How then do you pick a pot that will keep your succulents growing, flowering, and viable? Learn more below.
Choose a pot that is just big enough for the plant to grow in, but not too big. The circumference of the appropriate pot is 5–10% greater than the size of the plant. Choose pots with a maximum excess space around the sides of an inch or two. The delicate roots will spread if the pot is too big before the plant has a chance to develop. There won’t be any room for the roots to spread in a pot that is too tiny.
The ideal pot should not only complement your style and decor but also the physical properties of the plant. Tall pots look excellent with upright-growing succulents, like aloe. Low-growing cultivars, like Echeveria, look fantastic in little pots. Not to mention spillers with trailing growth tendencies like String of Pearls. Spillers in shallow pots or hanging plants look fantastic and grow well.
There are many different types of materials for pots. The most prevalent materials are wood, terracotta, metal, ceramic, and resin. Terracotta or ceramic pots work best for succulent plants. Both of these materials allow for proper air and water circulation because they are both breathable. Just keep in mind that both ceramic and terracotta are weighty, especially after adding soil and plants.
Pick resin or plastic pots for larger plants, especially ones you plan to move around. Your back will thank you for using those lighter pots as you move or reposition plants.
Before you plant and cultivate succulents, the most important thing to understand is that they don’t like a lot of water. Even before you develop a watering schedule, this is relevant. Without adequate drainage, water that accumulates at the bottom of a container without anywhere to go may cause root rot in your succulent.
The ideal pots for succulents, regardless of design, are planters with drainage holes in the bottom. Since many succulent planters lack drainage holes, you can use any of them as long as you keep in mind to water succulents sparingly and keep an eye on them frequently.
Can succulents be grown in glazed pots?
Clay is used to make ceramic pots, which are subsequently heated to a permanent hardness. Unglazed ceramic pots are porous, allowing water and air to pass through the pot’s sides.
Ceramic pots are a better option if you have a heavy watering schedule or if the plants prefer dry soils because the clay also pulls moisture from the soil. Ceramic pots with glazes do not dry out as rapidly and are less porous, which can limit airflow from the pot’s edges.
Ceramic pots might be pricey but are sometimes thick and hefty. Plants that have a top-heavy habit can benefit greatly from the weight of ceramic pots. Ceramic pots, despite being hefty, can break if left outside in a cold or freezing climate. In the cold, these pots are not as resilient outside. Because of their thickness, ceramic pots do shield plants from abrupt changes in external temperature. Compared to lighter pots, they also maintain their weight well and won’t be easily blown over by the wind.
Pros: Offers some protection from temperature swings; is substantial and sturdy enough to support top-heavy plants; is available in a selection of beautiful colors and styles.
Cons: Can be more expensive; can crack when exposed to cold or freezing weather; tend to be on the hefty side.
Please visit my resource page for ideas to see my suggested clay pots.
Succulents can be planted in containers with or without holes.
Whether you’ve planted succulents before or not, you probably already know that the subject of drainage holes comes up very frequently. What makes drainage holes crucial? They help prevent moisture from accumulating at the pot’s base by allowing extra water to seep out of the container.
Because succulents store water in their tissues, leaves, and stems, this is a significant concern. They are vulnerable to root rot if submerged in water for an extended period of time. Some folks are rigid about all planters having drainage holes.
Some people don’t care as much about holes. Here are some things to think about if you have a container that you really want to use for growing succulents and cacti but you’re worried about drainage problems.
To Drill or Not to Drill?
You can certainly drill a hole into the planter, and you don’t need to be skilled with tools to do so. How to start drilling a hole in ceramic, glass, etc. is covered in a ton of free video tutorials. Please click on “How to Grow Succulents in Pots without Holes” for detailed instructions on how to drill a hole in glass or ceramic containers.
Things to Consider Before Drilling a Hole
What would drilling a hole cost you? Would it be more expensive to buy a pot with drainage or to drill a hole? Most households already have a drill.
Most likely, all you need to spend money on are some reasonably priced diamond drill bits. When you consider how much use you will get out of a drill, even if you don’t already own one and must buy one, you might view the purchase as a wise financial decision.
