Your trusty neighborhood oracle is here to answer all your queries.
WHAT IS HYPERTUFA?
Hypertufa is a stonelike material designed to mimic tufa, a type of volcanic rock prized for its porous nature and high limestone content which made it ideal for growing alpine plants. It was first developed when tufa became scarce and more expensive. It then became popular in the 1930s to replicate the stone troughs popular among English gardeners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hypertufa is relatively light compared with concrete and significantly lighter than stone, making it a practical material for planters and other garden décor.
WHAT PLANTS THRIVE IN HYPERTUFA CONTAINERS?
Succulents and alpines are some of the more popular plants used in hypertufa planters and troughs. However the nature and versatility of the material makes it beneficial to many other plant varieties.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT PLANTS TO COMBINE IN ONE PLANTER?
As a rule of thumb, you'll want to choose plants with similar water, sunlight, temperature, and soil needs so they can all thrive from the shared conditions of wherever you decide to place your planter.
Try to combine plants with varying textures and colors to add visual interest to your planter. And if possible, it is also a good idea to select plants that flower at different times of the year so your container garden will look interesting as the seasons change.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON GETTING STARTED?
Getting started is easy. Select your favorite plants, the appropriate soil and amendments, and think of a general layout for your container garden. Cover the drainage holes with pottery shards to prevent the soil from getting washed away over time. Depending on the size of your planter, it may be a good idea to do the planting in situ because the weight will increase considerably once you add the soil, gravel, decorative rocks, and plants.
If you want to try your hand at creating an alpine crevice garden, this video by Christine Pritchard Garden Design and this one by Caroline Wright, senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University will give you some great tips and show you just how simple it can be to create your own beautiful alpine trough garden.
WHY CHOOSE HYPERTUFA OVER CONCRETE?
Besides its lightweight nature, hypertufa is very porous making it ideal for plants needing excellent drainage. Its porous nature also makes it able to withstand harsh weather conditions, and able to last for many years with little maintenance.
HOW HEAVY IS HYPERTUFA?
While hypertufa is prized for its lightweight attributes (vs. concrete), keep in mind that it is still a cast cement product. Weight will vary depending on the formula used for each planter, and will increase exponentially as planters get larger. We list the actual weight of each planter in the description section. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions about weight.
WHAT FINISHES AND SURFACE TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Hypertufa is a practical and versatile material that can be worked to achieve a wide variety of finishes. We've developed a group of formulas that achieve a range of smooth to rustic finishes. We show a glossary of our current finishes on our blog THIS+THAT. All finishes shown can be textured for a more rustic aesthetic.
Please bear in mind that all our planters are made by hand, so there will be some color variation within each finish, and that hypertufa will develop a patina over time, so some finishes may differ slightly from pictures shown.
If you need several planters of one design and color consistency is important to you and your project, please contact us at email@example.com to talk about a custom batch. General lead times are 10-12 weeks and could vary depending on the scope of your project.
We design and make all planters in our workshop in Cornwall NY, and can work with you to customize the design, finish, texture, weight and function of your hypertufa planter. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your needs.
CAN I PLACE AN ORDER FOR AN ITEM THAT IS CURRENTLY OUT-OF-STOCK?
Absolutely. Our lead time for made-to-order planters is 10-12 weeks. Contact us at email@example.com to talk about your needs.
HOW COME IT TAKES 10-12 WEEKS TO RECEIVE A MADE-TO-ORDER PLANTER?
The listed lead times allow time for production, finishing, curing, and delyming. We cure all our planters for a minimum of 8 weeks, and then delyme them prior to selling and shipping them out to our customers.
WHY CURE FOR 8 WEEKS?
Slow curing yields stronger hypertufa, and reduces the incidence of cracks. It also contributes to making it weatherproof, and very easy to maintain.
One of the main ingredients in hypertufa is Portland cement which is very alkaline. Leaching the lime out of the hypertufa is the final step to make sure the alkalinity of the portland cement won’t be toxic to your plants.
Because hypertufa is porous it can withstand winter expansion/contraction better than concrete. The main thing to avoid for the root health of your plants, is having it sitting in an area where water will pool around it and not allow for proper drainage. So if your planters are located in a low spot or directly on the ground, simply raise them up on pot feet or similar structure to provide good air flow to the roots.
DO YOU OFFER WHOLESALE?
At this time only a small selection of styles are available for wholesale. Lead times will vary depending on the size and scope of your order. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU INTRODUCE NEW PRODUCTS?
We are always experimenting with new ideas and product categories. Please check back often as we will update the site with new products as soon as they become available.
We love collaborating with fellow creatives. Drop us a line at email@example.com if you have an exciting idea. Rosma has many tricks up her sleeve and hypertufa is just the tip of the iceberg!