Understand Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio | Do Smart Gardening

As a gardener, you always wonder whether this pot is good for my plant or not? What should be Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio in Smart Gardening? Here, we are addressing your every question comprehensively. This article is not only historic but also a myth-buster. So, if you grow plants in pots, read everything carefully as every word is important here!

Does pot size matter when you grow plants? Yes, it definitely does!

  • Did You Know? According to a study, plants can grow 43 percent more when you double the size of pots.

But to increase a plant’s growth, you have to play smartly with pot size. Don’t just start buying big pots now because we are now going to tell you how to select different pot sizes and do what a smart gardener does. To know what he does, read the article thoroughly!

The Smart Transition from Smaller to Bigger Pots

Always start with small pots if you are growing seedlings. Then after some time, transplant them into a larger pot and then into the garden/ground. The process is also the same in plant cuttings as well.

But why do we follow this chain?
Several factors force us to follow this procedure:

Small Pots are liked by Roots of Seedlings

A small pot means the soil in it is in less quantity. Although this is detrimental for adult plants, it could prove to be a blessing for seedlings. Why? Because seedling roots are not as tolerant as adult plant roots. When you water the pot, the soil will dry out quickly in the small pots than in large pots. Thus, pores will be free from water with quick-drying and the roots of seedlings will receive more oxygen than needed.

Moreover, if you grow seedlings in a larger pot, then watering will choke out the roots. Seedlings will have to deal with water for a long time which could prove to be harmful. Furthermore, due to the medium (soil) staying wet, it could also become a hostile environment for the seedlings. So, chose small pots for the initial stage.

Seedlings’ Vegetative Growth will be Affected in a Bigger Pot

If you put a seedling in a bigger pot, it will focus more on root growth than foliage production. Hence, plants will have fewer branches and leaves. This means that photosynthesis will be compromised and plants will eventually have stunted growth. So, the myth that smaller pots are not useful is false.

  • But small pots are liked only for a small period of time. After the initial stage, you start seeing its disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Small pots

Using a small pot is not a win-win situation as it has many disadvantages in gardening as well. Small pots may be beneficial during the seedling growth stage. But after that, you have to transfer your plant into a bigger Pot. If you don’t then follow things will happen:

Roots won’t grow properly

Root growth is the first basic step in the development of plants. As a pot will be smaller, roots won’t have any place to further grow after reaching the end of the pot. So, root growth will stop which could lead to halting in the plant growth as well.

Less Availability of Nutrients

As soil quantity will be less in the pots, that is why there won’t be many nutrients available, Contrarily, in bigger pots, you will have more soil which means there will be more nutrients available. To remedy this nutrient deficiency, small pot plant owners add mineral fertilizers in the pot. It leads to Nute burn most of the time. Thus, if you want to grow your plants in the pots, go for the bigger sizes!

Less growth of vegetative parts

As nutrients will be less and root growth will be improper in small pots, plants won’t produce many leaves. Leaves are one of the most important parts of plants as they do Food manufacturing. Photosynthesis occurs in leaves in which glucose is formed which is utilized by the whole plant to grow. Without photosynthesis, plants won’t grow fruits and flowers as well.

Moreover, plants will also produce fewer branches. Fewer branches mean less flower and fruit production. Thus, the overall yield and the end product will be low as well. That is why prefer bigger pots for better yield.

What is Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio
Pots sizes determine plant structure as well. So check the Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio before buying.

How to Measure Pot Size for Plants

Want to know how we measure the pot size? Well, we measure it by Pot diameter x total height of the plant. Diameter and height are measured in both inches and cm.

Pots come in different sizes and also in different shapes as well. Pots can be rectangular, square, V shape, etc. Use a tape for measurement of the sizes. Start from one point horizontally to the other and note the reading. Then go up and measure the length. Note both the diameter and length of the pot and put a tag of that measurement on that pot.

Another measurement we use in the bigger pots or containers is “Volume”. Volume means the amount of water the pot or container can hold (We have made a table for your better understanding in the tree pot section).

Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio | Plant Container Size Guide

If you want to buy a plant container, then look for two things:

  • Is Drainage be a problem with this pot?
  • Are your roots comfortable with Container size?

Drainage in Plant Container

An indoor plant will likely die from over-watering than water stress. When selecting a container, buy those who have a “drainage system.” No, by drainage system we don’t mean pipes or anything fancy. We mean the container must have a hole at the bottom. Why is this necessary? The excess water will drain out from the bottom hole to prevent any water-logging and water-choking. Water chocking occurs when water remains in the soil for a longer period of time. During this phase, all those air spaces which plants use to get air will be closed due to water presence. Thus plants start to suffocate and eventually die.

