Overwatering colanders

Anybody have experience with colanders/pond baskets? Is it possible to overwater a tree growing in this type of container?

I use pond baskets for trees in development. Normally with 1.1.1 APL substrate, or pure pumice for collected material. I have not found a way to overwater them to date. I am in Dallas, and normally have weeks of 100+ in summer. Spring and Fall needs are less than Summer. Every other day or so in Spring/Fall. Daily in the heat, maybe morning and afternoon/eve if I am able. I like the pond baskets that are available at the big box stores. I have found them to hold up for several years to heat/UV/ and the trees produce nice roots. I’ll try and remember to post pictures of some that are due for repot this year.

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I find that I have the opposite problem. With no sidewalls the water wants to just run off of the surface and down the container. I learned to water in a two step process. Step one is to get the surface saturated and then wait a few seconds. Step two is to water slowly and only a little at a time to allow the water to seep into the surface.

Of course once saturated and given the right, or I guess wrong, conditions you can absolutely overwater a tree in a colander. For instance, daily watering of a container in full shade in the fall. As usual, check for watering need frequently and water as needed. I will say that my colander/pond baskets did need to be watered a tad more frequently than the pots and development boxes. That’s my experience in my humid environment.

I do not recommend 100% diatomaceous earth in a colander/pond basket. At least not the cheap stuff we get from Napa auto parts lol. The plate like structure in conjunction with the lack of sidewalls makes it very hard to get water penetration below the top layer of substrate. It was only after the DE degrading for a few months that I was able to comfortably water the tree in that container.


@Bonsai_Bentley I wonder if building a sphagnum/soil dam around the inside of the rim would help direct the water back into the main root ball. That would act a bit like the rim of a regular pot.

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Hmmm, that would be interesting. I’d want the wall of the dam to go below the soil line a bit. Thin strips of plastic could work as well as long as you don’t mind the color. Something like strips of those plastic cutting boards. :thinking:

These colors aren’t bad.

Bonus poorly photoshopped pic of this dude mansplaining how to cut carrots lol.

That does look like solid carrot cutting form. Is that ginger? Or chicken feet on the board?

I like to think they’re bamboo shoots.