If you’re growing a garden of plants in pots, there are some things you need to know to keep your plants healthy and happy. You also want to choose the right size, soil and plant for your containers.
It’s a good idea to repot your container plants every two years or so. That will help them develop strong, deep root systems that can handle the rigors of pot life.
Choose the Right Size
You may not realize it, but plant pot size has a huge impact on your plants’ health and success. The right size of container creates the perfect conditions for roots to grow, allowing your plants to thrive and flourish.
The size of your pot should be based on several factors. The diameter of the pot, height and width are all important.
Taller containers have a higher air to water ratio, which is better for gas exchange. Larger pots are also better for growing large plants like cacti, citrus trees or shrubs as they provide a more spacious environment.
Some containers have drainage holes that allow excess water to drain. For other types of containers, you can use liners to help keep soil from leaking out of the sides. Liners can be made from ceramic, natural, composite or metal and come in different sizes to fit the internal dimensions of the pot. These liners are also great for protecting the pot from unsightly calcium or fertiliser deposits that can build up on the inside of the pot.
Choose the Right Soil
A good potting soil is the foundation of any potted garden. It helps the plant grow and thrive by retaining water, preventing soil compaction, and improving aeration and drainage.
When choosing the right soil, you need to consider where you want to place your pots and what types of plants you plan to grow. For example, if you’re growing flowers in a container, it’s important to choose a light-weight soil that won’t quickly dry out.
In contrast, if you’re growing vegetables, you’ll want to choose a heavy-weight soil that holds moisture. You can also opt for a specialized mix for specific plants or varieties, such as orchids or African violets.
Choose the Right Plant
If you’re planning to use containers in your garden, it’s essential that you choose the right plant for the job. This is often called ‘right plant, right place’ and it will go a long way to helping your plants thrive.
The first step is to read your plant’s care label – this will tell you what it needs in terms of sunlight, water, soil and temperature. Some plants are best suited to a dry, shady area while others prefer full sun or a humid environment.
You’ll also want to check whether the plant has developed a good root system; this will ensure it’s going to be happy in its new pot.
As a general rule, you’ll need to choose a pot that’s about one-third as large as the plant (measured from the soil line to its highest leaf). This will give it plenty of room for growth and avoid the need to repot regularly.
Choose the Right Pot
Choosing the right pot is an important part of planting pots, and it can mean the difference between a successful plant and one that fails. A great way to choose the perfect pot is to consider the needs of your plant.
For example, a plant that grows quickly or is fragile may need a pot that is a few inches bigger than it currently is. The key is to keep the size of the pot as close to its current size as possible, but not too big.
A good rule of thumb is to check the soil-to-root ratio in the plant’s existing pot. If it has an equal amount of soil to roots, the plant is probably happy with its current container.
If the soil-to-root ratio is too high, it’s time to repot. Generally, green-fingered folk recommend shifting the plant to a pot that is about two inches larger in diameter. This is especially true if the plant has grown rapidly, as the extra space will encourage faster growth.