Drainage 101 - Tips To Ensure Healthy Plants

Indoor plants have never been more popular, and our infatuation with all things leafy shows no sign of slowing down in 2023. An incredible 18 million Australians have adopted an indoor plant in the last year! The psychological benefits of bringing nature inside have never been clearer, especially with ongoing lockdowns and increased time at home, as we recognise that a connection to nature is a connection to better wellbeing.

Plants inject life to any indoor or outdoor space. They make our homes look amazing plus have health benefits by make the air we breathe healthier.

For those of us that love plants and the vibe they bring, but are a little unsure of how to keep them alive, here are some basic tips about drainage that will ensure your plants drain well and their roots don’t rot away!

  • A pot with a hole is ideal for plants, as it provides any excess water with a place to go. These pots will need to have a saucer if you are keeping them indoors especially if they are on any surfaces that could be damaged by drips of water. Some horticulturists recommend placing moss or gravel at the bottom of the pot under the potting mix to prevent roots sitting in water if you are one of those people that over waters their plant babies.
  • Another option is to use a plastic grow pot inside a normal pot (the grow pots are what plants are grown in and often how they arrive from the nursery or garden centre). Make sure the grow pot is slightly smaller than the ceramic pot so you can reach in and pull it out to water your plant, letting it drain completely before returning it to the pot. This is a great option to use in pots that don’t have drainage holes (called cover pots in the nursery industry).
  • Hydroponics, or growing plants in water is a low maintenance indoor plant trend. It means there is no messy soil and no repotting, and you will definitely not over water these plants! You will need to use a pot with no drainage hole.
  • For those of you that are handy, it is possible to drill a hole in the bottom of any container to enable it to act as a planter, whether it is a ceramic pot, a metal bucket, an old wheelbarrow, or tin cans. A power drill and a little water, and every pot can have a hole! Check out the many how-to videos on drilling a hole in a pot if you are keen to try this one out!
  • Not all planters have drainage holes, and that’s okay, too! There are plenty of ways around a pot without a drainage hole, including using a plastic grow pot or drilling a hole as above. In fact, some of the most stylish planters do not have drainage holes, as a clean look without a saucer can be desirable (and no drainage hole prevents water dripping on valuable surfaces such as wooden tables).
  • Cactus and succulents that do not need much watering can be happy in a small pot without a hole as long as you use specialised succulent potting mix, which has absorbent qualities. Be careful not to overwater, and don’t leave the pot where it may be rained on or drowned. If you're growing succulents indoors, it's likely you want a pot without a drainage hole so you can keep your succulents on the counter and not worry about water coming out the bottom of the pot.

Here at Sill & Sage, we have all types of pots - pots with holes, pots without holes, ceramic pots and metal pots. We have something for every plant and every space! Enjoy your healthy, well draining plants in your green home!