Succulent Pot Drainage: 5 Steps To Grow In Pot Without Holes

Succulents are unique plants that require specific care to thrive and this starts with proper succulent pot drainage.

succulent pot drainage

For these drought-tolerant plants, you’d want the right kind of pots that allow excess water to escape and prevent root rot.

In this guide, we’ll explore the essential techniques for successful succulent cultivation in non-draining containers.

So, let’s dive in and discover how to create a vibrant succulent display, even without drainage holes!

Can I Use A Succulent Pot Without Drainage Holes?

First, Succulents pots without any drainage are not ideal for their well-being.

Because this type of plant water in their leaves, stems, and roots, so overwatering can cause root rotting and mushiness.

To prevent this, it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Planting succulents in pots with drain holes is highly recommended.

However, technically, you can still use a container without drainage holes for your succulents, but remember to exercise caution!

succulent pot drainage

I would not recommend putting the succulent pot in areas where it may be exposed to rainwater or risk being drowned.

Moreover, you need to carefully monitor your watering when using these types of pots.

Afterall, succulents, with their shallow roots, thrive best in shallow bowls or pots that allow for adequate drainage and prevent waterlogging.

What to Do with Pots That Have No Drainage Holes

Imagine finding a beautiful pot without a hole that you simply must have! Don’t worry; there are two options for you.

Firstly, you can drill holes in the pot to create proper drainage. However, if you’re concerned about damaging the pot, opt for the second option.

Add a sufficient amount of drainage materials to the pot before planting your succulents. I will explain the step-by-step guide for the potting mix below.

succulent pot drainage

Pot Choice for Succulents

When choosing pots for your succulents, drainage holes are preferred. However, if you come across a pot that catches your eye but lacks drainage, fear not!

You can still create a suitable environment for your succulents. Terra cotta pots or ceramic pots are excellent options for displaying succulents.

Succulent Choice for Non-Draining Pots

Most succulents can be replanted in non-draining pots without any issues for at least 6-12 months.

However, remember not to overwater them. Here are some great indoor succulents for beginners:

  • String Of Bananas
  • Aloe Vera plant
  • Haworthias
  • String Of Buttons
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Hens and Chicks
  • Burro’s Tail Sedum
  • Flowering Kalanchoes
  • Calandivas
  • Jade Plants
  • Elephant Bush
  • Gasteria
  • Panda Plant
succulent pot drainage
Left to Right: String Of Bananas – Aloe Vera plant – Haworthias

How to Plant Succulents in Pots Without Drainage Holes

Step 1: Add a layer at the bottom of the pot

Start by placing a layer of gravel, rock, or pebbles at the bottom of the pot. The size and depth of the material depend on the pot’s size and the succulent’s root ball. Clay pebbles or lava rocks are excellent choices for creating proper drainage.

Step 2: Add a layer of charcoal

Next, spread a layer of charcoal on top of the rocks. Charcoal helps improve drainage and absorbs impurities and odors. It acts as a barrier between the roots and any excess water that may accumulate in the pot, so it’ll help stop any rotting or funky smells from happening.

Step 3: Add a layer of succulent and cactus mix

Place a layer of succulent and cactus mix on top of the charcoal, ensuring that the root ball sits slightly higher than the pot’s rim. The chunky mix provides excellent drainage and aeration, which is essential for succulent roots.

Step 4: Use worm compost

Fill in the sides of the root ball with the succulent mix and top it with a thin layer of worm compost. Worm compost enhances the soil’s nutrient content and promotes healthy growth.

Step 5: Let the succulents settle in

Allow the succulents to settle in their new home for 5 to 7 days before watering them.

succulent pot drainage

How to Water Succulents Without Drainage Holes

To control the amount of water you give your succulents in non-draining pots, consider using a measuring tool such as a cup or even a turkey baster.

Squeeze bottles with long necks are also excellent for controlling water flow.

Water your succulents every 2 to 3 weeks, adjusting the frequency based on your climate and the season.

How to Keep Succulents in Pots Without Drainage Holes Alive

The key to keeping your succulents thriving in non-draining pots is proper watering. It’s better to underwater than overwater succulents.

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and adjust the watering frequency according to the weather and season.

succulent pot drainage

Also, remember about light and temperature for your succulents.

Succulents are pretty chill when it comes to lighting. They prefer bright, indirect light because direct sunlight can be a bit too intense and make them “ouch”.

However, there are some cacti that actually love soaking up the sun in their natural habitats, but since we’re dealing with our own little plant world here, we need to give them some TLC.

So, whether you’ve got a covered porch or patio, a bright room, or even just some shade from other plants, these succulents and cacti will thrive just fine in any of those spots.

When it comes to temperature, most succulents and cacti aren’t big fans of frost. Some might not make it through anything below 45 degrees.

But hey, here’s the good news – if you have a succulent container garden, you can simply bring them inside during those chilly months!

succulent pot drainage

Conclusion about Succulent Pots without Drainage Holes

While drainage holes are essential for plant health, sometimes we stumble upon unique pots without them.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully plant and water succulents in pots without drain holes.

Remember to prioritize proper drainage and adopt a mindful watering routine to keep your succulents happy and thriving in their non-draining homes.