How to Grow a Houseplant—Potting

A pet bird has a cage and a gecko has a terrarium. Plants need a special places to live too.

You have a lot of latitude in choosing a container for your plant. Consider not only made-for-plants pots, but other bowls, cans, and even shoes. However, there are a few requisites.

Drainage is paramount. If your chosen pot doesn’t have a drain hole, add one.

Size matters too. The larger the container, the longer it can go between waterings. Larger containers are also more stable. And large containers provide plenty of root space. However, you need to match the container size to the plant that will occupy it.

Another consideration is container shape. I once had a lovely pot that was smaller at the top than in the middle. It looked great—until it was time to move my plant to a bigger home. Then I realized there was no way to extract the roots without damaging them.

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