The Pottery Post Blog

All About Re-potting Part 2

If you didn't read the blog entry on Part 1 it is in the entry shown below.....


When it comes to re-potting a garden container there are many things to consider.  So far we have covered the roots and what to look for.  Now we want to talk a little about choosing a new container and techniques to use.


If the main reason for re-potting the plant is you need to increase the size by giving it more room than you have to select a planter that is larger.  How much larger - well it's best to choose one that is just a few inches larger.  If it is near the same size, there is no point and if it is too large then not only will the plant look undersized and funny but it could be over watered and grow to fast.  Make sure the style of pot is similar so you won't have to cut the root ball to much to make it fit.

The hardest part of re-potting a plant is to just get it out of the current pot that it is already in.  If the root ball is a tangled mess than this could create quite a chore.  Don't pull on the plant but turn the pot over on it's side, tap the rim and try to slid the plant out carefully.  It is best of the root ball is dry instead of wet.  The weight will be much less.  Just be careful that you don't chip or crack the planter.


Take the new - larger - pot and add some fresh soil to the bottom.  Drop the root ball into the center.  Make sure the height is correct and then fill the sides in with more fresh soil.  Tamp down and keep going.
The main thing to remember is that you are working on a live plant with a live root system.  So be careful, cautious and gentle.

Post Last Updated: 1/5/2017 8:42:08 AM 

All About Re-Potting Part 1

Re-potting really is easy to do and no big deal at all.  The main idea is to recognize when a pot has become root bound and needs to be re-potted. Then deciding on when is the best time to do the re-potting so that your plants will experience the least amount of distress as possible.

If you see lots of roots coming out through the drain hole of the pot, or matted large roots surrounding the surface of the pot - YOUR PLANT is in distress!  If you slip the plant out of the pot and the bottom is all matted and root bound - IT IS TIME TO RE-POT!


Sometimes the flowers look bad, the soil looks dry, the leaves are stunned and even dropping off.  You may of waited to long to re-pot so don't wait for these signs to get going on moving these plants.  Plants give off these distress signals because they can no longer get enough moisture or nutrients from the soil through their root systems.

Anything in a potted container should be checked regularly.  The most accurate way to do this is to slip the plant out of the pot and visually examine the roots.


When it comes to any flowers or plants that you may of started from seeds, you will have to check their roots frequently.  Keep moving them to larger containers every month or so until they reach their final destination pot.

Some permanent plants like trees, shrubs etc, may need to be re-potted every couple of years.  They become root bound and can experience distress just like the smaller plant materials like flowers and vines.


It is always best to re-pot all plants when they are dormant.  This will help with the distress levels they will experience from being moved.  Its is as simple as remembering to re-pot spring blooming permanent plants in fall and evergreens in spring or fall.

Our next blog entry will take this discussion further.  Choosing a new container and re-potting tips will be featured.

Post Last Updated: 1/5/2017 8:48:33 AM 

Re-potting Plants

1.  One to two days before re-potting, water the plant well - the roots can actually break off if you remove the plant when the soil is dry.  Ask the sales person at the nursery which potting soil is best for your plant, since it may require a special blend.  choose a new terra cotta or ceramic pot that is 2" larger in diameter than the current one.
This isn't the time to be modest.  Get a nice planter that is large enough so your don't find yourself re-planting the same plant next season

2.  If your pot does not have drainage holes, carefully drill two or three in the bottom using a power drill.  Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot, covering the holes, to keep the soil from washing out while still allowing water to drain.  Fill the container with a couple of inches of soil.  Better yet, us the Pot filler that we sell at Arizona Pottery.  It is made of recycled materials, lets excess water out and keeps soil in place.  Click here for more information.

3.  Turn the potted plant upside down, holding one hand on the pot's bottom and the other palm on the soil with the plant stem between your fingers.  Pull off the pot while wiggling the plant down into your hand.  Check the roots; if they look tightly wound or are growing in a circular pattern, gently loosen them.  Clip black roots, which may be rotten.

4.  Place the plant in the middle of the new container and check to see that the soil line will be about 1" below the pot rim.  If the plant is sitting too low, pull it out and add more soil to the bottom until you get the correct level.  Add soil to the sides to fill, gently patting as you go, until the soil reaches the plant's existing soil line.  Water well.

