The Pottery Post Blog

Give Terracotta Pottery A Second Look


Arizona Pottery has been in the pottery industry since 2000.  We have seen and continue to see all kinds of trends come and go when it comes to choices of garden planters.  Fiberglass, Poly Resin, High Fired, Low Fired, Concrete, Black Clay, Terracotta the list goes on and on.

Why did we start with red terracotta and it continues to be our best seller?  Because it is timeless.  Terra cotta pots have been around for ages and they tend to come and go in popularity but in this post, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons.

When it comes to cons when using terra cotta flowerpots and garden planters the list is pretty short.
* Dry out quickly.
* Breakdown over time.
* Become heavy once planted.
* Discolor over time
* Plain and boring

So letís look at a few pros on why they are basically timeless and still popular.


Healthy for a plantís, roots Ė Did you know that terra cotta clay breathes?  Yes, it is very healthy for all plants root systems.  Because the clay ďbreathesĒ it will also show the chemicals that are in your potting mix or fertilizer.  Every time you water the potted plant, the water soaks into the clay, eventually seeping out, the clay will start to show a calcium build up or white lines and markings.  This is loved and appreciated by many terracotta owners.  So much so that they try to age their planters by applying milk to the outside so that moss will grow and the pot will look aged faster than the natural process.


Terracotta planters are not known for being the heaviest garden containers around but once they are filled with damp potting mix, they can become quite heavy. This is great if you are planting a tree or shrub and the yard pot is placed in a spot where it will receive some wind.  Lightweight or Fiberglass containers will blow over very easily.  If you need added weight you can always put a brick or rocks in the bottom of the planter before adding the potting mix. Just make sure you have it placed where you want it since you wonít be able to move it easily.


One of the worse and most popular reasons for using terracotta is the aging process that naturally occurs.  Like we stated above green thumb gardeners wonít use anything else and rejoice in the aging process.  It is a sign of beauty and age that can hardly be duplicated.  If you are the type who likes their containers to look brand new then Terracotta is not the planter for you.


Yes, terracotta is ageless and is seen everywhere.  Maybe you need something different a bit more modern or contemporary.  Terra cotta pottery is considered traditional, timeless and naturalistic, all good things but maybe not your thing.  That is fine.  If you like the look of clay but not clay itself there are resin pots that are textured and come in the terracotta color that will stand up to an explosion.  Unless someone walks up and knocks on the planter they will not know itís not the real clay of terracotta.


So, these are the best pros and cons that we can think of today.  How about you?  What do you like or not like about Terracotta garden planters and containers.

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clayflowerpots, terracotta, clay pots, planters, pots, terra-cotta 

Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 3:10:51 PM 

When To Water Your Garden Planters?


You selected the perfect garden planter, you researched and purchased the best kinds of plants and now you ask, When is the best time to water?  Good question.  You want to make sure when it comes to watering your potted plants you get it right.  Of course we all know that too much or too little can kill most plants and make those garden planters look pretty bad.


First you must make sure that your garden pottery has drain holes. Even succulents & cacti don't like to sit in standing water.  Then early morning is the best time to water your planters.  This is because the sun is barely up and the temps are still pretty cool.  Now is the time that water can penetrate the soil and get down to the roots before being evaporated by the sun & heat.

Watering your planter early also means that the plants will have time to soak up and store some of the water before they are dried out and waiting in the afternoon.  Don't believe that spraying the leaves of the potted plants and then having the full sun hit them will scorch them or cause burning. That is simply not true.


The second best time to water your potted garden planters is late afternoon or early evening.  What you are trying to do is to avoid watering your containers in the middle of the day.  If you wait till early evening try not to get water all over the plants leaves.  Letting the water sit on the leaves can cause pathogens and disease.  So if you have a choice always go with morning or late morning.

Do NOT water at night.  You think it's a good time to water your planters so that they can soak up all that moisture but it really causes disease like stated above because there is not evaporation.


So to rap this up, here are a few last tips.

Don't overwater - look for limp or soggy leaves, rotting at the stem or tips browning.
Water consistently over the surface of the soil and not your leaves. When you water, water deeply.  The deeper the better for encouraging the potted plants roots to spread throughout the planter.

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watering planters, water garden pottery, watering containers

Post Last Updated: 9/27/2017 12:44:56 PM 

Container Tricks

 8545 Container Tricks

Finding the most beautiful and healthy plants and flowers for your garden containers isn't that hard to do.  Most local nursery and garden centers carry a wide selection that are mostly healthy and lovely.  Now keeping them looking that way for as long as possible is the goal of every container gardener.  By following a few tips listed below you are well on the way to achieving that goal.


1.  Pick the perfect garden pot.  Make sure you get the right size before anything else.  You do not want to put a palm into a pot that is so small it tips over in a robust wind or so little that it cramps the roots from growing and spreading.  All plants and flowers have roots that need room to grow in soil that has nutrients in it.  If a container is too large it can result in over moist soil and drown the roots.  If you have a lot of space in the pot and you keep the soil moist, you may get moss and mildew issues that are not welcome.  Also make sure you garden container has drain hole.  No standing water in flowerpots is recommended.


