Monday, June 24, 2024

Potting multiple plants in pot

Question:  I have a lovely decorative pot, and would like to pot three miniature violets, together, into it.  The pot is about 10″ wide and has drainage holes.  Can I do this?

Answer:  Yes and no.  So long as the violets are otherwise properly cared for, they can be potted together into the same pot.  One thing to be careful of is watering, since these violets will be greatly overpotted.  Though the foliage of three miniature violets would easily cover the surface of a 10″ container, their root systems would not be able to fill this size pot.  The volume of soil in this pot is far more than that in the individual pots of the three minis combined.  Also, remember that violets will grow better when not crowded together and forced to compete for space.  When crowded together, foliage doesn’t always develop fully or normally, and plants need to compete for light, water, and nutrients.

If you still would like to put three violets together into one pot, we would suggest keeping them in their own individual pots, then placing them into the larger container.  At least, this will reduce the likelihood of overwatering, since the root systems of the individual plants would remain in the proper size pots.  This would also allow you to easily replace one plant with another at a future time, keeping the “arrangement” always looking its best.  Probably the best solution, if you choose to fill the large container with soil and plant a violet into it, would be to use a trailing variety.  Since trailing varieties, by their nature, are spreading plants, they can more easily fill such a large diameter container.  They still produce shallow root systems, though, so the depth of the container could be a concern.  if more than a few inches deep, fill the bottom with very porous, well-draining material, such as perlite.  A standard-size trailing variety would most quickly grow and fill this size container, and would likely be the easiest to grow.  Mini and semiminiature trailers would also grow to fill the container, but would take much more time to do so.

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