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How to Fill a Plant Pot

By Victoria Bailey ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fill your pot correctly to get the best results.
lovely potted plants image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com

Container gardening is a popular method of growing flowers and vegetables for people who have little room for a traditional garden plot. Plants are grown in individual pots, eliminating the need for digging up the landscape. Correctly planted containers can produce results for the gardener equal to any regular garden plot. Use the right soil, techniques and plant materials to ensure that you have the best results in your container garden.

Scrub the inside of your pot with hot water and a stiff brush if you are using containers from the previous year. This will eliminate any minerals or soil that may have deposited onto the inside of the container, which might impact the growing plants.

Place a piece of broken pottery over the hole in the bottom of the pot. This will help prevent the soil from leaking out the bottom of the pot whenever it is watered. If you have no broken pottery, try a large stone or piece of plastic that will cover most, but not all, of the bottom hole.

Place a 2-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot over the broken pottery. This gravel will help the soil to drain and help prevent the roots from rotting due to too much water.

Fill the pot with fresh potting soil from a commercial source. Leave a 1-inch space between the top of the soil and the top edge of the pot. This will allow the water to pool on top of the soil so that it soaks in, rather than it running off the sides.

Plant your seedling or seeds in the soil, centering the plant in the middle of the pot. Push the soil down around the seedling stem firmly, to make sure that the roots are in good contact with the soil.

Water the pot with liquid fertilizer until the soil is saturated. Stop watering when the liquid starts to leak out of the hole in the bottom of the pot. If the soil has settled a large amount after watering, add more potting soil to raise the level back up to 1 inch below the rim of the pot.


Things You Will Need

  • Plant pots
  • Broken pottery
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Liquid fertilizer

About the Author


Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.