How to Use Pottery to Elevate Your Outdoor Decor

The tradition of pottery dates back to prehistoric times, and today, pottery is trendy for both decorations and as an art form. Many people have fallen in love with pottery’s elegant beauty for everything from dishware to interior design. It’s also a fantastic way to add character and vibrant colors to your yard. Learn all the types and uses for pottery in the backyard and how to create an enchanting, greenery-filled landscape with ceramic planters.

Types of Pottery

One of pottery’s most popular uses is in outdoor and indoor planters and vases. With so many ways to turn clay into something attractive and useful, pottery comes in various shapes, sizes and materials:


Since pottery is either sculpted by hand or made with pour-in molds, it can form almost any shape imaginable. When it comes to planters, you’ll find plenty of popular shapes, including:

  • Round: Round planters include any planter with a circular opening at the mouth. They can be cylindrical, tapered, olive-shaped, tall or stout. Some round pots have a rim, and others have none.
  • Square: A square pot has a square opening at the top. It can form a vertical prism or a cube shape. Like round pots, they can be tapered or straight, and some even have twisted or curved sides.
  • Oblong: Long, rectangular planter pots are usually window boxes and railing planters. Some window and railing planters take the shape of ovals or include more decorative shapes. They hang off of windows or railings with special hooks.
  • Low bowl: A popular type of round pot is the low bowl. This round, short pot looks like a saucer.
  • Urn: Sometimes called a statue planter, urns are especially ornamental. They may have a square or round tapered base with a bowl or chalice-shaped cavity on top where the plant goes. They often look like oversized goblets.


Landscape pottery can have nearly any size. Since it’s primarily used as planters, outdoor pottery does have some standard sizes that correspond with typical plant sizes. These sizes break down into a few categories, such as:

  • Small: Small pots are less than 8 inches tall or 8 inches in diameter.
  • Medium: The next size up, medium pots can be anywhere from 8 inches-16 inches high and wide.
  • Large: For even bigger plants, choose a large pot anywhere from 16 inches-24 inches tall or in diameter.
  • Extra large: Any pot wider or taller than 24 inches is extra large.


The word “ceramic” refers to a class of material that’s soft when wet and permanently hardens with heat. Technically, everything from glass to cement is considered a ceramic material. Even clay pottery can form different forms of ceramic. 

Earthenware is a ceramic that fires at low temperatures, like the classic terra cotta garden planter. Stoneware is pottery that uses mid- or high-firing course-grained clay, and porcelain comes from fine-grained, high-firing white clay. Accordingly, pottery comes in many materials and can even feature a blend of several materials, including:

  • Terra cotta: Traditional, unglazed reddish-brown pots are terra cotta clay. Terra cotta is used in everything from patio tiles to traditional mission-style clay tile roofs. While terra cotta is beloved for its brown and rust coloration, the material is brittle and can break quicker than some other clay pottery.
  • Glazed ceramic: Ceramic clay pottery is denser and less porous than terra cotta, making it more durable. Ceramic pots are always glazed, which gives them an attractive, glossy appearance.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a synthetic composite material that features thin glass fibers held together with resin. Another name for fiberglass is glass-reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pottery can’t be handmade like a clay pot or mug. Instead, it starts with resin poured into a mold, with sheets of fiberglass layered on top. The fiberglass and resin warm and harden to form the pottery. The result is a nonporous, durable and lightweight material.
  • Fiberclay or fiberstone: Fiberclay or fiberstone pottery is closer to what we think of as traditional pottery compared to fiberglass. Instead of reinforcing plastic resin, the pottery makers start with clay or finely ground stone and strengthen it with fiberglass.
  • Concrete composite: Concrete is another pottery material that can’t be formed on a potter’s wheel. Like fiberglass composites, it requires a mold. The wet concrete mixture is usually hand-blended and includes both color pigments and other additives.

