Spring Conditioning Planter Liners

Container grown perennials may need to be removed from the liner and have their roots trimmed periodically.

DeepStream Design’s rugged plastic planter liners make spring conditioning easy.

Perennial plants grown in planter liners have special needs.  With spring here in Miami, I’ve noticed that it’s well past time to repot some of my smaller ornamental plants.  Others plants like Clusia have very aggressive roots and liners need to be removed and roots trimmed every year.

Tools Needed:

You need to remove plants from their planter liners periodically to alleviate their root bound condition. This give you the opportunity to add fresh potting medium. You will also check that the liner is draining efficiently.  DeepStream Designs rugged plastic liner is flared making this a easy with just a few tools: A long serrated knife, perhaps scissors, a tarp, a broom, and dust pan. Cut off the bottom third of the root system, then break up the root ball as much as possible.

Container Gardening Root Bound


I’m using rubber mulch this year in my drainage plan for ornamentals, but not in my herb or citrus garden planters. because it is lighter than pebbles or gravel used in traditional drainage plans. This makes it ideal to reduce the load on your balcony or rooftop if you don’t need the weight of gravel to keep your pots from tipping in high winds.

I use rubber mulch to fill the bottom of my pots and liners up to the level above the top of my drain, about 3”-4”, after I put in DeepStream’s drain pads (drain board, Bio-Barrier to prevent root blockage, and geo-fabric sandwich) in place over the drain hole and cover that with 4” of Paver Base (very coarse 2mm sand).

Planting Medium

Your potting medium will depend on your climate and your plants, as well as the type of drainage and watering system you’re using.  We use drip irrigation and mist sprayers on timers. In Miami where we can get 6″ of rain in 6 hours I use a fast-draining medium to which I add pearlite and paver base to further increase drainage rates.  You tailor your soil to meet your climate bu adding vermiculite to retain moisture in dry climates.

Container gardening requires a few simple repotting supplies. Don’t forget a tarp, broom, and dust pan.


I installed micro valves on every planter liner so that I can adjust the rate of watering for each planter liner.  Reduce the flow to the point that water does not seep out the drain except when it rains.

Automatic Drip Irrigation Manifold with Rain Sensor and 4 active zones

Repotting large plants:

With the Clusia the the steps are almost identical.

Lay the planter over on a padded surface and slide the liner out.
Remove roots growing over the sides of the planter liner if the liner won’t slide out.

The planter, planter liner, and planter drainage design all play an important role in planting maintenance and root trimming.
A bulging planter liner indicates it’s time for root pruning, it’s roots like these Calusia that have torn apart large pre-columbian temples in Central and South America.

Removed the plant from the  liner to trim the the larger roots easily,  The tapered shape of DeepStream liners makes it easy to remove the root ball from the liner to trim and replant.

Paver Base or similar mediums slow water flow improving planter drainage

Before re-potting ddd a DeepStream’s 3 part-part planter drain pad with Bio-Barrier over the drain holes to aid in root blocking and to retain the planting medium and slow the flow of the water towards of the drain.

Hold the drain pad in place over the hole, fabric side against the hole, with paver base or similar coarse medium, never sand, with out any clay in it. You can even use rubber mulch in a pinch.

Commercial recycled plastic liners, drainage board, weed block, Bio-Barrier
Planter Liner after root trimmed

With all the roots trimmed for the year your plant and planter liner shape should be restored for another year.

Selecting tapered planter liners with the drainage features your project requires will save you time, money, and effort. Read more specifics about Selecting-planter-liners and here is a video link showing how quick easy it can be to replant.