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I’ve mentioned to my neighbors that I keep a lot of my hostas in pots.  Well, making your own pots is fun and rewarding.   You can make round, square or rectangle hypertufa pots very easily.   They blend in naturally with the earth, rocks and plants in your garden.  The pots essentially rise up out of the ground to showcase my hostas.  Plus you can make hypertufa stepping stones and decorate them any way you like.

Hypertufa pots are lightweight and sturdy.  They are easy to make if you follow a few simple steps.  Making your own pots gives you the flexibility to design a planting theme and then make a pot to fit your design.   Just make sure you follow these guidelines and enjoy a fun rewarding Summer afternoon.

  • choose the shape of your pot
  • use a mold that fits your shape and size
  • if using a cardboard box as a mold, line the inside with plastic
  • a plastic or wooden mold must be sloped outward so you can get the pot out of the mold
  • line the inside of the mold with a plastic bag to add texture to the outside of the pot

These are the materials you will need:

  • portland cement (careful, you may only be able to find a 94 pound bag)
  • peat moss
  • perlite for making pots
  • vermiculite for making stepping stones
  • gloves
  • dust mask
  • wire brush
  • measuring container
  • large mixing container
  • plastic, wooden or cardboard mold
  • plastic for lining the mold
  • large plastic trash bag the cover the pot during the curing process
  • 3/8 inch concrete drill bit and drill

There are many different websites that suggest various mixtures of cement, peat moss and vermiculite/perlite.  I have chosen to use a mixture of 3 parts perlite, 3 parts peat moss and 2 parts portland cement.  This seems to provide a finished product that is lightweight and sturdy.

Cement is a key ingredient.  Concrete curing is a chemical process, not a drying process.  A high cement content mix creates a smooth, consistent finished surface.   The best way to get a strong durable pot is to aim for a slow, cool and damp cure.  Start with a small amount of water, then add more water a little at a time until you reach a thick cottage cheese like mixture.

I did two classes recently at Hosta College in Piqua, OH.  Here are the directions I used for those classes.

  • have all materials ready
  • line the mold with plastic
  • measure and pour dry ingredients into a mixing container
  • mix all dry ingredients thoroughly
  • add water a little at a time in the middle of the mixture
  • keep mixing and adding water until you get a thick cottage cheese like mixture
  • scrape the underneath and sides of the mixing container to get all ingredients mixed
  • begin filling the mold a handful at a time with the mixture
  • press firmly to get all the air pockets out
  • cover and wrap the mold in plastic and allow to sit for 24 to 48 hours
  • after the 24 to 48 hours, gently take the product out of the mold
  • brush the edges and the surface with a wire brush
  • wrap the product in plastic to finish curing for at least a week
  • aim for a slow, cool and damp curing process

Use the concrete drill bit to drill a few holes in the bottom of the pot for drainage.   I use a mixture of finely chipped pine bark mulch and potting soil in my hypertufa pots.  Put chunks of pine bark at the bottom to keep the soil from washing out the holes.  Add the potting soil and pine bark mixture in the pot and plant your hostas in your very own brand new pot.

If you are making a stepping stone, gather all the materials as noted above.   I like to make my stepping stones 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  I bought a round concrete forming tube at the local hardware store.  Cut the tube into rings 2 inches thick.   Use a formula of 1 1/2 parts vermiculite, 1 1/2 parts peat moss and 2 parts portland cement.  Follow the same directions above to mix the ingredients.

I am doing another class this Summer at a local hosta club.  I will take pictures at that event and add them later on this page.  Until then enjoy your hostas and your Spring/Summer.