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A terracotta flowerpot
Jiffy pots: peat pots that are biodegradable and may be planted directly into the soil
Victorian decorative flowerpots at Kindrogan House, Enochdu, Scotland

A flowerpot, flower pot, or plant pot is a container in which flowers and other plants are cultivated and displayed. Historically, and still to a significant extent today, they are made from terracotta. Flowerpots are now often also made from plastic, wood, stone, or sometimes biodegradable material. An example of biodegradable pots are the so-called "Jiffy" pots. There are often holes in the bottom, to allow excess water to flow out, sometimes to a saucer that is placed under the flowerpot. The plant can use this water with its roots, as needed. Recently, some flowerpots have been made with an automatic watering system, using a reservoir.


Flowerpots have a number of uses, from transporting plants to new locations, starting seeds, patio and indoor cultivation of plants, and the growing of tender plants in colder regions indoors.[1] Through the centuries, the use of flowerpots has influenced the horticultural use of plants, and the Egyptians were among the first to use pots to move plants from one location to another. The Romans brought potted plants inside during cold weather. In the 18th century, pots were used to ship breadfruit seedlings from Tahiti to the West Indies. Also Orchids, African violets and Pelargonium geraniums were shipped in pots from other parts of the world, including Africa, to North America and Europe.[2]

In the 18th century, Josiah Wedgwood's flowerpots were as popular as his famous dinner-ware, they were often highly decorative and used as table centrepieces.[3]

In Athens, earthenware flowerpots were thrown into the sea during the festival of the Gardens of Adonis. Theophrastus, c. 371 – c. 287 BC, mentions that a plant called southern-wood was raised and propagated in pots because it was difficult to grow.[4]

The top of the flowerpot underneath the rim is commonly known as the shoulder or collar and can aid handling.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Etaerio - A Plant News Weblog: The History of the Flowerpot". Ubcbotanicalgarden.org. 2004-09-07. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  2. ^ "In praise of the flowerpot / The Christian Science Monitor". CSMonitor.com. 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  3. ^ Meteyard, Eliza (1866). The Life of Josiah Wedgwood: From His Private Correspondence and Family Papers.. Hurst and Blackett. p. 154. 
  4. ^ Birch, Samuel (1858). History of Ancient Pottery. J. Murray. p. 202. 

External links[edit]

The archaeology of the flowerpot in England and Wales c. 1650-1950 C.K. Currie; Garden History 21.2, 227-46 (1993)