Whether indoors or out, most people keep plants for decoration. Even herbs and vegetables look great in an attractive container. So first and foremost choose a container that you think looks good. Obviously what looks good to one person may not appeal to another – that’s why we carry such a vast selection. From USA made glazed ceramic pots to Chinese porcelain to self-watering containers from Germany, if you like decorating, you’ll love Mahoney’s pottery and container departments. Be bold and daring! You’ll be delighted how beautiful a new pot can revitalize the look of an old plant or a dull corner.
A general rule of thumb is to repot a plant to a container that is approximately 2” larger (go from an 8” pot to a 10”, a 10” pot to a 12”, etc.) If when repotting you suspect your plant is root bound, select an additional size up, and gently loosen the outside of the root ball before planting. If you choose a very tall pot, add a soil spacer (a clever pot spacer we carry) inside the pot to reduce the amount of soil. Size also is a matter of proportions: A big plant in a little pot looks top heavy, a little plant in an too big a pot looks silly. By the way, houseplants like to be repotted in spring to early summer.
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of plant failure. If plant roots are allowed to sit in water they will rot, so it’s important to plan on how to handle excess water. The best option is to choose a pot with a drainage hole. Many pots come with drainage holes. For indoor plants you’ll want a saucer to catch the excess water. Some pots come with built-in saucers, if not, you’ll want to buy one. Better safe than soggy to opt for a larger saucer. Saucers are optional for outdoor plants. If the pot you like does not have a drainage hole, and if you cannot drill one, choose a pot size that is slightly deeper so it has room for a few inches of pebbles on the bottom to hold excess water away from the roots. The excess will be absorbed later as needed.
While size and design are typically most important, sometimes weight matters. Heavy pots can help prevent your out door plant from blowing over. Lightweight pots are easier to move – especially if you are overwintering pots indoors or in a garage. If you plan on moving heavy pots, consider buying a rolling pot caddy – they can hold up to 500 lbs.
All pots are fine outdoors from late spring through late fall. It’s when temperatures drop below 32º that we can get into trouble. If you are planning on keeping your pots outdoors all year long, choose from the following: Iron urns, cast cement, fiberglass, anodized aluminum and heavy-duty UV resistant all-weather plastic. Ceramic pots, terra cotta and lightweight plastic pots can crack when water freezes and expands. Any pot left out all year long will benefit if it has drainage holes.