Mid Century Modern Planters

Mid-century modern planters are one of the most coveted home accessories for the indoor gardening enthusiast (if you like mid-century modern decor like I do).

Beauty and Form

  • simple design
  • frequently ceramic (most have been built to last)
  • classic – they never go out of style
  • works well with almost any decor
  • compliments most types of houseplants


Honestly, I love my plants. Half of the allure of having houseplants are how they compliment their environments. But more importantly, the planters you use to pot them play an instrumental role in how well they grow.

Drainage or No Drainage?

Having planters with holes is almost always better then having planters without them. But, if you’re like me, and you spend hours online looking for the perfect planter to compliment your favorite houseplant, sometimes that perfect planter doesn’t come with drainage. When they have drainage, it feels a little like winning the lottery. However, in most cases (in my experience), they don’t.

Potting plants correctly isn’t common knowledge. I know because I’ve done it wrong before. I bought a beautiful planter (similar to this one below) but it didn’t have holes for drainage.
red orange planter

Poor Drainage

At first, it didn’t matter much to me and I went through the motions. I put a layer of aquarium gravel on the bottom, then some moss, and then some soil. I made my plant nice and comfy… or so I thought. Months went by, my plant was dropping it’s leaves like crazy, and it simply looked like it was suffering.

Every so often, I do what I call “plant refactoring.” I have way too many houseplants so now and again, I consolidate what I have, sometimes combining plants in one container that were originally in two. My mission this time was to do something to help my suffering my houseplant’s declining condition.

In the middle of my refactoring session, I lifted my unhealthy houseplant from the planter and it was completely water-logged. I mean, this thing was soaked. The bottom of the planter looked like a murky, smelly pond of water. Pretty gross. No wonder the plant was suffering!


I looked to amazon for what is called a “nursery pot” that is made of coconut coir (doesn’t have to be). I measured the diameter of my ceramic planter, then looked for the same diameter pot for the inner one.

nursery pot and planter

double-potting example

That way, the plant has the drainage it needs but the aesthetic of the planter. If it needs a height boost, I usually put rocks inside the bottom. The other reason for doing that is because it allows excess water to collect without water-logging the plant.

Best case scenario is that you find the perfect planter and it has drainage as well as a saucer.


There are many occasions where you actually might not need a plant to be double-potted. Basil plants have a very high tolerance to being over-watered. They love water and don’t seem to mind having no drainage. Also, most succulents don’t need much water so the likelihood of overwatering is much less common.

I have some succulents in planters without drainage and they look pretty happy:

haeger planter with succulents

succulents in a clear glass container

top view of succulents in brulee ramekin

succulents in brulee ramekin

Popular Mid-Century Modern Pottery Brands

Morton Shawnee Syring
Haeger California Pottery Coors
Marei Keramik GAINEY Roseville
Coronet Frankoma Hornsea
Haldeman Caliente Pottery of California Franciscan Ceramics Sierra Vista California
Stahl Pottery Hull McCoy
Zanesville Carolina Macbeth Evans
Robinson Ransbottom Bauer Pottery Shawnee
Weller Inarco Red Wing
Hazel Atlas Spara Keramik Cathrineholm
Heath Ceramics Marcia of California Fiesta

small textured planter

white and gold bitossi planter

mccoy planters

Gainey Ceramics Planter