Asked on Mar 19, 2014

What to do with huge, heavy plant pots

Patricia HowardShelly FJoyce Partington
+48

Answered

I'm going to sound so lazy, but here goes... We bought our home 3 yrs ago and there were 2 huge, heavy ceramic pots on rickety wheels--one painted green,see photo), and one blue, on the patio.I like them- The colors are pretty, They were filled with what was obviously old, dry, unhealthy 'soil'( light brown) and weeds. We scooped everything out of the pots and threw it into the shrubs. We can't move the pots without renting a dolly,as they're so terribly heavy and would have to be carried or wheeled up a step to be taken to the area we use., and they were in a far corner of the patio, away from our picnic table and grill, the area we use for socializing. Fast forward 3 yrs,I had a stroke at the age of 45, and my poor hubby could just about take care of the inside of the house, 5 kids, and work full-time. The yard wasn't a priority.Now I'd like to do something with the patio to make it more inviting, but I can't fill these humongous pots with soil-It would cost a fortune!We have no rocks in our yard, so I can't take up some of the space in the pots with large rocks, and fill soil in between, and then plant seeds(My initial idea)- Help! any suggestions would be much appreciated!Polly
huge, heavy plant pot
35 answers
  • Bonnie Lewenza
    Bonnie Lewenza
    on Mar 19, 2014

    Can they be lifted at all to be able to get a pot mover on casters up under it? If you can't find one of these that are strong enough to hold the weight then maybe you can make one by using a piece of plywood and put some heavy casters on it, then all you would have to do is put it on this and move it where you want it. Hope it helps.

    • Polly Zieper
      Polly Zieper
      on Mar 19, 2014

      @Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie, Where would I get that type of thing? Mu hubby is already over worked, and I don't want to add another thing to his 'to do' list. Would your idea be better/ different than renting a dolly from UHAUL AND MOVING THE POTS?

  • Versatile Kitchen
    Versatile Kitchen
    on Mar 19, 2014

    Buy a plastic planter that fits snugly inverted in this planter. That should make the depth of the planter less and fill it with soil and plant seeds. You don't need more than 10" for most of flowers that you start from seeds.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S
    on Mar 19, 2014

    If you would like pretty flowers but don't want to do a lot of yard work, pots are the way to go. I can imagine bright pink petunias in this pot sitting beside in your flower beds for accent!

  • Julie
    Julie
    on Mar 19, 2014

    I've heard that you can use empty plastic water/soda bottles to take up the space! They don't weigh much, so it wouldn't make the pot any heavier. I think they might also help the soil to be aerated a bit, and it's a good use for something that would just get thrown away. I've also seen online that people use coffee filters at the bottom of the pot to cover the holes so that the soil doesn't run out. Hope this helps!

    • Jacqueline Elaine
      Jacqueline Elaine
      on Mar 20, 2014

      @Polly Zieper I just use empty water or pop bottles in the pots. I had a lot to recycle so it worked out well for me. I put some gravel on top of the bottles and then I added my soil mix. If your pots are extremely large, you might want to start with 2 liter bottles first to take up some more space. Make sure you put your pots where you want them after you put the bottles in them. When you add the rock and soil the pots get heavy! You could put down a plastic plant tray (the plastic dish thing you put underneath flower pots to protect tables) after you put the bottles in your planter. That way you won't lose as much rock and soil. Hope this helps. I have a few pots I have to get ready as well.

  • Kathy Henke
    Kathy Henke
    on Mar 19, 2014

    I had a big heavy one too. I put a moving blanket on the ground, tipped it on its side on the blanket and rolled it to the new place. Of course, I didn't have far to go and I doubt mine is as heavy. Then I agree that if you put empty capped soda bottles in the bottom it will take much less dirt. Good luck.

  • York Gardener
    York Gardener
    on Mar 19, 2014

    You can fill them as full as you wish with packing peanuts (be sure NOT to get the biodegradable ones, in this case you want the ones that last forever) Fill the pot as full as you desire with them then add potting soil. For a great planter plant it heavily with bulbs that bloom at various times of the year and then top with annuals such as petunias or whatever is your favorite. This will be easy to care for and beautiful year after year if you select bulbs that perennialize in your area and plant them at their correct depths.

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema
    on Mar 19, 2014

    STYRFOAM..... Our garden store sells STYRO balls of various sizes in bags of several per. These are designed to go for just this problem...Being low budget as I am for such things,,I save any shipping styrofoam pieces break them apart to fit the pot size, squish them into the bottom. Sometimes in a pot this big I would use several pieces making it t 1/4 styro.... Then put WEED BLOCK mesh aaround the stryo,and tuck it in so the dirt can't sift down...then fill as usual..this works for drainage issues too. iI do this inside and outside pots..

