Do Succulents Need Drain Holes

It is feasible to utilize a container without drainage holes, but it shouldn’t be kept in a location where it could get wet or drown. In these kinds of containers, watering needs to be regularly managed as well. Because succulents’ roots are shallow, a shallow bowl or pot is ideal. 2.

Do succulents require drainage holes to survive?

Without any sort of drainage, succulent pots are doomed from the start. Succulents store and hold water in their roots, leaves, and stems.

If you water them too frequently, they will succumb to root rot and become mush. Planting them in pots with drain holes is a good idea because they prefer to dry out between waterings.

Watch the video down below! I’m watering and growing succulents in pots without drainage holes at my work desk.

There are no drainage holes in a lot of attractive pots. You occasionally come upon a container you adore, so what do you do?

Is it possible to hydrate succulents with ice cubes?

One of the most enjoyable pastimes you can engage in is caring for plants. They will not only give you many advantages, but they are also aesthetically beautiful. Simply ensure that you are aware of how to care for them.

Be mindful of the risks if you decide to attempt watering succulents with ice cubes. It’s conceivable that your plants will be harmed or killed if you subject them to such jarring temperature variations.

Any plant won’t like having its watered with ice cubes, succulent or not. To avoid stressing them out, it is preferable to use room temperature water. Additionally, you should plant plants in containers that encourage proper water drainage as well as good air circulation.

Without any holes for drainage, how can I water my plants?

One of the most crucial abilities a plant parent must know is how to water a houseplant. In contrast to what we typically believe, overwatering is more frequently the cause of plant failure than dry soil. We frequently emphasize the significance of holes at the bottom of pots because holes allow extra water to drain away from the plant’s roots, preventing overwatering. What happens, though, if your preferred container lacks a drain hole? While perhaps not ideal, the absence of drain holes is also not a deal breaker; you will just need to take a few extra safety measures. We’ll discuss how to water your favorite houseplants in their favorite containers, whether or not they have drain holes, in this article.

For Containers with Drain Holes

It can be challenging to strike the correct balance between under- and over-watering, but if your container contains drain holes, the characteristics of the potting mix itself will support your efforts. Professional potting mix is constructed of a unique blend of organic ingredients including peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, and pine bark, unlike the soil we find outside. These components provide a fluffy, light substrate that promotes healthy plant growth by holding exactly the correct amount of moisture close to the roots and allowing extra moisture to swiftly evaporate. In addition to providing the roots with the necessary oxygen and preventing harmful cases of bacterial rot, a good airy potting mix allows the proper quantity of air to circulate around the roots. The enhanced drainage properties of a commercial potting mix work best when drain holes are present to allow the extra water to drain away, regardless of whether the mix is a classic potting mix used with many of our tropical houseplants or it’s a specialty mix created especially for plants like cacti or orchids.

Therefore, the ideal way to water most plants in a container with drain holes is to fill the pot with water until the potting mix is totally moist from top to bottom, then allow the extra water drain out the holes. When should we water our lawn? For many houseplants, such as dracaena, pothos, philodendrons, and rubber plants, to mention a few, we advise delaying additional watering until the top inch or two of the potting mix has dried up. The frequency of those occurrences is influenced by a number of variables, including the temperature, humidity, the plant’s root system, and the amount of light it receives. For instance, indoor plants in bright light frequently require more watering than indoor plants in dim light. But there are other kinds of houseplants as well. Some plants, including cactus and sansevieria, require their potting soil to almost fully dry up before receiving any additional water. Others, like as ferns and prayer plants, prefer a fairly constant moisture level. You’ll develop a watering schedule that satisfies your plants’ needs as you learn more about them and come to know them on an individual basis. Drain holes assist you in figuring it out by preventing an excessive amount of water from remaining close to the roots.

For Containers Without

However, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if your preferred container doesn’t have a drain hole. You won’t discover holes in many of the most exquisite and attractive ceramic containers. They won’t be present in glass used for terrariums either. However, plants can also be effectively raised in these kinds of containers by plant parents.

The simplest approach to use a container without any holes is to simply leave it empty. Instead, use it as a decorative sleeve over a different, more practical container that already has holes in it. Our collection’s indoor plants are all packaged in sturdy plastic “grow pots with great drainage. Drop the plant into the decorative container while still in its current pot. When it’s time to water, lift the plant and grow pot out, fill the sink or bathtub with water, and let it soak up all the water. It can then be placed back into the attractive container. This procedure, known as “staging” or “double-potting,” makes the most of the grow pot’s advantageous drainage system as well as the aesthetics of the outer pot. This strategy works well for plants that are sensitive to overwatering, such as cacti. Regarding appearance, it could be difficult to detect that you haven’t planted directly into the decorative pot if the two pots are comparable in size and fit together well. If necessary, you can also cover your two-pot setup with a layer of sphagnum moss or greenery on top of the potting soil. If you use a decorative layer, make sure to move it aside sometimes to check the moisture level of the soil.

