Plant pot, vase, flowerpot, pot

Hello everyone,

I know that ''plant pot'' is used when talking about ''a container in which flowers and other plants are cultivated and displayed'', but is it natural/usual to use ''plant vase'' as in the picture below?

1669247033985.png


An example that I made up: ''He bought a plant vase for his mother.''

Thank you in advance!
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Those are not vases within the US-E use of the word.Vases are what you put cut flowers in.
    Although vase might be pronounced differently in BrE than in AmE, the usage is the same on either side of the Atlantic. And agreed about 'flowerpot' too. If you're thinking of a large container for plants, then that would be a 'planter'.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, 'pots' if the context is clear. I hear flowerpots, as in the children's series Bill and Ben the flowerpot men.
    1669259727260.png

    And there's the flowerpot bread recipe from the BBC above.

    Some garden centres simply call all of the containers 'planters', and I see 'plant pots' too.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    Don’t use “plant pot”
    .... if you are talking to American English speakers.

    Otherwise, "plant pot" or simply "pot" is fine. These terms are absolutely normal in the UK and Australia, and maybe other English-speaking countries, too.
    or “plant vase.”
    Agreed! There's no such thing as a "plant vase". A plant is something that's growing in soil, either in the ground or in a pot. Plants don't grow in vases; a vase is something that you fill with water and put cut flowers in.
    flowerpot :tick:
    vase :tick:
    (different things)
    Yes.
    The ones in your picture are flowerpots.
    For me, those are pots or plant pots. It seems odd to me to call something a flowerpot if there are no flowers involved.
     
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    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    In this case - of the picture above - I'm supposed to use ''plant pot''.
    That's a "Yes" from me. I would use "plant pot" or simply "pot". I wouldn't use "flowerpot" to describe those objects in your OP.
    So even if I am using a container that doesn't have any flowers, like this one below:
    I am supposed to use ''flowerpot'', right?

    In the US, it seems that you are. (That was a surprise to me, by the way. "Live and learn!" as you said above :) ).

    But that's not the case elsewhere in the world. As far as I'm concerned, your picture in #9 does not show a flowerpot. It's plant .... in a plant pot. For example:

    https://www.homebase.co.uk/terracotta-plant-pot-15cm/12806320.html
     
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    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "Live and learn!"
    Same here! I had absolutely no idea the term “plant pot” existed. It sounds very strange to me.

    I also wouldn’t use “pot” without an attribute. To me, a “pot” is the thing you cook in.

    In the US, “flowerpot” simply describes the object. The name doesn’t change depending on what type of plant you happen to put it in (or, as I said earlier, whether you put anything in it at all, or something other than a plant).
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    Same here!
    :tick: I've said it many times, but I learn something new about our shared language every single day I come here. Today must have been a record - I came across this revelation before 6am today.
    I had absolutely no idea the term “plant pot” existed. It sounds very strange to me.
    Say it a few times. Maybe in your best RP accent. You'll get used to it. :)
    I also wouldn’t use “pot” without an attribute.
    As agreed by Capt Z and Nat in #12/13, 'pot' works if the context is clear. For example, a presenter on a gardening show might say "Put a handful of soil in the pot and then pop your plant in". Wouldn't they say that in AmE? Would they say "flowerpot"?
    To me, a “pot” is the thing you cook in.
    Not to me. This is another AmE/BrE difference, of course. Your 'pot' is our 'pan'. In BrE, these are pans:

    1669275894782.png

    The Venn diagram showing the overlaps and differences between how AmE/BrE uses the terms pot/pan/bowl/tray/can/tin/dish etc is a PhD thesis in itself. But whatever we call or don't call pots in the kitchen, I had, until now, assumed that we were all in agreement about 'pot' in a gardening sense. But it seems that we're not even on the same page there......
     
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    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    As agreed by Capt Z and Nat in #12/13, 'pot' works if the context is clear. For example, a presenter on a gardening show might say "Put a handful of soil in the pot and then pop your plant in". Wouldn't they say that in AmE? Would they say "flowerpot"?
    All I can say is that I don’t think I’ve personally ever heard “pot” used on its own for a flowerpot, but it’s possible it is used that way in US English (if the context is clear, as you say).

    (Speaking of US/UK differences, a US gardening show host probably wouldn’t say “pop your plant in.” ;))

    In BrE, these are pans:
    :eek: That’s another revelation! So is the term “pot” not used at all in the UK for a container used for cooking?

    (Speaking of kitchen things, another US/UK difference I recently came across is that you call oven mitts “oven gloves.” I don’t know if you also say “oven mitts,” of course.)
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    < Topic drift removed. Cagey, moderator >

    The answer is that 'pot' was used in this sense in the past, so we have relics of this use. We still use 'pot' or 'stockpot' for the very large vessel with side handles that bubbles away in restaurant kitchens and the homes of serious soupmakers. We talk about 'pots and pans' as a general term for cooking vessels. 'Washing the pots' is a regional term for washing dishes. And we have all the idioms and suchlike: 'pot calling the kettle black' and 'a watched pot never boils'.
    Wow, so this use has only survived in fixed expressions, idioms, etc. I had no idea!
     
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    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    Yes, or plantpot. The essential difference is that plantpots/flowerpots have a hole in the bottom, vases don't.
    It's more than that, surely? That sound like the distinction between a plant pot/flower pot (which is filled with soil and where the plant actually grows - hence the need for a drain hole at the bottom) and a decorative outer pot/planter which one of these might sit in (no drain hole).

    The 'hole' issue is a difference between this:

    1669281546608.png

    and this, for example:

    1669281669070.png


    A vase is something else entirely. You don't put plants in vases at all - vases are for cut flowers:

    1669281855740.png

    No hole, granted. But that doesn't seem to be the main point.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    < Topic drift removed. Cagey, moderator >

    The essential difference is that plantpots/flowerpots have a hole in the bottom, vases don't.
    I would say the main difference is that flowerpots are typically made of terracotta, while vases are typically made of glass or porcelain. Flowerpots also tend to be thicker than vases.

    Do flowerpots always have a hole at the bottom?

    Also, vases come in a much larger variety of shapes. They can have very narrow openings, which flowerpots cannot.

    [cross-posted]
     
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    CaptainZero

    Senior Member
    English
    I would say the main difference is that flowerpots are typically made of terracotta
    More typically plastic these days, in my experience.

    Do flowerpots always have a hole at the bottom?
    That's generally the case. The hole allows excess water to drain off, and most plants will die unless they have good drainage, as the root system suffocates if there's no aeration. In fact plastic pots usually have multiple holes in the bottom, not just one.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    < Topic drift removed. Cagey, moderator >

    "Pot" is used frequently in everyday BE for a whole host of things from the wet clay being taken off the potter's wheel, to plastic or terra-cotta containers for seedlings or young oak trees, to the cast-iron casseroles used for stews and other one-pot meals. Once the context has been defined, there's no need to specify.

    (It is of course also a successful stroke in snooker, a synonym for marihuana, the game you bring home from hunting...)
     
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    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    A vase is something else entirely. You don't put plants in vases at all - vases are for cut flowers:

    View attachment 79127
    It is possible to grow plants in vases, but they have to be growing in water, not in soil. Usually hydroponic systems use plastic containers without holes, but plants can thrive in a vase, with or without stones to stabilise them.
    Amazon.se: Hem & kök
     
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