How Long Can you Leave Plants in Nursery Pots?

When buying plants from nurseries and plant stores, the plants frequently arrive in plant pots that are intended to contain the plants until they are sold. Frequently, we have to leave our newly acquired gems in their original pots for a while before repotting them once we get home.

Plants in Nursery Pots

Depending on the container, the potting soil, and the plant, you may be able to leave plants in nursery pots. Because the nursery pot has a soil mix with maximum nutrients, drainage, and aeration to support the plant as it grows, plants from the nursery can be left in the container for up to six (6) months.

The total amount of time a plant can stay in its original pot varies depending on factors such as the container size, soil nutrients, and the type of plant. Although most plants can stay in their original pot for a long time.

In this post, we’ll go over each of these elements in more detail, as well as how to securely re-pot the plant when the time comes.

Plant Shop Turnover and the Time plants Spend in the potter.

The plants in a plant store are there to be sold to people like you who might become customers.

Like any other business, a plant shop has a turnover period for the merchandise that is being sold. It is the plants in this instance.

Different plants will have different levels of turnover. indicating that they will sell significantly more quickly than others.

What does this mean to you specifically, and what are the advantages? For starters, the plant will come in a specific size and in a container or planter that matches when it is delivered from the supplier to the plant shop.

After that, the plants are stocked and offered for sale to clients. It still has time to be sold before it grows too large and requires repotting.

The chance of the plant being rootbound increases if it is kept on the shelf for an extended period of time. Rootbound plants are less attractive to potential buyers and less likely to be sold.

Despite the fact that plants will grow larger with time and as is common knowledge, larger plants will command a greater price. The plant shop now needs to repot the plant because the chance of it becoming rootbound becomes a problem and could cause it to die.

The plant will sell more quickly if its turnover is larger. This provides you, the new owner of the plant, some time to keep it in the original pot until it can be repotted into a bigger one.

Depending on their popularity, plants often spend 2 weeks to 4 months in the plant shop.

Plants that like to be Rootbound (Allows for more time)

Consider whether you may leave the plants in the container to get rootbound if you bought them from a nursery. Only if the plant enjoys being rootbound should this method be taken into account.

What does rootbound mean?

When a plant is rootbound, its roots create a compact, tangled mass that provides little or no room for additional growth. These plants naturally have a propensity to develop swirling masses of roots that encircle them, making them root-bound.

Plant stores won’t sell a root-bound plant unless you specifically request it.

This implies that after the plant is purchased, you will have some time to enjoy it in the nursery container before repotting.

See our article on how long plants can be kept in their original containers.

Depending on the species, a plant can become rootbound in an average amount of time.

How to know when the plant is rootbound?

The signs of an overwatered plant, which include, can also be present in rootbound plants.

  • Brown or yellow leaves
  • slower growth
  • a container that the roots’ pressure has forced out of shape or fractured.
  • A root system that is visible above the soil
  • There are roots emerging from the drainage holes.

List of plants that like to be Rootbound

  • Black Violet
  • Aloe
  • Calm Lily
  • Philodendron
  • Hoya
  • Succubus and cacti
  • Avocado Fern
  • Insect Plant
  • Viper Plant
  • Brooklyn Fern
  • Ficus
  • Plant of Jade

If you have one of the plants mentioned above, you will have some time to think about whether to repot the plant or decide to let it in its current container until the next chance arises.

The Amount of Time Depends on the Planter the Plant comes in

Depending on their size, plants can be found in nurseries in a variety of pot sizes.

Most of the time, plants are sold in planters designed to hold them until they are purchased; as a result, the price only reflects the plant in the pot and not the actual plant.

Plastic Potters

Typically, these pots are constructed of plastic. Some are delivered in soft plastic containers, while others are in plastic bags.

Plastics are used because they are affordable and have a long lifespan before they start to break down. Additionally, when acquired, it won’t raise the price of the plant overall.

When it comes time to repot the plant, one benefit of buying it in the temporary plastic container is that you can select the planter of your choice.

Terracotta and Concrete Plant Potters

You might have to spend more if the plant is in a more durable container, such as a concrete or terracotta pot. In this scenario, you will be responsible for paying for both the plant and the potter.

Due to the fact that professional potters will take the plant’s size into account, this may be a more long-lasting solution since the plant will have ample time in the container before needing to be repotted.

Additionally, plants from the nursery may arrive in containers like:

  • fiber vases
  • Paper vases
  • Plastic Bags
  • Root Sneakers

Type of Soil in Nursery Planters

The soil in nursery containers is typically a particular blend that is developed to meet the needs of the plants contained within the plant pot.

The substrates in the potting mix will provide the soil with good drainage, aeration, and balanced nutrient levels for the plants.

It is typical to use a mixture of potting soil, peat, compost, vermiculite, and perlite, which will give the plant the ideal environment to survive in the planter for a while without additional fertilizer.

As a result, the soil’s supply of nutrients for plants will be limited, and you will need to fertilize as the plant grows and the nutrients get depleted.

If you don’t fertilize the plant, it will eventually start to exhibit deficiencies.

Plant Care when Plants are in Nursery Pots

After being purchased from a nursery, plants require the same maintenance as any other plant.