2.  Plant you new pottery container with a plan.  It seems harmless to just dig in and go for it but the result will not be as successful if you follow a few steps.  Make sure you use plants with the right light needs with where you are putting the finished pot.  A plant that needs full sunlight will not grow if you place the garden planter on a covered porch that sees mostly shade.  Try to mix flowering plants and colors with green foliage to fill in the planter and make them look overflowing and full.  Just make sure they need the same amount of water.


3.  Be selective about the potting soil you use.  Never use garden soil for many reason but mostly you will NOT have healthy plants.  If you plant succulents make sure you are using pumice soil that drains well. If flowers are more to your liking a nice potting mix that has compost in it works great.  Don't recycle potting soil if you had diseased plants growing it in already.  Start fresh!  The main thing to remember here is never underestimate the power of the correct potting mix.

So follow these easy steps and you are well on the way to have garden containers that look stunning all season long. 

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garden containers, garden pottery, clay garden pots, clay garden pottery, home and garden pottery

Post Last Updated: 9/26/2017 2:40:01 PM 

Still Talking Terracotta Pottery Tips!


Arizona Pottery imports clay garden pottery from around the world. In this post we will refer to Chinese Clay Pots. As we stated before Italian terracotta is the best in the industry. Lightweight, wonderful color and great firing process.


Chinese terracotta flowerpots are made of a very heavy, thick clay. After the planters are formed by hand and fired in a mud hut they will have a very rough texture to them. If you rub your hand down the side, it will feel uneven and scratchy. Because of the clay mix you will also see a whitewashed finish. It looks like a powder coating but what it is showing is the calcium that is in the clay. It turns whitish when fired.


If you seal these pots, which we recommend, it will darken the clay up and not be as noticeable. Because these Chinese clay pots are very porous they will absorb a lot of moisture and will contribute to a faster deterioration of the clay. Of course this is where sealing again will help to prolong the life of the clay.


On a scale from Best to Worse - Chinese terracotta pottery is considered middle of the road. Even though it's rough it comes in some super decorative designs. You will see hex pots, lots of garlands and details. They aren't as defined as the Italian pots but are still unique. We love basket weaves, cherubs, and medallion embellishments.

Seal these planters, store them for winter if possible and you will be very pleased with their performance in your garden for years!

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chinese terracotta terra-cotta garden pottery planters pots clay garden pottery clay flowerpots planters

Post Last Updated: 3/23/2017 5:50:48 PM 

Easter Tablescape Using Garden Pottery


What a beautiful way to decorate a table for Easter Supper!
Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most stunning!  Here is an easy way to decorate your table for Easter using a few simple garden pots!

The centerpiece and focal point of the table is a large garden urn.  Buy an ivy plant at your local garden center or nursery or better yet go to a craft store and get a piece of silk ivy.  Fill the bottom of the urn or garden pot with floral foam.  Take a wire coat hanger and bend it into a circle sticking the ends into the foam.  Place the ivy in the base of the pot and wrap it around the coat hanger.

Next take a reed birds nest and place it on the top of the pot of course filled with a few candy eggs. Shown with a decorative bird on the top but you can use anything you want.   Next take small urns and fill with shredded paper and top with a green apple. The apples will pick up the color of the plates.  The hand painted stone name place cards, ribbons on glasses and brown burlap napkins are all the icing on the cake.  

This project is not that difficult or expensive.  Just break the photo down into the pieces you want to copy and create your own outstanding Easter Centerpiece using Garden Urns or Pottery. 
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Easter Centerpiece Table Tablescape DIY Garden Urn Terracotta Pots Planters Garden Table Idea

Post Last Updated: 12/14/2016 3:16:57 PM 

SMORES In A Flowerpot

How to make smores using a flowerpot

Donít have a fire pit?  Not located by the beach?  Donít camp?  Well that doesnít mean you can have some smores right in your own backyard.  Itís so easy and fun to do!

First get a clay terracotta flowerpot that is big enough to hold your charcoal.  We recommend using a 12Ē pot.  Itís smaller than shown but big enough for a group of people.  Line the flowerpot with foil wrap.  Fill with BBQ charcoal.  You may need lighter fluid.  Light the charcoal and get the coals going. 

Hand out sticks, and smores fixings and get started.  When all is done, let the ash cool, wrap the foil up, and toss away.    No mess and lots of fun memories!

Use a terracotta flowerpot for a smores bakerWe also like the idea of making individual burners. Each person will get their own flowerpot and fixings and you make a party out of it.  You can also decorate the flowerpots for the occasion.  Paint the containers for sport team colors, holiday colors, or just decorate them for fun and a creative touch.

This is the time to have fun and most of all enjoy!

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Post Last Updated: 12/15/2016 8:26:52 AM 

25 Secrets Every Gardener Should Know

Part 2 continues where Part 1 left off.  We start here with Tip 14

14.  Spur strawberries by rooting plant runners.  All types of produce more fruit if runners are clipped allowing them to produce no more than three daughter plants each summer.  When runners produce daugther plants, place them - still attached to the mother plant - into a small pot filled with soil  When the daughters grow enough roots, simply clip them off the runner.  Give the new plant away or start a new strawberry bed.

