How to pot a plant

All around the world the move to smaller sections is happening, and New Zealand is no different!

This change in section size often doesn't allow much room for gardening, so more and more people are turning to gardening in space-saving pots and planter boxes.

This form of gardening can be very therapeutic and rewarding thanks to premium potting mixes, a wide range of plants bred specifically for pot culture and terrific pots, bowls, baskets and tubs designed not only to be functional but decorative as well.

The secret to its success is in knowing how to pot plants so they'll perform well.


Gather your supplies

Get organised by collecting everything you'll need before you start!

Work on a clean bench or table and have an old bucket on hand to collect old potting mix, which you can spread on the garden or add to the compost bin later.

  • Garden gloves.
  • Enough potting mix to fill your pot.
  • Clean pot/s of suitable size and proportion.
  • Hand trowel.
  • Watering can.

Step by step potting guide

This guide can be followed or adapted for pots of all sizes, including hanging baskets and large planters and boxes. It can also be used for planting vertical wall gardens.

potting guide

Step 1

Use potting mix straight from the bag - don't contaminate it with the old mix by tipping it out on to the potting bench. 



Step 2

Partly fill your container with potting mix. If you're using an old pot make sure it has been thoroughly washed.


Step 3

Gently remove your plant from its current pot. Gently loosen the root ball without disturbing roots too much and remove any damaged, dried or twisted roots.


Step 4

Place the plant in the centre of the new pot (if potting up individually) or position it where you want it to grow in a larger container that will eventually hold several plants.


Step 5

Check that it's sitting at about the same level as it was in the previous pot. If it is too low (the plant is sitting deeper than it was previously), lift it out and add more mix to the bottom of the pot. Repeat until the plant is at the right level.


Step 6


Fill the pot with potting mix to within 20-30mm of the top rim of the pot, working the mix in and around the plant's roots.


Step 7


Tap the pot or container gently on the bench to settle the new mix and remove any air pockets around the roots. Do not pack it down too firmly.


Step 8


Water well and continue to water regularly. 


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