Peanuts are a popular, tasty, healthy snack, and it doesn’t take much to grow them in your own home or garden. Getting draining soil, planting your raw peanuts, and watching them sprout can feel like magic. But how big of a planter does a peanut plant need to grow successfully?
A peanut plant needs a container as big as two to three feet, at least, if you want a bountiful harvest of at least 30-40 peanuts. Peanut plants can grow to be two feet tall; however, the peanuts are underground and extend out to two feet or more below the soil.
Each peanut plant can easily yield 30-40 peanuts when grown in a deep planter. Read more to learn more about why the size of your container matters and the different types of containers available.
How To Grow Peanut Plants In A Container
When growing peanuts, it’s essential to think about where the peanuts will sprout from. They develop underground instead of on trees, unlike walnuts and pecans.
After your plant has germinated and grown to be a couple of feet tall, it’ll start flowering. These flowers end up losing their petals after being pollinated, leaving behind their ovaries (or “pegs”) that fall from the plant’s leaves to rest on the ground, still attached to the plant.
This is the perfect time to start mounding dirt around the base of your plant. Mounding dirt guarantees a majority of the peanut plant flowers will grow peanuts.
These pegs contain the peanut embryo, and they develop as the plant continues to flower. Because of these pegs, you should plant peanuts at least two feet apart, allowing all of the pegs to hit the ground.
Containers Suitable for Peanut Plants
Since peanut plants need so much space to grow, let’s take a look at the types of planters they could thrive in. Living in the 21st century gives you plenty of options for your peanut plant container. In fact, there are so many options that it’s hard to know which one will meet the conditions your peanut plant needs.
Types of containers that do well for peanuts are:
- Grow-bags: I like to use grow-bags for a few reasons: easy temperature control, healthier root systems, long-lasting, and they’re pretty versatile. They can be planted in the dirt, used for whatever type of plant you want, and are typically eco-friendly for individual use.
- Large pots with large drainage holes: Pots are the standard go-to for growing any type of plant yet tend to be overlooked for peanuts since the roots are the most critical part. They are strong, made of many different materials, and are readily available for purchase at any store containing garden supplies.
- Wooden planter boxes: Wooden planters are great if you want to grow more than one peanut plant. They have ample space for proper drainage, root growth, and multiple types of plants. However, one of the most significant downsides for wooden boxes is mold and rot in the wood from watering the plants. Adding a plastic liner to your planter box can prevent decay and allow easy changes of soil
Keep in mind, pots tend to make plants root-bound, which means their roots circle the bottom of the pot instead of getting the oxygen they need to fan out for more surface area.
No matter the type of container you choose for growing your peanut plants, they should all meet the criteria needed for a bountiful harvest.
What Else Is Needed to Grow Peanuts in a Container?
Besides needing at least two feet to grow down and a foot or two between plants, peanut plants also need draining soil and at least eight hours of full sun. This means your container needs holes in the bottom, or you need a breathable fabric for your grow-bag.
It’s also imperative to use a potting mix or to add sand to your garden soil to prevent extra moisture, especially if you’re using a pot instead of a grow-bag or a wooden planter box.
If you decide to plant your peanuts in a container that doesn’t have a drainage hole, it’s important to know how to drain the soil so your peanuts can grow in a healthy, bountiful manner. Layers for drainage also help to fill up larger pots, which allows your smaller plants to root firmly enough for more beneficial growing.
Drainage materials are a crucial part of planting in pots, so here are a few options that are helpful for you and your wallet:
- Packing Peanuts: These are one of the most popular draining materials for pots. Not only are they almost free, but they don’t biodegrade in the soil, and they are light enough that you can pick up your pot if you need to.
- Plastic Bottles: Another super cheap alternative to wood mulch and soil amendments, plastic bottles are an excellent drainage material for the same reasons as packing peanuts. Easy to move pots, basically free, and they don’t biodegrade, which means they last.
- Rocks: Rocks can come free; however, their draining ability is attributed to the person putting the stones in. Smaller rocks can significantly make it harder for your pot to drain due to keeping water on top of the layer. But rocks are suitable for tipping pots, and they are good for pots with too large drainage holes that let too much moisture escape.
Since peanut plants grow their fruit underground, large containers at least two feet deep and one foot wide are best. Smaller containers are okay; however, you won’t get as bountiful a harvest, and plant roots are more likely to get root-bound as a result.
Containers also need a proper drainage system in place to allow peanuts plenty of room and oxygen to grow. If you don’t have adequate drainage, peanut plants are more likely to develop root rot and even die. However, it’s not hard to grow peanuts if you keep container size and drainage in mind.