Indoor terra cotta pots are a timeless solution for growing healthy plants, coming with plenty of benefits. We’ll share them here along with a couple of things to pay attention to when using terra cotta for your indoor plant pots.
What is Terra Cotta?
The term itself is Italian for “baked earth,” and it refers to porous clay that’s been fired in a utilitarian or decorative form. Terra cotta has a reddish-brown hue and usually isn’t glazed. This material has been used for thousands of years, appreciated for its practicality and versatility. Terra cotta figurines more than 5,000 years old have been found in Greece, likely used to decorate temples. This material has also been used to make bricks, roof tiles, and more. So, when you use indoor terra cotta pots, you’re part of a long tradition of useful artisanship.
Value as Indoor Pottery
First, terra cotta pots come in a wide range of price points, fitting into just about any budget. This makes it easier for you to maintain as many plants as you’d like, enjoying the benefits of bringing nature indoors. They also come in a broad range of sizes, allowing you to find the perfect sizes for your indoor plants.
Then, the terra cotta pots play a key role in plant health because their porous nature—and the drainage holes that they typically have—allow water and air to flow naturally through them. Choosing indoor pots that allow for proper draining is one of the best things you can do for your plants and their health.
Plants and Water
To understand why terra cotta pots are such good choices as indoor pottery, take a step back. Consider what a plant needs—the proper amount of water—and how they get that water. They have root systems that allow them to absorb water from the soil they’re planted in, and they do it well. In fact, they will absorb any water that’s available; so, if there is excess liquid, they will absorb too much.
Sometimes, this will contribute to a condition called “root rot.” After a plant develops this condition, it can be difficult for it to return to good health, and so root rot often kills the plant.
The excess water that can trigger root rot can come from overwatering, poor drainage in the pot, or a combination of the two. Once the soil gets too wet, bacteria and fungi can grow and suffocate plant roots. Or, root rot can occur simply because the roots are in an overly wet environment for too long of a time; they can’t get oxygen in this environment, so they can’t photosynthesize and create the food they need to survive.
If you notice that plant leaves are shriveling or turning black or yellow, this is a sign of root rot. Other signs include a sour smell and fungus gnats hovering around the plant.
The best “cure” for root rot is prevention, and terra cotta pots can play a key role.
Considerations About Indoor Terra Cotta Pots
Most but not all plants do best in soil that has proper drainage. So, when using terra cotta indoor pottery, make sure that you have plants that thrive in that condition. Keep in mind, our experts here at Decker’s Nursery will be happy to help you choose the perfect plants for your home.
It’s important to water in the right amounts, and plants usually need to be watered more often in a terra cotta pot. To determine if you’re providing the right amount of water, check the soil. It should be moist without being wet or having standing water. If the soil is dried out, that indicates that the plant roots won’t have enough moisture to absorb.
Although each plant is unique, you typically water an indoor plant once or twice a week during the seasons of spring and summer, less so in fall and winter. You can also use one of our self-watering terra cotta pots, available in three sizes.
Also, note that terra cotta breaks more easily when dropped then some other materials.
Finally, just like with any other pottery material, you have to use the correct size of terra cotta indoor pottery for your plants. When a pot is too small, the soil dries out too quickly and roots don’t have room to grow. If a pot is too big, there can be excess water, which can trigger root rot.
To right-size your indoor plant pots, consider what plant you’ll place in it and the expected diameter of its root system. Then, pick a pot that’s an inch wider in diameter. If a plant is expected to grow quickly and significantly, it can make sense to select pottery that’s a few inches wider when considering the plant’s root mass. Re-pot, as necessary, as growth occurs.
Attractive Plant Pots
Right-sizing your indoor pottery, ensuring that it has a drainage hole, and properly watering are all crucial for plant health. When you choose your pottery, you’ll also want it to look good in your home. Fortunately, indoor terra cotta pots enhance plenty of home décors. They add a lovely natural look to your home, a traditional appearance that takes on an attractive patina as the pot ages.
Terra cotta offers subtle beauty to your home, allowing you to use them for plants that have variegated leaves and/or brightly colored blooms. If you decorate your terra cotta with paint, you may want the pottery to take center stage, perhaps choosing a plant with solid green leaves or one that blooms in a hue that will complement your decorations.
Decker’s Nursery for Your Indoor Terra Cotta Pots
Whether you’re an experienced gardener or new to caring for plants, we have what you need: products, ideas, and information. We’re a family-owned and operated business that serves as a resource center for you, accompanied by a full-service retail garden center.
So, please stop by our retail garden center any time during open hours to find exactly the right plants, indoor pottery, potting mix, and more that you need. Or you can shop online any time that it fits your schedule. Questions? Please contact us online or call (631) 261-1148.