Letting Your Plants Go to Pot: Planting Potted PlantsMay 14, 2014
Having potted plants is a nice way to enjoy nature on your own terms. It lets you tend a wide variety of flowers and vegetation to be grown where space is limited and allows people in cool-weather climates to grow plants all year round. I love the way they add color and interest to my otherwise boring porch. Here is the basic process you should undergo to nurture your potted plants:
Choose the right pots. Make sure each pot has one or more holes in the bottom to allow water to flow freely. If there’s not enough drainage, the roots can drown and kill the plant. Don’t think you need a special type of pot. Just about anything can be used as a container. Mix it up- use different size, styles, and kinds of containers. If you’re on a budget, don’t spring for a heavy, expensive pot—you can find plastic, resin, or fiberglass around the house.
Next, choose the mix. Don’t use soil from the yard or garden; these might have weed seeds, bugs, or fungus. Buy some soil from your local garden center, where you’ll find a loose, light mixture of materials like peat moss and decomposing organic matter. Potting mix with time-release fertilizer and moisture-retaining polymer crystals can reduce plant maintenance.
Choose the plants. What are the conditions of your space? Determine which plants can live in your available space. Take into account temperature and availability of sunlight. Pay attention to plant tags, which will give you helpful information. One kind of plant per pot should be sufficient. To create a really great look, consider using a mix of tall upright plants with mounding broad plants and trailing plants. Use plants that create high contrast and be bold with color!
Get the pots ready. If your containers are heavy, place them at their destination before filling them with soil. Put a basket-type coffee filter or a shard or broken pot over the hole to keep potting mix from spilling out. Then fill the container with soil. Put it enough potting mix so the place on the plant where the stem sprouts from the soil’s surface is about an inch from the top of the pot. Before planting, pat the soil down with your fingers to eliminate air pockets.
Lastly, place the plants. Take them out of its nursery container. Support the top of each root ball by putting a finger on each side of the stem. Carefully pour the soil around it. If you’re planting multiple plants in one container, leave at least an inch of soil between root balls. Don’t pile soil on top of the plant—spread it around the roots. There should be about an inch from the top of the soil to the rim of the container. Then water the plant.
Good work! You now have a potted plant. Stay tuned for future posts to learn how to care for your plants.