Is There Any Suggestions As To Something To Use As Filler For Huge Pots?

Filed Under: Annual Plants, Techniques & Methods · Keywords: Pots · 752 Views
I bought a huge pot for plants in the yard for the Spring, huge, and was wondering if there's any cost effective suggestions on what else to do besides fill it with potting soil. I did get a couple pieces from an elm tree that I thought would be good, but I didn't want it to cause a problems later. Thank you so much.


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Melinda-It sounds as though you are looking for a way to fill this large planter with something so that you don't have to purchase enough planting mix to fill the entire pot. If you are planting annuals or other plants that don't need all the root space this container offers you can fill the pots bottom portion using several materials. You want to make sure the materials won't break down, or decompose, during the growing season, allowing the planting mix to sink or holes in the mix to cause roots to dry out. I'm assuming you were using pieces of the elm tree to use as a filler. These will decompose in time allowing a void in you planting mix and possibly and unsterile environment for your plants roots. A quality potting mix will be free of weed seeds and bacteria that can cause disease. Always use a quality potting soil that can be found at your local quality nurseries. The small amount extra you will pay for a quality planting mix over a cheaper one is well worth it as it will hold moisture at the same time drain well. Cheap planting mixes will decompose and dry out more quickly. If you are using a concrete, clay, or ceramic pot you can use a lightweight filler to keep from adding additional weight to the container. You can use the plastic foam peanuts or blocks of foam as a filler. If you use the peanuts put them in a plastic bag first and fill the bottom of the container with these bags. Putting the peanuts in bags with keep the plant roots from growing into the peanuts making it harder when you want to replace the plants. Use a piece of landscape cloth, easily found at most nurseries or garden centers, to cover the fillers before adding your planting mix. This will keep the planting mix from washing into the filler material. Items such as rocks, broken clay pots, and gravel can be used but of course this can add to the weight of the larger pot. I have used plastic soda, milk, or water bottles to fill the bottom of large pots. I use a landscape fabric or some old shade cloth to cover the filler material so my potting soil doesn't wash down into the filler material. Although I have used several of these ideas to fill the bottom of large pots I have found using the black plastic nursery containers tipped upside down works the best and adds very little weight to a large container. I always have several old 1 gal., 5 gal., or larger containers around to use but they can easily be found at your local nursery. Most nurseries will be willing to give you one of their used containers. If not they are inexpensive to purchase. If you find one that will take up most of your larger containers bottom but may be too tall you can easily cut down its height to give you the depth of planting mix desired. You can also use several smaller plastic pots to take up the area in your pot that won't be filed with soil. Again use a fabric over these pots so the planting mix won't fall through the filler pots drain holes.

Hopefully this will help. Let me know if I had misunderstood your question and if you were looking for others ways to fill your container possibly with types of plants or decorative garden items.

John)


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Melinda Marsh

Melinda Marsh · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 6A · -10° to -5° F
Correct, I don't want to fill it with potting soil, lol. I like to plant annuals in different pots around our place, they're all huge ceramic pots. I'm glad you said that about the elm tree, I was concerned about it being a bad environment. The black nursery containers are a great idea, I have several smaller pots and probably 1 or 2 big ones; and one of the nurseries recycles them so will probably let me have them.

3 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Glad this was some help. Sometimes the large ceramic pots don't have drain holes in the bottom. If not, it is best to carefully drill holes in the bottom to allow for good drainage. Special drills can be purchase at the hardware store for carefully drilling the ceramic and clay pots. I use a masonry bit for unglazed ceramic pots and a glass or tile bit for glazed ceramic pots. Let me know how you make out.

3 years ago ·
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Melinda Marsh

Melinda Marsh · Gardenality Seedling · Zone 6A · -10° to -5° F
My husband has different bits and does well at drilling holes in everything I plant in, lol. I think it had holes, but it's been so long ago I bought it, I'll have to double check. Thanks for the heads up!

3 years ago ·
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