Small Plants for Small Pots

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! It is time to get organized, get smart & Get planting. Now is the perfect time to purchase your copy of Apartment Gardening in print or on the Kindle. It really is an awesome book full of information, tips and how-tos. Thank you for your support!! (Excerpted from my book Apartment Gardening) Apartment GardeningI'd like to reiterate that the size of the container will eventually affect the size a plant will grow. I’m not a huge fan of small pots for grow- ing anything edible. The plants may not die, but certainly many will not come to full maturity if you inhibit their space in this way. small pots will also dry out very quickly. in my own garden, the smallest pot i have used is about four inches deep and about that wide—i treat it as an experiment. nothing really grew well in such a small space, and what little plant was alive was horribly root-bound, poor thing. even lettuces, which are pretty tolerant, suffered in such tight confines. Their leaves never got bigger than baby lettuce size, and i wound up scrapping the whole project.

Very few plants work well in these conditions, but there are a few you can get away with. The smallest pot i would recommend would be six inches deep and about the same width. This size pot can accom- modate one small plant. Just one! i can’t tell you how many plants I’ve seen crammed into these tiny pots, and i promise you—they will not grow. (Unless you plan on going the microgreen route, in which you harvest plant starts when they are only an inch or two tall. in that case, you can fill the pot with seeds and, generally, harvest within two weeks.)

Shallow-rooted plants work best in small pots. small pots can also accommodate plants that you do not need to harvest from often. lemon balm, for instance, is quite hardy and will survive the tight conditions, though its leaves will be much smaller than those of a plant given room to reach its full potential. This doesn’t matter so much for lemon balm, as it is a strong herb that will likely not be used frequently. Keep in mind, also, that small pots need lots of watering on hot days— likely at least twice a day.

The following is a list of some good plant options for smaller pots—as either they are shallow-rooted, or a kind of plant you will not use in large quantities and can harvest in smaller batches.

Lemon balm Microgreens: arugula, radish Scented mints: chocolate, pineapple, apple Strawberry