Succulents - When to use terracotta pots | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Succulents - When to use terracotta pots

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cactus in terracotta pots
Cactus in terracotta pots

Ever wondered what the difference is between plastic, metal, clay and every other pot ?  I never took any notice about what type of pot to plant in except maybe that it looked nice or that it was the right size.  Recently however I got two terracotta pots, once again because they were the right size for my cactuses and the store only had clay pots.  I later learned that I made the right choice.

As it happens the porous material soaks up the water from the soil so the plants will not get all the water given to them.  Now where this is not ideal for regular plants because they would need to be watered more and more often, it is perfect for cactii.  The pots will soak up some of the water from the soil so it will not retain its moisture for long.  The porous material also helps the soil get more oxygen when compared to plastic or metal containers. 

A note of caution, if the pots are new it's a good idea to give them a good soak in water before planting as they are extra dry.  I didn't know this at the time so I went ahead and planted anyway but since they are cactus I didn't really mind. 

Oh and one more benefit for terracotta pots, you can actually see the water level when you are watering.  The pot will get wet so you can tell how much more water is needed.  Happy potting :)


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