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Selecting the right containers for your plants

by PU Chien. Posted on June 3, 2012, Sunday

I AM often asked what types of containers are suitable for certain plants. In recent years, nurseries and pottery shops have stocked selections with very attractive designs. When selecting containers for planting, there are several factors to consider besides how a container looks.

B R I G H T L Y C O L O U R E D : Plastic pots would mean the plant’s exposure to heat is even more critical.

Firstly the choice of pots or containers depends on the type of plants we intend to grow. If we base our choice purely on taste or the appearance of the container, then we may fi nd that our plants will not survive well.

We need to give due consideration to the plant and pot relationship – drainage and size of plants. What is the mature size of this plant? Take into consideration the size of the root ball and how much room it will need to grow.

Another thing to consider is where you are going to place the pot. This will help you determine whether to choose light plastic containers or heavy earthenware.

Will the containers be able to withstand hot and sunny days, with temperatures over 30 degrees?

We must realise that planting medium in pots dries out faster than soil in the grounds of the garden. So pot planting in hot climates requires nonporous or glazed earthenware.

Using plastic pots would mean that the plant’s exposure to heat is even more critical.

For indoor use, the choice is less rigid in the sense that environmental damage is less likely to happen. The type of container we select for indoor plants would depend on aspects such as caring for the plants – watering and re-potting.

Select a container that matches the size of the plant. The main difference between plastic pots or clay pots is that the plants grown in clay pots require more water because the porous pots allow air circulation.

Large planters can be created using mortar and brick and if desired decorated with timber knobs and the bark of various trees. Some pots are designed for contemporary, traditional or transitional landscape design. To accommodate multiple plants, choose unbreakable, weather resistant, robust, and durable poly-resin planters. These will not fade, crack or chip, resist stains from soil and will not cause plant dehydration.

If you are going to buy Sarawak pottery with local designs, just remember that local clay and terracotta pots are porous and will absorb water and allow oxygen to pass through. This is important for the growth of the roots.

Glazed ceramic or metal containers work well as indoor planters. We should not forget drainage problems and the staining of tiles below if a metallic structure is used for planters or a pot stand.

You should also remember that mosquito breeding can be prevented by adding Abate larval control products to the water. Some designs and colour schemes make for impressive displays in front of commercial buildings, on decks and patios.

Tall vases, squares and round planters are ideal for indoor displays. Horizontal planters are suitable for all applications.

Trapezoid European designs made of vulcanised materials are in demand now.

Vertical gardening There are also different varieties of plastic containers which can be used to create an attractive vertical garden on the sides of buildings and rooftops.

VertiGarden is a simple and cost effective modular system comprising modules complete with their own irrigation system and wall fi xings. This will enable plants to be hung on a vertical surface. They are fed using a slow release fertiliser and irrigated regularly with a hose system at the bottom of the trays or troughs.

Water is supplied from a tank built into the pumping system.

Happy gardening and Happy Gawai.

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