If you’ve been reading CaretoKeep for long, you know that I’m a big fan of terra cotta pots. They’re scattered throughout our home and our yard, too. I love the look of them, and I think they’re by far the best planters for growing plants successfully. They have a fascinating history and wide array of uses — well beyond plant pots! It only takes a little knowledge to care for them.
What is terracotta?
Terra cotta clay is porous and earthenware. In fact, in Italian, terra cotta means “baked earth.” Fired at a lower temperature than stoneware, the clay may be glazed or (more often) unglazed. The clay’s iron reacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere during firing to produce the color. This can range from a subtle orange to a bright red/orange.
The ancients used terra-cotta to create bricks and tiles, as well as artwork. Many of you may remember the life-size figures of warriors, horses and other animals that were found in Qin Tomb (China) around 210 B.C.E. Terra cotta was used in sculpture and architecture by artists throughout history. Even modern designers use terra-cotta to decorate their homes. Apparently terra cotta was a color trend in home décor a couple of…