Every year there are more types of containers on the market. While the trend is toward more decorative and fashionable pots, these may not be the best ones for your plants. Dark-colored plastic containers can heat up in summer, harming plant roots. Ceramic containers are better at insulating the soil from hot temperatures, but they may not have adequate water drainage for good root growth. An ingenious new container made from black fabric avoids some of these problems.
Smart Pots were developed by the tree industry as a better way to grow and ship trees without harming their roots. They are made from a porous woven fabric that's lightweight and strong enough to hold soil and plant roots. Because the pot breathes, the soil stays cooler in summer and better drained year-round. The manufacturer claims Smart Pots also air prune plant roots, creating a more fibrous root system that's better for the plant. Plants can even be grown in the sides of the pot by simply cutting an X in the fabric and inserting a transplant.
To learn more about these new pots, go to: Smart Pots
Article published on February 21, 2008.