November 13 2023 0Comment

Pot Plants New Zealand

Introduction to Pot Plants in New Zealand

New Zealand’s unique climate and diverse flora have made it a haven for potted plants. Whether you’re an experienced home gardener, landscape architect, council decision-maker, or professional landscape expert, this article will provide you with comprehensive insights into pot plants in New Zealand. Learn about choosing the right nursery, selecting healthy plant stock, understanding the process of ‘potting up’, and caring for both indoor and outdoor pot plants.

Succulent plants in pots on the shelf. Keep them outside or inside with lots of light.

Pot Plants New Zealand

The Art of Buying Pot Plants

Choosing the Right Nursery: Retail vs Wholesale vs Propagation

The first step in your pot plant journey is choosing the right nursery. Retail nurseries offer a wide range of plants and are open to everyone, making them ideal for home gardeners and landscapers working on smaller projects.

Wholesale nurseries cater to businesses and professionals in horticulture, offering bulk purchases at lower prices for retail nurseries and landscapers working on larger projects.

Propagation nurseries specialise in growing plants from seeds or cuttings. They’re also wholesale nurseries, but not all wholesale nurseries are propagation nurseries.

Look for online reviews to gauge the reputation of the nursery you’re looking at.

Selecting the Best Stock for Your Garden

When buying plants, ensure they’re healthy and suitable for your garden. Look for plants with vibrant foliage, sturdy stems, and well-developed root systems that aren’t root-bound.

Check for any signs of pests, diseases, or stress. Consider the plant’s hardiness, growth rate, and compatibility with your local climate and existing plants.

Potting Up: When Plants Outgrow Their Pots

A Step-by-Step Guide to ‘Potting Up’

‘Potting up’ refers to transferring a plant into a larger pot. Here’s how:

1.   Choose a new pot that’s one size larger than the current one.

2.   Carefully remove the plant from its old pot, trying not to damage the roots. If they’re overgrown, consider “teasing” them apart to help them grow in their new pot. Some plants can withstand pruning the roots back with a sharp knife if they’re overly root bound.

3.   Place the plant in the new pot, ensuring it’s at the same depth as before. Generally, we want roots in the ground and stems in the air, but there are exceptions to this rule, such as orchids which don’t mind a root or two being in the air.

4.   Fill the pot with a suitable potting mix, firming it gently around the roots.

5.   Water thoroughly and place the pot in an appropriate location. Avoid stressing the plant while it adjusts to the new pot.

Choosing the Right Potting Mixture

The right potting mixture can significantly impact your plant’s health. Most plants do well in a premium potting mix that contains compost, bark chips, perlite, vermiculite, and slow-release fertiliser. However, some plants like cacti and orchids require specific mixes.

You can also create your own potting mix for specific plant needs, depending whether you’re after water retention or free-draining conditions.

Time to pot up!

An Exploration into the World of Plant Pots

As experienced home gardeners, landscape architects, council decision-makers, and professional landscape experts, understanding the nuances of plant pots is pivotal. From the material they’re made from to the presence of drainage holes, the type of plant pot can greatly influence the health of your plants.

The Material Matters

Plant pots are available in a variety of materials, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks.

Terracotta Pots

These are classic options, known for their breathability which allows excess moisture to escape from the soil, preventing root rot. However, their porous nature makes them prone to drying out quickly, requiring frequent watering.

Plastic Pots

Lightweight and cost-effective, plastic pots are a popular choice. They retain moisture well, reducing the need for frequent watering. However, they lack the breathability terracotta pots offer, increasing the risk of waterlogging if not properly monitored.

Ceramic and Glazed Pots

These pots add an aesthetic appeal to your garden with their glossy finish and diverse designs. They hold moisture better than terracotta pots but offer better breathability than plastic pots, striking a balance between the two.

Metal Pots

While not as common, metal pots offer a unique, industrial aesthetic. They’re durable but can heat up quickly in direct sunlight, potentially damaging the plant’s roots.

Wooden Pots

Wooden pots provide a natural, rustic appeal. Similar to terracotta, they’re breathable and can help prevent overwatering. However, over time they will rot and break down unless they’re treated with potentially harmful chemicals.

The Importance of Drainage Holes

Regardless of the pot material, drainage holes are critical. They allow excess water to escape, preventing waterlogging and consequent root rot. Some pots come with built-in drainage holes, while others might require you to drill them in.

You can either put a saucer beneath the pot to capture excess water, or you can use a cache pot. This is an ornamental pot without drainage holes into which you place your plastic pot with drainage holes.

Indoor Plants: Adding Greenery to Your Living Space

H3: Popular Indoor Pot Plants in New Zealand

Indoor plants not only add aesthetic appeal but also purify the air. Some popular options in NZ include peace lily, snake plant, ponytail plant, rubber fig, monstera and philodendron.

Care and Maintenance of Indoor Pot Plants

Taking care of indoor pot plants involves watering, lighting, and fertilising. Avoid overwatering – allow the topsoil to dry out between watering. Most indoor plants thrive in bright, indirect light and need regular feeding with a balanced fertiliser.

Outdoor Pot Plants: Enhancing Your Landscape

Favourite Outdoor Pot Plants in New Zealand

Outdoor pot plants can beautify your landscape and attract local fauna. Some favourites in NZ are NZ flax, NZ Christmas bush, lavender bottlebrush and azalea.

Cultivation and Care of Outdoor Pot Plants

Outdoor pot plants require proper watering, sunlight exposure, and winter care. While some plants need regular watering, others prefer dry conditions. Most outdoor plants need plenty of sunlight, but some can tolerate shade. During winter, protect sensitive plants with frost cloths or move them indoors.

Pot Plants NZ

Hanging Pot Plants: Adding Vertical Interest

Popular Hanging Pot Plants

Trailing plants, such as pothos, string of pearls and spider plant, work well in hanging pots whether indoors or outdoors in your garden.

Choosing and Maintaining Hanging Pots and Baskets

When choosing hanging pots, consider the weight, durability, and aesthetics. Plastic pots are lightweight and durable, with an ability to hold more moisture, while coco coir pots offer a more natural look and allow water to drain more freely and evaporate through the sides.

Ensure the pots have drainage holes because most plants don’t like to sit with wet feet for too long, even if they don’t like free-draining conditions. Place indoor hanging pots where they won’t cause water damage to your walls.


Pot plants can transform any space into a green oasis. With this comprehensive guide, we hope you feel equipped to embark on your pot plant journey in New Zealand.

Remember, the key to successful gardening is understanding your plants’ needs and providing the right care. Happy gardening!