There is nothing quite like a large terracotta pot or a display of petunias in a window box to liven up a home, balcony or garden. But it’s easy to get carried away when you visit the local garden centre with the barrage of pots on offer and end up with an array that would overwhelm a space, so some restraint is required.

Bright Petunia flowers in a stone planter

The gardening team at Ace Hardware in Dubai Festival City has some advice on choosing the right pots. "As with all design features, the planter should be in keeping with the style of the garden in which it is placed. Consider the proportion and scale of the pot to its surroundings. Big planters need lots of space, so try to place the large, elaborate ones in places where they won't look cramped."

 The team also has specific advice on where and how to place the different types of pots: "A decorative planter is an eye-catching feature, so consider placing it near the villa or at the end of a path where it can be easily seen and admired. Look at its placement in relation to other pots.

Fun ways to decorate your plant pots

 

Plain, formal pots can easily be placed in a line, evenly spaced, with the same type of plant. A diverse collection of pots can be informally grouped to give a pleasing arrangement of sizes, colours and textures. Elaborate planters, however, are best placed on their own, without the distraction of other pots and garden accessories to detract from their appearance.However much you like the look of intricate pots and planters, practicalities have to be considered.

"Pots and planters should be resistant to outdoor weather conditions. They should also have drilled holes at the bottom for drainage purposes."

Materials you can choose for the pots include everything from popular terracotta to ceramic or plastic. At Ace, they suggest terracotta because, "It is available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The pots look great just about anywhere, and their earthy colour will enhance the beauty of almost any plant. Made of a porous clay that is rich in iron, terracotta has the ability to breathe, which helps the soil to remain cool and protects the roots from excess moisture, keeping the plant healthy." As for ceramic pots, there is a huge variety with many types of design, colours and finishes to choose from.

 

You can fill pots with plants like the flame of the woods (ixora coccinea), Arabian jasmine (jasminum sambac) and Gardenias. Just don't forget to look after them. To maintain pots and planters, and keep outdoor potted plants healthy, the Ace team emphasizes the importance of watering the containers correctly.

"Big planters need lots of space, so try to place the larger ones in places where they won't look cramped" - Ace Hardware

 Edited by : Surabhi Sudarsan