Why Are Planters So (Darn) Expensive?

Planters on shelves

You go into a retail store, looking for a planter to home your new plant. And then you wonder why the planters are costing more than the plants themselves.

Planters are expensive to cover the cost of production, labor, transportation, and wages. These costs are further exacerbated by recent inflation and supply chain issues.

Other factors driving the price of planters include retail branding, exclusive designers, and suppliers requiring minimum orders.  

In this short article, I will point out some likely reasons why planting pots are so expensive.

Production and Labour Costs

People are willing to pay the price for planters because they don’t have the equipment, material, skills, and willingness to make it themselves.

For example, building a simple wooden planter box involves getting pieces of wooden boards, sizing, and cutting them. The parts need to be assembled and finished off by sanding and covering them with protective paint.

While some will happily take on this project as a weekend task, others prefer to utilize their time in other ways and are prepared to pay for a finished product. I suppose businesses target these consumers and know they can charge a higher price.

Some retailers sell designer planters for those willing to pay a premium in exchange for a fancy pot.

For example, perigold.com has a selection of luxury indoor planters, some of which are handmade. Take a look at the below porcelain basin pot planter on sale for a hefty price of $130!

The higher price point for these designer planters is to account for the creativity, skill, and assembly work. Crafters should be fairly compensated for their craft which is why they demand higher prices. Consumers with extra disposable income who appreciate this decor usually drive prices up.

The method by which the planter was made contributes to the overall cost of planters. For instance, a high-fired terracotta pot will be much more stable and durable than a low-fired terracotta pot.

Supply Chain Issues and Inflation

The cost of everyday items has increased since the covid19 pandemic, and the cost of planters is no different.

According to an article by U.S Bank, supply chain issues significantly increased inflation throughout 2021 and 2022.

With a shortage of commodities and the war between Russia and Ukraine, these events have interrupted shipments of commodities from these countries.

Supply chain challenges affect a wider range of products, with companies finding it difficult to find staff for production needs.

The result of these supply chain issues is rising inflation. While we’ve seen more evident price increases among the grocery and construction industries, we can come to a similar conclusion with plant pots.

To improve the efficiency in transporting planters, you’ll find that planters are often built in a tapered form to allow the stacking of pots and thereby reduce transportation costs.

Suppliers Require Minimum Orders

Some suppliers of planters require a minimum order which requires a greater outlay. Large retail chains often do bulk ordering to take advantage of discounts.

These higher initial upfront costs mean retailers have to increase individual unit prices to recoup their costs quickly.

Given that planters sell relatively slowly, businesses may find the need to increase their prices for a greater margin.

Branding of Retailers Affects Pricing of Planters

The pricing of planters varies depending on which retailer you buy from.

Retailers that are in the market of selling luxury goods are likely to charge consumers a higher price for perceived exclusivity.

For example, AMARA is in the business of selling luxury homeware, furniture, and bathroom accessories. The below Parterre Plant Pot would set you back $470:

AMARA has a strong branding identity and can create an emotional connection with the consumer. This marketing strategy entices customers to impulse-buy the luxury item.

Willing Buyers Mean Planters Continue to Be Priced High

Apart from the overhead costs that contribute to the pricing of planters, they’re expensive simply because there are willing buyers. 

Ultimately, nurseries need to make margins, and as long as people still buy them, businesses will continue to sell them at those price points. It’s the same reason cinemas sell popcorn at exorbitant prices when it can be made cheaply at home.

To Summarise…

We can all agree that planters at retail stores can be quite expensive. Often, you’ll end up paying more for the pot than the plant itself. While this seems a bit ridiculous at first, it might be more acceptable if we consider the various labor and production costs associated with each item.

Many people can find cheaper planters at second-hand venues such as thrift stores and yard sales. If you’re willing to do some hunting, these places are a great way to find hidden treasures for a fraction of the original prices. 

Image Credits


Plantician Guy (Mike)

Hi I'm Mike, a self-proclaimed plantician (an invented profession to describe a plant enthusiast). Based in Sydney Australia, I enjoy the great outdoors and the greenery things around the garden, in particular, indoor climbing plants.

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