Rootbound but can’t find bigger pots what can I do?

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I have 2 Hibiscus plants in pots & I KNOW they are rootbound but I cannot find any bigger pots without spending hundreds of $$. Is there anything I can to do that I don’t lose these plants? These are my husbands favorite & we have had them for almost 10 years. I live in north Mississippi (can walk to Memphis in less than 10 mins).


q rootbound but can t find bigger pots what can i do
  15 answers
  • Elaine Elaine on Sep 06, 2018

    Do they stay out all year or do you bring them in?

  • Susan Clements Brown Susan Clements Brown on Sep 06, 2018

    What about wood containers? Could you build a planter box less expensively? Have you looked at the big square wood ones?


    By the way. that is a beautiful plant! Great job with it!

    • Lisa Shelley Lisa Shelley on Sep 06, 2018

      The problem is weight. These pots are 28”. This spring when my husband & his brother took them outside they were almost to heavyfor them to pick up. I’ve (or should I say we’ve) looked at all options. Making planters, 1/2 wooden barrel planters.

      Ive wanted to plant them in the ground but the winters here are VERY unpredictable.


      Thanks. The other one doesn’t quite look as good

  • Tere Tere on Sep 06, 2018

    You can spray paint some large inexpensive plastic pots or tubs from Dollar Store, Walmart, etc. to look like expensive pottery.

  • Gail Gail on Sep 06, 2018

    How big are the present pots? Go bigger, how about big plastic or metal trash cans. You don't need holes in the bottom, a small one thru the side a few inches up from bottom will suffice & hold moisture in soil longer. To be able to move them around, one tip of advice, put an easy rolling heavy duty dolly under them "before" reporting to the new tubs. Paint or decorate them to whatever colors you desire, even new designer Duck tapes This would be a lot less expensive new potting situation.

    • Lisa Shelley Lisa Shelley on Sep 06, 2018

      I haven’t thought of the heavy duty roller dolly & the funny thing is I just last week painted 2.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Sep 06, 2018

    I would say build planters yourself and make sure you put really good castors on the bottom so you can easily move it around. I have many hibiscus plants and made castor plates to put underneath them. Much cheaper than paying big bucks for the good ones, the ones with plastic castors broke the first time I tried to move them. I need mine mobile to be able to take them in for the winter.

  • Emily Emily on Sep 06, 2018

    You could get a trash receptical

  • Carolyn Marie Carolyn Marie on Sep 06, 2018

    If there's someone with cows in your area, ask for a lick tub. You could decorate it to make it prettier.


    Otherwise, you could un-pot it and cut some of the root ball out (don't go crazy), spread the remaining root out and then re-pot it. Removing some of the feeder roots will not hurt it. Just be careful, if there is a large tap root, not to cut that.

    • See 1 previous
    • Carolyn Marie Carolyn Marie on Sep 07, 2018

      Yeah, it's perfectly OKAY. When I was in landscaping, we routinely removed as much as half of the feeder roots with no impact. When you lay the feeder roots out, just cut half the length, rather than cutting at the shoot (top). Wait until they are dormant.


      You're welcome! We have a plant here at work that I stare at every day at lunch. It's on the lunch table...anyway, it's in desperate need of a new pot and fresh dirt. I'm thinking it needs the same treatment on one of my long boring lunches.

  • Emily Emily on Sep 06, 2018

    receptacle and drill holes in it.

  • Elaine Elaine on Sep 07, 2018

    Go to Habitat for Humanity or Salvation Army and see if there are any trash cans, large 50 gallon ones should do the trick though you might have to cut the top. You could drill holes in the sides and put in some rope for handles to lift it onto a dolly. Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart sell Rubbermaid Brute trash cans. I’d probably pick up one of the Brute trash can dolly’s With it as well. It’s a perfect fit, supports the can, has 4 swivel wheels. I know Lowe’s has a $10 off $50 coupon going on right now

  • Lisa Shelley Lisa Shelley on Sep 07, 2018

    Thanks everybody for your help. This was my 1st time doing something like this but y’all have made me remember something My dad taught me as a little girl.

    The only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask


    Thanks again & I’ll be back soon. I have a ton of questions

  • Kathi Cooley Kathi Cooley on Oct 29, 2018

    I'm dealing with this problem myself! I have a red, a pink and a yellow hibiscus plant in 3 different pots. I've always brought them inside, but this year was TOUGH! I don't exactly know how to do this, but I know you can both prune the plants and also pull them out of the pots and prune the roots. I've never pruned roots, but I'm told it helps control the plant growth. That beats finding bigger pots every year!!

  • Sarge Sarge on Oct 29, 2018

    I live in NYC and have two hibiscus plants in my backyard, planted in the ground. They do in fact come back each year and are more beautiful and the flowers are as big, if not bigger, than the previous year.

  • Kathy Rycroft Kathy Rycroft on Oct 29, 2018

    Put wheels on the bottom of whatever you plant them in.

  • Judi Judi on Oct 29, 2018

    I live in Michigan where we have frigid winters & I have 7 hibiscus trees planted in my yard. Every year I enjoy seeing my pink, my purple or my pink & white hibiscus flowers. You could try planting some of the pods or new starts next year & leave them in ground to see if your plants could stay out also. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.



  • Sle10595644 Sle10595644 on Oct 29, 2018

    Build simple square planters. Line with heavy plastic. Look for simple designs online. Most lumber big box stores will cut your pieces for you. You could even use wood pallets which are often free! Paint and coats of polyurethane will do wonders.

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