Cache Pot question

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)July 5, 2012

I have several plants in cache pots, varying from ceramic or glazed pots, tins, small metal buckets, and various bowls or containers (that I got at Goodwill, and I think used to contain fake plant arrangements). I love doing this as it seems a lot easier than potting into most of the decorative pots.

My question is that some of these are not much bigger than the plastic pot that I set inside them. One in particular, a glazed "bucket", just fits a small plastic pot. I have an African violet in it - and when I pulled it out to water today I noticed that the bottom had moisture but the top of the plant was totally dry (as far as my finger would reach).

Am I wrong in thinking that this arrangement is no good and is actually fairly close having the plant in a pot with no drainage holes? (with the difference being that I let all the excess water drain before I put it back into the cache pot) Will the remaining moisture in the cache pot be bad for the roots since it shows that there isn't any air circulation to speak of?

Would it be a good idea to get a larger cache pot for the AV?


Thank you!

Juli (a fairly recent houseplant addict)

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Interesting questions .....

As long as the pot your plant is in isn't sitting in water at the bottom of the cache pot, you're fine. If the pot fits the cache pot fairly tightly around the rim, I'm thinking that CO2 might build up in the cache pot, but methane & sulfurous gasses would diffuse because they're lighter than air (CO2 isn't). If the CO2 diffuses too, it's a nonissue.

I'm putting myself in your place and thinking about what I'd do, which is, let my plants tell me if they need some additional air circulation between the pots. Certainly, a little moisture in the pot is nothing to worry about, unless you know it to be wicking back up into the soil.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most likely to be limiting, I'd put your concern about the residual moisture at a 1 and the potential for CO2 to be an issue at about a 3. Still, attention to details are what brings you closer to perfect plants. At any given time it's often the effects you aren't even considering that are most limiting, so it's always refreshing to see someone considering the details.

I like to point out that all our plants have the potential to be beautiful specimens, and the measure of how close they come is the measure of our ability to reduce or eliminate limiting factors to the greatest degree possible. IOW, how good we are at getting out of the plant's way! ;-)


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:01AM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thank you for the response!

The pots in most of the cache pots are raised by sitting on a piece of foam-stuff-I-had. This particular plant, being in a "bucket" is held up by the "handle" of the bucket that just slightly squeezes the rim of the plastic pot. You can see the gap here, and yes, it needs to be potted into new soil soon-ish:

This is a very new plant, I just got it on Saturday. I took a picture of it so I can monitor its progress, so I will leave it as is for now and compare it to the starting condition to see if it seems to be doing well. It was a little bit pathetic looking when I bought it but I loved the color of the flowers and figured that (hopefully) it would only improve in appearance.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:58AM
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