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Can You Grow a Potted Plant with No Drainage Holes?

A close-up of a person's hands while they pot a green plant.

If you’ve heard that plants prefer to be in pots with drainage holes, then you’ve heard correctly. This is the ideal situation. But what if you have a container that doesn’t have those essential drainage holes? Can you still successfully grow plants in such pots?

The answer is yes, you can use pots without drainage holes, but it requires some extra care and attention to ensure your plants thrive.

Drainage holes for potted plants play a crucial role in preventing overwatering, water-logged roots, and root rot. Drainage holes allow excess water to escape, preventing the soil from becoming too soggy.

Without proper drainage, potted plants’ roots can suffocate due to lack of oxygen, leading to poor growth and even a dead plant. This means that learning how to create drainage or how to plant in pots without drainage holes is a must.

Utopia Home Plant Pots Indoor with Drainage

These plant pots will fit in with any decor.

Certain precautions should be taken when growing plants in pots without drainage holes. First, you should choose plants that are tolerant of overwatering or that enjoy a moist environment. Something like Bird of Paradise, Elephant Ear, and fern varieties can be suitable.

It also helps to choose the right soil. A well-draining potting soil mix can help save a more sensitive plant in the event it gets overwatered. Avoid heavy soil that retains excess water for extended periods.

When growing plants in pots without drainage holes, you should also consider switching up your plant watering routine. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil rather than pouring water over the surface. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering, and avoid saturating the soil excessively.

Ton Sin Plant Pots

There are plenty of adorable pots for plants that come with drainage holes.

If you love a certain pot, can you just figure out how to create drainage? Yes, and there are a few different methods you can try. The first is double potting. Keep your potted plant in its plastic pot, then set that inside your decorative pot without drainage.  When you water the plant, allow excess water to collect in the outer pot. Then, pour out any excess water after watering.

If you’re comfortable with a little DIY, you can alternatively drill holes into the bottom of the pot. This is best done without a plant in the pot so you don’t damage any roots. Lastly, you can use a liner, such as landscape fabric. You can water your plant normally, and pull it out of the pot by the fabric if things get too soggy.

While growing plants in pots without drainage holes requires extra care, it’s possible with the right approach. That being said, investing in plant pots with proper drainage is still the best practice for the overall health and success of your potted plants.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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