Plastic Pots

ms. violet greyMay 2, 2014

I bought this plum colored plastic pot on a whim. Do I need to punch a hole?

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ms. violet grey

Is the size okay for a rose? All my roses are in ground. Pot newbie here.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:14PM
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seil zone 6b MI

It's a good size but, yes, you need to take the bottom tray off and drill more holes in it for roses. Unless when you take off that tray all those holes I see become open. But I would still drill one in the center where I don't see one now. Drainage is the most important thing in growing roses in pots. That and good POTTING soil, not garden or top soil.

What rose have you picked out for it?!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 4:27PM
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ms. violet grey

Seil, I'm considering Sonia Rykiel.
The bottom tray twists. The saleslady didn't think it twisted completely off. I see so many pretty pots without holes. Manufacturers!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 4:57PM
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The small circles are just very thin plastic and should push out using anything blunt.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:16PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Holes should also be on the sides as I am a "pot oldie" and have lost roses to poor drainage when holes are sitting on soil. I throw some oyster grit in the bottom and remember to water well down there in Texas. And remember too, potted roses are considered exposed to a zone colder too. Those are the rookie mistakes that did me in.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:42PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Get the tray off even if you have to break some plastic to do it. If you get the pot up off the surface, on a pot trolley or trivet, you won't have a problem with soil blocking the drainage of the bottom holes. Besides, the wheeled pot trolleys make it so much easier to move a heavy pot with wet soil and a full grown rose in it! I buy mine at Big Lots or Harbor Freight.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:42PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Snap fasteners hold the drainage tray in place, so it will just snap off - quite easily.

For container culture, you don't want the effluent (drainage water) to be able to find a way back into the soil, so while that particular set-up might be convenient, it's also counter-productive ..... if only for the reason the accumulating salts you should be flushing from the soil in the effluent at every watering are just going to reach a state of isotonicity with the soil solution. IOW - the level of salts in the effluent will equalize with the level of salts in the soil solution - not a desirable situation.

"Drainage" is a function most closely related to the size of the particles the soil is made of. The larger the particles, the faster the drainage, the better the aeration, and the less 'perched water' the soil can hold. Perched water is the water in that soggy layer of soil inherent in soils based on fine particles - like peat, compost, composted forest products, sand, topsoil ...... It's also the most common limitation container gardeners are (often unwittingly) forced to deal with when they choose water-retentive soils.

The number of drain holes, beyond one, in the bottom of a pot has nothing to do with adequate drainage. Since the center of your pot is higher than the perimeter, no drain hole there is required; nor, are drain holes in the side of the container [wall] going to offer an advantage. If your plants could talk, they would tell you they care far more about the o/a volume of retained water at container capacity than how long it takes to get there. 'Container capacity' is the amount of water left in the container after it's been fully saturated and has just stopped draining.

Gaining an understanding of how water behaves in container media represents the largest step forward a container gardener can make at any one time. The link I left below has been active here @ GW since '05, and has nearly 3,000 posts on the same topic. It's worth the time it takes to read it.

Best luck to you!


Here is a link that might be useful: About soils, drainage, aeration .....

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:07PM
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ms. violet grey

Wow this is a science! Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Green thumbs aren't dealt by chance or as a result of 'experience'. What good is experience if you keep doing the same thing over and over, realizing nothing more than acceptable results? Learn all you can. Knowledge is the key to developing a green thumb in the shortest amount of time. Experience is most valuable when it's used to validate something you've already learned but haven't yet practically applied.

I saw your post by chance in the "Most Recent Posts" box.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 4:36PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Good info, Al! Good potting soil is key to happy roses!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 8:32PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

The thing is, you don't need good "soil" to grow. You need a good medium to host plants. Specifics are arguable but the truth it in lies.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:08PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Semantics/ word play - the truth is, you don't need ANY soil to grow plants.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:44PM
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seil zone 6b MI

OK, then what ever stuff you put in the pot to cover the roots with and fill it up so the rose doesn't fall over should be good stuff and drain well, lol!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 11:46PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

The term is 'substrata'. Smiles

Roses are much more tolerant of less than ideal (which does not mean bad) drainage than many other plants I know of. One can pot a rose in ideal draining substratas with a very low PWT, for example like the ones pot citrus growers (poor guys) strive to achieve, but then keeping the rose well watered and fertilised during a hot and dry summer becomes a full day job or one needs to rely on well thought out automated means of doing both...

