Wednesday, March 27, 2019

FAQ: What is the advantage of plants in 3-1/4 inch pots over 2-1/2 inch pots?

Asiatic jasmine in 2-1/2 inch pot and 3-1/4 inch pot

Q. What is the advantage of buying plants in 3-1/4 inch pots over 2-1/2 inch pots, or vice versa?

A. The advantage has more to do with your circumstances and choice than with the pot sizes themselves. The better choice is subjective.

I'm including a picture of Asiatic Jasmine - Trachelospermum asiaticum - in a 2-1/2 inch pot (left) and 3-1/4 inch pot (right). Beside the obvious difference in pot size, you see a larger plant and larger root mass in the 3-1/4 inch pot. You should expect that the larger plant will establish itself and spread faster than the smaller one.

But there are other considerations for you: time and money. If you have a lot of area to cover, and your budget is limited, you might do better with plants in 2-1/2 inch containers. Sure, it'll take a little longer to achieve the desired coverage, but you'll have more money left in your pocket.

However, plants in larger containers may be planted farther apart. Then it'll take them a little longer to fill in the space. Soooo, you might end up spending the same if you buy the larger plants, and increase the spacing.

On the other hand, the difference in time to achieve coverage might be negligible, depending upon their actual rate of growth. That depends on many factors: climate, soil, care.

Large plants are more noticeable in the landscape from the get-go. If that matters to you, go with the larger plants.

If I had all the money I wanted, I'd install the larger plants cheek-to-jowl, and get instant coverage. But I don't. So I, as you, would make my decision based upon the present circumstances. What do you have more of? Time or money? How would you compromise?

Dear Reader, I'd like to know what you think. How have you handled these kinds of decisions? Let us know in the Comment section. I'd love to hear from you.

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