Pot-in-Pot Updated

July 21, 2009 by Rick

In an earlier Post we detailed the Pot-in-Pot method of growing annuals and perennials in sleeves in the ground. This makes gardening easier and more successful in many situations and should be tried by Florida gardeners throughout the state for many different reasons. We listed 20 reasons on this previous Pot-in-Pot post.

A new twist is a method that makes it faster and easier to mulch for the first planting and for subsequent mulch applications. By inserting another pot in your pot sleeve before you mulch you make the mulching task easier. Adding this second pot allows you to spread the mulch quickly and to fill the second pot during the spreading process. Next you lift the inside pot full of mulch and spread it around in the bed. Now you have an empty sleeve to drop in your plant and complete you Pot-in-Pot landscape.

Post Hole Digging for Pot-in-Pot

Digging holes with a post hole digger is fast and just the right size. You can cut through roots with this tool and dig in difficult soil much easier than with a trowel. Root encroachment from surrounding trees and shrubs in your planting beds is a primary reason to use the Pot-in-Pot method.


Using standard size gallon pots you can nest them so you have a collection pot for catching the mulch in the next step for easy removal.

Removing much collecting pot

Removing the excess mulch in the catch pot is a breeze.

Slow Release Fertilizing Pot-in-Pot Plants

Don't forget the slow release fertilizer. This is salt based so read the label and apply every 3 months as directed. Don't overdose or you will kill the beneficial organisms growing in our compost rich potting soil.

Dropping in Pot-in-Pot a

Drop you plants into the empty sleeve and stand back and admire your work. Best of all, when it is time to change the flowers this will be a snap. Next time you need to apply a layer of mulch. Lift your plants and insert your empty catch pot. Apply mulch liberally and not so carefully. Lift and dump the pot-o-mulch. Reinsert your potted flowers and stand back and admire. Now you have 21 reasons to try the Pot-in-Pot method.

Pot-in-Pot for Container Gardens - Buried in the Ground

May 18, 2009 by Rick

If you liked the Pot-in-Pot concept http://floridafriendlyplants.com/Blog/post/2009/03/03/Pot-in-Pot.aspx and benefits we described for garden planting try Container Gardens planted to be buried in the ground. Use this time-tested method:

  1. where you find it difficult to work in ground beds on your knees
  2. where you want to swap container gardens to have the best looking plants in place
  3. where you have difficulty digging because tree roots or rocks
  4. where tree or shrub roots will encroach into your rich organic flower beds
  5. where nematodes (microscopic root feeding worms) are a problem on certain plants
  6. where you need to save the cost of incorporating organic matter to build a rich flower bed
  7. where all you have is sand in your garden
  8. where all you have is coral rock in your garden
  9. where you need to save money on water by focusing the water in the container
  10. where you need to keep fertilizer contained and available for the plant with less leaching
  11. where you need the ability to rotate the best bloomers to the front of the bed
  12. where you need the ability to experiment with color in the design
  13. where you want to plant before the last frost free date and have the option to lift and protect it
  14. where you want to experiment with a plants suitability to your light levels
  15. where you might need to rotate the containers to face the sun when it comes from 1 direction
  16. where you can change your landscape in the dead of night while your neighbors sleep

Drop in a container of the same size and shape that nest together neatly.

Change of season....Change your mind...Change your planter



When its time for a little maintenence or weeding, lift the planter out of it's home in the ground, spray

some roundup on the weeds and let it dry. Replace your planter.



Why not a Pot-in-Pot in a Pot and then into a Pot buried in the ground? Presto chango! 

Dripirrigation.org Brings Us Some Timely Info

April 20, 2009 by Rick

A new web site that has the information for making wise decisions has been published by Toro at http://www.dripirrigation.org/landscape.html

Drip with Pot in Pot

Drip irrigation tubes can focus the water to each plant. Using the Pot-in-Pot method you can focus less water directly into the pot with very little waste and optimize the performance of your plants.


Roses do particularly well with drip irrigation since they are less prone to disease if the foliage stays dry.


