Picture this....You're at the big box store.
Surrounded by hundreds of small to medium pots.
There are blue, green, ceramic or glazed pots.
There are metal pots with designs.
There are plastic pots in every shade that look like candy.
There are terra cotta pots that remind you of vacations
you always wanted to take but never did.
You can't decide what you want....More is more right?
So you buy a bunch of smaller pots-and assume that you'll just mix them around each other. After all, you can fit the same number of plants into the smaller pots.It'll all work out....right?
Egh...maybe. But probably not.
If you've planned well, you've got a certain visual space you're trying to fill.
I can see that you want to find a way to make this approach work
so we'll give some grace here for a minute.
Let's just assume your pots are big enough to fill the space.
Even if that is true...you've got to stop and consider the plant.
This is not a knick knack to sit on your coffee table.
This is a home for a living organism that has needs.
The simple botanical truth is....Plants grow better in bigger pots.
There are lots of reasons....I don't have four months to give you Botany 101.
Here's a few highlights to hold you over:
Plants don't grow in pots in nature.
When you put a plant into a pot, you are trying to mimic it's natural habitat.
That's why you pay attention to things like sun exposure,
water availability and the kind of dirt you put in the pot.
You want the plant to think it's in an nice comfy space where it can make a home.
What do plants do when they find a home?
Most plants who've found a new space want to stretch (aka grow).
You're buying babies....many of them become giants.
Think about how often newborns up their clothing sizes.
Little pots are like newborn onesies.
Within a few weeks, your plants will grow out of pots that fit them now.
Annuals grow all summer long if you're treating them right.
Those little 4 paks of tiny annuals in the spring,
will grow as much as 20 times that size before the summer is over.
Plant tops grow in direct correlation to their roots.
Squish the roots or keep them from growing and the tops will eventually stop too.
Little pots will eventually suffocate your plant through root strangulation.
Also....you realize that plants need water right?
Most plants used in ornamental landscapes need evenly consistent water availability.
Don't know what that means?
It means you don't want to drown them and you don't want them to get thirsty.
Like Goldilocks, plants in pots like it juuuuust right.
All the time.
The smaller the pot, the more potential for the water to evaporate
and leave a desert climate. It's something about surface area...
don't ask me to explain, I am not an engineer!
If you plant those little pots, you'll be running outside three times a
morning by July to keep that sucker alive.
Do not even pretend that you love a plant that much.
No one does.
Trust me (the laziest gardener ever) when I say....
bigger pots give more root space, will hold water longer, and
will also drain more like real soil.
Use small pots for seedlings, succulents or TEMPORARY plants
(think centerpieces for Mother's Day lunch).
They are not long term housing solutions for plants.
Biggest pot for the space available is always the way to go-
for aesthetic reasons and for botanical reasons.
When in doubt, particularly with outdoor spaces, go bigger.
(all content belongs to Beth Mullenberg. Originally posted at www.sucar.blogspot.com)