Moreover, some pots have plugs as well which you can remove while watering and then put back after you are finished. However, this plug system is recommended in smaller ports as larger pots are difficult to lift.

Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio
Take care of your plants in a pot regularly.

Container Size: The Pinnacle of Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio

The second thing in the plant container size guide is the size of the container. You should buy a container of the ideal size. What is an ideal size of a container in growing plants properly? An ideal size container will allow root development and is also easy to move and re-locate. It should not be too big which would make it difficult to carry.

Ideally, your container must be half the size of your plant. For instance, if your plant height is 20 inches, then you should have a container of 10 inches. Similarly, the pot size for a 3-foot plant will be 1.5 feet. This is the Plant height to pot size ratio So, what are you waiting for, measure your plant height, gather your plant container now and start growing something?

Moreover, the wide container does not cause soil to clamp. So, the soil will have free air spaces for air transportation.

Tree Pot Size Guide

After knowing the Plant Height to Pot Size Ratio, now it’s time to move on from details on plants and discuss trees. You cannot grow trees in containers until you get the full information about them. Trees of smaller height require pots with less volume capacity and height. However, 107-liter pots are ideal for shrub-type trees.

The smallest post you can use to grow a tree is 26 cm and the pot size (in kiter) is 10L. Its diameter is 27cm. Check out the size range:

Pot Volume in Liter (L)Tree Pot size (in cm)Tree Pot Height(in cm)
Tree Pot Size Guide
  • >170L pot are bought for outdoor plants to show off.
  • 107 L can be put on balcony and roof terraces.
  • Less than 80L pots are used as a decorative piece.

How to Add Height to Container Garden

This point is another aspect of the Plant height to pot size ratio question. If you want to increase the plant height, then first analyze how much soil your plant needs. it means that whether the roots of that plant will grow adequately in less quantity of medium or not.

If the root space is more, then you can add material at the bottom of the pot first. After that, add soil and then do transplanting to increase Plant height. The material you will ad must have the following characteristics:

  • It won’t decompose.
  • It won’t add any chemical into the soil.
  • It won’t break down.

Rocks, broken bricks, gravel, broken ceramic pots, etc all can be used to fill the bottom. Moreover, you can also use various bags and cans as well for this purpose. We know that plastic won’t decompose, or add any chemical to the soil. So, you can also use plastic water bottles, plastic milk jugs, and plastic soda pop bottles to fill the pot as well.

Why do people prefer more plant height? People prefer it because when you increase the height, more sunlight will fall on lower leaves and branches. This will lead to more photosynthesis production and also more yield.

The Bottom Line

All-inclusive, choosing the right pot is key for growing plants. Keeping in view the Plant height to pot size ratio, choose pots that have a drainage system as well. Moreover, for trees, there are a variety of sizes available. Don’t just go out and start buying pots. Read the requirements and recommendations about pot sizes. We suggest you follow what has been recommended so that you will succeed in growing a plant in a pot. Also, do comment about your experience if you are already growing plants in the pots!


Does the size of the pot affect plant height?

Oh yes, the size of the pot affects plant height. Always consider the Plant height to pot size ratio in gardening. If you grow in a smaller pot, then the leaves won’t grow after a certain limit. Moreover, smaller pots have less soil. As soil contains nutrients and the soil is less in the smaller pots, that is why plants grown in the smaller pots are short.

When it comes to the larger pots, you can add more soil (having important nutrients) in the pots than the smaller pots. Moreover, plants get more than enough water to grow. That is how the size of the pot affects plant height.

How do I pick the right size pot for my plant?

By determining the Plant height to pot size ratio, you can choose the right pot. You get pots half the height of their plants. For example, if the height of the plant is 30 inches, then your pot will be 15 inches.

How big is too big of a pot for a plant?

Your pot will be half the size of your plant. If your pot is larger than that half size, then there will be complications. First of all, such pot is difficult to lift and relocate. Secondly, a larger pot means there are chances of overwatering. Like we have discussed above, watering fills up the air pores of the sand. This does not let the air go towards the roots. As a result, plants start to die slowly. So, don’t be greedy and purchase the pot which suits your plant.

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I am a graduate in Agriculture Sciences and have been doing gardening for over 7 years. I am also a professional and certified Article & Blog Writer. I am happy to share my years of experience in gardening with all of you through my writings. In addition to this, I do extensive research on every topic to enrich readers with valuable knowledge.