You must decide which item you value more, the plant or the pot. You might want to think twice before drilling a hole in a particularly expensive pot that you spent a lot of money on or perhaps an antique. Additionally, once a hole has been made in something, there is truly no going back; it is irreversible.
So think about which is more essential to you: the plants’ value or the container’s value. Succulent plants are fortunately inexpensive and simple to replace. The reason we adore them so much is that they are extremely simple to cultivate and spread.
Do Succulents Need Drainage?
Succulents in pots—can they thrive without drainage? In light of this, you’ve made the decision to plant the succulents in a container without holes. How long will they be able to survive? Succulents can live and even flourish in pots without holes, so yes, they can. Everything hinges on how you take care of the plants.
The main issue that individuals have is with irrigation. Succulents can suffer from people overwatering them, which is bad for the plants. Succulents can flourish for a long time in pots without drainage after you understand how to properly water them.
Here is evidence that succulents can thrive in containers without drainage for a long time. In this instance, the container failed much earlier than the plants. The containers of these plants have outlived them. The plants are still flourishing, as you can see. They spent around two years in this container. How did I manage to keep them around this long? primarily from utilizing the right potting material and adequate watering practices.
I’ve attempted to repair this in the past with hot glue. I decided to repot these plants after around two years.
How to Plant Succulents in Pots without Holes
You can make a layer for drainage in the bottom of the pot by adding a layer of rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice (or a combination of these). By allowing extra water to flow out of the soil and into the rocks at the bottom, this can help prevent root rot. By enabling the water to drain from the soil more quickly and keeping the roots from spending too much time in moist soil, this helps prevent root rot.
Think about how big the pot is. You will primarily need pebbles, pumice, or smaller rocks if your pot is small. You’ll need bigger and more rocks the bigger the pot.
You can incorporate pebbles, boulders, pumice, or perlite into the cactus potting mix in addition to the drainage layer. Adding larger particles to the soil, which is typically highly compact, generates more space between them, allowing water to drain out more quickly and preventing the roots from soaking in damp soil for an extended period of time.
The aid of activated charcoal aids in water absorption. Additionally, it has inherent antibacterial qualities that can inhibit the growth of germs and fungi. A layer of activated charcoal, about 1/2 inch thick, can be added over the rock layer or in the bottom of the pot.
Although it is optional, activated charcoal is a nice choice to have if you want more drainage and absorption. It might not be possible to utilize activated charcoal if the pot you’re using is small. Please visit my resource page to learn where to buy activated charcoal online.
You’ll need extra dirt as the container gets bigger. More soil indicates that the soil can hold more water. Consider the plants you are utilizing while selecting the pot size.
Large containers are unnecessary for small plants. When repotting, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the new pot shouldn’t be more than 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the old one. Succulents don’t require a lot of extra space because they prefer a small pot anyway.
How to Water Succulents Without Drainage
Your watering strategies are the key to the plants’ survival in pots without holes. Keep in mind that extra water cannot drain from the pot, so water the plant sparingly. You should take particular care when watering plants without holes if you tend to overwater your plants. In between waterings, let plants dry out, then check the soil for moisture.
Use a syringe, a spray bottle, or a squeeze bottle if you want to better manage the water you put into the containers. Make sure to spray the soil, not the plant’s surface, while using a spray bottle. You want the water to reach the plant’s roots so that it can be absorbed there.
The size of your container, the growing season, and the environment where you reside all have a significant role in when and how often you should water. The dry and growing season tends to increase the need for water on plants. Plants require less water during the slower growing season and cooler months. I normally observe the plant to determine when and how frequently to water it. In general, I water once every 7 to 10 days throughout the summer and less frequently, once every 10 to 14 days or more, during the cooler months.
My plants receive plenty of sunlight because I keep them outside the entire year. Additionally, my area is rather dry, and the midday sun may be quite warm. You don’t need to water as frequently if you reside in a humid climate.
