More reasons to like IKEA

I’ve been a fan of IKEA for as long as I can remember. When my wife and I lived in Germany, a lot of our furniture and dishes were from IKEA. When an IKEA store opened in the Bay Area in 2000, we didn’t hesitate to drive the 1½ hours to browse. And when IKEA finally came to Sacramento in 2006, we were ecstatic because that store is only 20 minutes away.

I’ve blogged about buying small succulents at IKEA and about our new backyard dining table. But IKEA also has great terracotta pots. The line I prefer is called MANDEL. I love the clean contemporary shape (no protruding rim like standard clay pots) and the contemporary brownish gray color. They come in six different sizes and cost anywhere from $1.99 to $5.99. Technically, they’re overpots so they don’t have a drain hole. No big deal. Using a masonry bit, I can drill a hole in a MANDEL pot in no time flat.

I’d run out of MANDEL pots so I swung by IKEA on the weekend to restock. This is what I got:


MANDEL pots in four sizes ranging from 5 to 7 inches in diameter.
They also have a larger size and an extra deep 4 inch pot
(great for plants that form a tap root).

And here are four my new transplants:


TOP LEFT: Agave nizadensis
TOP RIGHT: Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii'
BOTTOM LEFT: Agave parryi var. neomexicana
BOTTOM RIGHT: Agave havardiana


Agave nizadensis

120825_Agave-neomexicana- -havardiana

BOTTOM LEFT: Agave parryi var. neomexicana
BOTTOM RIGHT: Agave havardiana

I also needed a solution for this large toad cactus (Orbea variegata) I was given recently. It had been sitting on the bistro table on our front porch, making it impossible to use.


Orbea variegata on bistro table.
Also notice the deeper 4 inch MANDEL pot on the table.

At IKEA I found just what I was looking for: a two-tiered plant stand with round enamel trays. The top is for the Orbea variegata, the bottom for the Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii' (now repotted in a MANDEL pot).


Some people joke that IKEA is Swedish for cheap crap, and some items do meet that description. But many things are awesome and very reasonably priced.

Plus, who doesn’t get a kick out of trying to pronounce their outlandish product names?


  1. I'm still trying to figure out why you need 4 sizes between 5" and 7"... it seems like just those two sizes are enough. Unless maybe two are Imperial and two are Metric? ;-)

    1. Yep, they're all metric (not actually 5", more like 4¾", etc.). The pots come in different diameters and depth. Some are squat and wide, others narrow and tall. It's actually great to have the variety.

  2. who'd thought nice colors especailly for modern

  3. LOL! Spot on about trying to pronounce some of their names, quite amusing sometimes. I understand why you rave about Ikea, as we are fans too. They've got a lot of nice things, for both home and garden, and found lots of gems there through the years. Hmmmm...might pop round this weekend come to think of it!

    Love that range of pots btw, and so tactile too (almost velvety), plus the colour is elegant.

  4. You are a better IKEA shopper than I--I go looking but only find flimsy stuff. Those pots are nice!

  5. I've bought a mountain of those pots over the years. I love that there is already a sort of indentation in the bottom that makes knocking a hole super easy (I don't even get out the drill bit, just use a screw driver). For some reason this spring I started to think mine looked dingy and have changed out most of them though, now I've got empty stacks in the garage. Perfect come late fall when I've got to start lifting non-hardy things from the ground.


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