A common myth is that plants will grow larger if potted in a larger pot, like a goldfish in a fishbowl. This seems logical, but actually, most plants prefer a snugger fit. Roots do not quickly fill a space when given room but rather grow when and where they want to, usually rather slowly.
When you repot into a much larger container, the roots are surrounded by soil and can’t pull the water from it fast enough, leaving it wet too long and drowning the roots. A smaller amount of soil dries out more quickly and allows more oxygen to reach the roots, which they need to survive. Of course, if you use a Waterpot Olla or Waterpot Spike (for narrower pots where Ollas may not fit) in the pot, over-watering will never be an issue!
Some potted plants might be better off staying a certain size for aesthetic or space-saving reasons. A tip to save having to repot really large plants every year completely is to loosen the top third of the potting mix, scrape out the tired old mixture and replace it with some fresh potting mix or cut the roots back and place it back in the same pot.
For these reasons, you want to size up just a few centimetres at a time. Increasing the pot size slowly and incrementally will encourage the plant to push out new roots and comfortably fill the pot. Once it has pushed down with its "feeler" roots and felt the bottom of the pot and then reached over and touched the sides, your plant will then begin to happily push out plant growth without expending all its energy growing roots to fill a too-large pot. Instead, it will fill out and plump up in rhythm with the root system.
When transplanting because a plant has outgrown its current pot, shift to a pot 5-10 centimetres larger in diameter. Select the larger size pot for plants that grow quickly. For slow growers, a pot that's 2.5 - 5 centimetres larger works well.
Visually, the container should be about half the height of your plant (or a third of the total height of the plant plus the container).
Using the Root Pouch Size guide, you can determine the sizes of the pots in the range for your shrub or tree.
For example, if you are plan to incorporate a Waterpot Olla in a bag, we would recommend either the Waterpot Bird Olla or Waterpot Tall (the same but sans Bird Topper) for its long, slender length to fit comfortably alongside your shrub or tree.
However, if you have selected a larger bag, a Waterpot Small Round Olla would also be appropriate. Our larger bags starting from the 78L bags will accomodate a Waterpot Large Olla for seedling plantings and smaller starter shrubs. Whichever bag you select, just keep the dimensions of the Waterpots in mind:
Waterpot Tall Olla - Diameter 10cm x Height 26cm 1 Litre Capacity (approx)
Waterpot Bird Olla - Diameter 10cm x Height 33cm 1 Litre Capacity (approx)
Waterpot Small Round Olla - Diameter 12cm Height: 18cm 1.25 Litre Capacity (approx)
Waterpot Large Round Olla - Diameter 16cm W x Height: 24.5cm 3 Litre Capacity (Approx)
Please consider the overall width of the root ball of your new tree or shrub and the width of the Waterpot Olla in the bag.
You can easily fold down the edge of Root Pouch bags to form shorter bags. This is particularly useful when using them in pot-in-pots where a plant is potted into a bag and placed inside a decorative (and possibly drain-hole less) outer container.
Also, folding the bag for short rooted crops such as Strawberries and Lettuce means that in future seasons, the bags can be rolled back up larger crops.
This makes grow bags so versatile and able to provide potting solutions for many scenarios! For example, try growing potatoes in the Root Pouch bags using the rolled bag method.
Do you want to enjoy your holiday away from your precious pots and not worry about how your garden is doing while you're away? It can be difficult to leave your garden for a holiday or work travel. This is especially true if you have a vegetable garden. A little preparation ahead of departure day will give your small space garden the very best chance of surviving without you! Plants in pots tend to dry out quickly.