Post Last Updated: 1/5/2017 4:56:32 PM 

Olla Clay Pot Watering Pots


   Many years ago Spanish settlers brought to the American Southwest the fruits of their homeland, and with them, the ancient practice of clay pot irrigation.  These pots, called "ollas" were soon recognized by the indigenous people of the Southwest for their water conserving qualities and adopted into native gardens.  By combining the design of native produce and traditional styles with the age old practice of clay pot irrigation,   Agua de Vida is preserving our rich heritage.


     Over time, modern systems were adopted, but these modern systems are not as efficient as irrigation by seepage by buried ollas.  Modern systems, even surface drip irrigation systems loose more water to evaporation and are more likely to clog than this olla system.  When they are used properly, plant roots will proliferate around the moist clay jar, intercepting water before it can move through the soil by capillary action.  This water intercepted by roots will then be used in the plant transpiration stream.  The results are 100% of applied irrigation water being absorbed by the plants.


     Our future is tied to the availability of water.  Recognizing this fact, many cities within the United States have recently placed strict regulations on private and commercial water usage in attempts to slow the depletion of our limited water sources.  Ollas put water where the plants need ti most-at the roots, virtually eliminating evaporation, ollas are one of the most efficient ways of irrigation.  Discovering new ways of saving out water has never been more critical.

Conserving our water means conserving our future.



Containers application:
  Bury Olla halfway in center of pot.  Place plants requiring the most water against the olla, low water plants towards the edges of the container.  Additional surface water may be needed to establish new plants.  Once plants are established, the olla should be refilled regularly based on the moisture content of the soil, NOT on the amount of water in the olla.  To minimize evaporation, cap the olla with a stopper or saucer.  Watering times will vary based on olla size, soil type, & application.


Ground application:  Although ollas can be used in flat ground, it is not recommended.  If you choose to do so, follow the same directions for containers.


Mound application:  One of the most efficient means is within a mound or raised bed.  Because the olla irrigates from the inside out, a mound maximizes the planting area and assures that the maximum amount of applied water goes directly to the plant roots.  Mounds can be shaped to accommodate multiple ollas.

We sell these Ollas, click here to see more.

Post Last Updated: 1/11/2017 10:32:00 AM 

 Comments (12) Last comment made 
4/18/2016 8:17:40 AM 
pam 4/18/2016 8:17:40 AM 
Lois, I don't know anyplace in WA where you can buy the ollas. WE do sell them online and ship all over the US.

Lois Maass 4/15/2016 7:31:53 PM 
I live in Washington . Is there a store in Washington where I can buy Ollas

DAVID QUASS 3/3/2015 1:07:25 PM 

pam 10/31/2014 9:54:25 AM 
Cora, Thanks for contacting us. We do not have a retail store but ship the ollas across the US. I am sorry but I don''t have the name of a local person for you to visit.

Cora Bucana 10/31/2014 4:48:21 AM 
I live in New Mexico and I am interested in ollas. Please give me directions to your store. thank you

Kent 8/6/2014 3:01:25 PM 
Looking for a source of Olla pots

pam 7/24/2012 4:17:03 PM 
mercedes - i am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. i wasn't notified that your comment was made. anyway, unfortunately we only carry the two styles even thought they come in different types. the bottle and the pumpkin are all that we carry in the different sizes.

mercedes 7/9/2012 2:18:49 AM 
can you please post pictures of each "olla" type/model/size, as well as their approximate dimensions? this information is not displayed on the purchasing page, and the unlabelled pictures posted there show these pieces as having quite a number of shapes and sizes. some of them, for example, have longer and wider necks, others shorter and narrower. another piece looks like an elongated squash, not like a bottle or pumpkin. it would be nice to know what each type/model/size looks like and its dimensions before ordering.

mori kimmel 5/16/2012 9:02:41 AM 
hello, i am interested in purchasing some ollas to use in wine crates that have herbs in them. how many ollas would you recommend in a crate - and which size? thank you! mori

pam 5/4/2012 2:26:24 PM 
darlene, these don't have a drain hole. the water does seep through the clay. we sell alot of them and people really like them so if you try one - please let us know what you think. thanks

darlene 4/29/2012 3:22:16 PM 
pictures will not enlarge. how many holes are in the ollas for the water to get out or does the water just seep out through the clay?

tayten 1/7/2012 12:55:57 PM 
i actually found this more entertaining.

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