The Q&A Archives: large pots

Question: I bought two very large pots this spring. I filled them with soil and then annuals. One of them hasn't done well. The water just seemed to sit and the plants were drownding. I poked holes in the bottom. But they still are not doing well. Should I have filled the pots differently?

Answer: You didn't say whether you used potting soil or garden soil. By what you describe it sounds as though you used garden soil. This isn't the best media for containers. Garden soil can get overly dry and not absorb water - it just sits on top and doesn't drain. It's best to use potting soil, or at the very least mix 50-50 potting soil and garden soil before filling containers. And, it's important that containers have adequate drainage holes in the bottom. If you used garden soil, I'd recommend sliding the plants and soil out of the containers, filling them with moistened potting soil and then replanting the annuals. Once they are in well draining potting soil they should perk up and grow nicely for you. Enjoy your container garden!

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