For pots without drainage, it’s crucial to select soil that drains effectively since it promotes greater airflow. Even though the water still has nowhere to go, if the soil has large particles (1/4 or 6mm is optimal), it will evaporate more quickly.
I typically use Bonsai Jack’s grit combination, but I also frequently use pumice in glass containers. In the glass, the pumice typically appears a little cleaner.
People often “add drainage to a pot” by placing heavier things at the bottom. However, because water collects at the bottom of the pot, this really poses issues for succulents. The water is then trapped by the soil at the top of the pot, which makes it more difficult for the water to evaporate.
The best technique to allow water to evaporate fast is to use a constant particle size, such as 1/4 (6mm) throughout your planter.
Watch the video below to see how I water my succulents, especially those in non-draining pots:
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:
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.
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:
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!
Do cacti require holes for drainage?
Soil: Cacti and succulents do best in permeable, well-draining soils. To improve drainage, the bottom of the container can be filled with gravel or expanded shale. Vermiculite and common potting soil combine to create an excellent succulent mixture.
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.
In a planter lacking drainage holes, what do you put?
In those pots lacking drainage holes, some professionals advise placing a layer of stones as a form of drainage layer. Using this method, extra water can drain into the area between the pebbles rather than onto the soil and into the plant’s roots. Others advise against this approach, even going so far as to label it a “myth,” contending that water has difficulty moving between the two different media and will instead remain within the soil even if pebbles are present beneath it.
However, there is still a method to make use of those lovely pots without drainage holes! Place your plant in a pot that is porous and has a decent drainage hole, such as the traditional terracotta pot, and then set that pot within the bigger decorative pot with no drainage hole.
If the plant is small enough, you can remove it from the decorative pot when it’s time to water and use the drainage hole. Alternately, you may put gravel or stones in the ornamental pot’s bottom and then put the useful pot with drainage on top of that. Gravel could be used in this situation to keep the roots of the plant away from standing water. Additionally, this configuration allows for ambient humidity, which is beneficial for many plants.
Note: Since you have no control over how much water your plant receives, pots without drainage holes should never be used outdoors where it will rain on your plant.
Therefore, feel free to utilize and appreciate those lovely pots devoid of drainage holes, but do so with caution and never at the expense of your priceless plants.
How To Grow Succulents | Succulent Plant Care Info
Sempervivum, Jovibaraba, and Sedum are winter-hardy plants that can grow in zones 3–9.
The majority of succulent species require from half a day to a full day of direct sunlight. It is advised to find some afternoon shade in particularly hot places. Succulents grown in excessive shade will stretch outward in search of more sunlight. Enough sunlight will help succulents grow into gorgeous, colorful plants.
Plants should be gently removed from their containers and planted, making that the soil level is maintained at the same depth as it was in the container.
Keep in mind that most of our plants came straight from the cold frames where they were shielded from the harsh sun and drying winds. For the first week, give your plants and garden décor some shade and cover to gradually adapt them. Every few days, extend the length of the day by a few hours. This will make it possible for a smooth transition.
A layer of pebbles or pea gravel spread on the soil surrounding the plant will be beneficial to your succulents. Additionally, it is very ornamental.
Succulents require soil with good drainage. Make sure the area has good drainage and is not in a low area that would remain wet before planting in the garden. You can buy cactus soil for container gardening or add sand, gravel, or volcanic rock to your potting soil for enhanced drainage. You should have a drainage hole in the container you are using for planting, or you can fill the bottom of the container with crushed rock before adding the planting medium. Spreading gravel or tiny pebbles on top of the ground can add a lot of style.
After planting, water the area thoroughly and wait a short while before watering again. Wet feet bother succulents, who don’t like them. Water whatever you do thoroughly. They will require less water once they are established.
Succulents generally require relatively little fertilizer. During the growing season, they only require monthly watering and a balanced fertilizer.
Each type of sedum blooms at a different period and in a variety of pink, red, and yellow hues.
After the second or third year, Sempervivums will flower. From the middle of the main rosette, which has a cluster of flowers, a flower stalk will emerge. Sempervivum blooms are open, starry, and typically pink. They are carried above the plant on a stem with several blossoms. Fortunately, there are always chicks born earlier from the base that grow in a ring around the mother plant to continue for subsequent years. The monocarpic crown that generates the flower head dies off after flowering. Twist the stalk off gently once the blossom fades, then plant a chick where it was.
Typically, established succulents in the garden do not require winter protection. Snow frequently provides protection for chilly locations. Balsam boughs can be used as a light winter mulch in cold climates without snow cover, but this is typically not necessary.
When your plants are delivered, gently open the package as soon as possible. Once you have unpacked your things, water your plants properly and let them drain well because we ship plants on the dry side. Early-spring shipping succulents could have some dry edges and a lackluster appearance. This is typical, and their color will deepen when exposed to sunlight. Sempervivums change color with the seasons, and each variety has a certain time of year when it is at its most vibrant.
Succulents can be used in countless planting scenarios. The most interesting containers and troughs are those with a variety of colors, textures, and behaviors. Succulents make lovely plants for rock gardens. There is always color since there are so many different bloom times.