Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Home Research & Innovations Planters: Why You Should Consider Clay Over Plastic

Planters: Why You Should Consider Clay Over Plastic

by Umar Nsubuga
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Decorating with potted plants is not so recent a phenomenon as one might think. It dates back as many as 5,000 years to a time when the Chinese created indoor gardens with beautifully cultivated shrubs and flowers, many of which were given special status in their own ornate earthenware containers.

Whether you have small space or live in a mansion, you should have potted plants for a vibrant interior.

Isam Kambugu, a gardener, says there are no hard rules for the relationship between plants and people, nor are there dictums on how to live more pleasantly with plants. Also, there is no grandiose opinions of art to put you off.

He says you must be ready to give plants the attention they deserve. “Just like you eat and drink every day of your normal life, so the flowers do,” he says.

Kambugu says the small bowls, especially clay ones, require constant watering and must be used for plants with shallow roots. Cacti plants and succulents are a good choice, so is saintpaulia ionantha (African violet).

Jovar Byaruhanga, a flower lover, says plastic pots take longer to drain because they do not breathe (non-porous). Therefore, one must be more careful when watering plants plastic planters. On the whole, however, they are much cheaper and do not break. She says glazed ceramic pots are quite ornamental and expensive and should be used preferably indoors because they enrich the atmosphere in a special way.

That said, nothing matches a clay pot outdoors because as it ages, it takes on another aspect altogether. Moss and other plants cling onto its surface.

“Pots vary in size (large, medium, small) and so, palms and shrubs should always be planted in large pots (3ft high x 2ft wide). It is meaningless to suffocate a large plant by planting it in a small container,” Kambugu advises.

He also says medium-sized pots should always be displayed in front of larger pots and in them have plants with fairly shallow roots such as begonias, ferns, even impatiens (busy lizzy).

Smaller pots may be used to line a window sill or grouped together to make a display of many different small plants. Plants on the balcony need more attention than those in the garden because they fall under heavy scrutiny. So, try to keep them well-pruned, remove dead flower heads and keep dressing the top layer of the soil with organic manure. You can also buy plant feeds.

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