There are many types of containers that can be used for plants, including clay pots, plastic pots, wooden containers and stone containers. The easiest ones to deal with are either clay or plastic. This is particularly true if the plants have to be occasionally be moved.
Clay and plastic pots each have particular advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages: clay pots breathe, they are natural, and they usually have a larger surface area per volume of soil.
Disadvantages: they are heavy, the soil can dry out quickly in hot climates, and they can break easily.
Clay pots are particularly nice because they are natural, being made from clay from the earth, and can be recycled by returning them to the earth. However, broken pots usually end up in a landfill with tons of garbage.
Clay pots are good for climates that are not really hot, and for larger Tulasi plants that do not need to be moved. They are not very good for small Tulasi plants in hot climates because the soil may dry out far too quickly and Tulasi can wilt or die.
Advantages: they have a wider base than clay pots with more room for roots, the soil doesn’t dry out as fast, they are much lighter in weight, and they rarely break.
Disadvantages: plastic ends up in a landfill unless recycled, they can result in root rot in larger pots, insects such as mealybugs can hide or nest underneath the lips on certain types.
If you need to move Tulasi periodically, plastic pots are far lighter than clay pots. Large clay pots with soil are very heavy. Tulasi is often moved frequently in temperate climates; going outside during all or part of the day in summer, and coming inside in the winter. In temple greenhouses, because one or more Tulasi plants are required daily on the altar, they are often rotated daily so each Tulasi spends maximum time in the greenhouse where proper care can be provided.
I do not recommend getting plastic pots that have a lip that curves outward. While this can increase the strength of the pots, certain bugs tend to nest there, such a mealybugs, which can make them much more difficult to control.
Clay or Plastic?
This is sometimes not an easy choice. Carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages above.
Try to balance the needs with the circumstances. These include climate, soil, size of plant, whether Tulasi is moved regularly, and so forth.
While clay is a nicer material than plastic, that should not be the deciding factor. Suppose you have more than one Tulasi plant, such as a small one and a large one. You may have the large one in clay because you will not be moving her and because you want a pot that breathes because the soil is so deep. You may keep the small one in plastic because you move her frequently and also don’t want the soil to dry out too quickly. In hot, dry, sunny weather the soil in a small clay pot can quickly dry out completely in direct sunlight, and Tulasi could die very quickly.
If only one type of soil is available this may determine the type of pot that should be used. If you have a heavier soil it is better to use clay pots, because the pot will allow excess moisture to escape through the permeable clay that might otherwise not evaporate from the soil surface. Clay pots can therefore aid in preventing root rot.
A looser soil may dry out too quickly in a clay pot, and therefore plastic may be preferred. This is not only due to the impermeable nature of plastic pots, but also because plastic pots are not as slanted as clay pots, so there is less surface area per volume of soil, which results in less overall evaporation.
Conversely, if you already have clay pots then find a somewhat heavier soil, and if you have plastic pots use a lighter soil.