Are Terracotta Pots Good For Plants? - Backyard Boss
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Are Terracotta Pots Good For Plants?

Time to give your houseplants an upgrade? Pick a planter for form and function – you won’t regret it! But, there are several materials to choose from. Try your hand at baked clay pots or terracotta pots to offer beauty without breaking the bank. These varieties are great for drainage but can crack under drastic temperatures!

So, do you have terracotta pots in your collection? Do they fair well for your plants? Find out all the needed information below!

Are They Suitable for All Plants?

containers for houseplants
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Terracotta pots are suitable for many plants but not for all. Some plants prefer to have their roots tightly compacted, while others need more space to grow. A lot of plants love having soggy soil, but several enjoy the soil to dry out between watering. Terracotta pots are wonderful for drainage so check your plants needs before potting in this material. 

On the other hand, some plants prefer more space around their roots to facilitate growth in varieties such as cacti and succulents. Alternatively, these plants often do better when potted in containers that release moisture and allow the plant to “breathe” — such as terracotta’s. 

However, all plants have different needs entirely and might not fare as well under those same conditions. All of this is taken into account: it’s crucial to choose a planter that provides ideal conditions for your specific type of chosen plant. But, the one thing all pots need is a drainage hole!

How to Protect Your Terracotta Pots?

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The porous nature of terracotta pots makes them more susceptible to cracking and chipping when frozen. To protect your investment, coat the inside and outside with terracotta sealer. This will keep water from seeping into cracks during winter.

If your terracotta pots are beginning to look a little green, clean them to help them last longer! You can use a solution of half water and half white vinegar to remove the unwanted algae.

Why Are They A Great Option?

 Cup of Coffee on the Table
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The best pot for your plants is a decision that will depend on their needs. Take into considered their watering schedule, light requirements, and proper placement. Clay and terracotta pots are great because they help wick moisture out of the soil, making them perfect for things such as snake plants or Hoyas. These plants prefer to dry off just enough between watering sessions so you can avoid root rot!

Pots with glazed surfaces offer an even greater incentive: these containers keep soils moist but won’t allow extremely fast drainage. Instead, due to the glaze, the pot will hold moisture a while longer giving your plants roots a chance to soak it up.

Composting in Terracotta Pots – Is it Right?

Person Dripping Water on a Potted Plant
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People love their gardens and have come up with unique ways to enjoy them. One such way is through composting in terracotta pots, taking advantage of the breathability quality while creating beautiful stackable bins!

Finding a suitable material for your brown carbon source can be challenging when composting in a backyard without leaves. But, did you know that composting in terracotta pots is a great way to improve the soil and add carbon? 

You can use, coconut coir or cocopeat, from the fibrous husks of dried coconut meat! Not only does it absorb moisture well, it also provides an organic source that will help plants grow healthy roots.

Do Plants Grown in Terracotta Need More Care?

watering plant in a brown clay pot
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This depends on the plant type. For plants that require more water to grow, it’s essential to water them more often than not, primarily if they’re grown in a pot with an absorbent material like terracotta. This porous quality means that even small amounts of moisture can seep through, so keep them hydrated!

What Plants Work Best?

As you know, all plants aren’t created equal, they all have different needs. Some of the plants that perform well in terracotta pots include:

1) Succulents

cactus near to the window
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Succulents are beautiful, unique plants that don’t require much care. They store water in their fleshy leaves, stems, and roots. 

Since succulents don’t need much water or attention to survive, they’re perfect for your terracotta pot. The porous material dries soil quickly, eliminating soggy soil so your succulent can remain happy.

2) Snack Plant

Green Cactus Plant on Brown Clay Pot
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Originating in southern Africa, snake plants can thrive in similar climates found in the American south. It’s justified to say snake plants are pretty low-maintenance, as they are a variety of drought-tolerant succulents. The snake plant can survive over a month without being watered making it a perfect option for forgetful gardeners. 

If you want your snake plant to thrive, use a terra cotta pot since they promote drainage better than plastic ones.

3) Spearmint

Green Leaves of a Spearmint Plant
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Spearmint is a plant that’s been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It can be eaten or applied to your skin as an insect repellent and fungicide, protecting crops from pests!

If you’re planting it in a terracotta container, ensure that your lovely green friend is near the window, receiving plenty of natural light. 

4) Orchid

Branch of Pink Orchid Flower
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One of the most beautiful blooms, the orchid is a popular choice for terracotta pots due to its delicate nature.

Terracotta is often the preferred option for growers regarding orchid pots because they are breathable and stable in strong winds.

Don’t Let Your Plants Get Planter Envy

So, before you go out and buy that beautiful planter, take a moment to consider both the form and function of the pot. It’s crucial to understand your plants first, whether they need more water, are high-maintenance, or can thrive with low-maintenance.

Terracotta is an ideal option for many plants. However, look at your plant’s needs first. 

If you need help determining what will work best for your plants, ask a gardening expert or head to your local nursery. With a bit of thought, you can find the perfect pot to show off your plants – and keep them healthy too!

Which pot are you thinking of bringing home for your green friends? Be sure to share in the comments!