Containers forum: How large a pot?

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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Mar 25, 2017 11:58 AM CST
I have always been confused about what size pot a newly bought plant should go into. If you buy a one-gallon plant from the nursery, should you plant it in a 2-gallon pot? Or a larger one? I know I will get answers that say it depends on the plant, but I'm just wondering if there's a general rule. And by the way, how do you determine how many gallons a pot is before you buy it - I have never seen a pot, clay or otherwise, that gave the pot's volume. Confused
Melissa
=^..^=
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals Dog Lover
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CarolHB
Mar 25, 2017 6:21 PM CST
I don't necessarily repot at all. If what I bought is a 1 gal. annual, I may just sink it in a really big pot with other stuff and then toss it when its finished, keeping the pot, of course. If its a perennial then I want it to be in a pot it can stay in. I've never yet had a problem planting a perennial in a much larger pot than the nursery pot it came in. I usually surround it with annuals until its full grown and then decide what to do next. The politically correct rule seems to be to pot up the plant by no more than one or two inches in circumference greater than the pot its in. That just seems like too much trouble for me, but if a plant doesn't make it here its just gone and I cheerfully plant something else. You may not be as casual as I am, so the more conservative advice may do you better.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 26, 2017 12:00 AM CST
msandsm said:I have always been confused about what size pot a newly bought plant should go into. If you buy a one-gallon plant from the nursery, should you plant it in a 2-gallon pot? Or a larger one? I know I will get answers that say it depends on the plant, but I'm just wondering if there's a general rule. And by the way, how do you determine how many gallons a pot is before you buy it - I have never seen a pot, clay or otherwise, that gave the pot's volume. Confused


I've read that the general rule is to repot in a 20% larger pot. In a practical sense, that seems to mean a pot 2" larger in diameter. But I find it perfectly good to just root prune and reuse the same pot.

You pull out the root-ball, shave off an inch all around with some old serrated knife, and repot it with new soil added.

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