Give Pots Better Drainage

  • Give Pots Better Drainage

The key to growing healthy plants is well-drained soil, so drill holes in the base to customise containers for planting. 

For the best plant growth and health, the growing medium needs to supply a balance of water, oxygen and nutrients. 

Potting mixes are designed to provide aeration and drainage for successful container growing but all pots need drainage holes to prevent the mix becoming saturated.  

If the mix is too wet the roots can’t take up the oxygen they need to survive, leading to rot problems. 

Well-drained soil has enough air pockets to let water run though freely, so it doesn’t get waterlogged or drain so fast that the roots dry out. 

You can put a small pot inside a decorative container without holes but you’ll have to constantly check the plant isn’t standing in water,as this can also lead to root rot. 

A better solution is to make drainage holes in the base of the container using a cordless drill. 

TIP Even pots with holes should be raised off the ground with pot feet or small stones to assist drainage. 

Choosing a drill bit 

To make drainage holes in plant pots, choose the right type of drill bit for the material.

MASONRY- Terracotta and ceramic pots need a masonry bit.

HSS-  Metal containers need a HSS (high-speed steel) bit. 

TWIST- Plastic and PVC planters need a sharp twist bit.

GLASS AND TILE- Fibreglass containers need a glass and tile bit.

Making the drainage holes

For a 150mm pot, drill three evenly spaced drainage holes about 5mm in diameter using a cordless drill.

Step 1. Mark the holes

Mark the holes to be drilled on a piece of duct tape secured to the base of the pot using a pen.

Step 2. Wet the tape

Wet the tape with water using a spray bottle, to prevent the drill bit overheating while drilling the holes.

Step 3. Drill the holes

Drill the holes through the tape on the pot base using a cordless drill, applying gentle pressure.

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