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Clay, ceramic or plastic pots?


By Raquel


That’s the question I often ask myself and sometimes I wonder if it really matters what kind of pot the flowers are in.

My heart tends towards clay or terra cotta pots, but I’ve avoided them in the past because they are heavy and in the heat of Houston tend to dry out very quickly. I have a feeling that the zinnias I planted that wilted and died did so in part because I just couldn’t keep up with the watering…however, I’ve read that if you put a saucer underneath with a thin layer of gravel and water it will help keep the pot moist…so I have to try it this year!

Most of my plants are in plastic (gasp!) pots, and they seem to do OK. It isn’t really environmentally friendly, but they are cheap and eay to lift if you need big ones, and you can find ones that are not too ugly – because I do admit, plastic pots tend to be UGLY!! However, they keep being blown over by the wind (I have a third floor balcony), even when they are planted with what I would consider to be fairly heavy and well-developed plants (the geraniums, for example) and I am sick of picking them up, and having my plants suffer broken branches and squashed flowers…so I am now in the process of buying clay pots…these, happily, don’t ever blow over in the wind!

I don’t quite know what the difference between ceramic and clay is, except to think that ceramic is a finer material, maybe – but I have read that the best strawberry pots are made of ceramic.

Of course, the reason that my plants survive when I travel is that my dear friend Larry comes and waters them for me…though he always warns me he doesn’t have a green thumb, and all he is going to do is water the plants (though once he also brought them in when it got cold in December)…but that’s enough to keep them going until I get back…so I’m very lucky that he’s willing to do that for me. =)
I’m not sure, however, that he’ll appreciate the appearance of more clay (heavier) pots!!

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I favor clay pots myself Raquel. But you are right. They are heavy and have to be watched very carefully as they do dry out quicker. You might want to consider planting in the plastic pots and then placing the pot in a clay or ceramic pot. That will keep them fron falloing over and they will stay moist longer. Three cheers for your friend Larry. Nice to have friends who will baby sit our plants. Plastic pots inserted in clay pots would also be easier to lift.

10 Apr, 2008


I prefer clay pots, mostly because I like the natural look of them. One tip I have recently learned is, cut open a diaper, and place it in the bottom of your flower pots. This will keep the roots moist, as we all know how absorbent diapers are! Not sure how I feel about this tip when I ponder the effects disposable diapers have on our environment, but am willing to try it once!

10 Apr, 2008


I've heard that if you line the clay pots with plastic (make holes in it first!) then the moisture doesn't evaporate so fast. They certainly look better and you are right, being heavier is a great advantage.

10 Apr, 2008


Hi all!

Mikec, I have actually done that in one case. We'll see how the gerbera daisy does! So far it's working well, I think.

Tammielee, that's a great piece of advice - I had never heard of that! But it would make sense, they do retain water..I've had to change my nephew a couple times and seen it first hand! =)

Spritzhenry, I will definately try that with the next plant I plant...if it does work it will save me a great deal of anguish in midsummer!

15 Apr, 2008

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