Utilitarian pots are generally inexpensive at many retailers and owners can decorate them with acrylic paint. With a little imagination, it is possible to recycle many items, from muffin tins to baskets, into outdoor pots for plants while an inexpensive dishpan, available from many discount stores, provides a slightly larger pot. Used tires, lying flat on the ground and full of potting soil, provide plenty of room for several plants in a single container.
Regardless of the container the gardener selects for a pot, it should provide drainage to prevent water from collecting and causing root rot. Many planting pots already have a hole in the bottom for this purpose. Baskets, burlap and other fiber materials provide natural drainage. It is easy to bore a hole through many recycled materials to ensure proper drainage. If drilling is likely to break the pot, a layer of loose gravel in the bottom meets the needs.
The container should hold the dirt in place while the plant grows. While many think of pots as clay or plastic, plants grow just as well in a converted shoe organizer with the pockets filled with soil, providing a vertical pot display for one or more varieties of plants. A pair of old boots or stiletto-heeled shoes from a garage sale are possible inexpensive containers for outdoor potted plants.