One should strike a balance between dry season watering needs and wet/cool season avoidance of soggy conditions. It's climate dependent unless one grows potted plants under glass. I grow upwards of 40 roses in pots (not bands) and have never had a problem with root rot or substrata anoxic conditions given reasonable attention to potting substrata and watering regime.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Sun, May 4, 14 at 2:12

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:53AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's not up to one to tell the other where the balancing point is, or what should be considered in determining that point. Grower A might care only about his own convenience, while grower B is interested only in squeezing all the vitality he can for his plants from the regimen being followed, not caring a whit about a little extra effort. Soils that require more frequent watering can offer greater potential for maximizing plant health. What's good for the grower and what's good for the plant, are very often mutually exclusive.

I always approach growing from the perspective of what is best for the plant, and let whoever I'm talking to decide weather the effort is worth the reward. The key isn't what they decide; rather, it's knowing what's best for the plant so they can make intelligent decisions about compromises they might want to make.

'Soil(s), potting soil(s), substrate(s), medium/media', are all commonly interchanged in soil discussions, even in advanced discussions. As long as you understand what's being discussed, I fail to see how any light might be shed in an argument over a word.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:07AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

I'm talking about the particular plants, allright. This is a rose forum. Not a cactus or citrus forum, nor a forum for commercial cultivation under glass. There are differences between plants. Discussing generalities about ideal potting mediums without taking into consideration the particular plant's tolerances and requirements is just a theoretical exercise. Roses are very heavy drinkers and feeders and posess a very developed and active root system. A rose will, in general, develop a root system to occupy the whole of a given pot in a short time during one growing season. A mature rose can suck dry its pot, the whole of it including any PWT, in no time in hot and dry conditions. What I mean to say is that, for example, what's good for citrus, plants notorious for sensitivity to too much wettness in the soil and posessing a notoriously sensitive , superficial and underdevelped root system is just of waste of time and energy for roses and may prove dangerous for the plant from the point of view of underwatering and underfertilisation under a common household plant caring regime. I grow both.

Any substrata posessing a good capacity for water retention combined with reasonable ability for drainage and aeration will do. No need to go overly scientific on this. Which means that most any good grade commercially available potting medium will do. In fact, commercial potting medium producers of high reputation in Europe ( the German brand Florabella springs to mind) market their peat based rose potting mediums as containing a higher than average percentage of clay. These mediums woud mean the death of citrus, cacti or any number of sensitive plants I could mention in a season or two. You can in fact grow fine roses in pots using just good old clay rich garden soil which is what my mother used to do.

The real problem with keeping roses in pots is not centered on the potting medium drainage capability, it is centered on providing a large enough pot (it seems there are never large enough) and providing adequate water and nutrients during the growing season. That's my 2 cents on this. Anyone who has watered the rose pots in the morning just to see the young shoots wilting by noon should know what I'm talking about here.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Mon, May 5, 14 at 1:00

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:38AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If a grower aspires to mediocrity, then any reasonable soil will suffice. Mediocre soils are limiting - period - they limit us to mediocrity; and we can't make up for a mediocre soil by striving for perfection in the other cultural conditions we provide ..... no matter how hard we might wish it so. Check Liebig's Law of the Minimum for confirmation.

It's common, nearly the rule, for growers who like to think they 'specialize' in growing a particular type of plant to think that plant is unique in all the world. It's not. A rose is just another woody plant, and responds best to the same treatment that thousands of other woody plants respond best to, and shows the same appreciation for a well-constructed soil as other plants, and disfavors poor soils by exhibiting the same symptoms myriad other plants exhibit when limited by the soil choice of the grower.

An experienced and knowledgeable grower might be able to achieve results satisfactory to himself when using a less than ideal soil, but we all don't have the same standards, and why choose a soil you have to battle for control of your plants' vitality - makes no sense at all, to me.

Spend a little time at the Container Gardening Forum and test your theory about using the average soil - just to see how it flies. You'll be surprised at how many growers will disagree because they have found that using an average soil just makes it more difficult to achieve average results (they've been there/ done that), and that by changing to a soil that is structurally stable and holds little or no perched water, the ease with which excellent (as opposed to average) results are attainable is very significant.

The fact that I'm talking about thousands of growers, not a handful, makes it pretty difficult to sell 'average'.

Take care.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 6:27PM
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