Ask a Question forum→How long after watering would you expect water to drain from a container?

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Northern California
New_to_this
May 16, 2020 4:35 PM CST
Hi there - super paranoid and trying to get some newly purchased trees to grow vigorously. I've got figs and citrus in double-walled plastic pots to help moderate temperature. The pots I got have a rounded, tapered inner wall with a single hole in the middle... I drilled four additional holes in the bottom to improve drainage. I've been pretty surprised with how long the pots are holding water - there is still water dripping out of the bottom 3 days after it rained, and it seems the soil is still pretty wet (based on my moisture tester) 6-8 inches down a week after watering. The citrus are in well draining citrus mix and the figs are in an organic potting mix. I have 1-2 inches of mulch on the top in an effort to minimize the soil from getting overheated by the California sun, but now I'm wondering if I need to get the soil to dry faster for the health of the trees. Is this typical for other with plastic containers - that they hold moisture for so long and water drips out of the bottom days after watering/rain? 

The trees themselves don't have droopy leaves or show obvious signs of overwatering, but they're not yet growing vigorously- so wondering if the soil is too wet.

thanks
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 16, 2020 4:46 PM CST
Remove the mulch and replace it with a thin layer of light rock (lava rock, pumice) if you must have top dressing. Sun-driven evaporation works to your advantage if you're concerned about wet feet.
Northern California
New_to_this
May 16, 2020 4:53 PM CST
Does that mean you think it sounds odd that the soil is staying moist this long?
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
May 16, 2020 5:11 PM CST
Yes, what you have described does not sound all that great for your plants.

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