Pot Planting: How to Plant a Tree in a Pot

Pot Planting: How to Plant a Tree in a Pot


The magic of the plant pot is that it has a drainage hole in the bottom. This allows excess water in the soil to escape, preventing root rot and over watering. When planting potted plants in your garden, always make sure you place them higher than the surrounding dirt (unless you want to grow potatoes).

For this reason, larger pots are recommended. Pots in a variety of materials including clay, plastic, terracotta and ceramic are available from garden centers or home improvement stores. Pot Planting: How to Plant a Tree in a Pot.

How to Plant a Tree in a Pot

When you plant your tree in the pot, make sure it fits well by placing the tree in the pot and situating it how you want it to look. Once set, cover the drainage hole with duct tape to prevent any soil from seeping through. Next take your potting mixture (see below for recommended ingredients) and fill up about 2/3 of pot. The extra space will allow the soil to settle after watering, and the soil will also be able to hold a lot more water. Best practice is to place mulch around your planted pot, which not only looks good but helps retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.

As with any plants, make sure you position your potted plant where it gets enough sunlight. The bigger the pot, the more intense its growth. You can always keep your plant indoors if you don’t want it to get too big, however the best practice is to allow your tree to grow in its natural habitat (unless of course if you have a black thumb).

Here are some ingredients for Potting Mixes

  • 3 parts soil
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

Potting Mixes for Different Plants

  • African Violet Potting Mix (2/3 soil, 1/3 perlite or vermiculite)
  • Bonsai mix (1/3 good quality loam, 1/3 coarse sand, 1/3 grit or perlite)
  • Cacti mix (2 parts soil, 1 part sand or perlite)
  • Carnivorous plant potting mix (1 part peat, 1 part sand)
  • Fern potting mix (3/4 loam, 1/4 leafmold)
  • Grape Potting Mix (equal parts loam, leafmold, peat moss)
  • Orchid mix (3 parts loam, 1 part bark)
  • Palm potting mix (1/3 soil, 1/3 gravel or perlite, 1/6 peat moss or leaf mould)
  • Peony Potting Mix (2 parts soil, 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite)
  • Tomato potting mix (1 part soil, 1 part compost, 2 parts peat moss)
  • Tropical potting mix (1 part loam, 1 part peat)

Potting Mixes for Different Soils

  • Clay soil – equal parts sand & garden compost or manure OR 2 parts coarse sand, 3 parts double-strength leaf mould, 4 parts sieved loam
  • Sandy soil – equal parts garden compost or manure & coarse sand OR 3 parts sieved loam, 2 parts leafmold, 1-part coarse sand
  • Loamy soil – equal parts garden compost or manure & coarse sand OR 4 parts sieved loam, 1-part leafmold, 1-part coarse sand
  • Watering: During the first few weeks, make sure your pot has adequate drainage. Add more soil if needed. The best way is to water your plant every other day without saturating the soil completely. Once you’ve established that there’s no risk of root rot, you can reduce watering frequency but increase depth (don’t let the plant sit in water).