Proctor's Garden: What you need to know about pots

The main types of pots include terra cotta, glazed, imitation glazed, cement, and the polar opposite of cement--plastic. Each has its uses in the garden.

KUSA - It's no secret that I love pots. It's possible to grow almost anything and everything in them--and I do. I have nearly 700 of them throughout me garden.

The main types of pots include terra cotta, glazed, imitation glazed, cement, and the polar opposite of cement--plastic. Each has its uses in the garden.

If you plant in clay terra cotta pots, soak them first. Clay is porous and will wick away moisture from your plants' roots unless they are fully saturated first. In our dry, hot summers, terra cotta pots are more difficult to keep watered. The smaller ones are suitable only for cactus and succulents. Luckily, succulents are all the rage.

Glazed pots are beautiful and durable. They hold moisture better than clay pots since their walls aren't porous. But they're expensive and heavy.

Imitation glazed pots may be made of fiberglass or foam. They hold moisture well, are lightweight and relatively inexpensive compared to the real ones.

Plastic pots are the least expensive option. They are lightweight and hold moisture well but are rarely aesthetically pleasing. Using either spray paint or latex paint formulated to bond to plastic can fix that. A faux finish can transform an ordinary plastic pot. The paint job will hold up well for several seasons. Scratches can easily be touched-up.

I use ordinary black plastic nursery pots for growing lilies--after they've been painted blue first. After the lily bulbs are planted, I add sweet alyssum on top to spill over the sides and disguise the pot's edge. Using plants that spill down the side will help make a cheap painted pot look like a million bucks.

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