Clear Plastic Pots

Mary246February 18, 2014

Do any of you have opinions about whether it would harm an african violet to use a "translucent" plastic pot. I was looking at some rubbermaid storage cups with lids and I was thinking they could be a good intermediate size pot for an african violet. Of course without the lids. I guess my question is...does a pot need to be opaque?
Thanks.
Mary

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Linda

Mary,

Translucent and clear pots are fine. Many like to use them because it is easy to check on root growth. I have many violets in clearish pots.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Mary246

Thank you. I was hoping that a little light to the roots would not cause any problems. I would like the ability see what is happening to the roots and possibly be able to see a change in color when the plants are wet versus dry.
Mary

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:31AM
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Linda

Mary,

If the roots are bothered by the light, they will find their way deeper into the soil.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:23AM
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quimoi

Interesting question since pots are traditionally opaque!

Diana

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:27AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Some considerations: Clear pots mean warmer soils because light energy passes through the pot material and is turned to heat energy when it strikes the soil. Opaque pots either reflect light or turn light to heat on the pot's surface, then lose a considerable fraction of the heat gain to surrounding air. Probably not much of a consideration indoors in indirect light, but clear pots and the accompanying passing light do also promote algae growth in soils where it wouldn't otherwise occur (using opaque pots). Carl Whitcomb, PhD., has conducted tests that illustrate the effects of algae in soils can be a serious limitation to plant growth and vitality.

Al

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Mary246

Very interesting. I thought that if the translucent pots were not a good idea I might make a little cover for the pot someway. I'm exploring some options. Thank you for the information. I figured there was a reason they were opaque.
Mary

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Linda

Al,

I wonder how much light (and moisture) would be needed to promote algae growth in the soil. I have used clear and opaque pots for both my violets and my orchids and have never had a problem. My orchids summer outside but in the shade so the light there is not intense.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:06AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You don't need a lot of moisture, just a part of the soil that remains consistently moist and gets enough light for photosynthesis. I've had algae issues in pots I bought because they were white, thinking that they would reflect most of the light & remain cooler. What I actually ended up with were white translucent pots - they let a fraction of the light through and I got a LOT of algae growth in the lower half of the pot on the sunny side.

If you do decide to use clear containers and have an issue, at least you'll remember the 'heads-up' and say, "Oh yeah! I know what's happening", even if it happens with something besides AVs.

I sorta like that new feature where it shows what the latest posts were. I never would have seen this thread if it wasn't for that, which means I'd have missed out talking to you good people.

Huh! It's snowing really hard, but the snowflakes are all sticking together so it looks like it's snowing clumps bigger than ping-pong balls - looks weird.

Al

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:06PM
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fortyseven_gw

Hello, There, Tapla,
Yes, that is a nice feature, but be forewarned, this forum on raising African Violets is quite habit-forming! You will quickly form a new habit of raising AVs! I do recall some aglae problems I experienced years ago with clear glass growing and rooting when living in a humid climate. Glad to be reminded of it.
Joanne

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:37PM
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Aggie2(10a)

I don't see any down side here. Most of us are using clear solo cups with no problems, and I like a bit larger Rubbermaid containers wide lip, much gentler on leaves!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:56PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I use transparent Orchid pots on my gessies occasionaly. The plus - extra ventilation from the bottom - minus - yep - if it is on the wick - it will develop algae. IMHO you need to keep it for years until it gets really green and eats all the fertilizer. I repot more often. Second minus - it is NOT a show pot.

But so far - everything grows really well in these pots.

Irina

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:25PM
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fortyseven_gw

Irina, on a video, I saw a person slip the clear plastic pot into. A sleeve pot for show.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:23PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

The good fit is - when you slip a pot into exactly the same type of pot. I usually do a seran wrap on the bottom of the plant pot - so you can water a bit and it won't leak. I had a standard trailer in a large transparent plastic "saucer" - I got a spare= so I painted its inside white - so I could slip it on and present it for the show in a "white" pot. Too much work.

If you have a brown, green or white pot that will cover the transparent one tightly - good, otherwise it will look shoddy. And the judges will take the points off for condition.

i.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:15PM
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fortyseven_gw

Irina, So interesting!
j

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:21PM
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