I remember the good old days when I’d buy a plant and just let it chill in its plastic nursery pot on a plastic saucer. After collecting plants for a minute and spending most of my waking hours in my bare room in quarantine, I’ve been more keen to treat plant pots as an integral part of my home decor. Of course, me being me, my brain is always set on ways to ball on a budget. Where can you get budget-friendly pots? They’re actually more accessible than you think! As I’ve gradually expanded my plant collection over the years, I’ve found spots that carry beautiful pots that don’t cost a pretty penny. If you’re on the arduous search for affordable planters, keep reading ahead for the best places to start.
When I started digging around for pots, my go-to spot was Goodwill in Livermore. Goodwill’s house wares are usually below $10, and you’ll often find beautiful glazed ceramic pots for under $5. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of thrift shops carry planters that are the perfect size for smaller 4-6 inch plants, likely because, well, plants grow and people throw away their old pots.
The Dollar Tree
You’d be surprised to discover what you can find at the Dollar Tree! (Where everything, of course, is one dollar.) In general, the chain has really stepped up its storage and home decor game. Right after Christmas, Dollar Tree rolls out spring gardening supplies. They have everything from three-plant stackable planters to 10-inch plastic pots. Yes, other than their small terracotta pots, the planters are plastic, but it’s usually thick, high-quality plastic. While the pots mostly come in bright, poppy colors, you’ll also find neutral picks such as navy, olive, terracotta, gray, and beige. Many are also self-watering planters, if you’re into that.
You’ll also be able to find plant hangers, garden gloves and other tchotchkes like gnomes and fairies. Their home organizing and storage bin sections also have great finds for plant purposes as well. I especially love the hooks that I found by their organizing supplies. They’re for hanging your plants from bar rods, doors, closets, and more!
Trader Joe’s, The Home Depot, and More: Plants That Come With Pots
Many places might mark up a basic plant if it comes with a planter, but there are a few spots where you can grab potted plants without steep prices. Most of my favorite pots come from Trader Joe’s, which is a thrifty plant lover’s paradise! Trader Joe’s plants almost always come with a beautiful ceramic pot included at $6 and $13 price points. Here’s a lovely textured planter that used to hold my dead bird’s nest fern. It’s now the new home of my ZZ plant from Sprout’s (which also provided a planter for a $5 plant). This baby peperomia plant from Home Depot also came with this sleek, modern-looking pot that I’m quite fond of!
I’m a Ross Dress for Less fiend and Mad T.J. Maxxer! I love me a discount spot, what can I say?! Whether or not you’re there for the cheap designer deals, you’ll be able to find reasonable prices for their pots, too. Most of the ones I’ve seen have a clean, modern look or a Pinterest-y brush stroke or lettering design on them. This planter with a face was from T.J. Maxx for under $10! It cracks me up every time because it reminds me of the “I pretend I do not see” emoji meme.
Support your local businesses! (My local favorite is Rainforest Nursery!) What I’ve noticed is that local nurseries offer a lot of niche items that you can’t find at a typical big-box store. They often offer clay pots in colors that aren’t just orange as well as pretty engravings and textures. This glazed planter was only a few bucks at the Plants & Pottery Outlet in Sunol.
And, of course, you can always use what you already have lying around the house. If you have a 2-inch pot, why not pop it into a mug? I’ve used yogurt cups as propagation stations and cans as cachepots, too. With a metal tin, make sure that it doesn’t get too wet, or else rust might appear. If you want to pop a plant directly into your container, use a drill bit to create a planter with a drainage hole.