Flower Pots

Flower Pots – A History

Flower Pots on a Cute Indoor Plant Stand

Figure 1: Flower Pots on a Cute Indoor Plant Stand

 Flower Pots - Terra CottaFlower pots have had various uses over time: moving plants to new locations — sometimes great distances, starting seeds, patio gardening, cultivation of indoor plants, and often for year-round growth in very cold climates, which usually have a short growing season. During the 18th century Josiah Wedgwood manufactured flower pots that were as gorgeous as his China dinnerware; they were often chosen as table centerpieces.

Flower pots were historically made from terra cotta; coarse, porous clay fired in a kiln and used mainly for vases, roofing and architectural purposes. Known and made use of from as early as 3,000 B.C., terra cotta died out when the Roman Empire collapsed; it was revived in Italy and Germany in the 1400’s and remains popular to this day. Clay pots are commonly used for both house plants and outdoor plants; the unglazed clay allows air and moisture to penetrate the pot; they also act as a wick to take excess moisture from the soil, possibly preventing root rot and improving plant health care. They are an excellent choice for Roses, African Violets, Succulent plants, tropical plants (including Palm Plants), and there are even special terra cotta flower pots made for Orchid care.

Flower Pots - Metal Kit

Figure 3: Metal Flower Pot

Alternative Flower Pots

Presently we have commercial flower pots made of many materials such as plastic, wood, stone, and biodegradable materials. Recycling plastic food containers or tin cans by pounding drainage holes in the bottom with a hammer and nail also gives us flower pots.

Flower Pots - Terra Cotta Pot in a Wrought Iron Tricycle

Figure 4: Terra Cotta Flower Pot in a Wrought Iron Tricycle

During difficult financial periods we have often used tin cans for flower pots; you can decorate them by painting or gluing on tiny objects or just wrap with foil or pretty paper and tie a bow – voila! – beautiful and unique! Other ideas for flower pots, planters or just as garden ornaments include baskets, pails, coffee/tea pots, tea kettles, tubs or mailboxes – just stretch your imagination and use whatever fits in with your indoor, yard, patio or garden design.

Flower Pots - Hanging

Figure 5: Beautiful Hanging Flower Pot

Hanging planters are great for Spider Plants and similar types of houseplants, but they need to be placed where heads won’t be bumped; hanging them on fence panels adds a nice touch and they can usually be seen before you crack your skull! Hanging planters are also a good  idea for poisonous plants because they can be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Flower pots usually have a hole in the bottom for drainage; sometimes there is a saucer placed beneath the pot to catch the water – often plants can use this water by taking it up through the root system. There are plants however, that should not be saturated and many that should not have water remain in the saucer even if they can be saturated – know the watering instructions for each plant you plan to grow.

Flower Pots - Self Watering Planter

Figure 6: Self Watering Planter

More recently flower pots have been designed with an automatic watering system and their own reservoir for water storage, this innovation is particularly convenient if you must be away from home. Some Indoor plant stands, like the one in Figure 6, hold an assortment of flower pots and are self watering.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is as old as Rome, with the boxes also made of terra cotta. In the first century B.C most Romans cultivated their small cottage gardens to provide food, medicinal herbs, and flowers.

Flower Pots - French Style Window Box

Figure 7: French Style Window Box

Peasants had little if any gardening space and began to grow the plants they needed in window boxes. Eventually they were so popular that the rich upper classes began to develop balcony and rooftop gardens – elaborate with vines, shrubs, flowers and even fishponds.

The window boxes kept their popularity and spread to Europe and later to America. English cottage gardens boasted wire hay baskets as a new form to grow plants in at the windows; France often used wrought iron window boxes like the one pictured in Figure 7.

Flower Pots - Planter Box

Figure 8 – Planter Box Garden (Used with permission from http://gospotgo.smugmug.com)

Large planter boxes for vegetable gardening can be built at home, such as the one in Figure 8, constructed for peppers and tomatoes. Cyclamen also thrive in planters like these.

Original garden ideas can be checked for appropriate lighting, watering, fertilizing and aesthetic appeal at your local garden center. If you need fresh opinions or just suggestions also look through books at the library or search online. If you don’t have a gardeners’ supply center nearby, Amazon.com is an excellent source of books for garden ideas but also offers: tools, soil, fertilizers, herbicide/pesticide sprays, gloves, flower pots, fence panels, planter boxes, garden ornaments, plant pots, and window boxes along with the seeds or growing plants – and almost anything else you could need.

