Make your own


By Rachel Gleeson

for The Village Observer April 2021

The term ‘hypertufa’ simply means ‘man made rock’. When making hypertufa planters we are attempting to mimic the look of natural porous limestone.

The three main ingredients you need to make your own hypertufa planters are cement, peat moss and vermiculite/perlite. Vermiculite holds water within its air pockets and also lets the pot ‘breathe’ so is a good option for making a ‘moss pot’. However, if you want to make a vessel for plants that like a dryer environment (such as succulents) a better option would be perlite which will make the pot drain more quickly.

Peat moss is organic, very light and has incredible water holding capacity. The combination of these three ingredients’ result in a very natural looking strong, lightweight vessel, which ages beautifully.



• 1 part cement
(sifted to remove any lumps)

• 1 1/2 parts vermiculite
OR perlite

• 1 1/2 parts peat moss

• bonding adhesive
(hardware store)

• water

You will also need

• Mixing tub

• gloves

• disposable face mask

• spray cooking oil or plastic wrap

• garbage bag or old plastic bags

• mould (pot/tub/dish)

• metal brush or course sandpaper

This is a messy job,
so make sure you wear old clothes!

Estimate how much mixture you need, according to the size of your mould, it’s best to make more than you think you will need. Have on standby an additional smaller mould, so you can use any leftover mixture on instead of it going to waste. Decide what side of the mould you are going to use (the inside or outside).Spray area with cooking oil or cover with wrap (to assist removal of pot from mould)

Add the three dry ingredients first and mix well. Add bonding adhesive (about 3/4 cup diluted with a couple of cups of water). GRADUALLY add more water to the mix to form a consistency of cottage/ricotta cheese (it should hold together in your hand when squeezed). Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes.

Start with the base & add a layer 3-4cm in thickness. Tamper down firmly with your thumb to remove air pockets. Work your way around the side walls (2-3cm thick). Use your finger to make a drainage hole in the base. Smooth off all edges. Once finished, cover your creation with plastic and place in a shady location for a couple of days.

Two days later: Carefully remove the pot from mould (your pot has not yet cured and is fragile). Use sandpaper or a metal brush to smooth or rough up the texture of your pot according to what type of look you are after.

Recover the pot with plastic and place back in a shady area for at least three weeks.

Three weeks later: Remove plastic and immerse your hypertufa pot in a mix of 90% water and 10% vinegar for 10 minutes (this will remove the excess lime from the pot and make it more plant friendly). It is now finished! Initially your pot will look rather ‘new’ however once planted out and regularly watered your pot will take on an aged natural ‘mossy’ patina.