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Anyone reusing clay pots?

This is a discussion on Anyone reusing clay pots? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have reused clay pots for years. I have read that many people recommend that ...

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  1. #1
    orchidslave is offline Junior Member
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    Default Anyone reusing clay pots?

    I have reused clay pots for years. I have read that many people recommend that they be discarded and that only new pots are used. As this gets quite expensive with a large collection, I soaked the pots in hot bleach water, rinsed them, and then baked them in the oven at 480 degrees. Stinks! Hubby thought the place was on fire!! Anyway, some of the pots had black spots that seemed to seep through the clay, which sort of seemed like ash. This now makes me question the wisdom of reusing clay pots. Do any of you? Do you think they should be safe after the bleach and hot oven?

    Also, on the repotting instruction page, it talked about a pruning sealer. Where do you find this? This is one thing I have noted that even though I seal any cut PB's with fungicide paste, I sometimes get a rot creeping up that bulb. Somewhere I read once where people melt candle wax over the cut spot. Anyone ever try this, or please tell me what works for you.

  2. #2
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    Hi Orchidslave,

    I'm definitely not an expert, but other than hosing mine off, I've never gone through a process such as you described. So far so good...I've had no problems. Maybe its just LUCK....now I'm wondering what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing.............

  3. #3
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    I reuse clay pots as well. I fill a bucket with water and do a mix with physan or other fungicide. If there is any chance of infestation I also use a bug killer. I have also heard of soaking in bleach. I'm not sure about the bleach as it may stay in the clay. I soak my pots as well as any cutting implements for at least 10 minutes then dry them out in the air. Usually there is a good breeze here, good enough to dry off pots within an hour after soaking. Then I store them for later use. If I have a bucket of physan water I'm usually also looking for spots of mold around the outside to pour and scrub afterwards. I'm almost psycho about reusing water as much as humanly possible around the house. As I'm watering my orchids I'm holding the pots over my normal potted plants. The nepenthes love the orchid food. It's growing new pitchers to replace the ones I let dry out too much....
    One other use for your old pots...even when you have to smash them to get the old plants out, the pieces can be used at the bottom of pots for "air bases" instead of styrofoam peanuts or rocks.
    Connie

  4. #4
    orchidslave is offline Junior Member
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    Hi, Well trust me, many times I've just brushed them with soap and water and reused them before too. Then this year, I thought it would be more hygenic for me to do it this way, and easier on me to stand at the kitchen sink and scrub, vs. bending or kneeling near a bucket outdoors. I was just surprised to see some of them having more black spots on them after baking, which is now concerning me. I need to buy some Physan - I wish they sold stuff like that at box stores, etc. I thought the bleach would effectively serve the same purpose, but maybe not? Thanks for the feedback.

    Kathy
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; May 19th, 2008 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Edited- Please see FAQ's for information.

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    I always reuse my clay pots. Just soak them in bleach water and dry in the sun.
    Cin

  6. #6
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    Bleach or Physan will do the trick. Most likeky the black spots are from the clay degrading in the oven. At that temp you've essentially killed the bugs and fungus. I wouldn't bake them however, just use bleach or physan.

  7. #7
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    Clay pots, clean um, dry um, reuse um, as for pruning sealer I use a little cinnamon.

  8. #8
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    Think the pruning sealer is the stuff they use on fruit trees .
    I reuse clay pots , hose them off put in bleach water and soap scrub ,then run in the dish washer . I have seen a cool scarecrows made from old pots .. Gin

  9. #9
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    I avoid clay pots unless they are decorative like cymbidium or bonsai pots and in that case they would be re-used because of price. I've cleaned with bleach.
    I've also reused plastic pots. I'm not as particular about cleaning when they come out of a flasked paph seedling, because they are so low risk to have a incurable pathogen like virus.

  10. #10
    orchidslave is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone! The dishwasher routine sounds pretty good also! Would still like to hear more feedback from others on what you all put on your pb's after you cut them to prevent fungus, etc. from entering.

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