Terra Cotta Planters – Are They The Ideal Container For You?

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Terra cotta pots are made from clay that is generally not glazed and is then fired in an oven, or kiln. Terra cotta planters have been in use for centuries, and are still today one of the most popular plant containers. The fact that these pots are made from soil tends to make them an ideal candidate for many to contain herbs, shrubs and trees. Read on for more information on terracotta garden containers.

Benefits:

* Not prone to being blown over. As a generalisation, terracotta pots are made with heavier based bottoms. This makes them ideal for those who live in windier locations where taller plants in particular can easily be blown over.

* Now available as frost or freeze resistant. Many of these planters are now being sold as frost and freeze resistant. This is great news for those gardeners who want to bring a touch of the Mediterranean to their very cold yards.

* Huge range to select from. There is literally a style to suit any gardener with these pots. Round, square, big, tall, decorated, or plain, the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to selecting a pot.

* Neutral color. The color of terracotta ensures that it goes well with any garden setting. Those gardeners seeking an earthy look or simply wanting pots that are not to conspicuous will be hard pressed to beat these traditional gardening pots. Terracotta looks just as great in a tropical setting as it does in an older cottage.

* Suit generous waterers. Terra cotta pots are great for those who are overly heavy handed with the watering hose. It is almost impossible for plants housed in these sorts of containers to suffer from over watering diseases such as root rot. The porosity of the pots just won’t let it happen.

* Ideal home for plants requiring well drained soils. Herb gardens and also cacti require very well drained soils, which terracotta containers provide naturally. The unfired clay allows the moisture to move freely out of the soil and also allows for better air circulation.

* Good insulation. Thick walled pots will act as insulation for the soil when dramatic and sudden temperature changes are experienced.

* Recyclable and environmentally friendly.

Considerations:

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* Breakable. Terracotta pots can break or chip. This means they need a little more care when moving, and also should probably not be placed in a high traffic area or near where the children skate or hit balls.

* Porous. Terracotta is a porous substance. This means that the potting mix in your planter will tend to dry out more often than a plastic pot. If you live in a hotter or windy environment, this will be even more applicable.

* Careful storage required. Empty terracotta pots cannot be just dumped in your garden shed for the winter if you live in a freezing (literally) cold winter region. Those who enjoy, or endure, sub zero winters must be sure to store their empty pots somewhere a little more insulated.

* Mineral deposits can occur on the outer sides of some of these pots. These deposits are generally caused by the salts dissolving from the potting mix and being transported through the clay. These deposits can be scrubbed off.

* Thicker sided pots are best as they will last longer and tend to be less fragile.

* Before a first time use, it’s a great idea to wet the pot all over. This will allow it to soak up any moisture before you start planting. Otherwise a thirsty pot may well take too much water out of your brand new potting mix.

* Freezing winters. Terracotta pots that are left outside in a freezing winter may well split and crack. This is due to the freezing of the potting mix and then the subsequent expansion when the warmer weather arrives.

* Not such an ideal home for moisture loving plants such as ferns. The porosity of the unglazed clay will not leave enough moisture in the soil for plants who like their roots kept wet.

* Plants will require regular feeding due to the leeching from the soil by the terracotta. Plants in terracotta will fare better with potting mixes that have been specifically blended for terracotta. These mixes tend to not become so dried out and hard as other potting mixes.

Conclusion.

Terracotta pots may require a little more care, but the rewards will be fantastic. Despite the many other selection of planters available on the market, terracotta still remains the pot material most in demand. Transform your yard today. Click here for an excellent selection of terracotta planters at competitive prices.