Bottle gardening : Italman’s comment (Willem)

Yesterday, I received the following comment :

Hey Willem,
Thanks for including my experiences into your blog. I appreciate the effort and hope you’ll keep up doing good work. Each one teach one!
Regarding the plastic bottle idea, I’ve tried it myself and it works fine.  However, I read somewhere that it’s not good for roots to be exposed to light, so I used to cover up the transparent bottles! That sounded pretty logical to me, because roots naturally grow in the ground, where there’s no exposure to light. What do you think?

Thanks for the appreciation.

Concerning roots exposed to light in transparent bottles : I always used transparent bottles and did not observe negative effects on the the roots.  Of course, a lot of algae develop inside the bottles.  However, I don’t see any problem for the plant growth.  I suppose there could even be some positive effect, particularly with development of blue algae (nitrogen).

I wonder if literature is telling us something about this.  I will try to look it up on the internet.

If needed, we can always apply your suggestion and cover up the transparent bottles, e.g. with aluminum foil.

Let’s look for the best solution !

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

One thought on “Bottle gardening : Italman’s comment (Willem)”

  1. Good morning Willen & Italman

    I also have not noted any negative effect of transparent bottles and, as you (Willem) have seen from my photos, they are growing well. I did read somewhere that the very fine root hairs which as so important for water uptake can easily be dried up by the sun during Summer and this makes sense but I have not really noted a problem myself.

    A simple solution would be to spray paint the outside of the bottles.

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