Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Strawberry jars are a favorite container among cacti and succulent gardeners. Beautiful and versatile, these pots offer many advantage for the plants.
Strawberry jars save valuable gardening space. Instead of just one plant in a pot, you can grow one in each pocket.
These special containers can be used for combination plantings. In addition, some gardeners use them for one specific kind of succulent, such as hen and chicks. These are suitable for many kinds of succulents. Often, rosette forming succulents are preferred. The pockets donít have enough space for plants with spreading stems, such as some of the stonecrops.
Be sure and use a quick draining potting mix for succulent plantings in strawberry jars. Heavy, soil-based potting soil can be poorly drained. It can keep the plants too moist.
When planting your strawberry jar, start with the lower pockets. Begin by first filling the bottom of the container with damp potting mix. Fill up to the lower pockets. Next, insert one plant into each of the lower pockets. Pack the potting soil around the roots to hold them in place.
Continue filling the strawberry jar with more potting mix until you reach the next level of pockets. Repeat planting and filling until all of the pockets are filled. One succulent can also be placed in the mouth of the strawberry jar. Finally, add a layer of pebbles or other mulch. I love the effect of purple glass chips in a terra cotta strawberry jar. The glass contrasts beautifully with the terra cotta.
Generally, the strawberry pot will drain better if it is slightly elevated. For that reason, I like to place a set of ceramic pot feet under the bottom.
All kinds of strawberry jars are available. Though theyíre typically terra cotta or ceramic, some are made of plastic. While the plastic may be cheaper, these probably wonít last as long as a durable terra cotta one.
Both glazed and unglazed clay strawberry pots are available. Some strawberry planters may not be weatherproof. If thatís the case, the pots can freeze and crack when left outdoors. Check catalog descriptions or labels carefully before buying. These should indicate whether the container is weatherproof.
For painted strawberry jars, consider the colors of the plants that youíll be using. For a focal point, combine plants with pots in contrasting colors.
Blue-toned plants look beautiful in purple strawberry jars. Green plants are particularly nice for blue or natural colored terra cotta jars. Plants with yellow or maroon/red foliage look great in almost any color.
Strawberry jars actually come in a variety of colors and styles. The painted ones are available in several shades of brown as well as black. The classic terra cotta jar tends to be tall and slender. However, some are short and squat. There is also a wide mouthed version, which is available in several different heights.
Terra cotta pots range in size from one gallon to about eight gallons or so. For the most parts, their height ranges from one to two feet or so.