Plastic or Mica Pots for beginer?

remist17

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I am going to be buying some pots for my plants. I am not sure what sort of pot to buy. I see plastic ones out there that are cheap. Mica ones are also not that expensive. I will never be showing these plants and will just be on display for my family and I. What are some of the benefits or cons of buying plastic pot or mica pots?
 

Ang3lfir3

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These types of pots are usually used as training pots for many trees ... they are cheap... simple and light... other than that they have no real appeal.... if you have Extremely large trees this can make moving them easier as the pot will not be so heavy..etc

beyond that I am not a fan of them.... trees in them very often simply do not look complete...
 

Gene Deci

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I would only add to Ang3lfir3 reply that mica looks a little more like real pots than plastic and they are a bit more durable but they do cost a little more too. There is no compelling reason to chose one over the other and as you say these are not going to ever be for show anyway so go with what you like.
 

Stan Kengai

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I haven't used mica pots, but down here I have a problem with plastic pots getting too hot in the summer. This may not be a problem where you are, and may even be useful (i.e. bottom heating to enhance rooting).

If you're not too concerned about asthetics, why not put (or keep) your plants in something more functional like grow boxes or training pots? http://ofbonsai.org/techniques/propagation/grow-boxes-and-training-pots This would help to speed the development process. That's just my particular approach. But I also understand wanting to have your more developed plants in a pot, gives a small bit of satisfaction even if they're not great yet.
 

Mike423

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Clay Bulb pots are also an option though they might be a little more expensive. They would be more beneficial for the root system over they mica or plastic as well.
 

rockm

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Buy mica if you can find it. Much like "real" bonsai pots, mica container retain their value somewhat (especially the larger sizes) and are more durable than plastic.
 

Bill S

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The only issue I have with mica pots is that I once left a couple out and unused, next time I put hands on they were chewed around the rim, by squirells I think, could have been chip munks too I guess. Looks like they used them to chew to maintain teeth, they have all little ruts all around the pots rim. Have heard the same from others around here.

Seem to remember they tend to be a bit cooler in the summer, but not sure where my mind brought that thought out of. But I do think they will stand up to winters better.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Fabric pots are another option. Just like any material, there are advantages and disadvantages...but from what I've read the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. They help insulate the roots in winter, don't get too hot in the summer, air prune the roots. They're cheap, easy to store. Only disadvantage I've noticed so far is that they dry out more...but if you're watering every day anyway it's not a big deal.
 

mcpesq817

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I use a variety of training containers, from plastic squat pots to mica pots to anderson flats. One thing I like about mica pots is that they are very durable, and you can drill extra tie-down holes or drainage holes if you need them.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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MICA all the way! For all the reasons listed, and that they do a good job of moderating soil temperature. Just be careful, some can get as expensive as a not-too-expensive ceramic pot of the same size.
 

jk_lewis

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The only issue I have with mica pots is that I once left a couple out and unused, next time I put hands on they were chewed around the rim, by squirells I think, could have been chip munks too I guess. Looks like they used them to chew to maintain teeth, they have all little ruts all around the pots rim. Have heard the same from others around here.

I answered this elsewhere, but I've also had pots marred by rodents. I think they are squirrels. Tooth marks too large for chipmunks.
 

treebeard55

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Between plastic and mica, I say mica. Besides the reasons given (sturdier, frost-resistant, longer-lasting, and so on,) I would point out that, 1) you can use a soldering iron to melt tie-in holes in the bottom of a mica pot, if you need them; and, 2) mica pots will give you a little more of an idea of how your trees would look in ceramic pots. That way, if and when you decide to move some of your favorites up to ceramic pots, you'll have a little better idea what to look for.
 
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mat

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In my opinion, as said above, plastic < mica < ceramic. Mica used to be a nice bang for your buck, but it has become more expensive "lately" (last couple of years). I've read this is due to the fact that China has been buying up all the necessary raw materials from Korea for unrelated industrial uses. So, cheap ceramic alternatives are about the same price, and many vendors no longer bother with mica.
 

Dav4

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In my opinion, as said above, plastic < mica < ceramic. Mica used to be a nice bang for your buck, but it has become more expensive "lately" (last couple of years). I've read this is due to the fact that China has been buying up all the necessary raw materials from Korea for unrelated industrial uses. So, cheap ceramic alternatives are about the same price, and many vendors no longer bother with mica.

What he said...
 

Ang3lfir3

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MICA all the way! For all the reasons listed, and that they do a good job of moderating soil temperature. Just be careful, some can get as expensive as a not-too-expensive ceramic pot of the same size.

For LARGE pots I find it cheaper to purchase cheap Chinese imports ... they look better and are usually cheaper by 1/3 or more.... they also come in colors/shapes that mica will never come in.....

I don't hate mica .... just always look at trees in Mica pots as "in training"...until the owner tells me they have a show only pot for the tree ... I just can't suggest using Mica in your garden for appreciating trees.... its just not right...
 

remist17

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So as I understand Mica are ok. Is there any places on line that I can get fair price Ceramic pots? I did not thinkg about this as I heard the glazed ceramic will crack in winter.

I actually made my own wood pots and did not realize this was common thing to do. I have a bunch of pine boards left over from the barn siding. I used them to make 2 pots for some nursery junipers I am playing with.

Please advise the best bang for your buck internet sites. I do not want to pay 60 bucks for a 6" pot though. I would like to find the cheapest item that makes sense to use.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I have made 3 buys from this store.

The first one arrived broken and was replaced with another broken pot (inadequately protected in the box).
The second purchase arrived with a different glaze color than shown...different by enough that it couldn't have just been the photography.
The third one was unglazed, and arrived in a much different clay color than the two-tone deep brown burnished colors shown.

Nice people, but I've gotten something different (lower in quality) than what must be a representative sample listed each time.
 

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