Water the plants sparingly to begin with and then increase the amount as necessary. Until you determine the plants’ watering requirements, it is preferable to underwater rather than overwater.
If you mistakenly added too much water, you can carefully tilt the pot over while holding the plants in place to prevent them from falling out to drain the extra water. To dab the extra water, you can also use a dry towel or paper towel.
If you keep your plants outdoors, be sure to transfer the pots without holes to a shaded area when it looks like it could rain. Pour away the extra water as soon as you can if you forget to move the pots and it rains on them.
When your plants begin to shrivel, that’s a strong indication that they need more water. Usually, the leaves are the first to do this. You are typically underwatering if you touch a plant and it feels soft and unfull of water.
Time to Repot
Let’s assume that despite your efforts, the plants are not growing healthily. Not to worry. Succulents are extremely tolerant plants. The plants can be taken out and replanted elsewhere. When given the necessary care, they frequently recover quickly.
In this instance, the pot isn’t doing well, but the plants are. I potted these plants in the following manner. I took stem cuttings and placed them in several pots because I wanted them to grow more. As usual, I added perlite to a cactus potting mix for enhanced drainage.
They were divided into two pots. Jade clippings from a prior project were also included. My favored method for propagating and expanding my collection of succulents is stem cuttings. It seems to me to be the most straightforward and successful. For further information, please click on “Easiest Way to Propagate Succulents: via Stem Cuttings.”
Do succulents require particular pots?
The composition of your pot is the next factor to take into account. Glass, metal, wood, ceramic, and plastic are a few popular materials used to make pots. What is the best material, then? It depends on where your setup is located.
Ceramic and terra cotta are both reasonably permeable materials, so they can be used in spaces that may not get a lot of airflow. In fact, I’ve discovered that they function effectively both indoors and outside.
A terra cotta or ceramic pot can heat up in direct sunshine, which isn’t ideal for succulents but typically isn’t a major issue. But keep in mind that if you leave your soil in the sun, it may dry up more quickly.
Terra cotta and ceramic pots have the drawback of being incredibly heavy. If you decide to grow in a large pot, you could discover that it’s tough to move once the dirt and succulents are in (or perhaps even before).
You have to be careful not to drop or knock over these kinds of pots because they are also pretty delicate.
Another well-liked material for pots and plants is plastic. The fact that plastic is frequently much lighter and less delicate than ceramic is a big advantage. The drawback is that it is less permeable than porcelain or terra cotta. Compared to other types of pots, plastic pots make it considerably difficult for water to evaporate.
However, if you have a drainage hole in your pot and utilize a well-draining soil, this lack of airflow shouldn’t be a problem. Plastic planters are incredibly versatile in terms of color and shape, which makes shopping for them a lot of fun.
Wood is a pretty intriguing alternative if you’re searching for an unconventional way to plant your succulents. The driftwood planter I crafted last summer is fantastic. Compared to a standard pot or planter, it is significantly more attractive.
Additionally, because it keeps cool and holds water, wood is beneficial for succulents that are kept in direct sunlight or other warm conditions.
On the other hand, you might discover that wood can rapidly rot or keep your soil damp for too long if you’re planting in a place with less sunlight and airflow. The wood may split from being watered or degrade over time.
Wood pots might not endure as long as others due to all these factors. However, wood may look incredibly lovely if you put it in the appropriate place.
For planting succulents, metal is often not a fantastic long-term option. You can use it, but be mindful that because of the rapid temperature variations, the soil may become overheated.
Additionally, if you don’t use a metal container made expressly for planting, it may ultimately rust, which is bad for succulents. It’s best to prepare to move your succulents to a new container after a while if you choose to use a metal container.
There is no denying that succulents look stunning when planted in glass. Glass containers, however, typically don’t have drainage holes (although the wine bottle planter below does!).
Glass is not very breathable, thus your soil will have a difficult time drying out unless your container has a big aperture and allows for a lot of wind, in addition to the drainage issue.
Additionally, glass is quickly filthy and tends to accumulate deposits from hard water. You must be careful where you position your arrangements, especially if, like me, you have young children running around your home, as it is highly breakable.