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Any ideas how I can stop my pot plants getting too wet?
Around my garden, I have many plants in large heavy pots whose roots don't appreciate the high amount of rain that we are getting week after week. Although they are in a "well drained" soil mix, they are still staying too damp for too long.
I'm trying to find something (rigid?) to shape into covers that could be placed around the bases of plants (to drain rain away over the side edges of a pot?) to keep the worst of the rain out of their soil. Then I could remove the covers when dry weather returns.



Pot feet cost less than £1 each - you will need at least 3, prob 4. That will help drainage a lot. Placing the pots over gravel will also help. A clear plastic bag around the pot top around the plant would work but look inelegant.

16 Jul, 2012


all mine are on pot feet,or stood on gravel,Longleaf,so good advice from Kildermorie..but it can be difficult if your pots are too heavy for you to lift or move...o I did move some of mine in the shelter of the house for a while,and smaller ones in the plastic growhouse..just to try and drain them a may have to resort to covering them,if there is no other way for you...

16 Jul, 2012


Just looked at some of your garden photos - lovely garden you have longleaf. You can buy glazed plant feet for maybe a £1 more, they will last longer than unglazed terracotta and lend to an oriental theme as they are often 'oriental' in style and in colours.

You might want to check the drainage holes in the pots, if you can, as they can fill up and compact over time quite quickly. Poke them them with a bamboo stick to help with the drainage or as Bloomer said, shift them to a sheltered spot till they dry out more.

16 Jul, 2012


Thank you for your comments.
My pots are on gravel and I have checked that the drainage holes are clear.
The excess wet is just in the actual soil mix. When planting, I had to use a partial amount of moisture- retentive mix to prevent plants drying out too quickly.
It has worked fine in previous years, but the plants have never before had so much rain for so long.
I did move some of them temporarily under cover (that is usually only done in winter and spring) - but then put them out again when the sun came. It is hard work, so I'd like to find a way to just keep the worst of the rain out of their soil whilst they're outside.

16 Jul, 2012


I have just found your photos, Longleaf. Your garden looks fascinating! How has it fared during the rain? From your question, obviously the pots have not enjoyed it. I have a lot of pots - mainly with annuals, but it is true that one is usually more concerned about the possibility of them drying out, and not expecting them to get too wet. This year, even the baskets have stayed damp - just about the first time ever in my experience.

16 Jul, 2012


Following your Idea of "something rigid". Would those veterinary collars fit the bill ? they come in a few sizes and are adjustable.

16 Jul, 2012


You need some umbrellas to make them look like cocktails!!

16 Jul, 2012


I know what you mean about the water retaining gel crystals..and we are all advised to add them to our compost. ..I always add them,but on hindsight..not good this year..I can't even give mine a liquid way would they take more water !..just bought some of those in tablet form,and shoved them down in the pots ..

16 Jul, 2012


For the first time in my 24 years as a plant nurseryman I'm getting problems with excessively wet pots which has caused some losses. I had a hundred gorgeous tradescantias and I noticed today they're all looking very sick.

I've put them in a cold frame with a lid propped open at 3o degrees to give them plenty of light/air but keep the rain off. I hope they'll recover

16 Jul, 2012


Good idea,Anchorman..I did that with some of mine too..just so much more hassle isn't it,when we should be able to leave them outside...I think I will be doing less pots next year...famous last words! :o)

16 Jul, 2012


I'm getting towards the end of my selling season so mainly have next years stock on my nursery. I wish I had a couple more large( 12 by 3 feet ) coldframes to hand. I'd put lots more undercover. ( each frame holds nearly 1000 small pots )

There are some batches of recently divided plants in 7cm pots which don't look as fresh as they should and i'm fairly certain it is the excessive wet.

16 Jul, 2012


Maybe gently work a steel rod into the soil in a number of places, and fill the holes with grit? It works well for some plants that don't appreciate our "adobe" clay soil, here.

16 Jul, 2012


Just come across this question (interested in Longleaf's answer to a current ID question)
What a wet year that must have been - quite a contrast to this summer. What a land of contrasts we live in!

2 Aug, 2018

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