Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Clay and ceramic pots are ideal for cacti and succulents. These can be used throughout the landscape as well as indoors.
With so many styles of these pots available, you can pretty much take your pick.
Terra cotta pots come in a range of novelty shapes. These include ones shaped like animals. Among these are quails and chickens. Others include frogs, cats, dogs, snails, turtles, and pigs. Such novelty pots really grab your attention. So, it is best to use them in limited numbers. For example, use one as a focal point for a patio or deck.
Whatever clay or ceramic pots you choose, be sure these have drainage holes. Cacti and succulents donít like soggy soil. If you have one without a hole, use it as a cache pot instead and leave the plant in its original container.
Clay and ceramic pots are available in any size you need. Select one that is large enough for the cacti or succulent youíre growing. Some like the rosette forming hen and chicks donít mind being crowded.
Plants with large root systems shouldnít be stuffed into tapered pots or urns. Instead, choose wide barrel type containers. Tiny clay and ceramic planters are only suitable for small plants. The same is true for small oval clay planters. These donít allow enough space for large root systems.
Both glazed and unglazed pots are available in a range of styles, colors, and patterns. Many gardeners still prefer unpainted terra cotta. An unglazed pot will generally dry out more quickly than a glazed one.
Theoretically speaking, square clay-ceramic pots should be just as good as round ones so long as the drainage is sufficient. However, Iíve noticed the plants are much slower in getting established in square ones.
Special situations call for special pots. In most cases the space around the patio umbrella is neglected. In fact, thereís a clay umbrella pot made especially for this spot. With a hole in the center, it looks just like a tube cake pan. Set the pot on the patio table so the hole in the pot lines up with that of the table. Then, place the umbrella through the opening. I would use small succulents for umbrella pots.
Other specialized pots include clay/ceramic wall pots. The side that fits against the wall is flat.
For indoor use, ceramic/clay pots need not be weatherproof. However, this is an issue if you plan on leaving the container outdoors during the winter.
The advantages of clay/ceramic pots are many. These are attractive, sturdy, and long lasting.
Top quality clay and terra cotta pots are worth the price. On the other hand, it isnít necessary to pay for decorative features like scrolling and etching. The inexpensive pots arenít always weatherproof. Some of these pots are manufactured in the U.S., while others come from Europe or Asia. All the t