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Maybe a stupid question, but does anyone else have trouble growing things in tiny pots? I don't know if it's just a coincidence, or the kinds of plants I've tried... but it seems like I can get things to grow in pots with a 4" diameter just fine... but everything I've tried in my smallest pot (with a 3" diameter and a little under 2.5" depth) has failed to thrive. The things I've put in it have come from little 2" starters.

Do pots this small just not work, even for little succulents? It's such a cute little ceramic pot with a drainage hole, I'd hate to give up on it...

Maybe a stupid question, but does anyone else have trouble growing things in tiny pots? I don't know if it's just a coincidence, or the kinds of plants I've tried... but it seems like I can get things to grow in pots with a 4" diameter just fine... but everything I've tried in my smallest pot (with a 3" diameter and a little under 2.5" depth) has failed to thrive. The things I've put in it have come from little 2" starters. Do pots this small just not work, even for little succulents? It's such a cute little ceramic pot with a drainage hole, I'd hate to give up on it...

17 comments

[–] Nasrin 7 points (+7|-0)
  1. Your title is amazing and deserves much upvoting! Thank you for embracing the double entendre of Gardening.
  2. Size does matter when growing and especially potting up but usually more for plants with more extensive root systems than say, succulents. Starters usually need a bigger pot, the small pot is best for when they're first growing / germinating / recently propagated and need to flesh out their root systems.

That being said things like lithops or other spreading succulent tend to like a bigger but shallow dish type pot.

What are you trying specifically to grow?

[–] SilkySquid [OP] 2 points (+2|-0)

Currently I have dragon's blood stonecrop hanging by a thread in there. Before that was a baby toes succulent... I don't remember exactly before that one (the baby toes and all others have been so short-lived). The dragon's blood has actually lasted a year technically alive but it looks awful and has slowly been getting worse from the start. Maybe a light issue? (It's in my brightest window, however... I wouldn't think that's it.) I like plants but I have so much trouble getting them to thrive. :)

[–] Nasrin 3 points (+3|-0)

It can be light, water, soil. I personally am only good with trailing succulents like:

String of banana, pearl, turtle or the burro tail so please keep that in mind and if someone better with succulent can chime in with their advice over all go with it over mine but...

Commonly sold succulents need generally nutrient poor well draining soil and steady temperatures that skew to warmer like 80F / 26C and generally don't tolerate lower than 75 / 23 for extended periods though they can handle drastic drops like their normal night time temperatures.

Light and duration of light is important. If you aren't getting steady direct light that is lightly filtered (so in the window/ a doorway) for the majority of the day they won't thrive and slowly taper away.

Small pots usually mean more watering but, with well draining soil once every two weeks is often great if you soak them and let them drain. Most succulents do not do well if you water them directly, treat like a fern and water around not on the plant. If they're puffy and full they do not need water, hold off three more days or so then soak.

I hope this helps you!

[–] SilkySquid [OP] 2 points (+2|-0)

Thank you for all the info! Your plants always look so impressive in the photos you share... I hope to eventually learn enough get all the plants I have to that quality. :)

Well, I keep my house at 72F always, so it looks like that's not great from the start! I don't have a bunch of other succulents, but the ones I do have are sitting right next to it and are some of my healthiest plants (kalanchoe panamensis and a jade). Maybe at this point I should experiment by putting it in a larger pot and if it doesn't start to recover there... I'll just have to give up on the plant because it can't thrive in my house.