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Smart Pots for Indoor Plants

Smart Pots for Indoor Plants

Smart Pots for Indoor Plants

As plant parents, we are always on the lookout for new, innovative ways to help our plants flourish. The latest rage in planting technology is Smart Pots. These fabric pots have grabbed the attention of container garden enthusiasts across the nation, but are these pots worth the excitement? Let’s break it down.

What Are Smart Pots?

Smart pots are fabric containers designed for plants, offering enhanced aeration and drainage compared to traditional pots. The breathable material promotes healthier root systems through air pruning and prevents overheating of soil. These eco-friendly pots are lightweight, portable, and suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor plants.

What are the Best Plants to Grow in Smart Pots

Smart pots are versatile and can be used with a wide range of plants, but they are particularly beneficial for plants that prefer well-drained soil and a healthy root system. Here are some of the best plants to use with smart pots:

Vegetables: Many vegetable plants, especially those with deep root systems like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and root vegetables (carrots, beets), thrive in smart pots due to the improved aeration and drainage.

Herbs: Herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, and rosemary, which require good drainage and air circulation, do well in smart pots.

Flowering Plants: Annuals and perennials that enjoy well-drained soil, such as petunias, marigolds, and zinnias, benefit from the conditions provided by smart pots.

Succulents and Cacti: These plants prefer dry conditions and are susceptible to root rot, making smart pots ideal for their growth.

Fruit Trees and Bushes: Dwarf varieties of fruit trees and bushes, like blueberries, strawberries, and citrus trees, can be successfully grown in larger smart pots.

Ornamental Grasses: Grasses that need room to spread their roots can do well in smart pots, which encourage a healthier root system.

Houseplants: Many houseplants, particularly those that are prone to overwatering or root rot, can benefit from the improved drainage and air flow of smart pots.

Why Choose Smart Pots:

Aeration: Smart pots are made from a breathable fabric, which allows air to penetrate the sides of the pot. This increased aeration can lead to healthier root systems by providing more oxygen to the roots, and it can also help to prevent issues like root rot and overwatering.

Temperature Control: The breathable fabric also helps regulate the temperature of the soil. In traditional pots, soil can get excessively hot if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods, but the fabric material of smart pots helps to dissipate heat more effectively.

Improved Drainage: Smart pots typically have better drainage than traditional plastic or ceramic pots. This is especially beneficial for plants that do not like to sit in wet soil.

Root Pruning: When roots reach the edge of a fabric pot, they sense the drier environment outside the pot and naturally stop growing (a process known as air pruning). This prevents the roots from circling around the inside of the pot, which can lead to a healthier, more robust root system.

Portability: Smart pots are generally lighter and easier to move around than traditional pots, which can be particularly useful for larger indoor plants. If you plan on moving your potted plant around frequently, we recommend investing in a Vita™ grow bulb from Soltech to light your plant. It can be hard to ensure proper lighting in multiple settings, but a grow light will remove the guesswork from this process.

Eco-Friendly: Many smart pots are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly option.

Versatility and Aesthetics: They come in various sizes and colors, offering flexibility and aesthetic options for indoor gardeners.

While smart pots offer many benefits, they may not be suitable for all types of houseplants or situations. It's important to consider the specific needs of your plants and your home environment when choosing pots.

Smart Pot vs Classic Pot


A common issue with typical ceramic pots is that the roots can quickly grow out of control. When our plants are thriving and growing rapidly above the soil, their roots are behaving similarly below; but unlike sprouting into the open air of our home, these roots have nowhere to go but to circle around themselves. Ceramic pots can even break, due to the pressure created by expanding root systems.

Because of the fabric that the Smart Pot is crafted with, roots can prune themselves by growing feeder roots when the main root meets the side of the pot, rather than continue growing the main root. When main roots grow too long, the nutrients and water need more time to reach the plant, reducing growth above the surface. When feeder roots grow, however, the main root is supplied with nutrients and water easily and growth ensues.

What are the Dangers of Plants Becoming Root Bound

Restricted Growth: As roots circle and entangle themselves, they occupy most of the pot's space, leaving little room for soil and, consequently, limited nutrients and water. This stunts the plant's growth and can lead to a decline in health.

Watering Issues: Root-bound plants often struggle with water absorption. Water can run straight through the pot without being properly absorbed, leading to dehydration. Conversely, water can also become trapped, increasing the risk of root rot.

Nutrient Deficiency: The limited soil in a root-bound pot cannot hold sufficient nutrients to meet the plant's needs. This deficiency can lead to yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a general decline in the plant’s vigor. 