Safeguard compost from contamination.  Avoid adding feces from dogs, cats, or pigs to your compost pile because it can carry harmful pathogens that can transfer to vegetables grown from that compost.  But it is OK to use horse or cow manure that has been aged at least on year.

16.  Eat your flowers!  Learn which ones are safe to eat and only choose organically grownpetals.  Nasturtium blooms add a peppery flaor to salads, minced snapdragon petals lend a confetti color to butter, and pea flavor tulips make a beautiful edible cup for tuna or chicken salad.  Remember to remove the pollen-laden bitter pistils and stamens inside.

17.  Help birds build nests by providing narrow grasses, fine strips of bark, thistle, burlap, or milkweed.  Stuff a mesh onion bag with pieces of yarn 8" long or shorter, hair, feathers, or small twigs and hang it in a spot protected from rain and cats.

18.  Make your own fertilizer.  Collect leaves of comfrey and stuff them into a bucket.  Compress the leaves with a brick or rock, cover the bucket and let the leaves decompose for 6 weeks.  The result will be a black liquid that looks like motor oil but is a godsend for plants because it is high in potassium and nitrogen.  Dilute with water (one part of the liquid comfrey to 15 parts water) and use the mix when watering plants, or spray it directly on leaves.

19.  Plant annual geraniums in clay pots or planters, which tend to dry out faster than other types of plant containers.  This is a good thing because annual geraniums need to thoroughly dry out between watering periods.  For most other annuals, use ceramic, poly resin, concrete pots with saucers to retain moisture.

20.  Design high impact containers with monochromatic color schemes.  Stock with one color per pot, adding interest by filling companion pots with plants that have a related hue by different shape or texture.  If you are unsure, group plants together in your shopping cart before buying to see how they look together; cool and warm tones of the same color sometimes don't blend.

21.  Use your ingenuity when mixing up solutions to keep deer away.  Deer learn quickly, so switch products frequently to keep them guessing.  Try garlic spray, predator urine, and commercial deer repellents.  All will work - for a while.  Reapply often.  The best solution may be to place motion-activated sprinklers in the garden.  Deer never get used to being hit with a sudden blast of water.

22.  Preserve fresh herbs for soups and stews.  Fill an ice cube tray with chopped herbs, top with water, and freeze.  When the cubes are solid, move them to a plastic freezer bag.  Use as needed.

23.  Till soil sparingly.  Mechanical tilling is fine for a new bed or one that is heavily compacted.  But continual grinding, year after year, will disrupt the soil structure, turning it into a powder that won't hold moisture.  Till sparingly and be sure to augment annually with leaves.

24.  Shake out the salt. Epsom salt can be an ally in the garden when scratched into the soil  The salt's magnesium and sulfer help germination and flowering while improving the uptake of phosphorus and nitrogen.

25.  Sharpen your edge by using the proper edging technique.  Make a vertical cut with a flat-edge spade along the outside line of your bed.  After making the vertical cut, move to the other side of the bed.  About 3" away from the outside edge, angle the spade to about 45 degrees and cut to the bottom of the vertical-edge side.  Shake off excess soil, then toss the remainder into a compost pile.  Mulch to the edge of the inside cut.  The edges keep the lawn at bay for about a year.

We hope you liked these tips.  If you would like to share any of the great tips we know you have then just email us and we will be happy to publish them.  

Post Last Updated: 12/8/2016 11:13:19 AM 

What To Plant Now!

Below are the top 7 plants that you will want to grow this year. Each one is unique and lovely.  Plan on setting them up in garden pottery and you should have a magnificent yard or patio!
Fuschia x hybrida - Nice ruffled petal swirl like a flamenco dancers skirt.
Phormium Jubilee - It's leaves have cherry hued margins.
x Heucherella Stoplight - Nearly glows in light shades.
Echinacea Purpurea - Petals like royal feathers.
Poodle Skirt Dahlia - Poufs and pets add pizazz in hot pink.
Superb Grevillea - Apricot orange flowers.
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora - Looks like a deep sea creature.  AWESOME!

Make a succulent live bouquet.  For a striking display, arrange echeveria rosettes in a elegant vase or garden planter with other eye catching succulents.  Try the burgundy flowered scabiosa, blue viburnum berries, string of pearls, all pictured above.  Afterward, set the rosettes into decorative containers filled with succulent mix to start new plants.  Dividing succulents is easy, saves money and fun to do.  Give it a go!

Go wild with foliage.  To make an all foliage garden planter like the one show here, combine plants of various leaf sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.  In this Hawaiian garden, the smooth, coffee and apricot hued leaves of ti plant contrast with a blue fan palm's corrugated fronds and elephants ears wavy green leaves.

Mounded red and green tillandsias add punch in the foreground.  Your pots can be subdued and quite like the ones show or go with bold, bright ones to add to the foliage colors.

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Post Last Updated: 12/21/2016 12:56:46 PM 

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