The Best Types of Pots to Use for Pot

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There are many theories as to where the marijuana’s nickname “pot” came from. According to one of the most popular theories, it came from the Mexican word “portiguaya” which eventually became “potiguaya” a slang for cannabis in the 1930s. Ironically enough, no origin story seems to point to pots of the culinary or agricultural kind.

Nevertheless, pots are a necessity for growing marijuana. Even in most states where home cultivation of marijuana is legal, growers are still required to keep their plants indoors and although hydroponics has become a hugely popular way to grow indoors, soil is still the cheapest and easiest medium to use. 

If you are a beginner, you may think that dumping some soil into a pot and putting your cannabis seed in it is all you need to do to get started. It is actually a bit more complicated than that. The reality is that you’ll need two or more kinds of pots during the life of your marijuana plant.  

Why you need a pot

Although it is totally possible to grow cannabis just by putting seeds into the soil somewhere in your garden, that would hardly provide the optimal conditions for growing top-shelf weed. Here are some of the reasons why you would want to use a pot for growing weed. 

  • You can move your plant wherever you want.
  • You can control the density of the soil and the amount of water, oxygen and nutrients in it.

If you are growing indoors, using pots are pretty much your only alternative if you’re not running a hydroponic setup.

Characteristics of a good cannabis pot

Although you can just use any old bucket to grow marijuana, what we want is to provide the plant with optimal growing conditions to get good buds. A good plant pot should provide:

  • Adequate airflow to the roots 
  • Holds an adequate amount of water
  • Protect roots from temperature fluctuations
  • Stability. It should keep your plant standing.

Choosing the size of your pot

Before buying a pot, you should be aware that you will probably need to transplant your marijuana plant once or twice in its lifetime. Transplanting is stressful to your plant but it is a necessity. Especially if you’re using soil as a planting medium, the size of the pot will determine how well your plant’s roots will grow and how much water and nutrients will be retained in the soil.  

You have to choose the right size of pot based on your plant’s type and its age. In general, a small pot will restrict the growth of your plant. For smaller autoflower plants, the ideal size ranges somewhere around 1.5 to 3 gallons. Photoperiod plants grow much taller and will need a bigger pot. A good rule of thumb would be to use 2 gallons per 12″ of height.  

Kinds of pots

Cannabis planting pots may vary in design, but they will mainly be made from 3 different materials: 

Clay/Terracotta pots

People have been using clay pots for thousands of years. It is very basic and barely anything has changed in its design because of its versatility and reliability. Made out of unglazed clay, they have a natural “earthen” feel.


  • Visually appealing and decorative. 
  • Protects from temperature fluctuations.
  • Very stable.


  • Heavy and breakable. Not ideal for plants that have to be transported or transplanted.
  • Typically a more expensive option.
  • Difficult to drill holes for water drainage. 

Average price of a 5-gallon clay/terracotta pot: $10 to $15

Plastic buckets

Plastic is now ubiquitous in modern life. One good reason is that it is tough but cheap, which are the top advantages of plastic marijuana plant pots. These pots are often made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polypropelene, or Polyethylene Terephthelate (PET). There are also plastic pots called “air pots” or ”aero pots” that solve the problem of restricted airflow in common plastic plant buckets. 


  • Lightweight but tough and good for multiple uses.
  • Relatively stable.
  • Easy to put drainage holes into. 
  • Cheap. Often made from recycled material.
  • Ideal when you need to transport or transplant.


  • Somewhat unsightly.
  • Does not protect well against temperature changes.
  • May eventually crack.
  • Can restrict airflow if not used properly.
  • Low-quality pots may leech harmful chemicals.

Average price of a 5-gallon plastic pot: $25 to $30.

Fabric pots

Fabric pots are a relatively new innovation. Often made of breathable material like double-layer polypropylene, these pots provide superior airflow and water drainage.


  • Promotes good root growth due to a process called “air pruning”
  • Cheapest option.
  • Very light. Ideal for transporting plants.


  • Not very stable.
  • Does not protect against temperature changes. 
  • Gets worn out easily.
  • Does not hold water that well.

Average price of a 5 gallon fabric pot: $2 to $5.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best kind of pot for my marijuana plant?

This depends on your needs and priorities. If you need something inexpensive, tough and would last a long time, get a plastic pot. If you want something really cheap, provides better soil aeration and better root growth, go for a fabric pot.

What size of pot should I buy for my cannabis plant?

For most autoflower plants, you will need a 1.5 to 3 gallon pot. A good rule of thumb would be to use at least 2 gallons per 12″ of plant height.


The kind of pot that you choose for your plant will depend on the type of home grow setup that you have. Home growers typically don’t use clay pots anymore as they are much too cumbersome and marijuana nowadays is mostly homegrown indoors. Plastic and fabric are the most common choices, with some growers preferring square plastic containers to conserve space for bigger plants, and fabric for smaller ones to maximize root development. Either one can give you good results, as long as you choose the right size for your plant.

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