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Tropicals & Tender Perennials: Large Indoor Containers

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Forum: Tropicals & Tender PerennialsReplies: 9, Views: 162
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Athens, OH

October 13, 2010
8:48 AM

Post #8153918

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.
Poughkeepsie, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 14, 2010
7:50 AM

Post #8155484

Watching thread. I have an Amorphophallus that may be well over the 11 1/2" it was when I planted this spring. May have to build a container for outside next spring to grow it in!

Athens, OH

October 15, 2010
7:28 AM

Post #8157161

So far, no responses.
I hope someone has some experience and can give us some advice.


Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

August 22, 2011
12:56 PM

Post #8771234

Don't know if this helps, but in the city I am from I plant one the cities containers, the containers are nothing more than black plastic trash cans which fit inside of a decorative rod iron container. Course the ee's don't stay in there all winter but sure work great for the summer. The black I am sure gathers heat.

Picture is not great, but you can see the black plastic container. Because the rod iron wasn't very tall, the city cut the black plastic container down.

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Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 26, 2011
8:21 AM

Post #8777881

Rox, I would seat the container in a large dish filled with smooth stone or marble chips at least an inch deep. if you find tht the leaf edges are drying, you can add water from below that will not touch the container.
Athens, OH

September 13, 2011
5:34 AM

Post #8806405

Thanks for the adivce.
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

September 13, 2011
1:04 PM

Post #8806949

rox.. good luck to you..
i overwinter mine dry root and just spray the root occasionally so they dont completely dry out..
i have way to many to bring in..without a greenhouse..and im thinkin.. :)
i would try the cheapest container you can..since you take them out in summer.. just what i would do..
the black plastic container sounds like a good idea..
i rummage around in late summer/fall and pick up big pots for a song..and save for spring when i do
pot up my tropicals..
keep us posted what you end up trying..
good luck...
Vieques, PR

September 18, 2011
6:54 PM

Post #8814063

Make sure you put drainage holes in whatever container you use.
Athens, OH

October 15, 2011
10:18 AM

Post #8849859

So this is what we ended up doing...
I bought a few raised bed kits from Lowes at the end of the season, total $20.
Each kit has 4 plastic plank sections (~6" x 4') with connectors that fit together to form a square frame. They stack on top of each other (tongue-in-groove style).
I made the bed 4' x 4' x 3'.

Using 2x 4 lumber and plywood we made a platform on which the bed sits.
We screwed together four pieces of 2x 4 to make a square. Then we cut a 2 foot section out of one side of the square. We then attached the 4'x4' square of plywood to the top. We drilled a hole into the floor of the platform for the drain.

To make the drain we measured out the dimensions of a pond liner for the raised bed. At the bottom of the liner we cut a hole and used a shower drain that screws together from the top and bottom and sealed it to a pond liner.

The raised bed is therefore lined with the pond liner but has a drain. Note, the platform has the cut so I can slide in a pan to catch whatever water drains.

We then framed the raised bed using 2 x 4 lumber. We made square frames that fit over the raised bed and stack on top of each other. For the bottom square we cut a 2 foot section out (to line up where I can insert the pan) and screwed it to another square. The rest we just left a individual squares that could be stacked on top of one another. For the top square we attached lumber to the top to make a frame on which I can sit.

It was important to me that the container be strong enough to hold the plants, soil and water but also be constructed so I can easily take it apart.


Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

October 15, 2011
10:23 AM

Post #8849865

I would love to see a pic, if you took any.

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