Soil Saving Tricks for Filling Large Planters

Garden Maintenance
// December 7, 2016
lightweight filler for planters

We often don’t realize this till it’s too late but sometimes, while buying large planting pots, we’re biting off more than we can chew. Just think about it, you get home, all excited to get planting your large statement plants and then you realize how much soil it takes to actually fill up a large-sized pot.

how to fill large planters

Filling up that pot can be a pretty daunting task and is also taxing on the wallet. More importantly, it also gets tough to move the heavy pot around if you want to change things up. Most importantly, though, it is likely that the plants you’ve selected don’t have very deep roots and such a deep pot can hinder their growth. They can also adversely affect the drainage of the soil.

Read about Ways to Prepare Healthy Garden Soil

plant filler

Is there any way to get around this problem? Well, of course, there is! To put it simply, you don’t need to fill the entire pot with soil. In fact, most plants require only 6″ to 8″ of soil so that you can fill the rest of the pot with some filler material. Here are some ideas of what you can use as this filler material. Don’t worry though! Most of it is probably already lying around the house.

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filling large flower pots

Have a lot of milk jugs or broke plastic planters lying around? They’re perfect pot filler material, you know! Just clean them up nicely to remove any residue, tie them together and place them at the bottom of your pot. Make sure that the drainage hole isn’t covered, so that the soil drainage isn’t affected.

filling planters

empty containers as pot filler

Imperishable waste like soda cans, plastic bottles, old bath scrubs, etc. are also perfect lightweight material that can help you get around this problem. Again, do clean them up first. After that, just wrap them in a plastic bag, tie off the end and place it at the bottom of the pot. You can place an intermediary layer, like a weed-blocking cloth before to add your planting medium.

plastic bottles as plant pot filler

One thing that we can always find around the house is packing peanuts or even Styrofoam packing sheets. These come as a protective layer with anything that you’ve ordered online, and it can act as a layer for your large planting pot as well! Just leave enough space so that the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot isn’t covered at any point in time.

peanuts padding in pot

peanuts in pot

A novel way to fill up your large pot or container is with smaller pots or containers. Just pile them up, one on top of the other and then secure them tight with a plastic covering or even rope. Place your planting medium in, and now you’re good to go!

pot in pot container

Finally, if you’re thinking short-term then organic material like leaves, twigs, coconut husk, etc. will be perfect as filler material. They will initially take up some space in your pot but will eventually decompose, making the soil more fertile and making the replanting much easier. Just ensure that these materials don’t get too soggy and retain an excess of water. This could affect the health of your plant.

planter orchid filler

recycled green plastic in pot

With these tips, you don’t need to worry about buying loads of soil anymore. So bring out the large pots and get planting!