If you grow plants and trees in pots, some will eventually grow large enough to become rather top-heavy. considering that most potting mixes are fairly light, they need to be for proper aeration and drainage, they may not provide sufficient weight to prevent tall or heavy container-grown plants and trees from blowing over in strong winds.
Here are the five best ways to stop your plant pots from being blown over on windy days, from the simplest to the more complicated:
1. Keep Pots Watered on Windy Days
Water all pots and containers well as a precautionary measure to increase their weight before strong winds arrive!
On windy days, the fast-moving air strips away the humidity around plant leaves, causing them to lose more moisture through the breathing pores on the undersides of their leaves known as stomata. To maintain their moisture levels, plants take up more water from the soil or growing medium to replace the water lost to transpiration (water movement through a plant through evaporation from the leaves, flowers and stems).
Water is quite heavy, it weighs 1kg per litre, which can add a lot of weight to a large pot when the growing medium/potting mix is damp. As plants takes up more water on windy days, the water in the growing medium diminishes, making the pot lighter, and lighter pots blow over much more easily than heavy, well-watered ones.
2. Tie Tall Plants and Trees to Nearby Structures
Nearby fences, posts, wall and other structures can be used to tie plants to in order to prevent them blowing over.
Flexible fabric tree tie material is soft and partially stretchy, allowing movement but not damaging plant stems or tree bark. It will degrade over time and lasts for around a year or more.
Plastic link chain tree tie is quick and easy to use to tie down trees in a hurry. It’s durable, and doesn’t degrade, lasting for many years. Since it’s made of a pliable hard plastic, use something softer around it such as a piece of soft plastic or rubber tubing so it doesn’t cut into the plant or tree when they get moved around by the wind. Slipping the tie material through a short offcut of rubber bicycle tyre tube works well for this purpose.
3. Use Heavy Terracotta Pots
A heavy pot will have sufficient weight, irrespective of whether the potting mix in it is wet or dry. A thick-walled terracotta clay pot can effectively anchor down tall, unwieldy plants that are prone to blowing over.
Short, wide pots have a lower centre of gravity and are therefore much more stable than pots that are taller or have a narrower base.
Keep in mind that unglazed terracotta clay pots weep moisture through their walls, making them excellent for plants that prefer drier conditions, whereas glazed pots retain more moisture, making them more suited to plants that need more water.
4. Construct a DIY Garden Stake Brick Anchor
Staking in pots doesn’t work very well because potting mix isn’t firm enough to hold stakes in place, causing them to lean over in the wind. When a plant in a pot is leaning sideways, it becomes unbalanced which makes it easier for the wind to blow the pot over.
A better way to stake plants in pots is to anchor the supporting stakes outside of the pot, into something more stable and less prone to loosening, such as a pile of bricks with holes in them. This is my own invention, and I call it a Garden Stake Brick Anchor!
See more about this system in the article – How to Stake Large Plants in Pots and Containers
5. Build a Single Wire Support Trellis
Two sturdy timber or metal posts hammered firmly into the ground with a single wire strung between them, at half the height of the plants or trees, can be used as a support to tie them onto.
Line the pots along the wire and tie the plants to it using flexible fabric tree tie material, or plastic link chain tree tie, to hold it them in place and prevent them being blown over by strong winds.
Fantastic, tips, I always have trouble with staking pots, never thought about this, very helpful. Has been very windy lately too, so perfect timing!
You’re welcome! 🙂