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For all my plants I'm using unglazed terracotta pots, mostly just because that's the pots my father was using and for the "authentic look". Then I found out that really nice property of those pots to absorb extra water and show water marks (pic below). I was wondering if there were any kind of "science" that would allow to "read" this information and optimize watering in consequence. For instance, should I wait to water my plant until the mark has completely disappeared? This is kind of a funny question, but I'd like to know if anybody found some tips related to this property of terracotta pots!

terracotta pot watermark

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It will depend on the plant and the size of the pot. In general though, if the mark is gone the soil is pretty dry. As a side note, this same property of unglazed pottery has been used to water plants for centuries. Here is a link that explains: http://permaculturenews.org/2010/09/16/ollas-unglazed-clay-pots-for-garden-irrigation/ and is also used to water violets as explained at this link: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/use-ceramic-selfwatering-pot-38934.html

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