container planting - Knowledgebase Question

Asheville, NC
Question by potterjon1
June 25, 2007
I have a clay pot that is about 2.5 feet tall and about 24 inches wide at the mouth. It is handmade from South America and does not have a hole in it for drainage. I want to plant a Japanese Maple in it I heard that I could put bubble wrap in the bottom of the planter instead of soil to lighten the load a little for easier mobility. How high should I fill the planter with bubble wrap and should I try to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage? I personally dont understand why it would not have a hole in it to begin with. Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated Thank you in advance.

Answer from NGA
June 25, 2007


Adequate drainage is important to raising a healthy Japanese maple. It would be dangerous to try and drill a hole in your lovely container - it could shatter. Instead, why not plant your maple in a plastic pot with drainage holes and set the pot inside your decorative pot? This way you can tip the pot to drain the excess moisture. Build up the inside of the pot with bubble wrap so you can set the potted maple on top (to raise it to the right level). Then either remove the maple to water it, or water it in place and periodically remove it to tip your clay pot and drain any accumulated water.

Best wishes with your new maple.

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