Why putting broken pottery in your plant pot won’t help with drainage

2DCB2RF making a mini sandarium for wild bees, bowl is filled with crocks for drainage, series picture 4/18, Germany

Blickwinkel/F. Heckerl/Alamy

AS A kid in 1980s Singapore, I remember my mum coming home from a fancy Korean supermarket with a brand new electric fan. Wow! The sleek plastic design. The pivoting function. To my 7-year-old self, it was like stepping into the future. What I never understood, though, was why it had a “safety timer” that would automatically cut the power after a set number of minutes.

Years later, I learned of the curious Korean belief in “fan death”. Dating back to the early 20th century, the idea behind this is that falling asleep in a closed room containing a …

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