How To Plant Cactus In Pots Without Drainage 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.”

Are drain holes required in cactus pots?

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.

How can a cactus be watered without drainage?

Watering is one of the main issues when growing succulents in non-draining containers. Since too much water will make your succulents suffer from being overwatered, and too little will probably result in them being underwatered, you need to be aware of how much water you are providing your succulents and how moist the soil is. Here are several methods you could use to gauge the soil’s moisture content: &nbsp

Moisture meter in use. This is an excellent tool to use because it will show you just how saturated the soil is, and using one is really easy. Simply bury it in the ground and wait a minute for the device to show the moisture content. You want a moisture reading of zero or very close to zero.

Use a clean skewer, chopsticks, or something similar. Most likely, bakers use one of these to determine when a cake is finished. Simply bury it by pushing or sticking it into the succulent’s surrounding dirt. Keep it for a few minutes, and if you notice that the chopstick has watermarks or that the skewer has soil stuck to it, you shouldn’t give it a drink just yet.

However, if you don’t have any of these things or can’t locate a store nearby that sells them, you can just use your finger by burying it in the ground. It’s time to water your succulents if the area around the root ball doesn’t feel particularly moist. &nbsp

You also need to be aware of how much water you are giving your succulents, in addition to the moisture content of the soil. Since the container lacks drainage, we advise you to try moistening just the top 2.5 inches of soil. Here’s how to go about it: &nbsp

Use a big syringe or a measuring water bottle. Using this is highly recommended, especially when watering succulents in a pot without a drainage hole. You can check how much water is inside the bottle thanks to measurements on the side. This will ensure that you don’t water your plant excessively and that you simply moisten the soil and not the foliage. You can also use a measuring cup if you don’t have a big syringe or watering bottle.

The final line is that not having a pot with a proper drainage hole shouldn’t be a source of discouragement. Instead, use it as an occasion to pick up some tips that will enable you to appreciate that lovely succulent and particular pot to the fullest!

Can plants be grown in containers without drainage holes?

Different pots have different drainage systems. Although it seems like a simple differentiation, the size of the hole at the bottom of your pot makes a huge difference in terms of potting, plant maintenance, and plant care.

How to plant in pots without drainage holes is a topic that we get a lot of inquiries about. Some advise against it altogether, claiming that drainage holes are essential for plant health. Can you keep your plant in a pot that doesn’t have drainage holes? Our recommendation is to proceed cautiously.

What does a drainage hole serve? Water is essential for plant survival. But the most typical—and maybe quickest—way to kill a houseplant is overwatering. After watering, drainage holes let extra water to drain out of pots, preventing water from pooling at the base and safeguarding delicate roots from rot, fungus, and bacteria.

Here are some things to keep in mind when caring for plants in containers without drainage.

Rules for Planting: Pots Without Drainage Holes

A small amount of water has a big impact. When a plant is in a pot without drainage, you should make careful to water it sparingly and gradually rather than fully saturating it and letting the extra water run out the drainage hole as we generally advise. Every water drop you add to the pot will remain there. Additionally, watering slowly encourages the soil to absorb water evenly rather than collecting at the bottom.

Use soil modifications The soil of your houseplant doesn’t get compacted or water-repellent thanks to soil additives. These additives not only allow for aeration but also aid in more even water distribution throughout the soil. Perlite, pumice, vermiculite, orchid bark, and horticulture charcoal are examples of typical additives.

When soil without amendments dries out, it frequently repels water and makes caring for indoor plants more challenging. The tiny pieces of porous rock and bark help provide water with more pathways to hydrate the roots of your plant.

Employ activated charcoal. High temperature heating boosts the naturally absorptive qualities of activated charcoal. This implies that, in the event of overwatering, a thin coating of activated charcoal at the bottom of your pot can actually remove some of the extra water, making your plant very happy.

Fungal and bacterial illness are additional problems brought on by over irrigation. Natural microbial features of activated charcoal can aid in warding off those dangerous insects. Added benefit!

Do you feel you overwatered? Shake it off. Yep To enable the extra water to drain, gently flip the pot to the side (or upside down, if feasible) while holding the soil back with one hand. Any soil that is lost can be replaced later.

Avoid being showered on Unless the plant will be protected from rain, you probably shouldn’t use a pot for an outside plant if it doesn’t include a drainage hole. You must carefully control how much water goes into your pot because everything might be lost if it gets soaked during a downpour. Use the appropriate size More soil means longer-lasting moisture. We never advise transferring a plant to a pot with a diameter more than 1 or 2 inches. This is particularly true if your pot lacks drainage holes because the soil will remain moist for longer and you may unintentionally overwater if there isn’t enough root mass to fill the container. Hoya, Jungle Cacti, Tradescantia, and Epipremnum are some examples of the plants we prefer to pot because they enjoy being rootbound into these pots without drainage.

Repot is the last resort. You must pay attention to your plant. In a pot without drainage, your plant may flourish or suffer depending on your environment and personal watering habits. Gently take the plant out of the pot if it isn’t flourishing and examine the roots. Overwatering is indicated by roots that are mushy, black, or brown. In order to repot the plant in a pot with drainage holes and keep it merely damp until it begins to recover, try trimming off any roots that appear to be injured.

Make it a cachepot, expert advice Here’s a tip if you’re a little daunted by the added effort required to put a plant in a pot without drainage. Find a plastic container that is just little smaller than your planter and has drainage holes. Set the plastic pot with your plant into the planter after you’ve potted it. If done correctly, the plastic should be concealed, giving the impression that your plant has been potted right into the planter. Utilizing the drainage holes in the plastic pot, you can then take it outside to water.

Do you have any suggestions on whether to pot plants with or without drainage holes? Let us know in the comments. Happy gardening!