DirectRoot AirBase pot inserts - anyone use these?

alex_i(8 Las Vegas, NV)June 16, 2012

While at my local nursery, I saw these pot inserts called AirBase (made by DirectRoot - ). I figure it can't hurt, so I am trying them on some succulents I am transplanting. They come in different sizes and seem to be a good alternative to rocks, gravel, or clay shards on the bottom of my pots. Any comments - good? bad? waste of money?

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Rocks, gravel and clay shards as separate layers have actually been proven to inhibit drainage - better a square of window screen or a piece of newspaper over the hole. That being written, this looks OK if you want / need extra drainage for your pots (if your mix is extra heavy, which is a totally different problem), or if you live in a high rainfall area and your plants are outside, and you're worried about them rotting. If your mix is porous enough and your plants aren't exposed to undue amounts of rain I'd pass on these. If your mix were something like MG cactus soil, I'd certainly see a benefit of using these, perhaps two or three in the same pot.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:10AM
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I've purchased pots with them already in the pot and I always take them out and throw them away. They serve no useful purpose.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:44AM
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With Ron & Jeff..I toss them, I used a few pots with the bonsai, that had them and the roots clogged it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:59AM
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alex_i(8 Las Vegas, NV)

Thank you for the quick response Ron, Jeff, Beachplants.

These units were cheap (the small ones for the 8" pots were only $1.25) so I put them on a couple re-pots as an experiment, but I still left a swatch of screen underneath it (over the big drainage hole).

Beachplants - their website seems to allude that's what the roots are supposed to do; i.e. find the spot with the air pockets. I do not know how critical that really is, especially with my most mature jades having survived very well in less than ideal conditions many years ago when I knew absoutely 'zero' about their care. It may take 2-4 years before these pots that I used them on need to be re-potted, and to the point where the roots clog the base, so I guess I have two 8" pots that will be marked "long-term experiment".

Jeff - yes, I do not use rocks, gravel, or clay shards (anymore) as I found out the hard way (drainage problems). I do use the stainless steel screens. I never tried newspaper. Does that not disintegrate? My mix is VERY fast draining. Though not as exotic as I have read a lot of you guys have. And I have never used MG mix for anything, so I guess I'm safe there. :-)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I use coffee filters in the bottom of pots.We aren't coffee drinkers,so i just buy them for that purpose,they work great,and cost very little.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:24PM
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I'm with Kathi on this but i do perk coffee and use those on the bottom and add another on top.helps keep out the bugs also.
they work a whole lot better than the plastic inserts. you can get 200 for a $1.00 at Dollar Tree and about 500 at Big Lots for $2.00 And for you folks in MidWest the Aldi chain has em at a good price

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:03PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Anything for a buck twenty five.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:44PM
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alex_i(8 Las Vegas, NV)

Kathi, Jeff,
Thanks for the coffee filters tip. I like cheap and simple. Same question I asked Jeff regarding newspapers, do they disintegrate? and how long do they last? I assume their pores are small, does it slow drainage? I do not drink coffe, so I do not know what to expect of coffee filters longevity under these conditions. Please tell me more. I have a few small 4" pots that I want to change the soil and it would be perfect opportunity to try this.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:03AM
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I use those things in the bottom of decorative pots indoors. After I water an African violet, I set it on top of one of these in a decorative pot so that the violet doesn't sit in any drainage water. Any water that does seep down there I just leave as it adds a little humidity to an otherwise dry house environment. It evaporates quickly.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:14PM
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alex_i(8 Las Vegas, NV)

Thank you for that tip.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:55PM
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