Here’s a picture of a 1-quart Olla from Dripping Springs. It’s sitting in the middle of a 14″ pot. The is a great picture for a number of different reasons.First, it gives you a good idea of how well this new smaller Olla fits in an ordinary garden pot.
And second, it shows you how the shape of the 1-quart Olla (flared at the bottom and tapered at the top) allows for maximum water storage, while still leaving plenty of room for plant roots.
This was actually my first experience working with a 1-quart Olla in a garden pot, except I didn’t do any of the work. Instead, I took my hanging pots and my Ollas over to Dennis 7 Dees on Powell Blvd. here in Portland, OR. Dennis 7 Dees has a rewards program for loyal customers that includes a complimentary potting service. I purchased the annuals at the nursery, and one of the staff members planted them in the pots I provided.
Using a 1-quart Olla is easy. You need to put enough soil under the Olla so that the bulbous opening is positioned above the soil level. Then make sure the cap is on, and backfill with potting soil. Then just plant normally.
Since I will be hanging these pots on my Southwest-facing porch, we chose a lovely group of plants suited to full sun. Bacopa and Calibrachoa will provide constant blooms until the fall. And though the Sweet Potato Vine won’t produce flowers (or sweet potatoes), its variegated foliage and cascading growth habit will add visual interest to the arrangement.
I waited to fill the Olla with water until I got back home. And that’s when I discovered that the three plants I bought all have different moisture requirements. The Bacopa wants Medium water, while the Calibrachoa demands heavy irrigation. And the Sweet Potato Vine listed “evenly moist” under watering requirements. Lucky for me, one of the key benefits of Olla irrigation is that a clay pot only releases water when the plants need it. So I’m curious to see how these three plants fare with an Olla providing the water. My guess is that they will all be spectacular this summer!