Can A Pot Be Too Big For A Plant?

Choosing the proper size of pots is a key aspect of container gardening. Whether you choose a pot that is too big or too small, the effect of the container size on the plant’s development can be significant. A plant’s growth factor is closely related to the size of the pot. If a plant is kept in a too-small pot, its growth may be hampered. 

Similarly, if you put a plant in a pot that is too large for it, it will struggle to grow. The plant will be unable to receive the necessary nutrients from the soil. The soil will also retain a lot of water, which can cause root rot among other issues in the plants.

Recognize When A Plant Requires A Larger Container

When you detect the following symptoms, you know your plant requires a larger pot:

  • The soil condition has deteriorated and appears to be dry.
  • The plant no longer absorbs water and it simply sits there.
  • As the plant attempts to grow, roots have sprouted in the drainage openings.
  • It appears to be a too-tight fit.

If you feel your plant has outgrown its container because it satisfies the previous requirements, continue reading. We’ll walk you through each of those points in greater detail. We’ll also give you some pointers on how to choose the correct size pot for your developing plant.

Perfect Pot Size

So, what is the perfect pot size? The optimum pot for each plant is determined by the type of plant, its size, and its requirements. A pot should allow the root system of the plant to stretch out and drain well.

This means that after watering, the pot should not be drenched because the water should flow out the bottom. If your plant is currently in a too-small pot, transfer it to a container that is 2 to 4 inches wider in diameter. If the plant grows quickly, choose the higher end of the range.

Keep in mind that typically the pot in which a plant is bought at a nursery is incorrectly sized. For example, the tomato container size for the plant you buy at the nursery is normally considerably less than the plant requires, so don’t use that pot as a guide when selecting a new container for your plants.

This pot is not intended for long-term usage, but rather to support the plant until it is either planted in the ground or repotted into a larger pot.

What Is The Best Kind Of Pot For Indoor Plants?

Many people who cultivate houseplants indoors choose to use plastic or clay containers. Plastic can resist various indoor circumstances but not outside conditions since the cold weather could crack it. This material also retains moisture better, allowing you to go longer between the waterings of your plant. A plastic pot may be found in almost any place for a reasonable price.

Clay pots, on the other hand, are quite porous. They do weigh more than plastic pots, and you can’t go as long without water. However, if you have succulents, orchids, ferns, cacti, or bromeliads, clay pots are ideal.

Drainage Before Décor

Because most houseplants do not survive in standing water, your pot should include a drainage hole at the bottom that allows water to drain and air to circulate.

If you want to use a pot without drainage holes for decoration, use it as a cachepot, which contains the plant’s pot. Insert a useful plastic or terra cotta pot into a lovely container. This method is also known as double potting. A cachepot does not require drainage holes, but it should be large enough to hold a saucer that matches the growing pot.

You can use whatever material or container you choose, such as wicker baskets, eye-catching glass bowls, glazed pottery, treated wood, or metal boxes. You could also consider other one-of-a-kind items such as hatboxes, serving bowls, cookie jars, or vintage enamelware.

You may even express your personal flair by designing your own cachepot. Begin with a simple terra-cotta pot and some acrylic paints. Alternatively, get a simple plastic pot, glue, and something to cover it with. Buttons, pebbles, glass tiles, shells, and sticks are all good alternatives. Your local craft and hardware stores are brimming with unique accessories that will make your pots truly glow.

How Often Should A Plant Be Replanted?

It is dependent on the type of plant you are growing. As previously said, certain plants do not develop as rapidly and hence require smaller pots. Plants of this type can live in the same pot for years before outgrowing it.

If you have a plant that grows at a typical or even quicker rate, repot it at least once a year. You can get away with doing this for some plants on an 18-month timeframe.

Do Larger Pots Cause Plants To Grow Bigger?

Because a plant will grow to fit its environment, you can theoretically end up with a bigger plant by putting it in a larger container. However, as we mentioned before, this is rarely in the best interests of the plant. Because the pot is overly heavy in this setup, a plant could topple over.

