Can Plants be Left in the Container It Came in? Here’s Why

Can Plants be Left in the Container It Came in? Here’s Why

A plant typically comes in a small pot when purchased. It can remain there for a while before needing to be repotted. To know when to repot before the plant becomes stressed, there are signs to watch for.

Plants can stay in their original container for 2 to 4 months. Larger kinds of plants, however, will require repotting much more quickly than smaller species. To avoid plant stress and root disease, repotting should be done as soon as the plant starts to exhibit signs of being rootbound.

I’ve discovered that repotting a plant a week after purchase pays off. One of the reasons is that it allows the plant ample time to adapt to your home’s environment.

Second, the plant grows more quickly and vibrantly following repotting. Consequently, you now possess a bigger and healthier plant.

I use a specifically formulated Miracle Grow potting mix from Amazon when repotting my plants, and it helps them flourish for a long time. Clicking here will take you there.

Can You Leave plants in their Nursery pot?

Can You Leave plants in their Nursery pot?

The amount of time a plant can remain in its pot after being purchased from a nursery primarily depends on three factors:

the plant species, the potting mix, and the container.

1. Container size 

In nurseries, containers are frequently much too tiny for the plants they contain. This is due to the fact that, regardless of the plant’s species or rate of development, doing so will be terrible for business.

Larger pots require more soil and fertilizer, which increases the nursery’s costs.

The plants can therefore be kept in smaller pots for a lengthy period of time before being sold, which is economically possible.

For this reason, I do advise repotting a plant a week after you buy it from the nursery.

When repotting, add a touch of modern design to your house with this selection of lovely planters from Amazon that are reasonably priced.

2. Potting Mix

When propagating plants for nurseries on a large scale, potting soil can be pricey.

They frequently create their own blend to enable the plant to remain in the container for an extended amount of time before being sold.

Before deciding to keep your plant in the nursery container, I do advise that you keep an eye on its growth.

We frequently believe that we need to repot recently purchased plants into a larger pot loaded with fresh soil and fertilizer. But what if we told you that repotting your plant right away can potentially harm it?

3. Plant Species

Different plant species will develop at varying rates. In the same amount of time, a larger species of plant will typically outgrow its container considerably more quickly than a smaller variety.

Therefore, it may be important to pay attention to the type of plant you have bought and what is expected of it over a given length of time.

Therefore, it is often recommended that larger plant species be repotted before smaller plant species.

This will stop rootbound symptoms and any other plant diseases brought on by compressed roots.

Repotting Plants From Nursery:

Ordinary houseplants, indoor foliage plants, and decorative plants can be kept in their original containers for two to four months.

All of these plant varieties typically come in plastic containers with drainage holes on the bottom, and they are all planted in light potting soil with excellent drainage.

In order for it to last for a long period in the pot before being sold, slow-release fertilizer is also added.

Have those yellow or green soil balls ever caught your attention and made you wonder what they were? Osmocote, a slow-release fertilizer, is what it is. For maintaining plant health for extended periods of time, it actually works great.

Click here to visit Amazon to find it.

A thorough article on soil’s yellow balls can be found here.

When it is unnecessary, repotting plants into new containers can cause rapid plant death.

There is no need to repot fresh plants because the soil used in nurseries is in perfect condition, and the plants have already been nourished heavily to ensure optimum growth and shelf life.

Therefore, no more fertilizer or nutrients are required to be added to the pot.

For at least four months, plants can be left unattended. The best technique is to only repot them when their roots begin to get entangled.

Depending on how quickly the plant you purchased is growing, fertilizing should only be done once to four times per year.

How Long Can It Take For Plants To Become Rootbound?

A plant may take up to 4 months before exhibiting symptoms of being rootbound. Plants can develop in their original pot until their roots start to show. The plant should be potted up at this time to avoid nutrient deficits and other plant ailments.

When a plant is said to be “rootbound,” it means that its roots have expanded to the point where they dominate the available area in the pot and form a dense web of roots.

When taken out, the roots hold the dirt in place while preserving the pot’s shape.

All plants, including fruits, vegetables, and flowers, require enough room for their roots to develop properly. As a result, if the plant’s container is too tiny, the plant may not have enough room for the growth of its roots.

The roots will become trapped in the container if they are not given the space they require. This circumstance is referred to as “rootbound.”

The top and bottom of the pot as well as the roots themselves may also begin to show. This is due to the fact that as a plant becomes bigger, its roots spread out in quest of water and nutrients.

Since each plant matures at its own rate, there is no set period of time for when a plant will become root-bound.

Some plants can spend up to a year in the same pot, while others can become root-bound in just a month. Annual plants, like tomatoes, don’t experience the same issues that something like a tree or shrub do.

