The Q&A Archives: pots

Question: I asked a question about pots and I deleted it. Which is better a plastic pot or a clay pot?

Answer: There's quite a bit of controversy about which is better. Here are the facts: terra cotta tends to wick moisture out of the potting soil. Good if you have plants that like soil on the dry side; not so good if your plants like moist soil. You can overcome this by watering more frequently. Ordinary Terra cotta pots can crack in freezing weather. Thick sided clay pots will not crack in freezing weather. Before first use, saturate the clay with water so it doesn't immediately draw all of the moisture from the potting soil. Do this by plugging the drainage holes and filling the container with water and allowing it to soak overnight. Or, you can seal the inside of the pot before filling it with potting soil. Plastic pots do not wick water away from the soil but they do degrade in sunlight so expect them to last 3-4 years. You can plant in plastic pots and sink these into the clay pots, or you can plant directly into the clay pots. Youll just need to monitor your plants for water needs, knowing that the clay pots will wick moisture from the soil. Hope this sheds some light on the controversy!

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