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What are nursery container sizes? (ex. #1, #2, #3, #5…)

Have you ever looked at a plant tag and wondered what the numbers mean? For example, Common Lilac #2 or Bur Oak #10?

Those numbers refer to the size of the container the plant is in, and therefore, the size of the plant itself. When shopping at Rick’s and other nurseries, you’ll notice that nursery plants are sold in containers labeled #1, #2, #3, #5, etc.

It would be so convenient if a #5 pot was equal to 5 gallons, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The companies who manufacture nursery containers have a lot of variation in their products.

Fortunately, there is some standardization with nursery pots, thanks to the ANSI American Nursery Stock Standard. We have posted the chart of container sizes along with more details here:

Nursery Container Sizes