If you recall my post about growing plants in terracotta, you know that I’ve been aware of Terraplanters for a long time now, but I couldn’t justify getting one for a fair amount of time, because they were quite expensive when they first arrived on the market compared to most other planters. For those who don’t yet know what a Terraplanter is, it’s essentially an inside out planter: plants are planted on the outside surface of the terracotta pot, while water sits on the inside of the pot. Here’s a picture for reference (do note that Terraplanters come with a lid. I decided not to use it so that I could put hydro plants in the middle too):
How it works
The Terraplanter became something of a sensation in online houseplant communities because of its ability to keep plants hydrated all the time while preventing root rot. The way it does this is through the porous texture of terracotta, which absorbs water into the air bubbles inside of it. because of this, the outside surface of the planter receives a steady supply of water from the inside of the planter, where water is stored. The water on the outside surface is accessible to the roots of the plants attached to it. The roots do not rot despite the constant wetness of the surface of the terracotta, since air is also readily available, and the fungi and bacteria which cause rot generally do not thrive in airy environments.
In the rest of this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the pros and cons of Terraplanters, based on my experience of having had one for the past four months.
- The Terraplanter seems to do exactly what it was designed to do: it keeps roots hydrated without any threat of rotting or suffocation.
- The Terraplanter has space for multiple plants to be planted on it, meaning that it saves space for plant hoarders like myself.
- The inside section can be used as a propagation station or a planter for a hydro plant. This saves space once again.
- The Terraplanter has a round planting surface, meaning that in order to fully utilise the space, it is necessary to continually rotate the planter so that different plants get exposed to sunlight. The alternative is to only plant on about a third of the horizontal surface area (plant up one side so all the plants can face the sun at one time and leave the rest bare).
- You might have noticed in my photos that I added an additional terracotta saucer under my Terraplanter. This is because sometimes, water actually drips off of the bottom of the Terraplanter and onto whatever surface it is kept on.
- There may be a little leaf-drop in the beginning as the plants acclimate to their new planter environment. New root growth can also take a while.
Buying a Terraplanter is a great space-saver and it keeps plants healthy. However, it does require plants to acclimate, which initially puts some stress on them. You should also try to only plant on one side of the Terraplanter so that the sun can hit all of the plants at once. Also make sure you have an additional drip tray ready for all the extra water that may come off of the planter.