Crazy self-watering giant african violet pot idea
Okay, so last night I'm perusing the plant catalogs, dreaming about what I want. And I came across something -- datura, or agapanthus, or something -- that would make my front porch perfect.
The culture requirements said it needs consistently moist soil. In the summer my front porch gets about 18 hours of sun a day, and even daily watering wouldn't keep container soil "consistently moist".
Rather than scrap the idea and look for something that will fit the conditions (because that would be logical and I am not!) I tried to think of a way to MacGyver it.
It occured to me that I could replicate those expensive African violet planters you see in the box store. You know; the ones with the ceramic pot glazed inside and out that you fill with water, and the porous unglazed ceramic insert you actually put the plant in.
Why can't I do that (on a much larger and much cheaper scale) by simply setting a terracotta pot inside a plastic container? As long as the outer cachepot was waterproof, wouldn't this work the same way as those AV pots?
Or -- would the soil in the inside pot become waterlogged, preventing the roots from breathing?
The depth of the water shouldn't make any difference; it either cuts off the oxygen or doesn't. And I don't think roots will grow where there is no oxygen. But then again, how many plants do I have rooting in water right now...
Do you think the thickness of the walls of the inner pot affect the amount of water that is taken in? (Adjusting for scale, the walls of the insert in the AV pot are two or three times thickers than the walls of a terracotta pot.)
I'm going to try this this summer, in part because I really want -- whatever it was that I really wanted when I was looking at the catalogs last night. But also because now I'm intrigued; this could make caring for the containers on the front porch a whole lot easier!
What do you think? Will this work? Any modifcations you'd make? I'd really appreciate any ideas you have!