Our customers ask us often how to water plants in pots without drainage holes. Plants need drainage holes to thrive. Is it possible to keep your planter in a pot without drainage holes? The answer is yes, but with caution. indoor planters
Drainage is not always present in pots. A hole at the bottom of your pot makes a world of difference in terms of potting, plant care, and maintenance.
What are drainage holes used for?
Planters need water to survive. Despite this, overwatering is the most common (and perhaps most efficient) way to kill an indoor plant. Drainage holes in pots allow excess water to drain away after watering. This prevents water from pooling at the base of a pot, helping to protect sensitive roots from rot, fungus, and bacteria.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost if your favorite container isn’t equipped with a drain hole. Many of the most beautiful and decorative ceramic containers lack holes. Terrarium glassware won’t have them either. However, plant parents can also successfully raise plants in these types of containers.planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
How To Water Planters In Pots Without Drainage Holes
Create a cachepot for it
In a container with no holes, the easiest thing to do is not to actually plant in it. Treat it as a decorative cover for another, more utilitarian container with holes. The houseplants in our collection come in plastic “grow” containers with excellent drainage. You can leave the plant in this pot and then drop it into the decorative container. Lift the plant out of its grow pot, water thoroughly in the sink or tub, and let it drain completely when it’s time to water. Then it’s time to put it back into the decorative container. Using this method, calls “staging” or “double-potting” takes full advantage of both the outer pot’s beauty and the grow pot’s drainage advantages. Plants that are sensitive to overwatering — cacti, for instance — benefit from this method. In terms of aesthetics, if the pots are similar in size and fit together well, it may be hard to tell you have not planted directly into the decorative pot. You can also conceal your two-pot system by adding a layer of green or sphagnum moss on top of the potting mix. Check the soil moisture periodically if you use a decorative layer.
Choose a plastic pot (with drainage holes) that’s just a little smaller than your planter. Set your plant inside the plastic pot, and then place it inside the planter — if done correctly, the plastic will be hidden, and it will appear as though your plant is directly in the planter! Then you can put it in water and use the drainage holes in the plastic pot.planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
Double-potting can be a great solution for plants, but it isn’t always a practical solution for the plant parent. Maybe the grow pot doesn’t fit well into the decorative pot. Maybe the plant is too large to be moved to be watered.
Alternatively, you can plant your indoor planter into a container without hole
You’ll just need to pay attention to your plant’s signals when it needs or doesn’t need more water. Any water you add to the potting mix will stay there until the plant uses it. So plants that do well potted directly into containers with no holes are those that do not mind a little extra moisture for extended periods of time, such as maidenhair ferns and Venus flytraps. Water conservatively for houseplants that prefer their potting mix to dry out before their next drink. Rather than soaking the soil, like you would if there were holes, you should carefully add enough water to completely moisten the soil around the roots, but not so much that you waterlog the soil and leave water sitting in the bottom of the container. This is easier to do in a glass container because you can see the potting mix and you can tell when to stop adding water. Is it harder to water plants in these containers than if there were drain holes? Yes, but how about using the stunning ceramic pot that fits perfectly in your home? It is totally worth it. planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
Watch for these signs especially if the container doesn’t have any drain holes
You have to develop a watering routine that works for you and your plant collection whether your container has holes or not. In order to decide what plants need, you must become acquainted with the signals that plants use to communicate their needs. Look for these signs especially if the container does not have any drain holes. For instance, if you haven’t watered your plant in a while, and it starts getting wild, or shriveled if it’s a succulent, it’s time to water. If a foliage plant starts to wilt after watering recently, but the soil is still damp, it might indicate that it isn’t getting enough oxygen to its roots because of overwatering. Overwatering can also cause foliage plants’ leaves to turn yellow or develop black spots. It indicates a bacterial or fungal infection. Try moving the plant to a brighter spot and hold off on watering for a few days to see if it recovers. Otherwise, you may need to unpot the plant, wash away the old potting mix, and start again with fresh potting mix.
Other Important Technique For Watering Without Drainage Hole
Make a drainage layer
When adding soil to a pot, an extra drainage layer is created with a medium such as pebbles, stones or pumice. Because soil particles are small and tightly packed together, water moves through them quite slowly. The larger medium, however, used to create a drainage layer has, comparatively a lot more space between them, which allows water to pass through quickly.
A drainage layer allows excess water to exit the soil faster and away from roots before they are damaged. Although the water is still in the pot, the drainage layer can prevent overwatering.planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
Utilize activated charcoal
In our opinion, the best material for a drainage layer is activated charcoal . Charcoal that has been heated at high temperatures has a greater absorption capacity. Therefore, a layer of activated charcoal at the bottom of your pot will remove some of that excess water, which makes your plant very happy in the case of over-watering.
Another issue that arises from over-watering is fungal and bacterial diseases. Charcoal has natural antibacterial properties, and can help deter these harmful bugs. !
Do not get rained on
Pots without drainage holes are not suitable for outdoor plants, unless they will be sheltered from rain. You need to monitor the amount of water going into your pot; if it gets soaked in a downpour, everything could be lost.
Use the right size
More soil means more moisture for longer. We never recommend moving a plant up to a larger pot more than 1 or 2 inches in diameter. This is especially true with no drainage holes, since, without root mass filling your pot, all that soil will stay soggy for even longer, leading to inadvertent over-watering.planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
You have to listen to your plant. Depending on your space, and your own over-or-under-watering tendencies, your plant may thrive or be miserable in a pot without drainage. If the plant isn’t doing well, gently remove it from the pot and take a look at the roots. Black or brown, mushy roots are a sign of over watering. Try clipping off any damaged-looking roots, and re-potting the plant in a pot with drainage holes, keeping it just moist until it shows signs of recovery.
Summary | planter without pot hole
Having drain holes may be more convenient for you and most of your plants, but don’t let that scare you away from containers without them. Regardless of the type of planter you choose, you will over time learn to recognize the signals your plants give you about their water needs and know what to do to keep it happy and healthy.planter with pots drainage indoor planters pot hole
In the pot, every drop of water you add will stay. When you water a plant in a pot without drainage, you want to make sure that you water sparingly and slowly so that the water is evenly distributed throughout the soil without pooling at the bottom.