Uses for Pottery

If you love the look of clay, you might be wondering how exactly to incorporate it into your outdoor decor. Since ceramics can form nearly any shape, home decorators have discovered many creative and attractive uses for pottery, including:

1. Planters

Most people looking for outdoor pottery in San Diego are looking for sturdy, attractive planters for their yard. Pottery is an excellent choice for potted plants. It isn’t liable to buckle or crack under the weight of wet soil like plastic planters, and it effortlessly elevates your landscape design. It’s also more environmentally friendly than plastic. If you continually overwater your plants, pottery is a better option than plastic, which can trap excess water and damage your plants’ roots and leaves.
Terra cotta is a favorite for its beautiful earthy red color and its benefits for certain plant species. The porous material lets more moisture and air pass through the soil, regulating water at the roots. Ceramic is another popular choice. The glaze over the clay prevents soil from drying out, making ceramic pots excellent for plants that need even moisture. Especially in San Diego’s arid climate, glazed ceramic pots keep your thirstier plants from drying out.
Concrete planters are also well liked for their excellent durability and color options. If a concrete pot chips, it won’t be as noticeable since the material has a more rugged exterior. Concrete is also the most eco-friendly planter option. One other benefit is its natural heat insulation. Here in sunny San Diego, the sun will warm the concrete and the soil within, keeping your heat-loving plants happy.

2. Decorative Bowls

Ceramic bowls have many landscaping and decorative uses. Fill some bowl-shaped pottery with natural river stones, pine cones, citronella candles, fruits or any number of decorative elements to bring your backyard landscape to life. You can also put them on your patio’s coffee table to add some hominess.

Add a fountain pump attachment, and a decorative bowl becomes a do-it-yourself (DIY) water feature. Crafty DIY-ers have also used ceramic potting bowls to make trendy tabletop fire bowls, the perfect miniature firepit for a tiny backyard oasis.

3. Vases

If you’re looking to spruce up your patio, porch or kitchen table, pottery also makes a great vase. Small jar- and cone-shaped planter pots without drainage holes can easily double as vases for your fresh-cut flowers. Many ceramicists also make pieces intended as vases. They look beautiful indoors and out to tie together your patio furniture, end tables or countertops.

4. Chimeneas

If you love to entertain outdoors, a chimenea is a piece of backyard pottery that will delight your friends and family and add warmth and rustic charm to your patio. Named for the Spanish word for chimney, a chimenea is a beautiful outdoor fireplace shaped like a vase. Its spherical bottom is called the “bowl,” and the tall, narrow chimney is the “neck.” The base has a mouth for the fire, and the neck releases smoke and protects your fire from the rain.

Today, many chimeneas are metal. Terra cotta and clay chimeneas are the preferred choices for anyone looking to bring the beauty of pottery to their backyard. These materials reflect chimeneas’ traditional Mexican roots, and they’re also lighter weight than cast iron or cast aluminum. 

5. Garden Statuettes

If you have a whimsical sense of style, you might like to fill your garden with some animal creatures that won’t run away. Clay is a versatile material, perfect for sculpting some furry or feathered friends for your backyard. Here at Backyard X-Scapes, our pottery statuette collection includes pigs, fish, birds, owls and even traditional Mexican Calaveras or painted skulls.

6. Fountains and Water Features

A popular backyard DIY project is creating a water feature by adding an electric pump to a ceramic pot filled with water. It’s a simple way to bring the calming sounds and sights of trickling water to your landscape. It can even make a lovely birdbath. On your hunt for local San Diego pottery, you may even discover ready-made ceramic fountains for your landscape. Our ceramic pottery collection includes some tall, jar-shaped and drum-shaped fountains with holes on top for a waterspout.





