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Old 06-27-2015, 01:03 PM
 
Location: USA
483 posts, read 1,165,699 times
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I am planting lots of stuff now in plastic and clay pots. My parents used to put stones in pots while planting and they had told me that it provides support to plant roots. I live in an apartment complex which does have small stones on ground, but am not sure if I can pick them up and use it for planting. I don't know any stores selling real stones.

Is putting stones in pots really needed? I wish to plant herb plants, flower plants and some vegetables.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
2,217 posts, read 1,372,736 times
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It's not necessary to add rocks, but if you would like keep up the tradition go to any local aquarium store for many different sizes shapes and colors. Sometimes they sell them loose, and others have them in different size bags of your choice.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,949 posts, read 56,146,582 times
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Nope. Don't add them. Waste of money and space for roots to get more nutrients and roaming space.

Some people say they do it so they don't have to spend money on filling the whole pot with potting soil.
Some people did it in the past to get better drainage (not necessary now with potting mixes available)

Just imagine 1 thing come next Spring when you're turning that soil in the pot. Not going to be fun when you get a load of rocks on the shovel and mix it all in the soil in that pot.

Don't need it.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:31 PM
 
2,982 posts, read 4,429,865 times
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Another option is to use the styrofoam 'peanuts' that come in packaging. I use those in the bottom of my pots and it helps the pot from being so heavy and keeps the dirt from compacting.

You can also use pieces of a broken tile pot placed over the holes in the bottom of your pot.

You can just use dirt but it will 'compact' after a while and it might keep your pot from draining properly.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
17,688 posts, read 11,249,349 times
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depends on what you're planting (how big it'll get) and the size of the pot. If it's something that'll grow fairly large, you might want to weight the pot down.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
8,833 posts, read 11,722,218 times
Reputation: 9521
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
depends on what you're planting (how big it'll get) and the size of the pot. If it's something that'll grow fairly large, you might want to weight the pot down.

Yes, weighting the pot down is the reason to do this.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,456,874 times
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I like to use pine cones in the bottoms for drainage. The cones are not the big, pretty ones but are the bullet-shaped ones from the neighbor's Doug Fir, and they drop all over my place like crazy. So I use them for pot-lining, and sometimes under pots to make them look straight in uneven spots.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,504 posts, read 46,040,583 times
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I do a great deal of container gardening. For really large pots I flatten old nursery pots, milk jugs, anything plastic and then cover with either landscape fabric or coco mats so I don't lose any soil but I still have good drainage and plenty room for root development.

I have so many containers I don't want to waste good soil just to fill up a huge pot. I also put peanuts in plastic grocery bags, tie the handles together and stick them in the bottom on big pots.. This way I don't have to deal with loose peanuts when I empty the containers. What a mess that can be. Unless you have high winds I doubt you need weight in any container.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:07 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
24,570 posts, read 31,998,786 times
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OP, the way water works is that the holes in the bottom of the pot won't drain out the very bottom of the pot. So, the bottom little bit of the pot stays too wet and can cause root rot. The rocks in the bottom are to lift the soil above that "poor drainage" area. When the top of the soil need water, the base will still be too wet.

For my valuable plants, I use Al's Gritty Mix, which has been designed to drain all the way to the bottom of the pot (you have to mix your own: turface, granite grit, and bark chips.). I especially use it for plants that will spend their entire life in a pot, like my collection of fig trees and my miniature citrus trees.

I just use home made potting soil for starting seeds and plants that will be moved outside when they are ready. I don't put rocks in the bottom of the pot, but watering has to be done fairly precisely to keep soil damp enough and still not drown the plants. Also, I almost never use peat moss. I hate the way that it is so difficult to get wet all the way through if it is allowed to get dry.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:10 PM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 4,420,108 times
Reputation: 6850
The only thing I add is layers of newspaper or burlap over the drainage holes, to help keep the water in, and keep the soil from flushing out through the bottoms during heavy summer watering.
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