Do Flower Pots Have To Have Holes In The Bottom Choosing the Right Outdoor Plant Container

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Choosing the Right Outdoor Plant Container

From teacups to oil drums, there’s nothing you can’t use as an outdoor container for plants. Your choice of plants, your decorative style, your budget and your creative imagination will influence the choice of plant containers. However, there are a few things to consider before you start adding plants to outdoor containers.

Very small pots will dry out quickly and offer limited growing space, so a teacup is probably not a wise choice. Very slow growing plants, such as sedum or cacti, will grow well in a limited environment. However, be aware of water requirements. Some succulents need a fair amount of moisture.

Be sure that any container you choose has good drainage. With the exception of ponds, ornamental plants do not like constantly wet feet. If you’re worried about your potting mix leaking out along with the excess water, cover the holes with a layer of newspaper or a coffee filter before adding the potting soil.

Planters made of clay or terra cotta

Available in almost all sizes and shapes, clay plant containers are traditional tools in the garden. Their appearance is particularly attractive in warm and sunny southern or Mediterranean gardens.

Unglazed clay pots are porous, which means that water from the soil will evaporate through the walls of the pot. They will need to be watered more often than less porous containers. Painted or glazed clay pots will retain more moisture on a hot day.

These pots are heavy for their size. If you are planting a large pot, it will be difficult to move it. If you expect to need to move a large terra cotta container, place it on a decorative wheelbarrow before filling it with potting mix. That way, you will be able to move it even when the soil inside is wet and heavy.

If you line these containers with plastic before planting, you can reduce water loss through the sides. The easiest thing to use is a plastic bag big enough to touch the sides of the pot all around. Don’t forget to drill drainage holes in the bottom. When adding your planting mix, hide the sides of the bag by tucking them into the mix before planting.

Because all clay pots are porous, they don’t do well outside during cold winters. Moisture in the pot will expand if it freezes, often cracking the pot. Containers made of cement and other stone will also often crack at low temperatures for the same reason. Consider whether you will be able to take your containers to a warmer shelter during the winter. If this is not possible, and you want to keep your plants, choose another type of container.

Wooden containers for plants

Whiskey barrels and other wooden patio containers are popular. Since wood will deteriorate over time when exposed to water and sunlight, lining wooden plant containers with heavy-duty plastic will extend their life and reduce water stains on the exterior.

Cedar, redwood and teak are naturally resistant to water rot. Containers made from treated wood or lumber will usually last much longer than untreated wood. However, some chemicals used to treat wood are not suitable for edible plants and may pose a health risk. Always check the safety of the materials used to process each wooden planter.

Metal pots, tubs and carts

As long as there is drainage at the bottom, you can use any metal container to hold garden plants. Keep in mind that any large metal container will be heavy, so place it where you want it to stay unless it has wheels.

Containers made of plastic and resin

Plastic plant pots are the easiest and often the cheapest containers for the garden. Of course, this is the reason why your nursery uses regular plastic containers.

You can find resin containers that mimic the look of cement or glazed ceramic. These containers are practical if you don’t want to worry about freezing and cracking or putting on extra pounds. Most are also quite handsome.

Containers made of plastic and resin are not porous, so they will not lose moisture as quickly as unglazed ceramics. Since they do not lose moisture, it is especially important to ensure that they have enough drainage at the bottom so that the roots of the plants do not become waterlogged. Many resin containers have holes that must be opened by the end user. Be sure to do this before you start planting.

Thin plastic containers will have a short lifespan, as they will eventually crack in the sun. However, since they are cheap, it will be less expensive to replace them every few years.

Color makes a difference

Dark plant pots will absorb the summer heat. If the roots of your plants get too hot, they will be damaged or even killed. In hot climates, choose lighter colored containers to reduce heat build-up.

Avoid the outer saucers

Many planter containers come with saucers that retain water runoff. Avoid saucers under outdoor plants as these are great places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Your plants may take in a little more water between waterings, although this is not always the case. However, your yard and terrace will be inundated with mosquitoes.

Whichever container you choose as a planter, the three main things to remember are: 1) choose the correct size for your plants. Too small a container will not have room to grow, and too big will overload your plants and make them dwarf; 2) make sure your container drains well; 3) monitor soil moisture regularly and maintain the type of moisture your plants need. Do not plant a cactus and a rose in the same container – their water needs are very different.

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