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Air Circulation And Porosity

More necessities for plant happiness

How come you can grow some plants hydroponically with their roots in water all the time, but when you put a plant in a container with dirt it suddenly needs air? Er...well, we don't want to bore you with the details (it's all very scientific) but it does. Without enough air circulation the roots are more susceptible to disease and rot. And that's bad.

In order to give your plant's roots plenty of air, make sure you keep the bottom of the planting container up off the ground. Use rocks, dominos, broken pencils, small animals, anything to keep the bottom from resting on a flat surface and blocking the drainage holes. Never let your plants stand in water.

If you live in a humid area or get a lot of rain, you should consider containers that are made of a porous material, such as wood, clay, paper, or breathable plastic. A porous container improves air circulation by pulling water out of soggy soil. (Of course the downside of porosity is that the container will dry out more quickly, which means if you live in an area that's not so wet, you'll need to water more often.)