If you love to garden and are creative, I’m sure you’ll find things to put your foliage and flowering plants in that may be unusual but very useful and attractive in a specific setting.

Sources and Citations

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terracotta – research source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowerpot – research source

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf/Gardening/Creative_Planters/Creative-Planter-Ideas.html – research source

http://www.bloomingbaskets.ie/index.php/the-history-of-window-boxes – research source

https://www.google.com/#q=picture+of+window+boxes%3F – research source

Indoor Plant Stands

 

The primary reason to use a plant stand is to elevate the plant – indoors or outdoors – which improves plant health care by making the plants more accessible. Indoor plant stands give an interesting depth to a plant collection, and, single or tiered, cart, shelving, or other design, can be the quintessential accent to your foyer, hall or any room. They come in many sizes, shapes, colors and materials as well as ones made for specific plants or for personal reasons; indoor/outdoor, decorative or basic. Hanging plant holders are great for plants like Spider Plants, while shelves or tables are good for Cylamen, African Violets, many varieties of succulent plants, and improving Orchid care. Stands with wheels on the bottom are great for moving large plants such as Palm Plants, potted Roses, and other tropical plants that might need a periodic change of environment. Custom-made plant stands can be unique and often fill a niche in the room that otherwise appeared useless. Floating shelves offer a sensational display for your plants. See how to install floating shelves :

 

Plant stands add an elegant touch to patio furniture, garden furniture, planters, beside raised garden beds, holding groupings of plant pots, at the side of a garden, near an Adirondack chair or under the edge of a patio umbrella where they are shielded from direct sunlight.

Indoor Plant Stands - Handcrafted Scroll and Lattice

Figure 1: Handcrafted Scroll and Lattice Plant Stand

Accessorize any room or patio area with beautiful plant stands made of scrolls and lattices. Figure 1 is a wonderful example of a handcrafted plant stand that can be used for indoor plants or with patio furniture.

Raising a plant to eye-level is visually appealing and makes it much easier to water, spray and prune. In addition, having a plant higher up can protect children and pets from poisonous plants. Size-wise, plan on about 3 inches of space around the flower pots; consider what surface the stand will be placed or hung on and make sure it will not tip over or fall. Shelving can be fastened to a wall for more stability.

 

Indoor Plant Stands - Elegant stands

Figure 2: Tiered Indoor Plant Stands

Selecting Indoor Plant Stands

Be careful to not let the plant stand take the focus from the plant; you want it to be serviceable, sturdy, and to just showcase your best indoor plants not ‘steal the scene.’ Figure 2 is a good example of elegant indoor plant stands and can be purchased through Amazon.  Buy a suitably-sized plant stand; too large or small can spoil the whole appearance. If you are purchasing a plant stand for  flowering plants you may want to buy it in a neutral color so the blooms become the highlight.

Lighted Indoor Plant Stands

Small indoor plant stands are a good solution if you have limited space at home or in the office.

Indoor Plant Stands - Office

Figure 3: Intelligent Plant Light in Office

Even many of the smaller stands offer 1-2 shelves, a tray, sometimes a tabletop light with a fluorescent fixture; some have humidity domes. Small indoor plant stands may have a wire frame to allow you to adjust the fixture height.

One computer operated indoor plant stand – Intelligent Plant Light – takes care of numerous gardening needs. The automated, computerized timer is responsible for lighting – turning it off and on and synchronizing the length of day with spring, summer, winter and fall. The base of the lamp is the indoor plant stand. A full spectrum light simulates the sun’s rays; an adjustable stem can handle plants from 4 inches to 12 inches or can also increase/decrease light intensity. A moisture sensor indicates just when the plant needs watered and the pebbled base catches and holds the water for extra humidity, the moisture sensor also keeps the pot from sitting in the water.

Sources and Citations

http://www.amazon.com/Handcrafted-Rectangular-Metal-Plant-Stand/dp/B000F1ONE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333457549&sr=8-1 – research source

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gibVoELMNQ – research source

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf/Gardening/Creative_Planters/Creative-Planter-Ideas.html – research source

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVjgVqWowKc – research source

http://www.amazon.com/Handcrafted-Rectangular-Metal-Plant-Stand/dp/B000F1ONE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333457549&sr=8-1 – research source