Plant care basics will include –

  • Watering to avoid under- or overwatering, you must set up a watering plan. Lack of watering might cause the plant to finally die by causing the leaves to yellow or turn brown. This occurs as a result of the water dissolving the soil’s nutrients, making them soluble and accessible for plant uptake. On the other hand, overwatering can cause the soil to lose nutrients and fill with water, suffocating the plant because its roots won’t have as much oxygen to absorb.
  • Fertilization Plants in containers rely greatly on the fertilizer that is provided to them in order to flourish because they do not receive additional fertilizer from their surroundings. The plants can get all the nutrients they need to survive by giving them a well-rounded fertilizer every two months.
  • supplying adequate light -The placing of the plant must be done correctly for it to grow healthily. Even though certain plants can survive in low light, sunshine is crucial for the growth of the bulk of plants. Because plants utilize light to produce food through photosynthesis, you should have enough light for the plants you have.
  • supplying the plant with the ideal temperature This is crucial during the winter months when the climate is not conducive to the plants’ regular survival. The following will be part of this:-avoiding placing your plants on window sills preventing direct draft from striking the plant being kept away from the doorway keeping the thermostat set higher than 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  1. Avoid placing your plants on window sills
  2. Preventing direct draft from striking the plant
  3. Plant is being kept away from doorways
  4. Keeping the thermostat set higher than 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Creating the Proper HumidityThe proper humidity will cause the stomata to open, regulating the amount of moisture in the plant and the absorption of carbon dioxide. Humidity is essential for the process of photosynthesis. To control the temperature of the plant, the stomata open when the relative humidity is low. The plant will wilt if a lot of moisture is released since the water in the soil will dry up. When circumstances are overly humid, mold and bacteria that kill plants, as well as ailments like root rot, may flourish. Due to the high soil moisture levels caused by humidity, pests like fungus are also more likely to be present. High humidity will inhibit photosynthesis because it will stop the stomata in the leaves from opening, which will stop the process.

Signs that the nursery plant needs Repotting

  1. The drainage hole at the bottom of the planter is being used by the roots as they extend outward in search of extra nutrients as the amount of available nutrients in the soil becomes insufficient to support the plant. You’ll see that the roots are emerging from the potter’s base and into the plant saucer as a result.
  2. At the planter’s top, roots are visible. In addition to the roots coming through the drainage holes, this also occurs as the plant grows and the roots continue to develop. The earth will get increasingly compacted and overrun by the roots. The root then emerges at the top in quest of the much-needed oxygen as a result of the decreased aeration.
  3. The plant is being pushed out of the planter by its roots. When stones are added to the planter’s bottom for drainage, this is more obvious. The plant will start to push upward out of the planter as the roots start to pool up at the bottom of the container around the stones as they get bigger.
  4. Reduced Growth – The need for nutrients will rise as the plant grows. Potted plants rely largely on the nutrients that are present in the little space where they reside in. Because of this, more fertilizer is required for growth. The plant will cease growing if fertilizer is not frequently provided because it won’t be receiving the nutrients it needs to continue growing.
  5. Compared to its container, the plant appears to be enormous. The plant’s appearance in relation to the size of the planter it is in.

Repotting Plants from the Nursery

  1. To make the soil more pliable, water the plant. – The soil will get some lubrication from the water by being watered. This will facilitate its release from the plant potter’s sides.
  2. Remove the plant from its current container – To help remove the soil and roots from the pot, if the plant is in a soft plastic pot, you can gently squeeze the pot’s sides. If the plant is root-bound, you can cut any roots that have stuck to the side of the container by slipping a sharp knife between the dirt and the ceramic. Shake the plant gently, then pull it out. There are numerous other roots that will do the same role if one of the side roots breaks throughout the process, so don’t worry.
  3. Remove the roots – The roots would have been closely spaced if the plant was root-bound. When repotting into a new pot, loosening the roots would aid with aeration and drainage. The bulk of the rooting system should also be cleared of any extra, thinner roots. The plant won’t be harmed, and the additional root growth will benefit.
  4. Remove any old potting soil – Some of the old dirt from the root system should also be removed after the plant has been removed from the pot. As the previous soil will be nutrient-depleted. This will also provide you with the chance to provide the plant with extra new, nutrient-rich soil.
  5. Fresh potting soil – Cover the drainage holes in the new potter with a coffee filter before pouring the potting mix. When the pot is watered, the coffee filter stops soil from being rinsed out. To prevent the stem of the new plant from becoming buried in the soil when it is potted, new potting mix with its soil additives (vermiculite and perlite) should first be added at the bottom of the potter. For the new plant, this establishes a base for resting.
  6. Insert the plant – The plant should then be added and centered in the new pot.The plant should be suspended in addition to being centered to prevent the roots from getting compacted if it were to simply sit in the fresh soil. Now that the spaces between the roots and the sides of the plant have been filled, more potting soil should be applied. To help the dirt settle, lightly tap the container’s bottom and sides. Your plant has now been successfully potted into its new container!
  7. Water the newly potted plant.

Do larger pots mean bigger plants? No, Heres Why

Larger pots don’t necessarily guarantee larger plants. A pot that is 2 to 4 inches wider in diameter than the one the plant was originally put in is the ideal size for transplanting.

The roots now have ample room to expand out and take up more water and nutrients. Extra-large pots will retain more water and need more nutrients for plants to flourish.

Our in-depth article on this subject is available here.

Six tips to consider before buying nursery plants

  1. Do you have a pot to repot a plant?
  2. the plant’s potting soil should be chosen.
  3. Think about how much light the plant requires.
  4. Consider how much room you have to place the plant.
  5. Consider how much time you are prepared to devote to the plant.
  6. Do some preliminary research


Can you leave plants in the pots you bought them in?

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.

Can you keep plants in the plastic pots they come in?

For at least the first year, keep your houseplants in their plastic nursery pots. Lawrence and Gutierrez tell you that you can still utilize your lovely pot. Simply place the new plant in the decorative pot, plastic pot and all, and fill up any gaps with Spanish moss or rocks.

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.

Do you need to repot plants after you buy them?

A fresh plant is such a joy to bring home. Additionally, the answer to the question of whether you should repotted a new plant is yes. Freeing the roots from the cramped grow container and settling them into a spacious new planter is the first step in taking care of your new plant.