Growers often ask us about the size of the pots they’re using to grow their plants, and whether or not they’re using the right size. Some growers can’t seem to get their plants to grow bigger than they want, while others can’t keep them from growing out of control. You can easily over- or under-water your plants if you don’t have the right-sized pots, which can lead to a whole host of plant issues. Not knowing the right size pots you need for your plants is vital in making sure your plants are healthy, are within the size you want and need them at, and most importantly, to give you the harvest you want. Grow Pot Types Most plants don't do well in standing water, so the first thing you'll want in a plant container is the ability to drain. There's nothing that'll rot your roots and give you nutrient lockout better than a pot with no drainage, so if you're growing something that you want to keep alive for a while make sure your pots can drain. Pots that don't drain are best used for decorative houseplants.
Now, if you plan on growing plants that you'll keep for a while, or your plants need the ability to rid themselves of water, then you're going to want something that drains. Some pots have holes at the bottom, while others simply let the water come out of fibers in the pot themselves. Material wise, the most popular pots are clay, plastic, and fabric. Clay pots tend to dry out pretty fast, so you may need to water your plants a little more often than you would with other types of material. They can crack in extreme cold, but they're very sturdy otherwise, and great for really any type of plant, from herbs to full-on trees. Plastic pots are classics: lightweight, cheap, disposable, and most importantly they get their job done. Their big drawback is outdoors, where extreme heat can cause your roots to fry, so plastic pots are better for indoor growers or temporary housing for outdoor plants. Fabric pots can let roots breathe and prune themselves, which will make for a better, stronger plant. The only problem is with overfeeding because if you overfeed your plants and all that fabric material is over-saturated you can develop mold around your roots. You have other options like wood or cement containers, but these three are the most popular being used among personal growers Helpful Hints Before Buying Grow Pots When you’ve figured out what type of pots you want to use, it’s time to figure out what size you’re going to need. Determining how many and what size pots you need will depend on the type of plants you’re growing. Some plants, like trees and bushes, need large pots to grow in, whereas plants like chili’s and herbs need relatively small pots to grow a good harvest.
It’s a good idea to get an assortment of pots ranging from 3 gallons to 25 gallons, and transplant as needed. It may seem tedious, but doing this will get you familiar with what size pots your plants to grow the yield you want. For example, you grow a big pepper plant, but you’ve only got 10-gallon pots, and big peppers usually need around 15-20 gallon pots to grow fantastic yields. Because roots are at the heart of what makes a big plant if a plant doesn’t have the room for its roots to grow your plant and its harvest will end up stunted. That’s not to say it won’t be a great tasting or smelling yield, but it may not be as great as it could have been had it had the room to grow to its full potential. With larger pots, you'll be able to achieve that potential. Another reason it’s important to get familiar with the size pots your plants need is to make sure you’re not over or under-feeding your plants. You don’t want to put a single clone in a big 25-gallon pot and grow from there because you can overfeed it quickly. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to keep a growing citrus tree in a 10-gallon pot because you’ll be constantly underfeeding its roots in there- you’d either plant it in the ground or transplant it into a larger pot. It’s also a good idea to think about the longevity of your garden as well. If you think you’re going to grow mother plants, or you just want to see how big of a plant you can get, you might want to get a larger pot to let your plants grow in. Grow Pot Sizing Alright, sizes: let's get down to it. A lot of people use the theory of "2 gallons/1 foot of height". This can be a helpful trick in determining the right size pots you need for your plant, but be careful not to rely on it too much, as some plant varieties need more space than others.
Generally, most growers stay between 3 -gallon and 5-gallon containers. Plants that will grow to around 2 feet tall will be perfect in those containers. This includes herbs and strawberry bushes that grow tall. It also includes leafy greens like lettuce and cabbage and root vegetables like carrots and turnips. In these size pots there's enough room for lots of root growth, but so much that things like lettuce begin to overgrow and bolt. 7 to 10-gallon pots are good for taller, deeper, and wider growing plants like lavenders, raspberry bushes, and shrubs. These pots are also good for storing big, long-lasting mother plants. Taller plants- you can get a bigger, bushier plant by simply letting it grow bigger in a bigger pot (doesn't work for stuff like lettuce, because any bigger than 5 gallons is just asking for a bolted plant). Once you push past 10 gallons- into the 15-25+ gallon range- you're dealing with plants that'll be either 4ft high and taller, or that need lots of space to grow. This is where we're growing stuff like evergreen shrubs, apple and pear trees, fig trees, cucumbers, and pumpkins. A final note to leave on is the fact that a smaller plant can grow in a larger pot, but a large plant can't grow in a smaller pot. You can plant in a 30-gallon pot and watch it grow into a tree, but a 5-gallon pot is not going to be enough to grow a pumpkin. Check your plant varieties and see what their capabilities and necessities are to make sure you're maximizing your harvests and not underwhelming them.