Moisture is essential for healthy growth of decorative greenery, but standing in stagnant water is usually fatal for most plants. Wet soil promotes root rot in a container, taking up space that provides air to healthy plants. Proper plant care allows moisture to nurture feeder roots, using drainage holes to direct excess water into plant saucers. Choosing a container for potted plants requires consideration of stability and floor protection in addition to drainage considerations.
Ensuring Proper Drainage
Outdoor and indoor container plants require proper drainage, although many pots do not include a drainage hole in the bottom. Removing plants from containers that cannot provide proper drainage and re-potting them is essential. Pots that have only a single drainage hole are likely to create root rot as well when the opening clogs with compost.
Experts advise against placing gravel in a pot to improve drainage, citing the tendency of water to “perch” above the layer of gravel. A better alternative is to place gravel in a saucer below the pot to increase humidity in the area of the plant’s roots. Water that evaporates from the gravel escapes upward into the bottom of the container.
Choosing an Appropriate Container
Decorative pots can enhance the appearance of a garden or patio, and the ambiance that they create in a home’s décor is unique. Pot selection is a matter of personal preference, and it can reflect the architectural style of a home. Terracotta or glazed, stone pots are suitable for outdoor settings, and their weight usually ensures a solid environment for a plant.
Plants such as camellias and Japanese maples can grow to heights that can cause a pot to tip over, however. Using a compost that is heavy can help resist tipping over. Pots that accent a patio can achieve a desirable level of drainage by resting on bricks or the pot’s feet instead of sitting on a solid surface.
Making sure that indoor plants have solid footing prevents spills and accidents that can damage tender growth and blooms. Anticipating the full height that a plant may reach can prevent the tendency to overload a pot with a top heavy plant. Clear plant saucers in heavy, vinyl gauge plastic are ideal for use indoors or outdoors. Serving a functional purpose while not attracting attention, they hold excess water and prevent it from creating a potential problem. Water that escapes from plants on a patio can make a surface slippery, and any moisture that leaks from pots in a home can cause damage to expensive furniture, carpets and floors.
Accenting with Hanging Baskets
Hanging baskets in garden shops appeal to anyone who wants to create an array of flourishing greenery at eye level. Hanging baskets may require more care than plants that live in pots or in the ground, but they provide a unique beauty that is a welcome reward. Regular watering is essential for hanging baskets that are exposed to direct sunlight and wind.
Hanging basket drip pans that have four hooks instead of three provide stability that reduces the opportunity for spills and drips to occur. Clear plastic plant trays enhance the appearance of hanging baskets without the distraction of unnecessary color. The elevation of hanging baskets usually puts them at a height that allows them to drip on someone soon after they are watered if a hanging basket drip pan is not used..
Technologically designed drip pans that are easy to snap on to a basket can prevent unwanted accidents. Drip pans that feature built in, molded hooks are effective for indoor or outdoor use. By catching water overflow and keeping plants moist, they allow hanging baskets to provide an accent of colorful blossoms and greenery.