Start a new thread

1 to 15 of 15 replies

If you are planting up a very large pot with a single plant to act as a focus in the garden, at the front door, wherever...ensure you use a pot that is wider at the top than the rest of it; best to be the shape of a small flower pot (i.e., widening from the base).  We have had a beautiful pieris in a large pot at the front door for 3 years now.  However, it was beginning to tell me it needed more space.  So, on Sunday, we decided it would look best in the garden, next to a lovely Spirea 'Pink Ice'.  We prepared the hole well with a little bone meal and some ericaceous compound mixed with home-made compost in the bottom (it's heavy clay, so no need for too much acid).  I had watered the pot well an hour before the operation began.  Then we tried to get it out of the pot, and tried and tried...  After well over one hour, and the use of hand-forks and a spanner, plus a border fork for a good shuffle round the edge, we finally made it.  The lesson?  NEVER EVER plant something like that in a pot-bellied container, where - just under the lip - there is a 'waist' that is smaller than the largest dimension below!!  After 3 years, the root ball and its soil compact and, even after heavy watering, refuse to yield.  I was determined that we were not going to break the pot (beautiful blue frost proof) to get it out, despite hubby's threats.  It did come out in the end - and it looks lovely where it is.

Dordogne Damsel

I remember having a similar problem a while back, very good advice. 


Met too.  Huge hosta Sum ans Substance which I had to butcher with an old bread knife to get it out.  The good thing though is I got 9 fabulously healthy plants growing very well with big leaves.  Some given to special gardening friends, some sold at a charity plant fair and 3 spare left for me to play with.

The pot now houses a rose that wasn't doing too well in the border but is loving life in its big ceramic pot in a sunny, sheltered spot.

I've been there and done that with one of those pot-bellied containers. I very nearly took a hammer to the pot as I got so fed up with it. After about half an hour I managed to winkle the plant out!


In my case, I did take the hammer to it. And I then took the hammer to my head, just to get the lesson well learned.



Im joining the club as well ,only mine was a fig tree, if ever you have grown one you will understand the job I had, lesson well learnt then Iydiaann, sunny erein Muns Norfolk,

Green Magpie

I suppose if you do have a pot bellied container, you could line it with an ordinary plastic pot in the conventional shape.

Snap, woth those silly upright strawberry planters. 

Mine got the hammer treatment too. I used it for crocks in the end because I wasn't ever going to use it, or anything similar, ever again

Agree Green Magpie.  Next time, large 'proper' shaped pot inside...I'll still get the lovely effect of the pot-belly and the colour without the hassle!

I have a lovely pot bellied pot with a dahlia trapped inside.... I guess that will get the hammer treatment too. Oh well, another lesson learned!

David Matthews2

If you should elect to house a sightly smaller / less awkwardly-shaped pot inside a 'potbelly' BEWARE: the 'gap' inside will create a perfectly safe  (& inaccessible to humans) 'hideyhole' for you-know-whos to loiter!!! [4 letter word beginning with S...???]. [perhaps you could pack the gap out with fleece or similar, hessian sacking etc.].

Green Magpie

Yes, I agree, any double-layer pot arrangement leaves a gap likely to be favoured by the enemy. You need to check and remove them from time to time or put in some slug pellets

Strangely, no problem with slugs, even the hostas stay healthy.  My main problem with pots is ants.  Had to repot (same day as the dreaded pot-belly!) my dwarf azalea as, when I moved the pot, hundreds of ants fell out of the bottom hole.  Had the same problem (except they were orange) with my rhubarb (planted in the fruit bed) - and don't get me going on the compost bin, the lawns, one part of the flagstones along the back ...


one of my agapanthus refused to be coaxed from a pot bellied pot earlier this year , so the pot got the hammer treatment. I have a matched pair which did release their prisoners and  have now done as GM suggests and popped a large proper pot inside which will be disguised by the foliage soon.

Green Magpie

Oh, here's another tip for double-layer pots, or even pots in drip trays: before you fill the pot, place a layer of J- cloth or a scrap of horticultural fleece in the bottom of the pot, covering the holes. This helps exclude the creepy-crawlies, stops the pots making a mess, and still allows drainage.

Sign up or log in to post a reply