Container planting

Asked April 21, 2019, 5:50 PM EDT

If I add pine cones to the bottom of my large pot before I add soil and plant my plants will it cause the soil to be too acidic and damage the plants.

Washoe County Nevada

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Although there are a few non-Extension articles on using pine cones in the containers, there is nothing can find in research based literature recommending that technique. Assuming the container is well-draining, most of the acid leachate would be washed away. I would be more concerned that the pinecones have bacteria and/or fungi that can easily move up to the plants’ roots. I would suggest you use clean styrofoam packing ‘peanuts’ instead. They are light, can be used again, and won’t decay. Good luck!