The double-potting technique may be excellent for the plant, but it isn’t always feasible for the plant parent. Perhaps the decorative pot doesn’t fit the grow pot very well. Perhaps the plant is so large that moving and lifting it to water it will be impossible. Then, it is also possible to place your houseplant directly into a container without any holes; you will just need to pay closer attention to your plant’s cues on whether or not it requires additional water. Remember that any water you add to the potting mix in this case will remain there until the plant uses it all. Therefore, plants that don’t mind spending a lot of time resting in a little more damp, such maidenhair ferns and Venus fly traps, work best potted directly into containers without any holes. You’ll need to water sparingly for houseplants that like their potting soil to dry up a bit before their next sip. You need to carefully pour just enough water to adequately saturate the soil surrounding the roots without waterlogging the potting mix and leaving water lingering in the bottom of the container, as opposed to thoroughly soaking the potting mix as you would if there were drain holes. This is simpler to perform with a glass container since you can see the potting mix and determine when to stop adding water. Do these containers require a little more effort to water plants than they would if they had drain holes to assist? Yes, but having access to that wonderful ceramic pot that fits in your home so well? No doubt worth it. For instance, Dana Howerter, our creative director, grows a lot of her plants, both big and little, in glassware just because she likes the way it looks in her house.

What to Watch For

Finding a watering schedule that works for you and your plant collection, whether or not your container includes holes, is a learning process. Plants have unique methods of expressing their requirements, and if you pay close attention to them, you can use them to your advantage. If the container lacks any drainage holes, it is extremely crucial to keep an eye out for these symptoms. It’s time to water again, for example, if you are aware that it has been a while since you last watered and the plant begins to look a little wilty or, in the case of a succulent, shrivels. When a foliage plant begins to wilt but you’ve recently watered it and the soil is still damp, it might be trying to inform you that you overwatered it and it’s not getting enough oxygen to its roots. A foliage plant’s leaves might become yellow or get black patches from overwatering, which is a sign of a bacterial or fungal illness. In this situation, relocate the plant to a more sunny area, skip watering for a few days, and check to see if the plant recovers. If not, you might need to unpot the plant, remove the old potting soil, and replace it with fresh soil. As usual, please speak with a member of our greenhouse staff if you have any questions about how to properly water the different plants in your collection or if something alarming occurs. We’ll be glad to assist.

Even though most of your plants and you will find that using pots with drain holes is the easiest option, don’t let that discourage you from using a container without them. Whatever planter you decide on, with time you’ll learn to detect the signals your plant puts out regarding its water needs and be able to know what to do to keep it happy and healthy for a very long time.

How frequently should succulents be watered indoors?

Indoor succulent plants probably need to be watered once a week. They require ample time for the soil to dry out in between waterings so that the water may be stored in the leaves. Use the following methods and advice while watering succulent plants inside.

  • Use an irrigation system with a little pour spout.
  • Fill the succulent plant’s center with water until it is completely submerged.
  • Allow water to completely drain out of the pot through the perforations. Make careful to empty any water that seeps through the soil if there is a saucer underneath the plant.
  • Since there won’t be enough heat and fresh airflow for the leaves to dry when planted indoors, avoid soaking the leaves to prevent rot from the top down.
  • Dry the soil completely in between waterings.


  • Water flowing downward till it exits the pot’s drainage hole from above: Succulents respond well to this kind of watering, which is the norm for most houseplants. Run a moderate, constant trickle of room-temperature water over the top layer of the soil in your succulent plant using a watering can or cup that has been filled. Your indication to quit is when water begins to flow from the pot’s drainage hole. Give the plant 15 minutes to absorb the last of the moisture. After that, empty any remaining liquid from the tray into the sink.
  • If your succulent’s soil is tightly packed and not appearing to be uniformly absorbing your top watering, you can try the bottom-watering method. The horticulture and owner of the Planthood store in Amsterdam, Monai Nailah McCullough, says that watering succulents from the top can occasionally cause damage to the roots. Watering it from the bottom allows it to slowly and effectively consume enough water. Put your succulent(s) in a shallow dish, plastic container, or tray that is 2 to 3 inches deep with water to bottom water them. Allow them to soak in the water for five to fifteen minutes, or until the top of the soil feels just damp to the touch. Refill as necessary.

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  • Mist its leaves: Succulents are not among the plant species that benefit from a good misting, although some do. Mirroring a plant’s natural surroundings is essential to ensuring its happiness in captivity. Additionally, because they are native to dry regions with low humidity, succulents are unaccustomed to having wet leaves. Thompson notes that “the water can get trapped and develop fungal concerns.” There is basically no point since they aren’t used to being sprayed.
  • Put it in a container with no drainage opening: Drainage holes act as a pathway for water that your plant is unable to absorb. Succulents definitely need it because they are so sensitive to overwatering.
  • Use ice cubes: Some plant owners use ice cubes to give their plants a more gentle and controlled soak because they disseminate a tiny amount of water very slowly. Again, though, if the goal is to simulate the succulent’s natural desert habitat, giving them something very cold makes little sense and might even startle them.
  • Water it less frequently, but more often: You should give your succulent a deep soak rather than a light misting every few days.

How frequently do succulents need to be watered?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.

A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.