Glass planters have an obvious appeal. They are transparent so you get to watch roots develop and plants grow. They also look beautiful in a modern home and can get more light to a plant in all seasons. The downside to glass planters is that they are impermeable so air doesn't get in and water doesn't evaporate. But, with the right care, there are ways to grow healthy plants in glass pots.
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The absent-minded indoor gardener risks death by neglect of favourite plants. But now there is a double pot for houseplants that combines the sparkle of glass with the porosity of clay to almost eliminate the need for watering---a clay planter nested inside a non-draining glass cylinder. Plant the clay pot and set it in its glass sheath. Then fill the glass pot with water. The clay absorbs water as the plant needs it and you can go away for the weekend and return to healthy green plants. A home-grown version of the double pot system could use a clay pot sitting on decorative river rock inside a glass cylinder. Experiment with the height of the water in the glass container to see how efficiently the clay drinks in water to hydrate the plant.
Create a tiny world that finds its own balance and grows without tending in a glass terrarium. A closed terrarium is a miniature garden of compatible small plants that need high humidity. Good candidates for a terrarium are ferns, African violets, rosary vines, shamrocks or small, slow-growing plants with similar light and moisture requirements. The container can be a jar, clean fish bowl, glass aquarium or, for the experienced terrarium builder, a bottle. Layers of clean drainage pebbles, filter charcoal, sphagnum moss and sterile potting soil go into the planter. A glass cover goes on top. The terrarium can be landscaped like a real garden and should present an interesting view from all sides. As the plants become established they will create a microclimate by transpiring water through their leaves. Condensation will form on the glass and drip back down to water the plants. A fully functioning terrarium should go weeks without needing extra watering.
Upside-Down Recycled Bottle Pot
A glass bottle makes an unusual and attractive hanging pot for a plant when it is cut in half at about the midsection. This requires a glass cutter and smoothing so there are no cutting edges left on the bottle. A macramé holder cups the bottle upside down and a piece of screen goes over the inside open mouth of the bottle to prevent soil loss. Add a very light, good-draining potting soil, mixed with a high percentage of vermiculite or perlite, and a small plant. Hang in a sunny window and be careful not to overwater. A collection of wine bottles or coloured water bottles presents an interesting and useful window display in a kitchen when the small glass pots hold culinary herbs.
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