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Orchids: Clay pots

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Forum: OrchidsReplies: 6, Views: 62
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Perham, MN
(Zone 3b)

February 25, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9430873

This post is inspired by the thread, "Lowe's Bargain Table," where dyzzypyxxy posted a couple of photos of holes being cut in a clay pot, using a Dremel tool. What kind of wheel is that? Is there any other appropriate tool to use to cut holes in pots? I have a cordless Dremel, which isn't very powerful; but I suppose it's worth a try.

I've thought orchids could benefit from the light that gets through clear plastic pots, but maybe it's not as beneficial as the aeration through clay. Do you mostly keep your orchids all in clay, dyzzypyxxy? (And pretty much all leaning over, to avoid moisture in the crowns?) And then I've kind of wondered if, even as porous as clay is, there could really be enough air getting through there. Cutting holes in them would certainly obviate that concern. How many holes? Maybe in my dry winter atmosphere (humidity 38-40%) I should do fewer?

On a related note -- I have a couple of glazed ceramic pots that are supposed to have holes draining into a built-in overflow catcher, but don't, because the clay/ceramic seems to have swelled and closed the spots where they're supposed to be. I tried drilling those holes bigger (cement bit), without luck. Possibly I didn't want to apply enough pressure to make progress, because of the risk of shattering the whole thing. They're still useful as weighty holders for plastic liners, but if I could, I'd like to plant directly into them. Anyone have any luck with this kind of problem? (Ironic how you can't drill this material, but drop it on something equally hard - say flagstone or concrete - or even bang a couple pots together, and BAM!)

Thanks! --Joan
Odessa, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 25, 2013
9:13 AM

Post #9431019

Elaine (dyzzypyxxy) uses a diamond wheel bit to cut the pots. You can get one at HD for about $20. I drill holes in clay pots using concrete drill bits all the time. It is best to start with a small hole and then increase the size little by little.



Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 25, 2013
11:37 AM

Post #9431197

Joanic, I did a whole thread with lots of pictures on how to cut holes in clay pots using my Dremel tool. They're more decorative than just cutting round holes with a drill bit, and it's less likely you'll break the pot, too. (I broke one using a drill bit, which is what inspired me to try the Dremel) But it takes a bit more time.

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Brea, CA
(Zone 10b)

February 25, 2013
12:44 PM

Post #9431294

I have used Elaine's method and I do it the way Jim does on unglazed pots. For glazed pots you need a diamond drill bit. When drilling the bit must be kept wet and the speed slow. I use a drill press to keep things steady. These bits can also be found at you Home Depot or Lowes type stores. They can get a little pricey and the going is still slow.
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 27, 2013
8:02 AM

Post #9433496

I just wonder why the clay pot manufacturers have not caught on that orchid pots should have more holes than what they put in? And should come in more sizes. The pots fly off the HD/Lowe's shelves so they should know they are needed.


Sarasota, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 27, 2013
9:05 AM

Post #9433574

So right, Jean. When I see the little clay orchid pots (the ones with holes on the sides) I buy 4 or 5 at a time, because sure as a gun next time I go looking for one, there won't be any.

Maybe they make less of the hole-y ones because it is more labor intensive to make a pot with holes.
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 28, 2013
4:30 PM

Post #9434887

We can't get clay pots or baskets or Super Thrive for orchids here. I stock up when we travel to FL. Stop whining. lol Actually they don't make the more holey ones because the only plants that benefit from such drainage would be epiphytes and that's not the general market.

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