If you want your plants to thrive, one of the most important things you need to do is make sure that they are in a suitable pot. A good pot can be the difference between a healthy plant and one that withers away into nothingness, so it’s essential that you understand how to treat pots properly.
In this guide, we will be looking at everything from selecting the right type of pot for your plants, through to understanding the various materials available and discovering exactly what makes an ideal environment for plants. Whether you’re new to gardening or have been practicing for years, read on for our top tips!
What Makes a Good Pot?
When it comes down to it, there are three key elements of any good plant pot: size, drainage and material.
First up is size – and bigger isn’t always better! You might think that buying the biggest possible pot would be great news for your plant’s growth prospects; after all, more space means more room for roots – right? Well not quite – too big of a pot can actually lead to waterlogging , especially if soil quality is inadequate. As such, it’s essential that you choose your plant pots according to the size of your plants; typically choosing something around 1-2 sizes larger than their current container should suffice.
Q&A: “Do all plants require large pots?”
Not necessarily! Whilst fast-growing or established species may benefit from ample room above/below-ground level; petite varieties such as succulents/cacti may lose vigour & vitality when grown in excessively deep/wide containers since risk of becoming waterlogged outweighs potential benefits gained from extra space.
Drainage Done Right
Next up: drainage. This simple but often overlooked factor can make or break a potted lifeform’s existence since suffocate plant roots resultantly struggle to access sufficient oxygen/water/nutrients they require to thrive. Therefore all pots must have drainage holes to allow excess water to leave, this may be achieved through a variety of means such as pre-made holes or even by drilling your own. Alternatively, adding a layer of rocks, pebbles or sand at the base can greatly improve overall health of the plant.
Last but not lease is that little matter of pot material! The most common choices are plastic, terracotta and ceramic – with each possessing its own benefits/drawbacks pertinent to individual case-by-case scenarios.
- Plastic: Lightweight and durable; perfect for temporary seedlings or for easily relocating larger plants. However, not aesthetically pleasing and may leach chemicals into soil if exposed to high sunlight temperatures over extended time period.
- Terracotta/clay: Porous material allowing for healthy root exchange between soil & air; retains beneficial evaporative cooling effect on hot summers days . Also eco-friendly as lasts longer than other materials hence being used multiple times potentially helping environment / reducing waste. Beware that it tends dry out soils quickly requiring more consistent watering than other materials.
- Ceramic: Varies greatly since quality/price varies widely whilst promising beautiful styling options when purchased in designs ranging from patterned-decoratives modern hybrids. Greatly artistic with typically higher selling price points so consider wisely before choosing under financial constraints.
Nurturing Your Plant’s Perfect Environment
Knowing what ingredient goes into making good pots is one thing — knowing how to craft the ideal conditions within those containers is quite another! Here are some essential tips:
Soil Quality – A Huge Factor Too!
It might be obvious —yet overlooked— but just like us humans our plants also need nourishment. Therefore having good soil-quality is essential; you’ll need something that’s well-draining and nutrient-rich to keep your plants happy. There exist several choices out there such as peat moss, compost, coir-peat, worm-castings or even manure .
Q&A: “How often should you re-pot the plant?”
Re-potting is done on a case-by-case basis; examines if rootlets penetrate through drainage-holes or if after 1-2 years soil has become heavily compacted reducing oxygen supply for roots. Some species may require frequent changes due to invasive roots whilst others can remain in same pot for many years following best practices.
Although good quality soil will contain all of the essential nutrients that your plants need initially, regular fertilisation is key to enhancing sustained growth over longer periods of time. You can opt for chemical-based compounds, natural organics like fish emulsion/kelp or stick with easy-to-find components like coffee grounds/eggshells/banana peels which are also cheaper/free from local sources.
Light Love & Water Worries
Additionally, never forget those two most critical ingredients without which no comprehensible plant activity would be present: water & sunlight! Too much/little shade/direct impact of sun-streams coupled with non-consistent watering could all yield fatal results; depending on geography prefer slightly moist soils rather than too dry or overwatered conditions whilst trying provide right amount sunlight following individual requirements of the plant species being nurtured.
Picking And Implementing The Perfect Pot For Your Plant
Q&A: “What size pot do I buy?”
This question depends of a variety different factors such as what stage the planting process is at / naturally differing species requirements etc. , but generally it’s recommended tend not exceed beyond a 2-size discrepancy when deciding between previous and new pot size. .
And the type of pot required depends partly on the “personality” and needs of your chosen plant. It’s important to research out first what category individual plants fall into as some species need deeper clay pots to promote sufficient rooting whilst in other cases plastic may be alternative for convenience sake.
Decorating Pots Creatively
Why settle for a basic design when you could spruce up your garden even further with fantastic pot-designs & patterns? All kinds of glued-on beads, paint, attached shells and more can add additional levels of creativity when customising toward personal preference/themes. Not only does this external décor make it an extra lovely sight for onlookers but also gives the added bonus of distinguishing certain types/stages/pot-species from one another at glance.
Some suggested unconventional-ideas include adding unique handles like leather ones or even repurposing old holders too give someone’s space a rustic touch!
We hope that our guide has proven helpful in enabling you to treat pots perfectly; remember our tips especially those regarding soil quality/preparation & watering should help all budding green lovers obtain fulfilling results with their indoor/outdoor gardening experiences!