List of Plants that Like and Don’t like Being Root Bound

Potentially Left Root Boundnot possible to left root bound
Calm LilyThe delicious monstera
Insect PlantGem of Zanzibar
Viper PlantLaceleaf
Plant of JadeFig Weeping
HoyaLeuconeura Maranta
‘Ole Vera’
Bermuda Ferns

How To Determine If a Plant is Rootbound?

One cannot easily determine whether a plant is rootbound or not from visible signs. The rootbound plant exhibits symptoms that are comparable to those of plants under low water stress.

Plant pots in the root-bound condition nearly overflow with roots. There isn’t much room for the roots to spread out when a plant is being grown in a pot or other container, which is why that occurs.

As a result, the plant’s roots spread out over time and eventually contact the pot’s side. The roots spiral around the pot as they descend. As a result, roots start to fill the pot.

At first glance, this is okay. However, as time passes, your plant will begin to develop more slowly, requiring more water.

These are the first two symptoms of a root-bound plant. Another indication is when the roots occasionally begin to slink out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot in search of additional space.

Brown or yellow leaves could also be symptoms. You might see some dead leaves at the base of plants with restricted root growth.

Therefore, if you see any of these symptoms in one of your plants, you should remove it from its small container and place it in a larger one.

You can simply remove the plant from the container and observe the state of the roots to determine with more certainty if your plant is rootbound or not.

You will have trouble removing the rootbound plant from the container if the roots are wound around one another.

When a plant’s rootbound condition is bad enough, the pressure from the roots will cause the container to shatter.

NOTE: Make sure the pots’ drainage holes are checked before buying new plants for your garden. The plant is rootbound if the roots are emerging from the hole.

How To Safely Re-pot The Plant?

The soil will eventually wash out of the pot’s bottom over time. A plant that is actively growing could end up with a pot full of roots and little soil if it is left in the same container for a number of years, giving the impression that the plant is “eating up” the soil.

An outline of the safe repotting procedures is given below:

Acquire potting soil. Keep in mind whether you are repotting an outdoor plant or an interior container plant.

A recommendation from us

Remove the plant from its previous container and, while being careful not to damage the roots, use a spoon or chopstick to knock out as much of the previous soil as you can from the roots. Since this is messy, if you can, do it outside.

It can be dispersed outside in your garden. Pull out any roots that are wrinkly and constricted and come off when you do so. You would be better off removing these old, rotten roots.

It’s crucial to gently remove any compacted soil in the core of the root ball while taking care to limit damage to the roots. Remove the clumps because roots cannot breathe in compacted soil.

It’s time to compare the root ball’s size to the size of your pot now that you’ve cleaned it off.

Place the plant in a pot that is 2 inches bigger than the container it was in. Get a new pot with an inch of space around the root ball if the roots were filling the old one. Use a pot that has a bottom drain hole that is open.

The top of the root ball of your plant should rest slightly below the rim of the new pot. To get a sense of the proper height, hold it over the rim of the empty pot. Start adding dirt with a spoon while you are holding it in place.

Use your spoon to fill in the spaces between the roots and the plant’s center as the soil begins to cover the roots.

Fill in every gap so that all of the roots come into contact with the soil. To remove air pockets from the soil, you can lightly press it down with a spoon, but don’t pack it. There must be airflow for the roots.

Water the plant sparingly. For about a week, keep the plant out of the direct sun. Wait until the earth has dry before watering it once more.

To avoid transplant shock, let the plant rest for one or two days before transplanting it.

The Takeaway

Before they require repotting, plants can remain in the pot they were originally placed in for a while. Fertilizer is fed to nursery plants to extend their shelf life.

The nursery will have ample time to sell the plant before it needs to be replanted as a result.

Once the plant begins to show signs of being rootbound, such as roots extending beyond the pot, repotting can be done.

Therefore, you may have up to 4 months to decide whether to repot a plant you purchase from a nursery the following time.


Can you leave a plant in the container it came in?

Plants can stay in their original container for 2 to 4 months. Larger kinds of plants, however, will require repotting much more quickly than smaller species. To avoid plant stress and root disease, repotting should be done as soon as the plant starts to exhibit signs of being rootbound.

Do you need to repot plants after you buy them?

Repot your new houseplant as soon as you get it if you’re adamant on doing so. The likelihood is high that you do not yet need to repot your plant if you have had it for less than a year. Some plants can survive for up to 18 months or more without needing a new pot.

How long can I leave plants in pots before planting?

If you can protect the roots from drying out, you can put off planting for up to two or three weeks. However, if the delay lasts for more than a week, you should think about adding more damp paper to the bare-root tree roots in order to give appropriate moisture for extended storage.

Can you leave plants in the pots they come in?

Ordinary houseplants, such as attractive foliage plants and indoor plants, should often be kept in their original containers. They often arrive in lightweight potting mixtures that allow for good drainage and come in plastic grow pots with drainage holes in the bottom.