What Is A Bottomless Pot For - Bottomless Plant Containers

Gloved Hands Holding A Potted Plant
(Image credit: inga)

Bottomless container gardening is a great way to unleash those pent-up roots in your plant containers. It allows the roots to grow down into the ground rather than circling the soil in pots. Plants with deep tap roots particularly flourish with new-found depth. 

Bottomless plant pots also can elevate xeric plants that suffer during excessive rains. Do you have rocky or compacted soil? No problem. Add bottomless plant pots to your garden for instant well-draining soil.

Bottomless plant containers also are the ideal solution for reigning in aggressive roots that slither underground and climb up neighboring foliage. In this case, the cylinder would be planted below the ground to create a “corral” around the plant’s roots, preventing them from escaping.

Here is how to create and use a bottomless container.

DIY Bottomless Planter: Bottomless Container Gardening

Bottomless container gardening is ideal for quick raised beds, to isolate aggressive plants in the garden such as mint, or to grow plants with a long tap root. They can add an extra boost to plants that prefer well-drained soil. 

The disadvantage to a bottomless planter is that once the roots embed in the soil below the planter, you will not be able to move the pot to a new location. Also, it can make it easier for rodents and insects to invade the container. 

Craft a Bottomless Plant Pot

To create your bottomless planter, you will need a plastic pot at least 10 inches (25.4 cm.) deep, potting soil and/or compost, a trowel or spade, and a box cutter. 

  • Cut out the bottom of the container with a box knife. 
  • Place the cylinder in the garden among your other plants or in a separate location in the yard. 
  • If it will sit on grass, dig up the grass before placing your container. 
  • Fill it with compost and potting soil.
  • Add plants. 
  • Water well. 

To create a “corral” with your cylinder:

  • Dig a hole that allows the container to sit 2 inches (5 cm.) above the soil line. Dig the width an inch or two (2.5 or 5 cm.) wider than the container. 
  • Fill the container with soil and the plant to about 2 inches (5 cm.) below the top of the pot to allow room for watering. The plant should be at the same level it was in its container, i.e., do not heap soil higher or lower on the stem. 
  • Plants that may need to be isolated, including monarda, mint, lemon balm, yarrow, catmint. 
  • Keep an eye on the plant as it grows. Keep the plant trimmed to prevent its stems from escaping from the top of the planter. 

Bottomless container gardening can be a foolproof way to add a healthier environment for your plants. 

Susan Albert

After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to Lowes.com. While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.