  • Wanda sinnema
    Wanda sinnema
    on Mar 19, 2014

    a tip from my mom she used while was growing up..... moving something heavy.... USE DOWELS,,,, she always kept several old broom handles she cut off.... any time she needed to move something; you tip the pot on its side a big, slide the dowels a few inches apart and ROLL. then as you get to the edge, pick up the tip the pot again, place the back one in the front roll againand keep rolling.... till where you want it..I can't tell you how wamy times we moved our antique upright piano this way..

  • Bonnie Lewenza
    Bonnie Lewenza
    on Mar 19, 2014

    Well if you have some scrap wood all you would need are the casters which you can get at any hardware store. Get the hard rubber type and they would only take minutes to apply, just 4 screws for each caster. The benefits of making this is you will have it at a later date for anything else that you may have to move.

  • Reva Chevalier
    Reva Chevalier
    on Mar 20, 2014

    Make it into a fountain, or like Renee and Wanda said. fill half of the pot with Styrofoam peanuts and the rest with soil. Plant away.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 20, 2014

    I have often used packing peanuts to displace some of the area in a large pot.

  • Polly Zieper
    Polly Zieper
    on Mar 20, 2014

    I'm concerned that if I use empty bottles, styrofoam balls, peanuts, whatever, the soil will just fall down into the pot, between the 'filler material, and it will still take a ton of soil to fill up the pot to a high enough level that I can plant seeds or seedlings-please advise, friends, and thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    • York Gardener
      York Gardener
      on Mar 23, 2014

      @Polly Zieper Styrofoam hunks, peanuts, empty bottles, inverted flower pots, anything you use to take up space will reduce the amount of soil needed to fill the pot, therefore making the pot lighter. If you use the empty aluminum cans be sure to crush them first, if they are just used whole they can collect water and the pot will become heavy again, and the water can stagnate making for a smelly time later, unless you are careful to use the empty can in an upside down formation. Containing packing peanuts in a plastic mesh bag, such as citrus is sold in, is a great way to solve the problem of dealing with them in the future if you want to replace the soil.

  • EvaJoy Irons
    EvaJoy Irons
    on Mar 20, 2014

    I've used a plastic flowerpot turned upside down in the bigger pot, then put another pot on top, filled the top one with soil and planted vines, flowers, etc.

  • Terra Gazelle
    Terra Gazelle
    on Mar 20, 2014

    fill them up with packing peanuts, lay a piece of glass or wood over top and put in solar lights.

  • Liliana Wells
    Liliana Wells
    on Mar 20, 2014

    The moving blanket s a great idea as using small old plastic containers, such as the ones you get with new plants at nurseries, then cover with landscape fabric (as suggested above). This will help prevent the soil from shifting down. I also like the idea of making you own rolling cart, like Bonnie Lewenza mentioned above. You can use that for other things too. Good luck. Let us know what you decide.

  • MaryAnn B
    MaryAnn B
    on Mar 20, 2014

    I've used various things to fill the bottom of large containers. Styrofoam will mingle with the roots of the plants so that it makes a mess when transplanting. If you use pop bottles or cans or popcorn, lay some landscape fabric over them and then put in the soil. Also I was at Costco the other day and they were selling plastic adjustable shields for large containers which I thought were very nifty.

  • Karen Mueller
    Karen Mueller
    on Mar 20, 2014

    I used to work for a pottery company and we sold a product that fit inside the pot to take up most of the space. You could do the same with a plastic pot saucer that would fit inside the pot depending on the diameter of how deep you want the soil to be. Drill some holes in the saucer for drainage.

  • Ella H
    Ella H
    on Mar 20, 2014

    Maybe one of your neighbors has a hand cart that you could use to move the pots to where you want them

  • Anna Ibarra
    Anna Ibarra
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I saw somewhere on a show, where they use empty plastic bottles.

  • Debbie Chapman
    Debbie Chapman
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I am still finding styrofoam peanuts in pots from the year I used those. Eventually they move up to the upper soil! They look ugly and are annoying to me! Now I use empty plastic soda bottles with lids on, so soil won't fill. The soil hasn't seemed to cave them in either. Great way to recycle :-)

  • Lynne Sedgewick Lyon
    Lynne Sedgewick Lyon
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I would invert a smaller pot inside the pot to raise the bottom and just drop in a potted summer plant from the nursery. Instantly colourful and very little work for your hubby.

  • Jane Staude
    Jane Staude
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I use empty pop and bear cans, they work great. Also you can rent a dolly for less than $10, and move them to your patio. They would be sp pretty with Geraniums, potatoe vines, and eve alyssum for the smell. Good luck!

