How To Plant in Large Pots


Large planting pots provide a striking decorative appeal to home and business exteriors and garden areas. Filling these pots full of potting soil presents some troublesome issues, particularly with the cost of the soil, transporting and carrying several bags of potting soil and the weight of the pot. Some choose to save money by filling the pot half full with a cheaper potting soil and filling the top half with a premium soil. But this method only solves one issue: cost. To solve all of the issues, replace some of the potting soil with a filler.

Step 1

Move the pot to its permanent location as it will get quite heavy once filled.

Step 2

Pour a filler, like packing peanuts, in the bottom of the pot instead of using potting soil throughout. Add a layer of rocks for drainage on the bottom. Fill the next one-third of the pot with packing peanuts. Pour soil into the remainder of the pot, filling until the pot is three-fourths full.

Step 3

Place a layer of landscape fabric over the filler materials. Pour soil into the remainder of the pot over the fabric, filling until the pot is full.

Step 4

Plant the plant in the middle of the soil as you would in any size pot. Dig the hole deep enough to accommodate the roots and base of the plant. Place the plant in the hole, spread out the roots and pack the soil around the roots and the base of the plant.

Step 5

Water the soil gently around the plant with a hose. Water only until the soil appears moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Packing peanuts
  • Landscape fabric


  • University of Illinois Extension: Role of Container Planting: Thriller, Filler and Spiller
  • The Tucson Gardener: How To Plant Your Container

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Successful Container Gardens
Keywords: plant large pots, container gardening, pot fillers

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.