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About Us

A+R POTTERY is Andrew Christopher & Russel Ray

Why no drainage holes in Designer Pots?

Simple answer? They are not necessary. That goes against conventional wisdom, so let me explain further. Let’s go back to 1973 and my freshman semester at Texas A&M University. I had a 684-SF apartment all by myself. Well, me and 77 potted plants. I was Class of ‘77, and class years are very important at Texas A&M University, so 77 potted plants it was. My own private arboretum. All my pots had drainage holes.... and saucers.

Still, I was lonely, so I found three roommates and moved into a 1,300-SF apartment for the Spring 1974 semester. When I moved out of my 684-SF apartment, I was charged $700 to replace the carpet. Wet, discolored, and rotted carpet was everywhere. The drainage holes had drained into the saucers, and the saucers had overflowed.

I vowed never again to have drainage holes in pots which were kept indoors. I have kept my vow but have modified it a little in that I don’t have drainage holes in any pot where I control the watering. That includes indoor locations as well as outdoor locations protected from rain and automatic watering systems.

I successfully grow all types of popular plants in big and small pots without drainage holes: begonias, dracaenas, English ivy, ferns, heartleaf ivy, Norfolk Island pine, peperomias, pothos ivy, rubber plants, scheffleras, and others.

I also grow many different cacti & succulents: Aeonium, AloeCrassula, Echevieria, Echinocactus, Euphorbia, Ferocactus, Mammilaria, SansevieriaSedum, Sempervivum, Stapelia, Trichocereus, and many more. Never had a water problem with any of them.

Remember, though, that I control the watering.

Also remember that we’re talking about cacti & succulents here. They don’t need a lot of water to begin with, so why water them so much that water drains out of the drainage hole? The main answer is to flush the soil so that mineral salts don’t accumulate. The easy solution to that problem is to use rainwater (my favorite); or filtered, distilled, or purified water. Be careful with filtered or purified water because filtering and purification systems often use common rock salt, thereby adding salt to the water. Also be sure that the water is room temperature, or at least not too hot or too cold.

I have found over 55 years of collecting and growing cacti & succulents that they would rather have too little water than too much, regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors, cactus or succulent.—Russel Ray

Your Designer Pot is one-of-a-kind unique

Each Designer Pot is unique. There is not another one like it, nor will there ever be. The very nature of tile and blown glass is that there is a natural variance between any two tiles and any two pieces of blown glass. Accent decorations (pebbles, rocks, wood, etc.) also ensure that your Designer Pot is the only one of its kind. Look on the bottom of your Designer Pot and you will see your Designer Pot number. We know the date we started creating it, the date when we finished, and where it went (given away as a gift, provided to a cactus and succulent society benefit auction or raffle, or sold at a show or other gardening event). Email us to find out more about your Designer Pot.

Technical aspects of your Designer Pot

Your plant in its Designer Pot can be placed anywhere in your home, even as the centerpiece on your priceless “Lewey the Fourteenth” (Louis XIV) walnut trestle dining table with nothing necessary beneath it to protect the beautiful walnut from drainage-hole water or sauceroverflowing water.

Designer Pots are “glued” to their bases with GE 100% Silicone. Silicone is what I used to glue the glass together for aquariums when I was building them back in the 1970s. (Now most aquariums are simply molded plastic.) If silicone can hold back water with a density of 62.4 pounds per cubic foot, it can hold together your Designer Pot.

Silicone is unique because of its many desirable properties:

• Creates a watertight seal.

• Resistant to bacteria and fungus growth.

• Will not stain or corrode other materials.

• Resists most acids and alkali, so fertilizers are okay.

• Very strong; excellent shear, elongation, and tensile strength.

• Transparent — It won’t intrude on the beauty of your Designer Pot.

• Withstands extremely high and low temperatures; heat resistant up to 400°F.

• Durable yet permanently flexible and with a hardness range of 5A to 80A on the Shore Hardness Scale (might be too technical, I know, but its rating is superb for our pottery purposes).

These properties mean that your Designer Pot will last a long time and will not leak onto your floor or furniture.

What can I plant in my Designer Pot?

Pretty much anything that is small. I also have trailing plants (grapevine ivy, heartleaf ivy, and pothos ivy) growing in Designer Pots. Of course, if your plant doesn’t stay small, you’ll eventually have to remove it and plant it in a bigger pot.... or even outdoors.

Will the glass get too hot in the sun?

The glass used to create your Designer Pot is a designer lamp shade, so they are designed to get hot without suffering damage. As to your little cacti & succulents getting burned by hot glass, the only ones that could possibly get burned would be those which hang over the glass edge, but I have never had that happen. I have many Echinocactus, Ferocactus, and Mammilaria growing in Designer Pots located in 4-8 hours of direct sunlight each day with no heat damage. I also have Aeonium, Crassula, Echevieria, Hatiora (Easter Cactus), Sempervivum, and Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus) hanging over the edges of Designer Pots, and they also show no evidence of heat damage.

How much should I water?

That depends on your plant and its location. My home is a constant 65°F to 75°F, bright in all rooms and sunny in some. Cacti & succulent inside get one tablespoon of water every Monday. Outdoors depends on the weather but most of them get one tablespoon also. I do have some larger cacti & succulents outside that get two tablespoons of water each Monday. In the picture at right of a Designer Pot located outdoors (protected, remember), the large plant gets two tablespoons of water and the two smaller plants get one tablespoon each.

Should I fertilize my plant in its Designer Pot?

That depends on what you want your plant to do. Although my indoor plants in Designer Pots are small and will stay small, I don’t want too much growth above or below the soil. I do enjoy having them bloom each year, though, so I use a 1-1-1 (N-P-K) fertilizer once a month to get beautiful blossoms, as shown in the pictures, without excessive leaf or root growth.

How should I care for my Designer Pot?

Your Designer Pot doesn’t require any special care. If it gets dusty or dirty, you can rinse it off with clean water or blow the dust and dirt off using a rubber bulb air pump like jewelers and camera shops use. I have used compressed air in a can but the air comes out with such force that a wrong hand movement can blow your top dressing away. Been there, done that. The glass can be cleaned with a soft cloth wet with water. The glass probably is the most delicate part of your Designer Pot, so, as with all glass, be careful.

Register your Designer Pot

Register your Designer Pot by sending an email to

Include a picture of your Designer Pot with your beautiful plant in it and we’ll feature it in the SOLD! gallery on our web site at

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