Regular watering is essential for the health and growth of any plant, including those in a pot. However, watering plants in a container with drainage holes can create quite a mess. Most of the time, a mixture of dripping water and soil from drainage holes causes this mess. If you want to keep soil from falling out of pots, there are several things you can try.
The main techniques How To Keep Soil From Falling out of The Pot/Containers are:
A potted plant needs both water and nutrient-rich potting soil to grow and flourish, so the last thing gardeners want is for both of these essential ingredients to be completely drained out of the pot. There are a few easy methods for keeping soil from falling out for gardeners, which you can try:
Using a container with many small drainage holes
- Adding a filter
- Using a draining saucer
- Using two pots
Why are drainage holes necessary?
It is natural to believe that the simplest way to stop water and soil from washing out of a pot is to start covering the drainage holes in pots; because the water gardeners give a potted plant frequently drains through the soil and out of the bottom of the pot through its drainage holes.
However, the holes are necessary for the plant’s survival, which could harm it. The drainage holes allow excess water in the potting soil to flow freely out of the pot, allowing the plant roots to breathe.
Few plant species can tolerate standing in stagnant or un-drained water, even though numerous species have different drainage needs. Some dangers of a pot without a drainage system include root rot and root suffocation.
Root rot: Root rot is a risk in pots without drainage holes. When a plant’s roots are submerged in water for a long time, it can lead to root rot. Fungi are drawn to this moist environment and start to grow and consume the plant’s roots as food. Yellow leaves, stunted growth, and mushy, brown roots are indications of root rot.
Root suffocation: without a working drainage system in the pot of plant, the rot will likely suffocate and die from a lack of oxygen in the area between potting soil particles, which is where air should be present instead of water.
The soluble salts in synthetic fertilizer solutions used to water plants can start to build up in potting soil if gardeners use them regularly. Without drainage holes in the container, water cannot flush out the surplus salts, which could cause root damage to the plant.
Because there is little room for oxygen to reach the roots, soggy soil frequently causes root rot and other water-related issues. However, these issues can all be prevented with the help of drainage holes for the pot.
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Creating drainage holes in a pot
If your container lacks drainage holes, there are ways to make drainage holes for the plant. Drilling a hole in the pot’s bottom is the simplest method. To make things simpler, some gardeners drill a single, big hole at the bottom of the pot, while others drill several smaller ones. A plant can use either drainage technique; the only requirement is that there is some drainage system.
If a plant has already been potted and doesn’t have drainage holes, then after watering the plant, wait for 30 minutes and turn the pot sideways to let the extra water drain out.
It is possible for gardeners to re-pot a plant into a container with drainage holes, but it is best to wait while the root ball is still developing during the plant’s growing season. Root systems that are disturbed may disturb a plant’s future growth.
Loss of Soil Due to Drainage Holes
Gardeners worry that when they water a potted plant, some of the potting soil that the drained water will inevitably carry away the plant’s needs.
The majority of high-quality potting soils have potent cohesion levels, so remember that you shouldn’t foresee seeing a lot of soil leave the pot. Sandier or coarser soil, however, might be more likely to wash out of the container. In these situations, gardeners will be required to implement a suitable technique to stop a sizable amount of soil from escaping.
How to stop soil from washing out of pots
Drainage holes are required for the survival of a potted plant, so how can we prevent water from washing away some of the plant’s nutrient-rich potting soil? Some plant-friendly methods to prevent dirt from falling out of pots and making a mess include the following:
Using a container with many small drainage holes
Gardeners can select pots with a single large hole or some small holes when selecting a pot for the plant. Pick a container with multiple tiny drainage holes at the bottom instead of one large one to prevent potting soil from washing out of the pot. This way, dirt can stay in place while there are still plenty of places for excess water to drain.
Adding a filter
Placing a thin filter material over the drainage holes is another simple method for preventing dirt from washing out of the pot while it is being watered.
The filter material must be porous enough to let water through, which is crucial. Cheesecloth, paper coffee filters, and a square of inexpensively priced fine mesh screens are a few viable options. If neither of these choices is readily available, you can fold a piece of paper to cover drainage holes in pots.
Before planting your plant in the pot, it is better to place a filter material inside the pot at the bottom, covering the drainage holes, and then add soil to the pot for the plant. To prevent a mess, you can also place the filter on the outside of the pot if the plant is already growing in it, but to prevent a mess, water the plant over a sink or somewhere outside where it is convenient.
Using a draining saucer
Putting a drainage saucer or drip tray beneath the pot is another way to ensure that dirt doesn’t escape and ends up all over a surface. Any extra water or potting soil leaking out of the container’s drainage holes will be caught by the saucer, preventing it from falling out onto tables, floors, decks, or other surfaces.
However, be careful not to leave the potted plant submerged in the saucer of water for an extended time, as this will result in the same consequence as covering the pot’s drainage holes entirely and causing root suffocation. After watering, wait for the soil to fully drain (about 30 minutes is sufficient), then empty the water from the saucer. You can put back any remaining soil fragments in the pot.
Alternatively, you could add a layer of sand or pebbles to the saucer before setting the plant on top. This is especially helpful for plants that require a high humidity level because, when sunlight is exposed, the water in the saucer’s moist layer will evaporate and disperse into the air around the plant’s foliage.
When the pot is placed on top of a lined saucer, the potting soil will be kept inside, and the pot will be able to drain water without sitting in standing water. This method eliminates the need for frequent water drains from the saucer.
Using two pots
We recommend Double potting for hanging plants to prevent water and dirt from dripping from the drainage holes and spilling onto the floor. Additionally, it is best to keep your plant in a larger, decorative pot without draining holes.
Put the pot with the holes inside a bigger pot with no drainage holes for this technique to catch any extra water or potting soil washed out through drainage.
To make sure that the smaller pot is not drowning in water that is standing still in the larger pot, regularly empty the larger pot without drainage holes manually, just like saucers.
Selecting the ideal plant container
Make sure the potted plant is arranged to be at its finest from the start to prevent the issue of extra water or soil leaking out from drainage holes in the first place.
If you’re planting in a pot, it’s best to choose a pot with built-in drainage holes; ideally, one with numerous small holes rather than one large one to prevent dirt from washing out.
Frequently asked questions
Is it a good idea to cover drainage holes in pots?
NO! Covering the drainage holes in pots or using pots with no drainage holes is not a good idea. A proper drainage system is a must for growing healthy plants.
What is the best way to add drainage holes to plastic pots?
One of the speediest ways to make a small hole in your plastic is probably with a power drill. When you start to cut the plastic, the surface may be more accessible if you drill several tiny holes into it. It is best to use drill bits with a diameter of less than 1/8 inch.
To stop soil from washing out of pots, you can try these methods, which are simple and easy to follow. When getting ready to take care of a potted plant, keep all the advice mentioned above in mind. Doing so will help to lower the likelihood of problems later on significantly.