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Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

CEH
Junior Contributor

Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

BalconyBalcony

I want to get a few (maybe 3-4) pot plants for my apartment balcony. It's quite roomy, facing North, with shaded and and sunny areas.

Looking at compact pot plants, I see they have a pot size specified. Are these just the size they are sold in, or are they recommended sizes? I want to get good pots for them.

 

I'm thinking of plants like Fuchsia Electric Lights, Jade Plant - crassula ovate, Ficus Lyrata, Peace lily - spathiphyllum Rocco, or Cyclamen persicum.

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hello @CEH

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your question about pot sizes for your balcony plants. 

 

The pot sizes on the website are the sizes they are sold in. It all depends on the current size of the plant you purchase. If you purchase a 175 mm-sized Jade plant, it will be in a small pot approximately the same size as its entire body. In order for the plant to grow, you must provide room for its root system to flourish at least three to four times its size. I suggest using a Northcote Pottery 46 x 36cm Forest Green Primo Jardin Egg Planter to provide more room for the roots. 

 

The same recommendation applies to the rest of your preferred plants. If there is more room to grow it allows the plant to flourish even more. Forcing the plant to stay in a small pot will stunt its growth and force it into a dwarf state or gets overly stressed and dies. 

 

Here is a handy link: How to pot a plant

 

Let me tag our experienced members @Noelle and @Adam_W for their recommendations.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know

 

Eric

 

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Noelle
Valued Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hi @CEH 

Moving plants into larger pots should be a gradual process. Don't take a plant from a 140mm pot to a 500mm pot, for example, in one go. Do it in stages - go to a 300 or 400mm pot and then in a year or so, move up to a 500mm.  Not only does a small plant look out of proportion in a large pot, too much potting mix around a small plant's root system can be as bad as not having enough. The mix can become stagnant, slump and lose its nutrients and structure before the roots have grown enough to move out into it.

Potting mix has a limited lifespan in a pot - it should be replaced every two or three years, so potting on in stages fits in neatly with that practice.

Large plants in big pots can be difficult to repot due to their weight, so the best option is to remove the top 100mm or so of mix every second year and replace it with fresh mix.

Good luck with your balcony garden! Send us some photos when you have settled on the plants and pots you want to have there.

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CEH
Junior Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Many thanks, EricL. Noelle also replied, and I've asked her a couple more questions.

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CEH
Junior Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Thank you Noelle. I've had experience with garden plants but my wife was the pot plant expert.  Your advice was very helpful. I just want to clarify one aspect: should I leave new purchases in the the pots they were sold in for a period, e.g. 6-12 months, and then repot? I've seen advice that when you repot you should increase the pot size by 50% -- say 200mm to 300mm?

 

Lockdown makes it more difficult.  I'm thinking of waiting till I can buy face-to face.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hello @CEH

 

Let me tag @Noelle so that she is made aware of your questions. I agree with your thoughts on buying face-to-face, you can personally choose which plant is the healthiest. We look forward to seeing your plants once you have them in place.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Noelle
Valued Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hi again @CEH 

When new plants are repotted depends on a few things, including the time of year, whether they are "comfortable" in their existing pots and if their existing pots blend in or fit with your decor although this is of lesser importance as there are other options..

Repotting is best done when conditions are mild - spring and autumn.  Avoid those seasons where plants are stressed due to extreme conditions (hot or cold). 

If the plants have plenty of growing room in their existing pots, then you can leave them until either it's the right time of the year to transfer them or they've outgrown their existing accommodations.

You may also wish to hide or get rid of the plain plastic pots in which they came.  This can be done by repotting into more attractive decorator pots or simply placing the plain pots into a more attractive outer pot to hide them.

Going up just one or two pot sizes at the most is a good approach.

I would always prefer to choose both pots and plants face to face rather than online. Nothing beats being to be able to physically see and handle what you're intending to buy!  Personal shopping also allows you to mix 'n' match plants and pots to see what works best.

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CEH
Junior Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Many thanks Noelle. I'll certainly follow that advice. Hope to be able to shop in a few weeks! (:-)

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CEH
Junior Contributor

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hi Noelle,

I finally got some plants: Ficus robusta, ctenanthe sets, peace lily and Daphne perfume princess, and set them up on the balcony. a couple of hours later a gusty wind came up and was blowing the plants about a lot. I realised I had often had similar winds. Fortunately I had room and stable spots inside for them all.

I have reviewed all the care information online, and for fertiliser the rubber tree, ctenanthe, and peace lily mention diluted liquid fertiliser, and the Daphne controlled release fertiliser. So, is Seasol OK, or do I. need something else. I assume Osmocote is a suitable controlled release. I would be grateful for your advice.

Regards,

 CharlesIMG_0562.jpegIMG_0563.jpegIMG_0564.jpegIMG_0561.jpeg

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pot sizes - compact balcony plants

Hello @CEH

 

You've chosen such beautiful plants. Let me tag @Noelle so that she's made aware of your questions. In regards to the strong winds on your balcony, have you thought about putting shade cloth on the rails as a windbreaker? Another option is to build square timber frames to hold the pots in place. But in hindsight, the strong winds might be detrimental to your plant's health. Seasol 1.2L Seaweed Health Tonic Concentrate has an application schedule behind the bottle, it will also advise you on the mixture ratio. There's also Seasol 1.25L Ready To Use Gold Liquid Health Tonic. This is a ready-to-use product and is handy to use when you're time-poor. However, you will get more applications using the concentrate. 

 

Using Scotts Osmocote 500g All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser is an excellent way of feeding plants continuously. This is ideal for use on potted plants including vegetables, herbs, palms, orchids, and indoor plants. It's safe to use on new plants, the controlled release of nutrients means it will not burn soft leaves or tender young roots.

 

Let me tag our experienced members @BradN and @Adam_W for their recommendations.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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