There are many benefits to a potted plants. Firstly, you can choose the location of your plants and have the flexibility of moving them if necessary. Secondly, garden thugs such as mint can be contained when planted in a pot rather than let loose among your less aggressive herbs. Lastly, if you are living somewhere on a temporary basis, you have the option of uprooting your garden and hard work and taking it with you when you move house.
The three main contenders with regard to potted plants: plastic, terracotta and glazed ceramic. No matter which pot you choose, the common most important factor is drainage. One of the best gardening tips is to make sure your pot has plenty of drainage holes and make some more with a drill if necessary.
Plastic pots: While these are an economical choice, extreme temperatures can cause havoc with the plants as the soil will get very hot and can cause root damage. Plastic pots are best for shaded or indoor areas.
Terracotta pots: A porous option, without daily watering in the summer months, the soil can dry out very quickly. Plants that thrive in well drained conditions such as geraniums and lavender will do well in terracotta pots. You can also glaze the pot with a sealer to slow the drying effect.
Glazed ceramic pots: Generally a larger and heavier pot option, these pots are great in an exposed area as the heavy duty material will keep the soil at an even temperature. As they are heavier, these pots are much more difficult to move. This has its benefits in an exposed or windy position.
No matter which pot you decide to use, don’t overlook a quality potting mix. Australia is a world leader in soilless potting mixes where composted materials and added nutrients make a quality soil-like material. Some will also include fertilisers. In our climate, where we can experience extreme weather variation, you need to consider pot, location and mix to ensure your potted plants thrive rather than simply survive.