Pot-in-a-Pot Planting and Six Pack Plants
New potting strategies for baby plants mean healthier plants for the shopper.
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The other day a box arrived at Paul James' door, and in it were several new plants. "There's nothing peculiar about that," he says. "I receive a lot of plants by mail. What was unusual, however, were the containers the plants were shipped in."
These miniature pots represent a new trend in gardening, one that makes planting a snap. Rather than removing the plant from the pot and planting it in another container, you simply plant the plant--pot and all--in a larger pot. Here is a dahlia, and it's already started to produce some top growth. Take the pot and place it in a much larger container partially filled with potting mix (figure A).
Then fill the larger container with enough mix to cover the rim of the smaller pot (figure B). And there you have it--a pot in a pot.
The beauty of this potting method is that plants are far less likely to suffer from transplant shock, and it ensures that the plants will be planted at the proper depth. The miniature pots have plenty of drainage holes at the bottom (figure C) to allow water to flow through and roots to grow through as well.
That same week, James received another box of plants in the mail, but they weren't in pots. Instead, they were in plastic six-packs (figure D), which in and of itself isn't all that unusual. However, in this case, there's no pot at all. The plants were actually grown in the six-pack (from seed to plant), which features a convenient carrying handle.
To get the plants out, all you do is press one of the buttons at the bottom of the six-pack (figure E).
Master gardener Paul James answers viewer questions about controlling privet, repotting bonsai and more.