"It'll give your home depth." This style expert knows a simple trick to make your houseplants look elevated and expensive

Designer and plant expert Hilton Carter knows how to choose a palette for pots and planters that will elevate your indoor garden

Plants and planters from Leaf Envy on a kitchen shelf
(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

Deciding what color pots are best for indoor plants is an individual decision based on personal preference. It will also be influenced by the room your plants are being placed in and what else is in it. 

However, certain colors work better together in your indoor garden than others and some shades emphasise or subdue whatever they are next to. So there are some pot colors that are pretty much guaranteed to work whatever the circumstance. 

'Color plays such an important role in interior design. Whether you have a scheme for each room or the entire home, it can exude an emotion, an energy, and provoke a reaction that can be invaluable,'' says plant expert and author Hilton Carter in his latest book, Living Wild. 

'In college, I took a course on color theory and was blown away by the idea that certain colors look completely different when they are placed next to each other.'

Hilton Carter

Interior designer, plant expert and author Hilton Carter received his BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA in film from Art Center College of Design. He is a regular in Livingetc, sharing his advice on styling with plants and how to look after them. He lives in a plant-filled space in New York.

What color pots are best for indoor plants?

Aries glazed planters from Ivyline

(Image credit: Ivyline)

'When styling houseplants, you’ll mostly be working with the color green, but, luckily for us, they come in so many shades,' continues Hilton. 'Let the colors in your plants influence the paints you cover your walls with, the furniture you place throughout your home, and even the art you put on display.'

This extends to what's currently happening with trending pots for indoors gardens, too. The tones in your plant's leaves will be flattered by the planter they are placed in. There's no denying the beauty of lush green foliage against a white glazed ceramic, earthy terracotta, matt black or a cool grey pot. 

'The planter is the outfit in which you dress your plant,' says Hilton. 'Weaving in a tapestry of mixed materials with different textures gives a home definition and depth.'

ZZ plant in room styled by Hilton Carter, Living Wild published by Cico Books

(Image credit: Living Wild by Hilton Carter, published by CICO Books / Photography by Hilton Carter © CICO Books)

'When I’m styling my own space, I’ll most likely choose the plant for a particular area first, then select the planter that it will be styled in,' says Hilton. 'A sober grey planter allows a leafy Goeppertia orbifolia to be the star of the show.'

Some other perfect pairings in Hilton's home include a Philodendron 'jungle boogie' dressed in a chunky white ribbed planter, a Calathea setosa in a nerikomi-style pot by Fay Ray Clay, and a ZZ plant in a sturdy straight-sided terracotta pot.

selection of plants and pots from Leaf Envy

(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

In general monochromatic colors, such as white, grey and black will look good next to lush green foliage. Earthy natural materials like terracotta or even wood, wicker or seagrass will beautifully offset a range of green tones, while warm metals, such as brass, with a hint of sheen will flatter shiny leaves. 

Fiddle-leaf fig in Living Wild by Hilton Carter published by CICO Books

(Image credit: Hilton Carter Living Wild published by CICO Books)

For a modern urban aesthetic, choose materials such as concrete, speckled terrazzo or marble. If you can't resist color, painted pots in soft pink or pale yellow can emphasise corresponding tones in leaves.

However, bold or primary colors will likely detract attention from your plant, so these are best avoided. 

The most stylish plant pots to buy now

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.