When it comes to choosing the right plant pots for your cacti and succulents many growers will have their personal choice of preference when it comes to using either clay or plastic.
I have a preference for both of them and they both have their advantages and disadvantages which I will mention here.
Clay pots are great for people starting out in the hobby as they are porous and let the soil medium inside the pot dry out much quicker than plastic pots, so if you are new to growing cacti and succulent plants and are a little unsure about their watering requirements, then clay pots may be a safer bet for you to use until you get more experienced with watering these plants over time.
As appearances go clay pots look lovely and are often far more attractive looking than plastic pots, the problem over time is that clay pots tend to absorb salts from the soil medium and the water, and often leave watermarks and lime stains on them that can often be impossible to clean off, making them appear unsightly as time goes on.
A good advantage with clay pots is that they are much heavier than plastic, so if you have a tall plant that is very top heavy, but only has a shallow root system that does not require a large pot, then a clay pot will give it the support it needs without toppling over. However when it comes to moving your plants especially if you have a large collection like me, then plastic pots are far lighter to lift and move than clay pots especially very large clay pots.
One of the disadvantages of clay pots is that the roots will tend to cling to the inside of the pot, making re potting difficult and often having to break the pot and also the roots from the sides of the pots when it comes to potting on.
Glazed pots and bowls
These are often very attractive especially with bowl gardens, and are wonderful for displaying your cacti and succulents. The glazing will prevent water loss from the soil medium and also the weight of the pots will offer support. Like with plastic pots if you are new to the hobby then it may be best to avoid using glazed pots until you get more experienced with watering.
Plastic pots are cheap, readily available and come in a range of sizes and shapes, they are lightweight so make it more easy to move your plants around than heavy clay pots, also when it comes to re potting, it is much easier to squeeze the pot and loosen the root-ball without damaging the plant and the roots, and as long as you give the pots a good clean out and sterilize them before using them again, then you can re use them a multiple of times, making them far more practical and economical than clay pots.
So when it comes to what is my personal choice, I do like and use both clay and plastic pots, as a whole most of my collection is potted up into plastic pots, but I do have my top heavy plants grown in clay pots.