Guide for plant pot sizes

Written by erin maurer
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Guide for plant pot sizes
Choose a pot 1 to 2 inches larger than the plant container. (potted plant image by Ritu Jethani from

Many types of traditional and creative containers make successful pots for a plant. The most important item when selecting a container is to choose one that will hold soil and water without leaking. Containers also need drainage holes to prevent rotting plant roots. For novice container gardeners, choose a larger pot when unsure of the correct size.


Nursery and garden supply staff may be able to help you choose the correct size pot as it varies from plant to plant. Consider the amount of space available, the weight, the height and your ability to properly water containers, suggests the Bonnie Plants website. Always choose the larger pot when unsure, as smaller pots crowd roots.

Pot Shape

In addition to the diameter, the shape and depth is equally important to successful container gardening. Both deep and shallow, as well as round and rectangular pots can be successful when planted with the right type of plants.

Choosing Plants

After gathering some potential containers, choose plants that are well suited to those containers. Bring the pots along to the nursery or gardening supply store. For plants already housed in pots at the nursery, choose a new pot about 1 to 2 inches larger. Tomatoes and other large vegetables grow best in pots at least 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep. Lettuce, which has shallow roots, grows best in shallow containers, according to the Bonnie Plants website.

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