How to Use Pottery in Your Landscape Design

With a little planning, pottery lets you embellish your outdoor property effortlessly. Whether you’re an amateur gardener or professional landscaper, you can create an attractive landscape pottery design with a few well-placed planters. Here’s how to decorate with pottery and create a visually striking yard:

1. Decide on a Color Palette

The key to cohesion in landscaping design is color. While you don’t need all your pottery to be the same shade, you want each piece to work well with one another. Pottery comes in a rainbow of colors thanks to the many pigments and glazes available. Deciding on a color scheme before you shop for landscape pottery in San Diego can help you narrow down your options at the store.

As you consider color, your first choice is between bright hues or calming neutrals. Both have their place in landscape design, so it depends on your color preferences and the plants you want to highlight. Green vegetation is usually easy to match. It goes well with vivid turquoises, sunny yellows and most colors in between. If you’re growing flowering plants, you might consider how the pot’s color will look against the petals.

Pottery with neutral tones ranges from whites and creams to slate grays and blacks. It also includes earthy tones like terra cotta, chocolate and caramel. The advantage of neutral colors is their seamlessness and ability to match any environment or host any color plant.

Another consideration with your pottery color choices is your home’s exterior. You likely don’t want to match the exact colors of your house, but it is helpful to tie them together. If your home has warmer colors, you might pair it with a brown or burgundy pot. A darker or lighter shade can provide some nice contrast to the surroundings.

2. Find Your Personal Style

Another thing you’ll notice when shopping for planters and outdoor pottery is they come in many styles. You might find two pots in the size you need, one with decorative ornamentation and another with a sleek, unadorned look. Which pairs better with your backyard and taste? Only you can decide. Typically, round pots look more traditional, while square and rectangular pots complement contemporary architecture.

You get to decide whether you want all your pots to be the same shape and color, or if you want to add variation by selecting a few different colors or shapes that contrast. Also, consider whether you prefer the matte look or a glossy glaze.

3. Select the Right Size for Your Plants

A planter should always be big enough for whatever you plan to pot. A good rule is to select a diameter that’s 1 inch-2 inches wider than your plant. If repotting a plant into the next size up, budget 2 inches-4 inches of extra diameter. Pottery for outdoor landscaping generally errs on the larger size. Pots for indoor use can come small enough to fit on windowsills and side tables. You might choose larger pots to accentuate your front door and some smaller ones to line your porch.

4. Arrange Your Pottery

Next, decide how to arrange your pottery throughout your landscape. When you know where you want to place your planters, it can be easier to figure out how many and what shape and size to buy. You have plenty of options for placement and configurations. Use potted plants as accent pieces and focal points with arrangements such as:

  • Framing an entrance: With a large pot and a tall plant on either side of your front stoop, you create a symmetrical accent for your front door.
  • Topping pedestals, columns or stairways: If your yard has a brick or stone wall, place some potted plants strategically along the length of the wall. They’re also great for topping pedestals and columns. Another option is to line the edge of a stairway on either side with some plants. Remember to avoid plants that may eventually crawl or cascade into walkways.
  • On the corners: If you have a pool, patio or courtyard, potted plants can anchor each corner.
  • Centered on a table: A small pot makes an excellent centerpiece for your porch or patio table.
  • Creating separation and privacy: If you have a small strip of land between you and your neighbor’s yard, a potted plant makes a great dividing line — no fence required. A tall, broad-leafed potted plant can also create a bit of privacy and separation.
  • Grouped together: If you want to make a focal point in any area of your landscape, a simple solution is to pair three pots of varying heights together. Stagger them, so the shortest container is in front with the taller two flanking behind.

Reasons to Use Pottery for Decor

Pottery has many uses for outdoor decor, and plenty of DIY and store-bought decorations incorporate it. Use pottery and ceramic potted plants to:

1. Add Color and Contrast

Landscapes feature plenty of green. Between your grassy lawn and non-flowering potted plants, it’s easy for your landscape to overwhelm the eye with luscious greenery. Colorful pots are an excellent way to break up a monochrome landscape without detracting from the plants. They can also create some contrast with your property or home exterior.

