Many of us know about terracotta pots. Whether we have many plants of out own or have never cared for a single houseplant, we have seen terracotta pots in homes, businesses, every garden centre, and even the dollar store. But why is terracotta so popular?
For many the answer may be as simple as accessibility. In addition to being easily found, terracotta is an incredibly affordable option. Many ceramic and decorative pots can cost anywhere from 10 to 50 dollars for a standard 8-inch pot; basic terracotta is usually just a few dollars.
Terracotta also affords your plants a happy home. I have rarely seen a terracotta pot without drainage and a matching saucer. In addition, the unglazed clay pots help to quick moisture away from the soil, allowing for good aeration and helping to prevent overwatering. Terracotta is naturally occurring, sustainable, and a perfect choice for indoor gardening.
While we often view terracotta as an orange-brown, simply pot, the material can actually vary in colour. The amount of iron in the clay, as well as the method used to fire the pottery can affect the final colour. Humans have been using terracotta, also known as earthenware, for numerous used since pre-history. From sculpture to architecture the clay was valued for its light-weight durability and availability. In terms of pottery, there are extensive traditions, across many cultures, including French Anduze Pottery, Italian Galestro Terra Cotta, and Greek Terra Cotta. The material’s widespread use as a planting medium demonstrates both its beauty and its practicality.
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