recommendations for shallow terra cota pots

pugsgarden(Sacramento 14)March 31, 2006

I have 2 old terra cota pots that are only about 4" high and maybe 10" around. What flowers would grow well in that shallow of a pot? I am open to sun or shade flowers (I can place the pots in the yard accordingly) and don't care if they're drought tolerant or need to be watered frequently. Are there flowers that do well in shallow pots like this? Thanks!

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gardengal48

These types of shallow containers are ideal for sedums and other succulents. They tend to have very shallow root systems and don't need the soil depth that most other plants require. A combination of low growing sedums (stonecrop), some sempervivums (hens and chicks) and a couple of stunning and more tender echeverias will make an attractive and very low care container planting. Best in full sun.

If you can get your hands on any more of these pots, I'd consider planting one up with a large, dramatic agave as well.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:19AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hint: Shallow containers are more difficult to grow in because they will have a much higher % of saturated soil than a deeper container with like soil. They also retain less water by volume, and have a greater % of soil exposed to the drying effects of the air and winds, so they dry quickly.

I grow things like Sempervivum (house leeks/hen & chicks), Sedums, cacti, and a wide range of succulents in terra-cotta saucers using a soil that drains quickly. I'll see if I can find some pics later, I'm at work now.

Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:25AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Cool - I was writing as Pam hit send button. I see we were thinking alike. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:27AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


Assorted succulents


Some cacti


Sempervivum in a very shallow hypertufa container (3/4" deep, at most)
Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 1:22PM
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amaranthena(6b)

Wow Tapla! Those are gorgeous container combinations.

I'm just starting to explore the wonderful world of sedums and succulents and I would like to make a couple of containers similar to yours. Can you recommend any hardy plants that can be left outdoors year round? I have some hens & chicks already. Are the shallow pots terra cotta or plastic, and do they have drainage holes?

Thanks for sharing your photos.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 1:57PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

You might try Ice Plant (Delosperma nubigenum) in addition to the already mentioned sedums / hens and chicks. Some sedums are fast spreading and so can overwhelm a container. Fast growers include sedum acre, sedum 'john creech'. Most other sedums you can divide or remove if they get too large. Look for the low growing sedums versus the taller ones like Autumn Joy or Meteor.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 4:01PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

A - the shallow containers are terra-cotta or hypertufa & will definitely need holes in them. You can buy a "spear-point" drill at a good hardware or big box store & drill them yourself in short order. I'll provide a link if you wish.

In addition to what Sedum suggested, you might ask about more hardy cacti/succulents on the forum devoted to that subject.

I overwinter several cacti containers in the basement where it's cool & light is dim and they remain quiescent until I put them out in spring (after frost) and acclimate them to full sun where they just take right off again.

Al

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 4:21PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Al,
did you grow that impressive specimen in the middle pic yourself?(the one titled 'some cacti'.) That is indeed SOME CACTI! What do the neighbors say? Or the inlaws? Don't tell me you never noticed what it resembles!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 10:56PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I guess I never thought about it that way & wasn't looking for an "opportunity" to post it. That's not why I posted the pic. Like the others, it just shows examples of different plants growing in shallow containers, something the original poster asked about.

Al

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 11:32PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

sigh...I guess I DO have a dirty mind. Oh well, makes life funnier if nothing else.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 12:49PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Oh - I wasn't being judgmental. You see what you see. I just wanted it to be clear that I didn't post the pic for any reason other than I mentioned. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 2:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

rofl (but only in the most ladylike and seemly manner)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:38PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

rhizo 1.
Thanks for joining in. I thought I was the only one who saw 'it'.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:14PM
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agertz

I saw it! I know I'm over two years late, but the irony of the plants being cacti.... well, it did give me a chuckle!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:38PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Scheesh! . . . had to embarrass me again, huh? ;o) I know I'll never post THAT picture again. I'm innocent, I tell you! I never even gave it a thought. Honest!

Al

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:55PM
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jodik_gw

I need glasses... I didn't see "it" until you guys mentioned the fact! I must be getting old!

Certainly don't mean to embarrass you, Al... it's a fabulous planter of cacti! But I must say... I've saved it so my husband can get a good chuckle when he comes home from visiting up north! I, also, admit to chuckling at the image! Don't worry... my mind has been in the gutter before! LOL!

All things aside, I did enjoy seeing your photos, especially the hypertufa planter. Did you make it yourself? I've been wanting to try some hypertufa planters, but haven't gotten around to collecting the ingredients and mixing.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 12:22AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mmhmm - I have lots of home-made hypertufa stuff, but nothing I've made lately. - soo busy.

Dwarf conifers in the one at the bottom right:

I screen Turface for bonsai soils & use the fines in hypertufa instead of sand - it makes them soo much lighter. ;o) I never imagined the pics would cause a stir. Lol

Al

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 2:19PM
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jodik_gw

I really like the look of the square hypertufa tubs... when I see them, I always think of alpine or rock garden plantings... dwarf conifers look very nice in them.

You must admit, Mother Nature has a strange sense of humor when it comes to how she shapes some plantings as they grow! Not just the shape of the cacti, but the fact that they're prickly with spines brings extra humor to the photo! There must be a men's magazine or something you could send a copy of that to, who would pay you for submitting it!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:58AM
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