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, also known as earthenware clay, is a porous material. 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 color is caused by the iron in it reacting with oxygen during the firing process. It can be anything from a subtle, brownish orange, to a bright, orange/red.
The ancients used terra-cotta to create bricks and tiles, as well as artwork. You might have heard about the thousands life-size terracotta figures of horses and warriors at Qin tomb (dated around 210 B.C.E. )! Throughout the ages, terra-cotta was used in sculpture and architecture by artists from all over. Even modern designers use terra-cotta to decorate their homes. Apparently terra cotta was a color trend in home décor a couple of…