2. Control Your Backyard Vegetation

Any gardener can tell you that, when planting a garden in the ground, it can be hard to maintain. Your plants may slowly creep past the edge of your garden and into your lawn. By using potted plants, you can keep your outdoor plants neat. From season to season, you know your plants will take up the same space. Pots also make it easier to bring nature to your yard without digging up a garden. Using materials like terra cotta, ceramic and concrete for your plants can help maintain the best growing conditions to make a green thumb more attainable.

3. Easily Spruce up Any Space

If your backyard looks dull and lifeless, adding plants is an easy fix. Simply arrange a few ceramic pots and add your favorite flowers and greenery to give the area new energy. Clay, terra cotta and cement can add their own character to your property. Whether you add a potted plant or a terra cotta pig, backyard pottery lets you add a personal touch.

Have you been searching for pottery for sale in San Diego? If so, you can find the items you want from Backyard X-Scapes, including pottery in bright colors, varying shapes and different sizes. Our eye-catching pottery inventory includes well-made products that reflect the stylish sensibilities of the gorgeous California coast.

Pottery can improve the look of your home or business and infuse it with personality. You can use pottery for decoration or as a functional item to hold cacti, succulents and more. Consider adding pottery to your San Diego home or business for a welcome change of pace and stylish addition that will make people take notice.

Our San Diego Pottery Ties Into Your Home Improvement Projects


Adding ceramic vases and other pottery to your San Diego home and business can improve the look of your space. Many Californians want their spaces to look unique. Vases can take a dining room from dull to delightful. Pottery can also add a dash of color when filled with plants or decorated in cheerful hues, giving the room a dynamic feel.

Home improvement projects don’t have to be large and time-consuming to make a huge difference. You can revamp the look of a room just by making a few small changes. Pottery gives new dimension to spaces of all kinds. Make changes that will benefit your space aesthetically and practically when you choose pottery from our San Diego, California retail outlet.

Why Choose Our Local San Diego Pottery?


Backyard X-Scapes is the country’s top provider of tropical commercial and home decor. The high quality of the pottery, grillsoutdoor furniture and other retail outlet items we offer sets us apart from other retailers. When you shop for pottery with us, you’ll find the largest selection in the area – bigger than all our competitors! We offer a variety of eco-friendly solutions you will feel proud to exhibit in your home or business. Our high-quality products are stylish, attractive and fun. Check them out for yourself by visiting our Backyard X-Scapes retail location in San Diego.

Pottery For Sale in Sorrento Valley


Our 75,000sq/ft Outlet in Sorrento Valley San Diego, CA offers a huge selection of pottery. With hundreds of glazed, composite and ceramic pottery options we will have what you need to help make your backyard or any room look amazing. Our pottery is not available for online purchase and with inventory changing daily, please stop by or call us directly for specific sizes, colors and styles. We are open 7-Days per week!

You will find our conveniently located retail outlet near the Torrey Pines golf course. You can explore all types of tropical decor at our store, perfect for adding excitement and variety to your commercial or residential space.

Browse Our Pottery Section at Backyard X-Scapes

Have you been searching for pottery for sale in San Diego? If so, you can find the items you want from Backyard X-Scapes, including pottery in bright colors, varying shapes and different sizes. Our eye-catching pottery inventory includes well-made products that reflect the stylish sensibilities of the gorgeous California coast.

Pottery can improve the look of your home or business and infuse it with personality. You can use pottery for decoration or as a functional item to hold cacti, succulents and more. Consider adding pottery to your San Diego home or business for a welcome change of pace and stylish addition that will make people take notice.

If you’re searching for where to buy pottery in San Diego, check out Backyard X-Scapes. We’re the area’s top provider of tropical-themed commercial and home products. We have everything you need to elevate your outdoor decor in San Diego, including outdoor furniture and bamboo products. Take a look at all the decor available at our retail store, and plan your trip today.