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There are many different sizes of pots available to purchase plants in. The following is a brief guide as to how big pots are and what varieties and sizes of plant you will find in each size.
Pots in which plants are sold are generally sold by literage. There is a massive difference in prices of plants even with plants which are of the same variety. It is worth thinking before you buy what you actually want from your plant, whether it be an instant impact plant (larger but more expensive) or a plant to grow into a space (smaller , but costing less).
9cm/1litre, 2/3 litre, 4 litre, 10 litre, 30/50 litre, 100 litre & 500 litre+
9cm/1 litre (P9) Small in size, these pots are used for herbs, alpines or small perennial plants which are sold early in the growing season.
2/3 litre (C2/C3) Generally, this is currently the most popular size of pot in which plants are sold. Plants will be relatively small in size but are big enough to make a descent display when planted in the garden. Perennial plants planted out from 3 litre pots will get both taller and bush out within a couple of years.
4 litre (C4) This is a common pot size for roses and hellibores. With these plants the pots tend to be a similar dimension across the top as the 3 litre, but deeper as both plants like to root deeply.
30/50 litre (C30/C50) This pot is too big for perennials; semi mature shrubs and small trees. Plants this size will suit gardens of a larger size and create impact from the outset.
500+ litre (C500+) Pots this size are used to for very large, mature plant specimens. Rarely used in domestic gardens, they are most often used in commercial landscaping schemes where large plants and maximum impact are needed. They also tend to be used for large trees and plants in show gardens like Chelsea Flower Show.