With the right nurturing and care, your investment in a fiddle leaf fig, rubber plant, palm tree or alocasia could translate into a long-lasting display— one that will warmly welcome guests for years. Shouldn’t the planter showcasing it have that same type of sustainability and stylish presence?
When shopping for planters for your residential or commercial spaces, chances are you’ll encounter a wide selection of available materials, including those made of fiberglass and plastic. It’s a worthy investment of your time to understand the difference between these planter materials, as one significantly edges out the other in numerous areas.
A side by side comparison — fiberglass planters vs. plastic planters — reveals the following distinctions.
Plants and planters, when included in a landscaping design for your home, office space or retail, resort or hotel design project, have the ability to immediately transform even the most sparse settings.
For the following reasons, a fiberglass planter easily wins over its plastic counterpart when looking at their aesthetic appeal:
Choosing a quality fiberglass planter for your plant design projects will yield an extensive array of design options, primarily because of the construction process. Fiberglass planters are made of spun glass fibers and held together with a resin, and covered with automotive grade paint.. This composite material can be molded into a wide variety of shapes and finished with a virtually endless number of hues and finishes. Although you will have the ability to choose from dozens of sizes, shapes and colors — including tangerine orange, glossy white, satin tan, royal blue, silver and copper, you also have the option of requesting a custom finish from reputable fiberglass manufacturers that specialize in customization.
Also, because of the quality of construction, the finishes will appear vibrant and saturated. Not only are they customizable, they typically come in an extensive array of standard finishes — from bold and glossy to sophisticated with matte finishes.
Plastic planter manufacturers will provide you with numerous shapes and colors, but will have limitations when compared to fiberglass. Since colors are generally applied through a melting or dyeing process, the finish may not be as rich as a fiberglass planter of the same color.
For these reasons, the differences between a fiberglass planter and plastic planter will be apparent to the eye — primarily because of the differing qualities of construction. Plastic plant containers will stand out in sharp contrast to your other higher quality furnishings.
Choosing the right planter for your interior spaces and patio, deck or pool area often will include questions about durability — how long will your planters last? Chances are you’ve encountered planters at properties that look faded, scuffed or cracked. Planter material is the main factor that determines how well a vessel will endure weather conditions such as rain, wind, solar ultraviolet rays, and high-traffic areas.
Fiberglass planters and plastic planters are both made to withstand harsh interior and exterior conditions.. Within the first season your planter — whether fiberglass or plastic — may not look much different from the day you first purchased it.
However, over time the differences between a fiberglass and plastic planter will become increasingly apparent. Take a look at why fiberglass will always emerge as the preferred planter material season after season:
The construction process and materials of quality fiberglass planters are designed to withstand harsh conditions. They are low-maintenance, and there’s no need to remove them from outdoors in the event of snow, thunderstorms or other adverse conditions. Fiberglass planters are frost-resistant, rust-proof and shatterproof. Those qualities also contribute to the enduring appearance of your planters. That saturated hue you fell in love with? Count on it remaining that same shade for years after your purchase.
The materials and manufacturing process for plastic planters are the very attributes that can work against them. Plastic planters can be more susceptible to fading, cracking and shattering. The longer you leave them out in the elements, the more likely you will need to replace them after a few seasons.
Ease of Use
Concerned about ease of use when planting and moving your plant designs around? When it comes to varying types of planters, fiberglass and plastic containers both rank highly as lightweight and easy to maneuver from place to place when compared to other planter options, especially when compared to ceramic, concrete or clay pots. Here’s why:
Fiberglass planters, although incredibly strong and durable, are surprisingly lightweight. The composite materials of resin, and fiberglass sheets and the construction process contribute to their lightweight structure.
Although plastic planters may not get high marks for durability, they are known for their lightweight construction — allowing you to easily move them around after potting your plants.
Of course, cost will be a consideration for many when shopping around for the best planter for an interior or exterior green design project. Depending upon the size of the planter you choose, the difference in cost between a fiberglass planter and a plastic planter could span a wide range of price points. If you’re only calculating a purchase based on the price tag, a plastic planter will more than likely have the advantage.
However, if you’re considering the long-term cost, the fiberglass planter will be your best option because of the likelihood of having to regularly replace damaged plastic planters. Over time, those costs can add up quickly. Consider these factors when choosing between the two:
When choosing a fiberglass planter, consider how long you want it to last. If you’re planning to include it as an element in your overall design scheme — rather than as a temporary display— a fiberglass planter is your best option. This is particularly an important consideration for exterior landscaping projects, since fiberglass will endure the elements — season after season, year after year — without the need to regularly move them indoors or replace them. The extra cost will far outweigh the disadvantages that come with plastic planters.
If your project is short-term, perhaps for one tradeshow, a plastic planter can provide you with the temporary solution without the higher cost of a fiberglass planter, which is designed as more of a permanent solution.
Choosing the best planter material for your flowers, trees and plants can involve many considerations—from design appeal and durability to cost. When every factor is considered, fiberglass planters will always emerge as the leading choice for design flexibility, longevity and overall value.