Stress and Damage to the Plant: Root-bound plants are under significant stress, which can make them more susceptible to diseases and pests. Additionally, when repotting, the tangled roots can be difficult to disentangle, risking physical damage to the plant.

Poor Soil Structure: Over time, the soil in a root-bound pot can become compacted and lose its structure, further reducing its ability to hold water and nutrients effectively. 


Another benefit of the porous material is that roots will stay cool! When planted in the ground, roots are able to stay in their desired, moist environment at a cool temperature. When planting in pots, however, heat can get trapped and cause distress for your plant.

The fabric material of smart pots allows for better air circulation compared to traditional plastic or ceramic pots. This increased airflow helps to dissipate heat more effectively, preventing the soil and roots from overheating, especially in direct sunlight or hot climates. When water evaporates from the sides of a fabric pot, it can have a cooling effect on the soil inside. This process is similar to how perspiration cools our bodies. The evaporative cooling can be particularly beneficial during hot weather, helping to keep the root zone at a more optimal temperature for plant growth.

Fabric pots can also provide a form of insulation for the root system. In cooler conditions, the fabric can help to maintain a more consistent soil temperature, protecting roots from extreme temperature fluctuations. The Smart Pot regulates the temperature inside the pot by allowing airflow throughout, letting hot air escape, and keeping the roots comfortably cool. This feature is particularly beneficial if you live in a hot, humid environment that is difficult to control indoors.

Why Protect Against Temperature Shifts?

It’s so simple to forget plants on the porch or in a drafty window. This is a brief reminder of why it is important to protect plants from drastic temperature differences.

Shock and Stress: Plants can experience shock from abrupt temperature changes, leading to stress that weakens their overall health and growth.

Leaf Scorch and Wilting: High temperatures can cause leaves to scorch, turn brown, and wilt, especially in plants not adapted to heat.

Stunted Growth: Extreme temperature shifts can slow down a plant's growth or completely halt it, as the plant struggles to adapt to the new conditions.

Frost Damage: A sudden drop in temperature can cause frost damage in sensitive plants, leading to blackened or damaged foliage and stems.

Bud and Flower Drop: Temperature fluctuations can cause plants to prematurely drop their buds or flowers, impacting flowering and fruiting.

Root Damage: In potted plants, roots can be particularly vulnerable to temperature changes, affecting the plant's ability to absorb water and nutrients.

Pest and Disease Vulnerability: Stressed plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases, as their defense mechanisms are weakened.

Leaf Drop: Sudden cold can lead to leaf drop in some plant species as a protective measure to reduce water loss.

Moisture Imbalance: Rapid temperature changes can affect soil moisture levels, leading to either drought stress or waterlogged conditions.

Photosynthesis Disruption: Extreme temperatures can disrupt the process of photosynthesis, affecting the plant's ability to produce food and energy. If you are struggling to ensure balanced lighting conditions, we recommend the Aspect™ hanging pendant grow light. This will make it simpler to ensure proper lighting without risk of overheating or scorching.


Overwatering is a very common issue amongst all plant owners, even if they are experienced. While most plant owners worry themselves over underwatering, overwatering is actually a much more prevalent and ultimately destructive issue. Too much water can lead to root rot and a lack of oxygen in the soil, which stifles root function and can ultimately kill the plant.

In typical ceramic planters, water tends to collect on the bottom and cause soggy soil. On the flip side, the top of the soil dries out quickly and requires more watering, leading to a cycle of soggy roots and dry topsoil.

Since the Smart Pot is made from a porous material, it is able to absorb excess water and let it drain through the pot. This material also distributes water throughout the entire pot, relocating water to drier areas. Ceramic pots typically need to sit atop a water tray to catch drainage, but Smart Pots must always be placed on a drainage tray because of the material. If you forget to place a tray under your Smart Pot you can expect a puddle of water to accumulate beneath your plant rather quickly.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we think Smart Pots are worth giving a shot! Especially if you have been having issues with unequal water distribution throughout your soil or have struggled to keep your plant lively because of suboptimal roots, this pot can be a useful step in fixing these problems. If, however, your plants have been thriving and you see no reason to make a change, your classic ceramic pots can serve you and your plants just fine!

If you’re a new plant parent, a Smart Pot might be a great component of an indoor-garden starter kit! Pair a Smart Pot with a beautiful indoor plant and a grow light to start adding greenery to your indoor space. Also consider some points we didn’t touch on here, such as the flexibility of the container that helps with storage, the price point, and your own personal aesthetic! Visit the company website for more information and guidance on purchasing.