I remember the good old days when I’d buy a plant and just let it sit in its garish, shiny plastic nursery pot on a cheap plastic saucer. After collecting plants for 5 years, I’ve been more keen on treating plant pots as an integral part of my home decor. Of course, with me being me, my brain is always gravitating towards ways to find beautiful things on a budget.
So where can you buy budget-friendly pots and planters? They’re actually more accessible than you think! As I’ve gradually expanded my plant collection over the years, I’ve come across a great deal of stores that carry stylish yet affordable plant pots. If you’ve been arduously searching for cheap (but not poor-quality) planters, keep reading ahead for tips on where to find them.
Finding planters at thrift stores
When I first started digging around for pots, my go-to spot was Goodwill. Goodwill’s house wares are usually below $10, and you’ll often find beautifully glazed ceramic pots for under $5, especially as we enter spring. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of thrift shops carry planters that are the perfect size for smaller 4- to 6-inch plants, likely because, well, plants grow and people throw away their old pots. You can also find inexpensive large planters at thrift stores, although these may be a bit more seasonal than their smaller counterparts. (That is to say, you’ll usually find them around spring.)
What I love about the thrift store is that it encourages you to be creative. In addition to traditional planters, you can also get creative with plates, bowls, and wicker baskets to display your plants.
Finding planters at Dollar Tree
You’d be surprised to learn what you can find at Dollar Tree! (Well, it’s now cheekily dubbed the Dollar Twenty-Five Tree due to inflation.) In general, the chain has really stepped up its storage and home decor game. Right after Christmas, Dollar Tree rolls out spring gardening supplies, which stick around until mid-autumn. They have everything from three-plant stackable planters to 10-inch plastic pots.
Most of the planters are plastic, but it’s usually a thick, high-quality plastic. It’s pretty similar to the stuff that you can find at Target. If you don’t like bright colors, you’ll find planters in neutral picks such as navy, olive, terracotta, gray, and beige. Many of Dollar Tree’s planters are also self-watering planters, if you’re into that.
Plus, you can find plant hangers, garden gloves and other cheap lawn ornaments like gnomes and fairies. Their home organizing and storage bin sections also have versatile finds for plants. I especially love the hooks from their home organizing section. They’re perfect for hanging your plants from bar rods, tables, and more!
Finding planters at grocery stores
Don’t sleep on grocery stores – they’re perfect for finding planters, especially during the spring. If you’re looking for big ceramic outdoor planters, I recommend checking out spots such as Save Mart and Grocery Outlet for affordable finds.
Many of my favorite pots also 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 a $5 to $20 price range.
Finding planters at big-box stores
It should come as no surprise that big-box stores with garden centers (think Lowe’s, Walmart, and The Home Depot) sell lots of affordable planters. Like Trader Joe’s, The Home Depot is another place that sells plants that come with planters, usually no more than about $20 for a 4- or 5-inch plant, although your mileage may vary between different plants. It’s also my go-to big-box store for cheap large garden pots, if you’re solely looking for a planter.
Finding planters at discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx
Along with their cheap designer deals, discount spots like Ross Dress for Less, DD’s Discounts, and TJ Maxx also offer reasonable prices for their pots. These stores are perfect for affordable modern planters, although you’ll find some ornate styles thrown in the mix. (Personally, I love a more intricate, rustic vibe!) You can usually find sturdy planters for $10 to $20.
Finding planters at local nurseries
Support your local nursery businesses! (My local favorite is Rainforest Nursery!) What I’ve noticed is that local nurseries have 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.
Bonus: Upcycling containers you already have
And, of course, you can always use what you already have lying around the house. Basically, find a planter for free. Why not repurpose a fancy mug as a cachepot for a 2- or 3-inch plant? 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. (You might want to apply some sort of sealant.) If you want to pop a plant directly into your container, use a drill bit to create a makeshift planter with a drainage hole.
I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but you can definitely get high-quality and beautiful planters for cheap if you’re on a tight budget. It usually takes some digging around, but it can be done. Check these places out and even consider sifting through your own inventory to find the perfect homes for your plants.