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Indoor Gardening and Houseplants: Large Indoor Planters

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rox_male
Athens, OH

October 13, 2010
8:46 AM

Post #8153914

Does anyone have experience with large indoor planters?
I'm talking the size that you see in a mall or an arboretum.

I would like to buy/build indoor planters for some of my elephant ears. They can get up to 8 feet high.
The room is on the ground floor and has porcelain tile floors and window on three sides. I can also add supplemental light.

I was thinking about something like 2.5' x 8 ' x 3' deep.
Honestly, I really need some help re:

material selection - should I use stacked cement bricks with a rubber liner? Or can I purchase a premade container?

dimensions - EE like evenly moist soil, but not wet feet in the winter. How deep should the soil be?

Drainage pan - Should I allow for drainage out of the container? If so, how?

Any ideas would be welcome.
chellflower
Tyler, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 2, 2010
7:41 AM

Post #8190203

If you're planning to make brick/cement planters indoors I would definitely suggest some type of lining or pots & drip pans... if you were to just place soil directly in the brick planter, you may end up with water/soil stained bricks, chemicals in the soil and unhealthy plants, also a mess if you ever decide to remove the soil from the structure...

call/visit a local landscaper and ask for some of those big black plastic pots that trees are grown in. They usually get rid of these once they plant a landscape, but I've gotten them before at the landscaping sites for free. These pots have drain holes and hold up well. Better than a plastic liner in preventing water/soil stains on your brick structure and no worries of chemicals from cement leaching into your soil as with a plastic liner. The pots are usually round in shape, but you could place them side by side in the brick structure and plant small ivy, etc at the base of the E Ears to hide the pots. Some garden centers carry large square pots, but they can be pricey.

depending on the size planter you're making, you may consider using water heater drain pans or something similar under the pots...these do come in various sizes at Lowes/Home Depot, etc. Or for a long, narrow structure, take a roll of aluminum flashing and bend the edges into sides to lay at the bottom of the structure to hold drain water.

another option is to visit a farm supply store...you may find a metal galvanized water trough just the right size to place inside of your structure. They're meant to hold water and won't rust. Soil and plants could be put directly in this. may want to line the bottom with rocks though for proper soil drainage.


Good Luck!
HoosierGreen
Danville, IN

December 16, 2010
9:50 AM

Post #8263509

Just came across this thread, so I may be too late to help... but, I built some large planter boxes when adding on a sunroom a few years ago. They have worked wonderfully. What I did was NOT fill the planters with soil. I took a tip from mall plantings and just put in large potted plants, adjusting the height with block so that they were all at "ground level". Then, I filled up all the gaps and spaces with cedar bark chunks. This way, I can rearrange, add, or remove plants without digging them up or disturbing others nearby. When a plant needs repotting, insect treatment, or summering outdoors, it's a cinch. It's worked wonderfully for me. I water the plants directly and the runoff is no problem since the brick planters are directly on the concrete floor, but the pots are "suspended". The cedar nuggets don't decompose quickly, but they can be replaced easily.

This photo shows how the planters were constructed. The next post shows the finished look.

Thumbnail by HoosierGreen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HoosierGreen
Danville, IN

December 16, 2010
9:51 AM

Post #8263512

Here's my winter refuge, all finished and planted.

Thumbnail by HoosierGreen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

rox_male
Athens, OH

January 1, 2011
6:21 PM

Post #8287430

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this.
Thanks for all your insights.


Here's what I did...
Lowes had an end-of-year sale on raised plastic beds - the ones where you can buy multiple 10 inch high x 4 feet wide plastic slats from which you can form squares that are stackable.
I bought 4 sets, stacked them, and secured them with the long pins supplied by the manufactured. I then lined the bed with a pond liner.

My EE don't like being in pots and now love the extra root room.
I used the soil recipe in the sticky post under container gardening.
I water sparingly, hoping I won't create a problems, as I didn't include drainage holes.

I don't think it would have been a big deal to attach and seal a pipe to the liner and drill a hole through the plastic slat to release excess water.

So far, so good and honestly the plastic doesn't look bad. The only thing I want to fix are the edges of the liner around the inside of the box. I am thinking about adding a wooden cap along the top edge of the box to cover the liner edge.

morknotmindy

morknotmindy
Oracle , AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9018549

Hoosier, Boy do I like your winter refuge!!! What a great idea.
rox, how is you EE doing?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 3, 2012
11:39 PM

Post #9029060

LOL, is this the new "man cave"?? If so, I love it. I'll take one of those. Could I call it a "doll cave"?? Or maybe a "doll house". Will have to spread this amongst the ladies. They'll love it. :0) Do you mind Hoosier?

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