show. Next on the list for popularity are black, white, and gray, and then greens and blues. When choosing colors, be sure to factor in the shade of the color.

Pros & Cons Of Different Planter Colors

 Planter Color



Black (and other dark colors)

Bold and eye-catching.

Can extend the growing season if properly placed.

Can get too hot and retain too much heat damaging roots.

Can show water spots and dust.

Dark colors on plastic pots may fade. 

White (and other light colors)

Clean and crisp. 

Good for heat sensitive plants.

Can help plants achieve maximum growth potential.

Can show dirt.

Bright colors may become sun bleached on plastic containers.


Great for indoor air plants.

Watching the roots grow.

Don’t allow darkness that roots seek. 

Don’t allow for moisture retention.

Earth Tones

Perhaps lend a happy medium between dark and light colors.

Blend well and allow the plants to shine.

Match anything making them easy to move to different locations. 

On plastics, colors may sun fade. 

How To Choose A Planter Color

When considering container color options, think about where it will be sited and how the colors will blend with, or stand out in, their surroundings, heat tolerance of plants you intend to put in it, and plant/flower colors.

Why Do Nurseries Use Black Pots?

Many nurseries use black plastic pots because as mentioned earlier, they absorb heat from the sun and transfer that warmth to the soil. Plants grown in greenhouses that are started from seed are often planted during the winter or early spring months, while temperatures are lower and the sun is less intense. The sun’s rays help facilitate warming of the soil, which is necessary for seeds to germinate and pop through the growing medium.