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Journal of a rose gardener 21/09/16

This week, as we take delivery of our autumn/winter lines, we will be offering some advice on choosing a suitable pot. 

1. Drainage: Check the ultimate height and spread of the plant you wish to pot. A pot which is too small for a plant will dry out quickly, require greater maintenance, and the plant may very quickly become ‘pot bound’ and require potting on. If a pot is too large for a plant, the compost can become waterlogged leading to root rot. ‘Pot feet’ or even bricks can be used to raise a pot above the ground and prevent waterlogging. 
Many gardeners use ‘crocks’ or broken pieces of plant pot at the bottom of a pot, before adding compost, to aid water run-off and prevent compost from blocking the drainage hole. There has been recent debate over the effectiveness of this method, with arguments that water sits on the top of the crocks, effectively creating a smaller pot with a soggy bottom, so you must make up your own mind! 

2. Material: Porous containers such as unglazed terracotta allow moisture and air to move through them. As moisture evaporates out of the pot it cools the soil and draws excess water. These pots will need to be watered more often than their glazed alternatives, but may better avoid waterlogging.
When choosing a pot ensure that it is frost resistant, and that expansion and contraction in varying temperatures will not cause it to crack. All of the pots sold at Country Garden Roses are frost resistant. 

3. Weight: Consider the final weight of the pot with soil and plant. Will you be able to move it around easily if need be, for example if the plant if not getting enough sunlight? Lightweight materials such as Poly Resin, Poly Cement and Fibre Clay are now available, or alternatively pots can be placed on trolleys. 

At Country Garden Roses we stock a variety of unglazed terracotta and glazed clay pots, in classic and contemporary styles, starting from just £3.99. Pots are available in store only, where will be pleased to offer assistance in loading heavy items, should it be required.


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