  • UpcycledStuff
    UpcycledStuff
    on Mar 21, 2014

    A quick, cheap and earth friendly way to take up space in those pots is to fill the bottle with plastic water/soda bottles! I do it all the time.

  • MaryO
    MaryO
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I've used pine cones, filling the pot just less then half full, then covered them with either a piece of burlap or a piece of landscaping material. As far as moving them, you can purchase plant caddies with wheels on the bottom to move the planters. Once you have the pots on the caddies you can easily push them where ever you want them.

  • MaryAnn B
    MaryAnn B
    on Mar 21, 2014

    I like the idea of a plastic pot saucer. I still use pine cones too.

  • Jill
    Jill
    on Mar 22, 2014

    Maybe turn one into a fountain! I did it to one of my bigger pots that I couldn't lift either. Simply tip the pot sideways, roll it onto a piece or cardboard or an old towel and drag it to where you would like it, roll it off and set it up. I simply purchased a fountain pump kit. Pulled the cord thru, sealed around the hole in the bottom with a rubber sink plug and silicone, then when it dries in a day or two, fill with water! You can also put in some rock for the water to cascade down on, or go without and add water lilies. Or better yet drag a bag of compost to the pot and add the compost to plant miniature fruit trees in them. You can simply water with a water can. Any miniature variety is fine, and the best part is you have something for all your hard work!

    , This is the pot before I put in rocks in it The pot was so large I didn t have enough rocks to fill it with so I simply cut a hole in the bottom of an old plant container and turned it over on top of the pump, From this picture I still had not decided up lilies or rock but I decided on rocks I love the sound of the water splashing on them
    • Polly Zieper
      Polly Zieper
      on Mar 25, 2014

      @Jill What a great idea!I never thought of that, and never heard of a fountainpump kit, but will look for one, thx!

  • Eileen Haas-Linde
    Eileen Haas-Linde
    on Mar 22, 2014

    Check Beall's Outlet. They have little round platforms on wheels for big pots - they're about $7. I use them for all my big pots.

  • Suzette Trimmer
    Suzette Trimmer
    on Mar 22, 2014

    STYROFOAM STYROFOAM AND MORE STYROFOAM, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. This way your saving landfills and I have always since day one admitted this is fun but it s HARD-WORK FUN..... another lazy efficient chore I also find extremely helpful is to when drilling holes for drainage I poke those little black wheels that come with Rubbermaid storage containers into four of the holes I drilled to push around any container at any time. Hope this helps someone! happy Spring everyone!!!! Hopping down my lane now

  • Vickie
    Vickie
    on Mar 22, 2014

    I would find a way to contain the peanuts if you use them. The best way is to find an inexpensive pot to put inside, upside down, with some bark or other filler to keep it from collapsing. Maybe a neighbor or friend has something that they got from the garden store, plant pots, that you could use, or cut a piece of wood to fill in the middle, use potted plants to fill it up so they are easy to move around when they get bigger. Remember to use tall in the center, then medium, then small or trailing on the edges. These planters make beautiful showcases on the patio or porch. Good luck and enjoy the magic of creating something beautiful and bright.

  • Polly Zieper
    Polly Zieper
    on Mar 23, 2014

    Thank you, everyone!Looks like I need to ask my neighbors to contribute from their recycling bins.

  • Kelly S
    Kelly S
    on Mar 23, 2014

    grocery bags filled with packing peanuts works.

    • York Gardener
      York Gardener
      on May 24, 2014

      @Kelly S This is a better idea than just loose packing peanuts if one ever plans on dumping the soil out of the pot, but if you will be scooping it out in the future then either loose or bagged will work equally well. Hunks of styrofoam packing works well also.

  • Vickie Lanham
    Vickie Lanham
    on Mar 23, 2014

    packing peanut or any styrofoam in the bottom of the pots works well. I have 4 grown son which comes in handy if I promise that I just need a couple pots moved.

  • Joyce Partington
    Joyce Partington
    on Oct 27, 2014

    I put empty soda cans half way up my large planters and then fill with good planting dirt and grow Tomato plants and Marigold plants with Basil and Rosemary all in the same pot. It is beautiful growing and so useful.

  • Shelly F
    Shelly F
    on Nov 19, 2014

    Take a pressure treated board and put it across the top of the pots and create a bench

  • Patricia Howard
    Patricia Howard
    on Nov 21, 2014

    @Polly Zieper, I have broken up pieces of Styrofoam that new small appliances are packaged in, and I have also wadded up the plastic bags from the grocery store and put in the bottom.

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