Because water lingers in the soil longer, you risk root damage and even mold growth. Some root infections may also be induced by such a setup. So for the sake of your plant’s health, place it in a pot that is the same size as the plant. Then, as it grows, increase the size of the pot. You will eventually have a larger plant that is also healthy.

Do Plants Grow Faster In Bigger Pots?

No, growing plants in huge containers do not speed up their growth. When we offer the proper amount of nutrients, soil, water, and sunshine, the plants grow at a steady rate. The plant will first attempt to root bind in a smaller pot before continuing to grow in the plant’s upper section.

With growth, the roots occupy the soil mass and must be cared for. Larger pots require more water, which increases the likelihood of root rot. When we repot the plant to a larger pot, we must take care of the roots while untangling and repotting.

We may not notice any growth if the roots are injured during the process, but we shall notice the development of the roots in the new container as the plants apply their energy to the growth of the roots once repotted to a larger pot.

The roots will attempt to become rootbound in the larger pot before continuing to grow on the upper portion. The plant will grow at the same rate it did in the smaller pot.

The only way to help plants grow quicker is to improve their care requirements, which include water, fertilizer, soil, and sunshine. If all of the aforementioned conditions are met, we can encourage the plant to grow larger rather than faster.

Can A Small Pot Destroy A Plant?

Yes, the small pots and lack of transferring can be fatal to a plant. We now know that plants grow their roots first, followed by the upper portion. If the plant outgrows the pot, the roots will grow through the drainage openings and become rootbound, and the plant will also cease to grow. 

The plant’s final sign of stress will be the yellowing of its leaves. Do not wait until the leaves turn yellow before moving the plant to a larger pot. If you don’t take care of the plant, it will certainly die. Pruning the plant’s roots is one strategy for keeping the plant in the same pot, however, it is more prudent to transfer it to a larger pot.

Overwatering Issues

Watering issues are the most prevalent concern when repotting a plant in larger containers. We must give extra water to the soil to keep it moist when we use a larger pot. Now, what usually happens is that, because the roots are in the developing stage, we tend to provide too much water, and the root stays wet all the time.

This is the most common cause of root rot in larger pots. The roots do not have the opportunity to collect the appropriate amount of nutrients from the soil, and the soil remains damp for the majority of the time.

The plant’s growth is stunted, and the roots are injured. This will cause the plant to droop, and the color of the leaves to turn yellow. Overwatering might also destroy the plant’s roots. So, try to avoid it entirely.

Repotting Your Plant

You’ve just purchased a new pot for your plant and couldn’t be happier. To transfer your plant from its old, too-small pot to a newer, larger one just make sure you follow these steps:

1 – Block the drainage holes with a coffee filter. This won’t last forever, but for the time being, your drainage holes in the new pot must be covered. Otherwise, the soil will slip right through the gaps.

2 – Put in your soil. You’ll need to put some soil in the pot. This allows your plant’s roots to sink in and flourish. However, you don’t want too much soil. If it’s coming out the sides when you put your plant in, pull it out and shake off some of the excess soil.

3 – Keep your plant hydrated. Before shifting your plant to a new pot, make sure it has enough water. This keeps your roots in good condition as they shift.

4 – Remove your plant. This is the moment you’ve been looking forward to. Gently turn over the pot in which your plant is housed. You’ll need a hand on the pot, bracing it as you go. Slowly rock the pot back and forth. In most cases, this should remove the plant from the pot. If that doesn’t work, try a knife.

5 – Examine the roots. The roots of your plant may be in a state of disarray depending on how long it was in the old pot. Trim stray ones, untangle root balls and knots, and undertake further trimming until you’re satisfied with the state of your plant’s roots.

6 – Place your plant in its new pot. When you’re finished, hold the plant on either side. Place it in the center of the new pot. Apply some pressure, but not too much, so the plant can settle in, and add extra soil if necessary.

7 – More water is required. You may have just watered your plant, but it will need to be watered again. Watering at this point will allow the dirt to settle into the pot.

Final Thoughts

You now understand how critical it is to provide your plants with adequate area to flourish by using the appropriate container size. Examine your plant and pot size as soon as possible to see if they are compatible, or if it is time to act since you don’t want your plants to suffer.