Plastic pots, clay pots, metal pots or wooden boxes: which are the best and most suitable containers for cultivating and growing a plant? For centuries most of the plants were grown in terracotta pots: only in the late 1950s, in fact, did plastic pots make their appearance, which slowly, over time, became more and more popular. It is sufficient to note that today almost all the plants available in garden centers or supermarkets are contained in plastic pots, while only a few specialized shops offer earthenware or terracotta pots. The main reason is easy to say: plastic, as you can easily guess, costs much less. On the other hand, it is good to specify that each material has advantages and disadvantages, and therefore the final choice will essentially depend on which aspect (aesthetic, practical or economic) one intends to favor.
For example, it is common opinion that, from the point of view of visual and aesthetic impact, terracotta pots are better, and more attractive, than ordinary plastic containers (without forgetting that the color of terracotta blends without problems with any type of plant species); they are also characterized by a greater porosity of the walls, which makes the water evaporate more easily. From a practical point of view, and from the needs manifested by plants, this peculiarity has several consequences: first of all, a plant in a terracotta pot needs to be watered more often, precisely because the water tends to evaporate with a certain ease; but it also needs to be fertilized more frequently, since the water, as it evaporates, also carries various nutrients with it. Thus, a seedling placed in a plastic pot will save time (it needs less care, less watering and less soil enrichment) and money (considering the price of fertilizers). The opposite side of the coin is that the porous walls of the terracotta allow the soil to be oxygenated more easily (which does not happen for plastic pots) but above all, thanks to water evaporation, they reduce the risk of water stagnation (and consequently to determine a excessive level of humidity), which often causes potentially harmful rot.
They decorate terraces, balconies and corners of the garden. We are talking about planters, containers for plants and flowers that find more and more space in the world of gardening. Much larger than the vases, the …
Pots on the terrace
Especially useful for those who cannot afford a garden, the terrace in recent years has been enjoying enormous success as a place to prepare and keep our green corner; mostly …
Laying the coffee in the ground
Hi, I congratulate the experts and those who make up this wonderful site, really exhaustive, clear and effective, from which I learn a lot with great benefit and positive impact for my plans …
When I repot a plant I use can I make old soil? …
Plastic pots, on the other hand, have other advantages: they cost less, and therefore are ideal for those species which develop considerably over the years, requiring rather frequent repotting; moreover, they are decidedly less fragile. It is enough to drop a clay pot and a plastic pot on the ground to notice the difference: the first will end up in a thousand pieces, the second will resist the shock without problems. For its part, plastic is also appreciated for another fundamental characteristic: light but resistant at the same time, which makes it suitable for being handled, transported and moved from one side to the other without difficulty. So, if we intend to grow plants that suffer from the cold temperatures of winter and that, with the approach of the cold season, need to be brought indoors, the choice of plastic pots it will save us a lot of effort. Specifically, the polythene containers, rubbery and soft, are chosen more and more frequently by nurserymen, precisely because of their easy handling.
Regardless of the type of material used, in any case, remember their differences: in short, a plant placed in a plastic pot cannot be watered like the same plant placed in a terracotta pot, or it risks “drowning. “. It is also necessary to adapt the soil mixes: a plastic container requires, in fact, a lighter soil, which is able to dry faster. Regardless of the differences reported, however, it must be said that most plants live without problems and thrive both in plastic pots as in terracotta pots, provided that they can ensure excellent drainage (and consequently the flow of water).
Finally, we must pay close attention to the size of the pots that are used. If it is true, in fact, that a too small pot risks compromising the natural expansion of the root system, it is equally true that we must not exaggerate in the opposite direction, since the use of an excessively large pot would lead to damage to the roots, whose activity could prove insufficient to absorb and exploit all the water present in such a large amount of land. Having said that the number located on the bottom of the container indicates the diameter of the upper internal rim, therefore, it should be noted that the replacement of the vessels must take place with cadences and frequencies that vary from species to species. Plants, however, know how to send signals, for example, by making the roots emerge from the drainage holes or on the surface: if we notice one of these two details, it means that the time has come to proceed with repotting, using a container of slightly size. bigger.