How To Use Hidden Pots To Create A More Flexible Garden

It's something you might do with your houseplants already. Reminiscent of Russian dolls, your plant is in a pot, but then you put it in another pot. While it might be a style choice on the inside, transfer that same idea to your landscape, and you've found an easy way to change your garden look without getting your hands dirty — at least after that first dig. Simply purchase two pots that are a slightly different size, dig a hole and place the empty pot in the ground. Slip in your potted plant. Easy enough, but there are ways to increase the health of the plants you're working with.

Double potting is just like it sounds: Buy a bigger pot (at least 6 inches wider at the top), ensuring it has a drain hole. Partially fill the initial pot with soil conditioner, then place the second pot inside the bigger one. Next, add soil conditioner until the rim is level with the rim of the larger pot. Fill the space between the two with more soil conditioner.

Pondering pots

While you are doubling your pot usage, no one can see either pot, so don't worry about spending a lot of money. You might even try to grab the plastic pots commonly found at your local nursery or hardware store. These may be free — or close to it. Wholesale Growers Direct sells nursery planters in various sizes for reasonable prices. You can also check out places like Lowes and Home Depot. Be sure to use the same style or family of pot so the plant stays secure and upright. An important reminder: Both pots must have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot, and no one likes to have wet feet!

Once you have your pots, get outside. Dig holes and plant your empty pots, ensuring you keep the rim flush with the ground. You can then start arranging your garden by inserting your plants. It's easy to quickly make adjustments based on height, color and light requirements.

Switch it up

The beauty of this hack is that it makes rearranging your garden so simple — be it for the season, weather, or you just want a new color palette. Even in a limited amount, annual plants are a good choice for double potting. Their quick and prolific brightness can be enjoyed and then replaced with another annual that's in peak performance. Mixing these flowers with sturdier, reliable perennials is a smart way to boost garden color and introduce height and interest for a longer season. This snug place in the ground can also mean less watering than a potted plant that sits above the soil. Plus, the plant will be more protected from strong winds when it's safe in the ground.

It's also a great option if you have houseplants that can tolerate an outdoor vacation when the weather is right. Just be sure to ease the transition when you bring your plants inside. Spider plants, inch plants, pothos, and bromeliads are a few houseplants for the garden that appreciate a change of scenery. This is a great way to keep your favorite plants healthy while reducing your landscaping budget.