Lifehacks: unsticking large plant pots

in #diylast year

I got these large pots at the charity shop up the road: the staff couldn't separate the pots and the whole thing was priced cheaply and it was half-price day so if I could separate them all without breaking them, I'd be getting them at a very good price.


Somehow I got it home in my big bag on the back of the bike but that was an awkward ride home. Next morning, I rehomed the free parsley to a new pot.


There are a couple of options here: one is to use hot water on the outside and cold water on the inside of the pots and hope that gets them loose or to tap them loose but I decided on a hybrid method. For pots this large, water is awkward so I decided to put the hot sun and gravity to work.


After 20 minutes in the sun, I held the whole thing upside-down and the outermost pot by the rim, tapped the sides gently with a rubber mallet a few times and the inner pot slid out.


One down, one to go: the problem with the top pot is that it's smaller, wedged in deeper, and lighter than the outer pot so gravity will not help here. This time I put the outer pot on its side and kept tapping along the top of the rim of the outside pot with the rubber mallet, while holding on to the rim of the smaller pot. After a couple of circuits of the rim, the inner pot slid out.


Now I have two not bad-looking large pots and a little 70s monstrosity - I recall that my mother had some of these when I was a kid. I think that I'll repaint them another colour at some stage but they will be good pots for succulents. At first, I considered planting the little lavender bushes I have in there but I tend to forget to water the pots outside regularly enough and in my climate, that will kill them. Succulents don't mind the neglect, in fact they thrive on it.

So as a gamble, this paid off: three unbroken pots thanks to my rubber paving mallet, sunshine and a little googling.


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Ah, thank you!! Maybe one day you will ;)

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hello beautiful how many days without seeing you
the clay pots are the best since they keep the plant cooler, I hope to see those beautiful flowers
Happy day
I don't know why I can't vote for you, this is so weird

Hola @txaxty I keep an eye on you ;). I'm not sure why you can't vote, all appears to be normal

haha finally I could, internet devil things

Yes, I agree that you can paint these pots and they will look great!
We have such pots are not cheap.

Yes, these big pots areusually too expensive

@nikv .I love the pots in the colour they already are, I wish I could find some like that over here, I would put them in my yard with some herbs like you have or maybe some of them petunias I have growing. :D
I would have gone the same way as you, tapping them with a rubber mallet is the safest way to go.
I once used a normal hammer and a towel to tap some cups my wife had stuck and they popped out fine.
Why don't you set up a self watering system for the pots, you can do it with a two litter bottle and some air line, I am going to do a post one day about the one I made for the green house, if you do it right you just need to fill the bottle once a week and your plants will be happier for it.
happy days. :D

Petunias are good in pots! I forgot about self-watering systems, please do show that and I can give it a try

I'll be doing a post tomorrow about the self watering system that I have made, I need to build like another 10 for the greenhouse so it will be a perfect time to do them and post about it.
Thinking about doing a video which will make it easier to follow, do we still post to d-tube? or is there another platform that we use to show our video's?
I have 1000's of petunias, I just don't know what I am going to do with them, maybe a little garden sale to get a few pounds back from all the hard work that I have been putting in :D

Congratulations on your successfully separating the pots. This makes them a good buy. 😊


Yeah, that last post is quite ugly, I agree. I'd be tempted to pretty it up by tying/gluing together a cylindrical wall of sticks, boards, or bamboo to cover up the entire outside face.

That is a clever way to remove the pots. Glad they did not crack.

Thanks, that's a good idea too - let me think about it some more and see what I come up with

Another well thought out project by @nikv :"-)

Why, thank you sir!

I've faced the same issue in the past, Unfortunately heat is not an option here but a good technique I've found is to use a jet of air from an air compressor in around the rim. Nice pots and a nice little tale.

Thank you! Yes a compressor would do it too

Glad you got them apart. I haven't done much potted planting. Andrea is atrocious with potted plants. I tease her that plants come to our house to die. I've tried to rescue some plants, with a little success. I have one at our store that I gave up for dead; only one leaf. I transplanted it and it seemed like it was going to pull through. But now it is very droopy and I'm not sure if it's going to make it. It's got about a dozen very saggy leaves, but it has never gotten to it's original beauty. I'm tempted to try and replant it but am worried that would just kill it. I've tried letting it dry, & keeping it moist. Neither seems to be helping.

Have you IDed it? perhaps it has some special care requirements. Show us pictures

Won't be back to the store till tomorrow. I'll check to see ifAndrea remembers what kind it is

Good to know.

Great, scientific thought has helped you get good new pots and save money.

Great, scientific
Thought has helped you get good new
Pots and save money.

                 - nilpan

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