As a houseplant owner, you’ve probably heard that you should be aerating your plants’ soil regularly, and maybe you’ve even tried it. But believe it or not, you can also get an aeration pot to do all the aerating for you! 

It’s totally true! And these pots come with a bunch of other benefits to help you grow healthier plants! 

Before we get into these super-cool pots, here’s a quick review of aeration and why it’s important: 

Aeration is simply putting holes into the soil to loosen it up and allow air to circulate. In nature, the soil is constantly being aerated by decomposition and earthworms. In a pot, it’s the opposite. The soil is always being compacted by regular watering and the growth of new roots. This can decrease air circulation and lead to root rot and bacterial infections! 

So every few weeks, it’s a good idea to use a chopstick, skewer, or even a moisture meter to gently poke holes in your plant’s soil, being extra careful not to damage the roots. 

Or…you could get a pot to take care of this for you!  

Aerated pots come in a variety of designs, from simple fabric pots to plastic pots with holes or slits up the side (I like this kind). You can even buy an aeration pot material that you simply wrap around a root ball to make a pot shape! 

You might also see these listed as air pruning pots or just air pots, but they all do the same thing: keep your plant’s soil aerated and your roots system strong.  

Should you use an aeration pot? Here are some of the benefits.

Increased drainage

The idea is that these pots allow your plant’s soil and roots to breath and drain as they would if the plant were growing in its natural habitat—the ground. 

In a standard plastic or ceramic pot, water drains out the bottom only, whereas in nature, soil can drain freely in all directions. That means more drainage and less risk of root rot!

Healthier roots

These pots can also prevent root wrapping thanks to a process called air pruning.

When the roots of the plants grow and come into contact with the sides of the pot, they keep growing but are obstructed and start to wind back on themselves. This means the roots of the plant tend to grow around and around in a circle because there’s nowhere else to go! This is why plants get root wrapped and eventually can’t grow anymore. 

In aerated pots, when the roots reach the sides of the container, they come in contact with air. This tells the plant that there’s nowhere else to grow. So instead of growing around and around in the pot, the roots stop growing, and they maintain a much healthier, branching shape in the pot instead of getting tangled by sending out little offshoots along the length of the root.

This also allows you to go longer between repottings, so it’s less work for you and less shock for your plant!

Prevents over-watering

Habitual over-waterers, listen up!

Aeration pots can also protect against over-watering thanks to additional drainage and contact with the air. The roots are allowed to drain and dry out more freely and the pot holds onto much less water than conventional pots. 

This means less risk of root rot, bacterial infection, insect infestations, and other issues caused by over-watering!

(The drawback to this is that you stand a greater risk of under-watering your plants, so you may need to water more and more often. If you forget to water your plants, aeration pots may not be for you right now.) 

Pretty cool, right? Aeration pots are a great plant hack, especially for chronic over-waterers, and they can save you a lot of time on aeration and repotting. Try one out and see how you like it!

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