A Guide To Choosing The Right Pot Size For Your Plants

Choosing the right pot for your houseplants is a massive responsibility, as picking the wrong one can harm your plant’s thriving and restrict its proper growth.

Are you tempted to transfer your green babies into bigger pots for decorative purposes or to make them grow faster?

If you did, even with the best of intentions, you might have inadvertently done more harm than good.

Let’s explore why a pot that is ‘too big’ is detrimental to your green plant and what you should do instead.

Water Retention Issues

If you take a plant and put it into a pot that’s too big, it won’t be able to absorb enough moisture from the soil because the excess can stay there a lot longer than it could in a pot with the right amount of soil.

Tropical plants suffer from waterlogged roots and are susceptible to root rot.

An imbalance between water uptake and evaporation will cripple the plant and cause irreversible damage.

Nutrient Imbalance

Large pots also have large volumes of soil that surround the roots of the plant. This excess soil might contain nutrients that the plant is unable to uptake as efficiently as it otherwise could.

The plant might therefore show signs of nutrient deficiency or imbalance, despite being in what otherwise appears to be an ideal environment.

Lack of Stability

While big pots can make statement pieces on their own, they can also be unwieldy – especially if you have a smaller plant or anything lightweight, the pot can have a disproportionate ratio to the greenery.

This makes your houseplants prone to falling over and, if they do, the physical damage from the fall can impact your plant’s overall health and disrupt its root system at best.

Not to mention, unstable pots put your greenery more at risk of knocking over by pets or children.

Wasted Resources

Moving a plant into a too-big pot not only waste potting soil but also consumes unnecessary space!

The more space, the more soil, water and fertilizer could fill in and then you have to pay more money and maintenance time on it.

However, the sufficient smaller pots help to reduce the maintenance and cost.

What You Should Do Instead

Choose the Right Size

Pick a pot that is big enough to avoid cramping the roots of the plant or being too large.

A thumb rule is to get a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the plant’s current pot.

This will give the roots scope for gradual expansion and avoid problems with moisture.

Monitor Root Growth

Check the root ball periodically to see if the plant has outgrown the pot.

If the roots are circling the pot or piled up at the bottom, it’s time to repot to a only slightly larger pot.

Don’t go too big all at once, or you will put the plant into shock.

Make sure your plant is potted in a free-draining potting mix that will allow your plant to develop healthy roots.

Heavy, compacting soils, or soils that don’t drain well are likely to exacerbate drainage issues in a large pot.

Use potting mix with perlite or vermiculite to improve aeration and prevent waterlogging.

Repot Strategically

When repotting, tease out the rootball and trim off any circling or damaged roots before planting to encourage the roots to spread out evenly.

Make sure that the new pot has sufficient drainage holes along the bottom of the pot so that the water doesn’t pool at the root zone.

Fill the pot with fresh potting mix so that when you place your plant in, the soil stays exactly at, or just below, the rim of the pot.

In conclusion, while larger pots may seem appealing, ponder on the long-term consequences for the well-being of your plant.

With the appropriate size of pots, along with proper potting techniques, you can help your plants live a long and fulfilled life.

A happy plant begins with the proper pot.

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