What is the significance of pots with drainage holes? Whatever sort of plants you are growing, employing containers with drainage holes is critical to the health of the plants you are producing. Lack of drainage is one of the most prevalent causes of ill and dying plants, yet it is also one of the most preventable.
What is the Purpose of the Drain Holes in Pots?
With the exception of a few aquatic plants, plant roots do not prefer to be submerged in water for long periods of time. They must exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the surrounding air, and excess water prevents this from happening by blocking the air pockets in the soil. Plants in pots without drainage holes are more prone to becoming over-watered than those with drainage holes. Even though the dirt on the top of the pot seems to be dry, the soil at the bottom of the pot may be completely saturated.
Root rot is a hazardous ailment that may quickly destroy your plants if they are planted in waterlogged soil. Root rot may be identified by wilting leaves that do not perk up after being watered, yellow leaves, and leaf drop. When you take the plant out of the container, you may see roots that are black or brown, slimy, or mushy.
Making sure that there are enough holes in pots is important for a number of reasons, one of which is to minimize salt accumulation in the potting soil. Salinity in tap water and fertilizers may be detrimental to plant health. As plant roots take in water, they excrete part of the salts, which accumulate in the soil over time and cause it to become salinized. When you completely water your container and allow the water to run out via the drainage holes on the bottom of the container, salts are flushed out of the soil and into the container.
Because there are no drainage pores in the soil, salts are never eliminated from the soil and instead accumulate, resulting in an unhealthy environment for your plants. Depending on how much salt has built up in your potting soil, you may see the plant’s leaves becoming brown on the tips and edges, or you may notice a white crust of salt on the soil surface when you water the plant.
Many people keep their houseplants on saucers to prevent the drips from their furniture and floors from the plants. This is acceptable, but be sure that water does not collect in the saucer, where it may drain straight back into the potting soil and get stagnant. Make a habit of emptying the water from each saucer on a regular basis. Alternatively, you may try watering your plants in the kitchen sink and then transferring them back to their saucers when they have drained.
Is it Possible to use Pots that do not Have Drainage Holes?
If your pot did not come with a drainage hole, you may be able to create one by drilling holes in the bottom. It might be better to use your container as a decorative pot in a “double-potting” system instead of a container, if you can’t drill holes in it.
Make a smaller container or pots with drainage holes for your plant and nestle it within a bigger, attractive pot to protect it from the elements. Every time you need to water the plants, just remove the smaller container and fill it with water in the sink. As soon as it has completed draining, put it back into the ornamental pot.
Preventing Flower Pots with Drainage Holes from a Mess
The health of your potted plants is dependent on the proper draining of their pots. Inconsistently wet soil can suffocate and kill potted plants, even though different plants have different needs for how they grow.
When a drainage hole is located at the base of a plant container, water may drain freely, allowing for better air circulation around the plant. However, when water drains away, potting soil is often washed away with it, resulting in a sloppy mess with each normal watering. The good news is that you may avoid the muddle by using one of numerous fast and simple remedies for the issue.
- Fill in the Gaps. Before planting, seal the drainage hole of the container with a substance that enables water to flow freely while still retaining the potting soil in place (see illustration). A broken piece of pottery or a tiny square of fine mesh screen are both good examples of what you may use. You may also cover the opening with a paper coffee filter or a layer of folded newspaper if necessary.
- Make use of a saucer. A drainage saucer should be placed underneath the plant to catch any extra water that flows out of the drainage hole and prevent it from seeping onto tabletop surfaces, floors, decks, or porches and causing them to get soaked. Plants should never be allowed to stand in a saucer of water, though. After watering, let the soil drain fully before removing it from the saucer.
- Saucers should be lined. A layer of pebbles, gravel, or sand should be used to line the bottom of a drainage saucer to enable the container to drain easily and avoid the bottom of the pot becoming soggy. Using this strategy is particularly beneficial for plants that demand high humidity since the moisture evaporates from the wet layer and into the surrounding environment around the plant’s leaf. Colored pebbles or sand may be used to give a beautiful touch to your garden.
- Take it outside for a while. If the weather permits, bring your houseplants outdoors to water them and allow them to bask in the sun for a few minutes while the extra water drains away. Alternatively, you may water them in the kitchen sink while the rest of the water is drained away.
Observation and Caution
Instead of a single big drainage hole, some planting pots incorporate a number of little drainage holes. The smaller pores aid in the prevention of potting soil loss.
Double-potting, which involves putting a pot with a drainage hole within a pot with no drainage hole, helps to avoid problems. However, make sure the inner pot is never submerged in water while the outer pot is. This method is particularly effective for hanging plants.
Do not use containers that have drainage saucers connected to them since these pots may not allow for appropriate draining.
Make no attempt to obstruct the flow by placing gravel in the bottom of the vessel.It is recommended that gravel or other material be put in the pot to promote drainage, but Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State University‘s Puyallup Research and Extension Center advises that doing so would simply exacerbate the issue by preventing water from moving through the pot.