Ideas for fillers for the base of flower pots from the ThriftyFun community.
I have used a small pot upside down in some of my bigger planters. I put a smaller pot upside down in the bottom before I fill mine with dirt. If its one that you plan on keeping in the same place, rocks work well and allow for drainage
I have used plastic Easter Eggs. Very lightweight.
You could try some pebbles, which would help with drainage, broken clay pots, crumpled up tin foil, or a couple of tin cans (upside down) would fill up some space.
I've used newspaper before in a pinch.
I have used empty plastic containers (used milk cartons, water bottles) in the past with good results. Just cut the bottles in about 3 pieces, fill the pot up to a third full, then add your potting soil.
Pop bottles with the caps on. Bubble wrap. Common dirt. Store bags. So many of the things we call garbage. I would not use styro peanuts because they have a way of being hard to get out of the dirt when you put the pot away for the winter.
When I fill really big pots, I use empty aluminum pop cans in the bottom. Just place them opening down. They are lightweight, take up a good deal of room, and after can still be recycled. Another thing I use are packing peanuts, but don't just toss them in the bottom of the pot. Pour them into those plastic net bags that oranges, onions, etc, come in and tie them closed. That way, when you repot the plants, it'll be easy to fish the peanuts out. These ideas will make the pots light, so be careful that the wind doesn't blow the plants over.
First, add a simple coffee filter over the drain hole. Then add whatever you have, newspaper will work, but when wet, it will pack down, so allow for that by packing and wetting yourself and not adding too much. You need to know how big your plants will get. If over 24 inches tall, and only one, you can afford to fill the pot with other material. But if more than one or two, I'd use gravel, new charcoal, and find some ordinary soil to use in it, because otherwise you will have good growth until the roots get to the soilless material and likely take a turn for the worst, perhaps even dying. That would be tragic, so I'd add gravel and ordinary soil. Watch for traffic and lusting workers and don't go there alone. You should not need more than two or three shovels full of extra soil, beneath your store bought better soil.
If you plan to leave a clay pot outside in the heat, it will dry out, so watch your watering or mulch with pine needles, cut grass layer, or crushed rock. If overwintering outside, the clay pots will crack with ice. If plastic pots, then they should work, but the drainage is often a problem since they seldom have enough space between bottom and saucer. You could remedy that problem with a few marbles of the same size inside the saucer under the pot, to allow for better drainage. Good luck and God bless you. : )
You can also break up bits of polystyrene packing material - works the same way as the packing peanuts.
You can get two kinds of packing peanut - plastic ones would work in your pots, but the biodegradable corn starch peanuts might not hold up too well.
I always use broken polystyrene or those little bows that come in packaging. The pots aren't as heavy and of coarse you save money by not having to buy as much compost. Hope this helps, Jan, Grantham, UK
Use packing peanuts or break up Styrofoam into small clumps. Don't forget to cover the hole in the bottom with, say, a coffee filter then your packing stuff then your potting soil. Water then add more soil. That should do it.
By GlendaI use styroform. I save it from the stuff I buy (TV's, stereos, appliances, etc), then I break it into smaller pieces. Before I put it in the pot, I first place a piece of newspaper on the bottom to cover the hole. Then, I add the styrofoam one third to half way and fill the rest with potting soil. Not only is it a filler, it weighs nothing!
My sister bought several sizes of the styrofoam cooler containers in various sixes to plant her indoor/outdoor plants. In Tn things can't stay out year round. She said they were lighter in weight than even plastic pots. She carted them around on one of the red wagons which her grand children had outgrown. She started doing this in her 60s and was able to continue some her gardening for a longer time.
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