Ask a Question forum: what should I plant in this hollow tree trunk?

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Boise, Idaho
patmich
Apr 10, 2018 8:52 PM CST
Hello, I know nothing about planting flowers. I rent an apartment that backs up to a irrigation ditch. I found this tree trunk while out for a walk, and brought it home. It is hollow from top to bottom. I figure I can put rocks in the bottom half, and then put potting soil in the top half. But I have no idea what kind of plant or flower to put in there. I live in Boise, Idaho in case it matters. I am also a man aged 57, in case this helps you help me decide. Should I buy a plant that is already growing, or should I plant seeds? What kind of plant would be good for this tree-trunk environment? I was thinking something flowery. Thank you. (ps.. there is a synthetic plant in there right now).
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Name: Marilyn
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CDsSister
Apr 10, 2018 9:15 PM CST
1. Are you planning to grow it indoors?
2. What kind of light will it get? Indoors or outdoors.

If you plant it indoors then you will need to find an indoor plant.

If you plant it out doors then that opens the possibilities pretty wide open -- but the light source (shade, full sun, part sun, etc)
Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Apr 10, 2018 9:16 PM CST
Welcome!

That's pretty great (hauling home a dead tree trunk), its the sort of thing I would do. Smiling Do you know what kind of tree it was? It looks like maybe a cottonwood.

Hollow tree trunks are great planting holes. The problem is that they rot out quickly when you fill them with dirt. Can you find a pot that will fit in the hole? Or line it with plastic (remember the drain hole). That will make the tree trunk last longer.

What to plant? It depends upon how big the pot will be but a summer annual like Million Bells would be pretty. Or one of the decorative sweet potatoes. If you decide to just plant in the hole, you would have more root space but your "pot" will quickly rot away.

If you want to plant a perennial, I would suggest a "stonecrop" succulent or an ivy. Both stay green all winter.
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Bonehead
Apr 10, 2018 9:35 PM CST
I've done this with a couple different hollow trunks. They eventually rot into the ground, but that process can be interesting as well. I'd go with something that will drape around the trunk, preferably a native so it looks more natural.
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sallyg
Apr 11, 2018 5:52 AM CST
Good ideas so far. (I would no take it in the house though)

Skip the rocks, won't give you any benefits.

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Boise, Idaho
patmich
Apr 11, 2018 9:18 PM CST
Thanks, I do have a plastic pot. It is six inches in diameter and fits snugly in the top of the trunk. I want something that will bloom this summer, and something that will come back every spring.

DaisyI said: Welcome!

That's pretty great (hauling home a dead tree trunk), its the sort of thing I would do. Smiling Do you know what kind of tree it was? It looks like maybe a cottonwood.

Hollow tree trunks are great planting holes. The problem is that they rot out quickly when you fill them with dirt. Can you find a pot that will fit in the hole? Or line it with plastic (remember the drain hole). That will make the tree trunk last longer.

What to plant? It depends upon how big the pot will be but a summer annual like Million Bells would be pretty. Or one of the decorative sweet potatoes. If you decide to just plant in the hole, you would have more root space but your "pot" will quickly rot away.

If you want to plant a perennial, I would suggest a "stonecrop" succulent or an ivy. Both stay green all winter.


Boise, Idaho
patmich
Apr 11, 2018 9:20 PM CST
CDsSister said:1. Are you planning to grow it indoors?
2. What kind of light will it get? Indoors or outdoors.

If you plant it indoors then you will need to find an indoor plant.

If you plant it out doors then that opens the possibilities pretty wide open -- but the light source (shade, full sun, part sun, etc)


I am not sure where you got the impression that I would be moving this bug infested hollowed out tree trunk inside, but no. It will be staying where it is in the photo. I know there are a lot of possibilities. But when I look at all the seeds and plants available I am overwhelmed. So I was looking for ideas or suggestions.
Name: Christine
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Christine
Apr 12, 2018 6:51 AM CST
I love that your recycling the tree stump, the possibilities are endless, wait a few weeks and go to the local nursery, I prefer my local nursery over big box stores, I have never had any luck getting healthy plants, any way, go and see what catches your eye, even if you take pictures there, and re-post pictures here, then the members can give you advice on what you like. I hope that made sense nodding
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 12, 2018 6:55 AM CST
You have a great idea there. This will be very nice. Something that will hang down might look nice. One example would be Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia); add some Millions Bells in the center of the pot and it should look very nice. Or maybe Coleus? Lots of color with Coleus.

Not sure what kind of plants would survive the winter in Idaho in a six-inch pot in that location; may be better to plant something new each spring.
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