Ask a Question forum: soil depth for indoor potted plants

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Apr 6, 2017 4:20 AM CST
What is the optimal depth of soil for indoor potted plants. Most pots you can buy have dimensions such that the diameter is the same as the depth - BUT - I would like to know if there is any science to this ? I would like to have shallow pots but need to know what the minimum depth of soil I can comfortably get away with.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
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Apr 6, 2017 4:38 AM CST


Hi and welcome to the site.

It primarily depends on what you want to grow in them, although other factors like temperature and lighting are important. Could you tell us where you are located and what conditions your plants would be in? Do you have any particular plants you want to grow, or are you just looking for something to fit a certain space?
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Apr 6, 2017 12:16 PM CST
Hello and welcome. I'd say it depends upon what the plants are that you want to grow. Some plants will do fine with shallow pots, and some absolutely need a deep pot to stay healthy.

Your climate also plays a role, as Joshua already said. Even indoors there are seasonal variations, such as cooling off more at night in winter, and warming up more in summer plus variations in humidity and light over the seasons.

Please fill in your personal profile with your location to help us answer your questions?

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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Apr 6, 2017 5:14 PM CST
There are three basic pot proportions. With a standard pot the ratio of width to height is 1:1. With an Azalea pot it is 3:2 and for a bulb pot it is 3:1. In general, there is no ideal proportional size, although somewhat counter intuitively, the shallower pots drain more slowly than the deeper pots.

Professional nursery growers use the appropriate pot dimensions for the plant species they are growing. So it is best to maintain the nursery pot proportions for best results.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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