How to Switch Out Plants Instantly

With the pot-in-pot method, you can switch plants almost instantly. Photo: floridafriendlyplants

In general, when you garden, you want to grow plants the most permanent way possible. If not forever, at least for the entire gardening season. But sometimes there are good reasons you’d want to change plants more frequently. If so, you might find the pot-in-pot planting method very useful.

It’s as simple as inserting pots of an appropriate size into the ground early in the season, right up to their rim. Now insert a plant, pot and all, into the nearly buried empty pot. When the first plant starts to go downhill, you can now lift it out and replace it in a few seconds with a new potted plant. It’s that simple.

You might want to use this technique to ensure non-stop bloom in a spot that is too shady (just keep a few replacement pots coming along in a sunnier area) or to switch out fading tulips or daffodils with summer annuals… then to remove the annuals in the fall so you can put the pots of bulbs back into place for the winter.

I like to put my houseplants outside for the summer and can then simply drop them into the empty pot: that way they stand up to the fiercest wind!

Sometimes, gardening can be so simple!


Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

3 comments on “The Pot-in-pot Method

  1. Pingback: 10 Fresh Gardening Ideas From Experts | ForGardening


    Where can I buy this pot in pot system? Or did you just buy your own different sized pots?
    I can receive info by text at 630 712 1743 Thank you Margaret B

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