Making my own pots, input needed
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Making my own pots, input needed
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Old 05-07-2023, 01:36 AM
katsucats katsucats is offline
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Making my own pots, input needed Male

I've thought about this for a bit, although I mostly think in plastic. But I think my ideal pot could be adaptable to clay. If I could have any shaped pot, it would have a wide saucer, but deeper than saucers usually are, probably 4-5" tall. The bottom half of the saucer, perhaps up to 3" would be glazed so it retains water. The saucer would be designed to fit perfectly under the rim of another pot. It might have an "overflow" hole on the side, say 4" up.

In my imagination this inner pot would be similar to a net pot, but it could be a clay pot that's unglazed at the bottom (probably glazed on the top half). How I would plant is put a layer of something inert, say LECA at the bottom, and then the rest with bark above the overflow height. When I water, it retains a reservoir underneath the media, creating a moisture zone without making the medium soggy.

For mounting, I'd imagine a half pipe, sort of like a roof tile except with deeper curvature and a half-glazed pocket at the bottom to hold a reservoir and the unglazed part could wick excess water upwards. The plant would be nestled in the inside of the half pipe.

I have no idea whether these ideas would actually work. One day I'm going to buy a 3D printer or commission a foreign manufacturer and give them a try.
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Old 05-08-2023, 03:57 PM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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Location: Central Coast, NSW
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Making my own pots, input needed Male

Thanks for the responses.

And Katsucats thanks for your ideas.

Robertaís comment about being able to reduce the number of repottings by using more suitably sized and shaped pots appeals to me too.

Thinking about it, I can see a situation where if a plant is important enough to me I just sit down and throw a pot of the perfect shape and size for it. It takes only a few minutes to throw a pot, and when leatherhard give them basic trimming and drill the holes. The stumbling block is getting them fired. There are firing services locally but they are expensive. I could do primitive firing in our backyard but its a lot of work. Iíll probably just continue making pots for the most special plants.

At the moment Iím still working on the best pots of the Sarcochilids. I see them growing around here ocassionally and they are always scrambling across moss-covered sandstone boulders in deep, damp ravines beside bushland streams. Roots growing across the thin surface moss cover. Nothing about their growth habit resembles living in a pot. I think maybe some broad pots (pans) with crushed sandstone medium might suit them. I would like to get the moss growing on top too.

Or maybe slice the top off a small sandstone boulder and place it in a shallow pan sized to suit, get the moss growing, and then plant a sarco on top. Slow watering from a dripper if needed.


Last edited by ArronOB; 05-08-2023 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 05-11-2023, 06:39 PM
MateoinLosAngeles MateoinLosAngeles is offline
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Lovely pots and pottery skills!

In your conditions, probably anything will work. However, if you intend to easily unpot plants without damaging the roots, roughening up the surface and creating holes will work against that. Orchids love to grab onto Terracotta, and their roots will grow through the holes. So you've pretty much created terracotta baskets.

To maintain the integrity of the roots, your best bet is plastic. To increase airflow, you just need to use the appropriate media. Anything would work as long as the particles are somewhat uniform. You could use Lava Rock as your only medium; the weight would keep the pot from tipping over. I have potted Cattleyas with lithophytic ancestry in a mix of lava rock and rock wool in terracotta pots, and they seem to love it. My most successful setups, however, are teak baskets with assorted media and S/H with LECA.

Regarding rockery at the bottom, it doesn't necessarily improve drainage. That myth has been busted.

I don't grow Sarcochillus, so I don't know how thick their roots are, but my understanding is that their care is similar to Phalaenopsis. So in your conditions, I would put a Phalaenopsis in a Starbucks Trenta cup with Orchiata grade "Super" and drill some holes at the bottom, then use an external ceramic pot for stability. But that's me.

Regarding shape, I believe reading articles suggesting that vertical length improves airflow vs. shorter pots. At the same time, many people swear by bulb pots.

Seeing how people have succeeded in such diverse settings suggests that these plants will grow anywhere, especially given your extraordinary conditions and ability to automate watering. What pots allow for, however, is preventing plants from growing into each other. I've seen people using construction bricks to mount plants, and the roots get into the next-door brick, becoming a mess. Alan Koch has a video of two Cattleyas growing in neighboring terracotta pots growing into each other. This would make for a wild, jungle-like display, if you're into that.
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