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Repotting with drainage chips

How to plant in containers

17th March 2016



After you have selected you container and plant you will need the following to pot up your container:

  • 60% of the container’s volume in potting soil
  • 15% of the container’s volume in drainage chips
  • 15% of the container’s volume in river sand
  • 10% of container’s volume in mulch, leca, decorative stone or bark to act as top layer
  • Appropriate feeding and root stimulant for your plant of choice (2:3:2 and bonemeal is a firm favourite)
  • Water retention product to retain moisture and nutrients such as Saturaid and stockosorb are both ideal for this purpose

How to plant up your container

  • Ensure that there are enough drainage holes at the base of your container
  • Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of small pebbles. The larger the container, the thicker the layer of pebbles should be.(+/-15% of Pot volume)
  • Add river sand on top of the pebbles to act as filter and to support drainage (+/-15% of pot volume)
  • Top up your container with potting soil and remember to leave space for your planting hole
  • The planting hole should be 16cm wider than the diameter of the root area of the plant
  • Water the plant well to minimise transplanting shock
  • Gently remove the plant from the old container
  • Where the roots are matted, gently loosen the damp roots with your fingertips
  • Roots that are unnecessarily long should be cut shorter
  • Place a hand full of bone meal and granular feeding in the hole that plant will be planted in and pour a little water on top to “activate the goodness”.
  • It is now the ideal time to add your water retention product of choice to act as a “bed” for the roots of your plant
  • Spread the roots out evenly to avoid bending them when placing the plant in the hole.
  • Cover the roots with potting soil.
  • Firm down the soil around the transplanted plant and water well.
  • As a top layer add a mulch, decorative stone, leca or bark to slow down evaporation.
  • The larger the growing space for the roots the more nutrients will be available to the plant.

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