Clay Or Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus: What’s Better?

If you are in the process to choose the right pot for your Christmas Cactus and thinking about which material to choose, you will find enough information in this post that would help you in that.

In this post, I will do a comparison of Clay Pot vs Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus.

Clay Pot Vs Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus

Let’s get started!

Clay Or Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus

Clay Pot Plastic Pot
Material Made of Clay (Porous) Made of Regular Plastic
Durability Prone to breakage Last long
Weight Heavier Lightweight
Water Retention It retains excess water and provides essential moisture to Christmas Cactus It drains excess water and does not retain any additional water.
Drainage Good drainage Not proper drainage
Cost Cheap and a bit expensive, both are available depending on the type of clay pot and design. Generally very cheap, even much cheaper than a clay pot.

Clay Pot for Christmas Cactus

Unlike regular cactus plants, Christmas cactus cannot survive in dry, desert conditions. They are more of an indoor houseplant rather than an outdoor plant. How well your Christmas cactus can survive depends on where you have potted it. 

Clay Pots

When it comes to picking the right pot for Christmas Cactus, clay, or terracotta pots are often first picked. These clay-made pots provide a conducive environment to the plant due to their porous structure. 

When they come in contact with water, they quickly absorb it and turn dark, giving you an idea of the moisture level of potting soil. 

Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus

Plastic pots are great for decorative purposes because they come in different colors and designs. 

Plastic Pots

If you are thinking of adding your Christmas cactus as a centerpiece of your home decor, plastic pots will be of help. 

They are light along you to easily displace it from one place to another. Additionally, these plastic planters are great for those who are operating on a budget.

Longevity of the Pot

Undoubtedly, plastic pots are harder and stronger than clay pots, so they don’t shatter into pieces when you drop them. 

They don’t crack in winter like clay pots. If you leave both clay and plastic planters untouched or don’t displace them often, the plastic one can go long while the clay pot will chip. 

On this scale, plastic planters are the winner! 


Plastic pots have poor drainage as compared to clay pots because plastic is not a porous material. 

Cactus planted in plastic pots need the right amount of moisture as it can’t drain out excess moisture. 

Thus, the plant roots become clogged with water, and the cactus dies in worse conditions. 

On the other hand, clay pots can evaporate excess water. However, such pots aren’t great for summer as the soil dries too fast. 

Watering Frequency

When Using a Clay Pot

Since clay pots are porous and cannot return moisture, you must keep watering their potting soil without large gaps. 

Watering twice a day in the summer season and watering once a day works great in winter works great. 

The best recommended time is to water in the early morning and early evening so that the cactus gets enough time to soak water.

When using a Plastic Pot

Plastic pots have low drainage efficiency and a high capacity to retain moisture, so they do not dry up quickly. 

You can leave your Christmas cactus unwatered for a few days as long as the soil is moist. 


Clay-made pots are weak and prone to chip, crack or break, while plastic pots are sturdy. Plastic planters can handle accidents as compared to their counterparts. Hence, they are more durable. 


Plastic pots are made by injection molding, which is a cheap manufacturing process. Thus, it keeps the price of plastic pots much lower than that of terracotta pots. 

Pros and Cons of Using A Clay Pot for Christmas Cactus


  • Clay pot provides the right environment for the soil. Hence, the soil neither dries nor gets soggy and helps the plant to grow. 
  • They turn dark on absorbing water, which helps detect the soil’s moisture. 
  • They are more affordable than their counterparts.
  • Since clay pots come in one color, they give your home decor a uniform look. 
  • Pots with bottom holes increase the drainage efficiency of potting soil.
  • You can use them for both indoor and outdoor purposes. 
  • Clay pots are incredibly wet climates because they quickly draw the excess water out due to their porousness. It means no rotting or plant diseases. 


  • Plants dry up frequently in Terracotta pots due to rapid draining, so they need extra care in dry weather.
  • The pots become fragile and stiff during winters causing them to break. 
  • They are delicate, so they break into pieces on falling on an unforgiving surface. 

Pros and Cons of Using A Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus


  • Plastic pots are lighter in weight as compared to terracotta pots.
  • Plastic pots are not affected by extremely cold weather, so they don’t crack in winter.
  • You can easily find them in any shop. 
  • They are super cheap and are available in different colors.
  • Since plastic planters are not porous, they can retain moisture better. 
  • You can purchase plastic planters with saucers to hold drained water. Hence, they don’t make your space dirty. 


  • Plastic material degrades in direct heat and sunlight, so you can’t keep them outdoors in summer.
  • They have poor drainage capacity, so potting soil should be well-drained. Excess water can make the roots clogged.
  • They don’t change color on watering the soil, so you can’t assume the moisture level.

Clay or Plastic Pot: What kind of pot is best for Christmas cactus?

Both pots have different benefits, so it’s your personal preference which one you will pick. Christmas cactus survives well in moist soil rather than dry soil. 

However, clay pots dry up quickly, demanding you to water them frequently. 

Here are some Amazing Clay Pots Available on Amazon:

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Plastic planters are ideal if you like to travel regularly or often forget to water plants. 

Here are some beautiful Plastic Pots Available on Amazon:

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What size pot should you choose for Christmas Cactus?

Christmas cacti grow well in slightly intact soil so avoid purchasing large pots. You can pick one with 4 to 5 inches in size. 

Ideally, the pot should have one by fourth of an inch gap between the rim of the planter and the main cactus body. 

Choosing Clay or Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus FAQs

Q1. Are clay pots good for Christmas Cactus?

Clay pots are good for Christmas Cactus as they allow the roots to absorb nutrients and oxygen from the air. There’s no risk of water clogging the soil.

Q2. Do Christmas Cactus like Plastic Pots?

Christmas cactus like plastic pots in dry weather as it gets sufficient water to soak up. The pot doesn’t dry out the soil too fast. 


Let’s conclude the post on Clay Pot or Plastic Pot for Christmas Cactus!

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