Your inner plant parent wants to experiment with container gardening. Potting and repotting plants are pivotal for their growth. Even succulents require planters for propagation. The pot you choose can affect the health of the roots and the water-retaining quality of the soil.
But how do you start with container gardening? Well, this beginner’s guide to choosing the best pots can help you out.
Assess your needs- do you need a new pot?
Size matters when it comes to choosing a pot. It needs to be compatible with the size of your plant. Buying a new pot becomes necessary when your plants are in the growing stage. You have to re-pot the plant for propagation. Assessing your needs is pivotal before selecting a pot. If your plant is growing in a pot with a diameter of 10 inches or less, then you need to increase it by 1-2 inches. For larger plants, increase the size by 2-3 inches.
One way to assess your needs is to check the roots of the plant. Remove the plant gently from the pot and check the roots. If they seem to fill the pot, you need to increase the size by a couple of inches. If there is an equal amount of soil and roots, your current pot will work fine. Downsizing is important when there is too much soil and very few roots.
Pots vs Planters – What’s the difference?
Despite popular usage, pots and planters are not synonyms. Beginners can often get confused – should you choose pots or planters? Well, it depends on your garden. Container gardening usually calls for pots. Pots are small and can contain one plant. Planters, on the other hand, have an irregular size and can contain more than one plant.
Is repotting necessary?
Imagine this: when you were growing up, did you stick to the same bed size? No, because as you grew, you needed more space.
Repotting the plant helps your plant grow. It creates better space for the plant and can help replenish nutrients. By repotting the plant, you give it a fresh potting mix. This makes your plant healthy.
Plants need a larger pot when they outgrow the current one. Do not make a sudden change when repotting the plant. Increase the size gradually, by one or two inches. Shallow pots are used for plants with small roots. So you can buy small planters for your succulents and cacti. But large houseplants have a complex root system. They need bigger pots to develop fully.
Porous Pots for Perky Plants
Before buying a pot you need to ask yourself. What is your pot made of? Choosing porous pots like terracotta helps to dry evenly. Ceramic, wood and terracotta are prime choices when it comes to porous pots.
Drainage is pivotal to your plant’s growth. Selecting planters and pots with drainage access is recommended. The roots of your plants need to drain the water, especially if you are testing the watering capacity. Getting a pot with holes makes it easy to control and check the watering capacity for the plant. For a plant with larger roots, you need to buy a deeper pot.
A tip: do not fill more than ⅓ of the container’s size. You can also line up the bottom of the pot with lava rocks to drain the excess water.
Does that mean you should not buy pots without holes? Well, it is certainly not recommended. You can choose to have one only if you can drill holes yourself. Or, you have grown the plant successfully in such a pot. A trick you can use is to add a pot with drainage holes inside.
Choosing a pot can be daunting for beginners. One trick is to assess the size of the roots before making a decision. Thanks to the internet you also get to research before buying a pot for your plants. Becoming a plant parent is the first step towards conscious living. Don’t kill your plant babies with the wrong pot. Happy plant parenting to you!