Drip irrigation in raised planter beds makes watering easy and efficient.


Our container production benefits from drip tape irrigation by keeping the foliage dry, saving water and fertilizer and allowing us to water all the plants only when they need it.


Pot-in-Pot for Container Gardens

March 22, 2009 by Rick

If you followed the Pot-in-Pot concept from our previous article from March 3, 2009 and the benefits we described for garden planting then it is a natural step to think about this method for changing color in Container Gardens. Use this time-tested method:

  1. where you have container perennials and want to add seasonal annuals
  2. where you have container perennials and want to add holiday poinsettias
  3. where you have container perennials and don’t want disturb the root systems
  4. where you have container perennials and want move them to a different location and change the color theme with a different annual
  5. where you want to save time in refreshing your containers
  6. where you want to add a tender annual before the last frost free date and have the option to lift and protect it
  7. where you need the ability to experiment with color in the design


Pots that function as sleeves are the same size as the potted plants we will place in them. The tough and durable Vaiegated Flax Lily, the thriller or spikey component, is planted directly in the pot in a rich potting soil with 1 ounce of time release fertilizer mixed into the soil. An option you might find helpful is to connect a low volume sprayer for this container to an existing low volume irrigation system if you have one. You can buy one of the inexpensive and easy to install kits at your Home Depot to keep your plants watered and stress free. 


A pot of petunias is dropped in and acts as the spiller component. 1 Tablespoon of time release fertilizer is applied to this container. Too much and the salt will kill the beneficial organisms growing in our organic soil. Never exceed the labeled rates with salt based fertilizer or you will do more harm than good.

Drop in a pot of Lobelia as your filler component and you have an interesting, balanced and easy to maintain combination container.

Plectranthus Mona Lavender makes a nice filler component in this sunny location in the rose border where we have underplanted Knockout Roses with Euphorbia Diamond Frost for a year round bouquet of color.

When it is time for a change just drop in your new favorite plants.



Grow annuals or perennials in a large container and place an empty pot in the center when you first plant.

When you have your spillers blooming nicely drop in a thriller or a filler.

Change the center Pot-in-Pot when you need to decorate for a different location or occasion.

Containers are so versatile because you can move them into the right light to grow the plants and then decorate with them as you desire.


Bush Daisies compliment the burgundy petunia and verbena and make this combination pop.

As the Bush Daisy grows it will shade the petunias from direct overhead sun and they will last longer. Later you can plant the daisy in your garden for year round color.

Cordyline Red Star is the perfect Florida friendly spikey thriller component for containers. It lives for many years without problems.

Lobelias are so popular because of the colors and amount of flowers but they take special care to get them through the summer heat in Florida. Cut them back and grow them in bright shade and keep them from getting too wet.

When lobelias fade drop in a Strawflower or another durable bloomer or colorful foliage plant. Coleus and caladiums are great in midsummer.

Container gardening gives you more options for portable color. Pot-in-Pot in a container makes that even easier and quicker to keep you combinations beautiful when you need them most.

New Vegetable Gardening Presentations from U of F

March 11, 2009 by Rick

If you have a vegetable garden or have the bug to start one or just want to grow a few tomato plants, follow these links to the latest information. There are 4 new videos showing you how to get the most out of your gardening efforts. In the series you will learn how to use organic matter to increase yield and reduce chemical cost and inputs. You will learn how to garden in various ways that have less impact on the environment while lowering the amount of effort and increasing your harvest success. You will hear that 75% of your efforts are in the planning. Take a listen and before you know it you will be feeding the whole neighborhood and sharing new techniques and eating healthy.

Click on the videos on this page: http://webdev.ifas.ufl.edu/sfyl/hot_topics/lawn_and_garden/spring_veggie_gardening.html

Vegetables Pot in Pot

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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Container Gardening | Container Gardening | Drip Irrigation | Drip Irrigation | Florida Friendly Landscape | Florida Friendly Landscape | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping | U of F Cooperative Extension Service | Pot-in-Pot Landscaping | U of F Cooperative Extension Service
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