For someone who really loves succulents, finding unique containers or pots to put them in is one of the exciting parts of growing and collecting them. But since succulents don't like sitting in water for long periods, they prefer to be grown in a free-draining pot to thrive. So if ever you have the option to choose, always get a pot with good drainage or drill one yourself. However, if the pot you have doesn't have any drainage hole or it is too thick and will likely crack if you drill a hole in it, don't get dismayed. There are a few tricks that can help you minimize the risk of killing your succulents.
Choose the pot
While there are different types of pots, terracotta ones are always the best choice when growing your succulent. It is made of porous clay, which would help keep the soil and evaporate water faster. Hence, lessening the chance of staying wet for too long.
Types of Pots for Succulents | Click here to purchase
Many people love growing succulents in glass containers or terrariums because of their unique look. Glass is more tricky compared to other materials since they tend to intensify the heat. So if you fancy growing succulent in glass containers, it is recommended that you pick an unsealed glass pot or open terrarium and avoid placing them in a very bright spot.
Glass Succulent Pots | Click here to purchase
Prepare the potting medium
Growing plants in a pot without any drainage hole will lead it to die from root rot or disease due to the wet medium. To prevent, consider adding some materials like rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice in the pot to increase the survival rate of your plant. This will allow the water in the soil somewhere to drain down as they have spaces in between, thus helping to prevent the roots from sitting in wet soil too long.
Here’s how you can set up your medium:Step 1. Put a layer of rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice at the bottom of the pot evenly. This will increase the drainage rate of the soil and prevent water from accumulating, which may lead to root rot. Also, consider the size of the pot when putting pebbles or rocks. Keep in mind that if the pot is small, then you would mostly need pebbles and pumice, or smaller rocks. For larger pots, you’ll need bigger and more rocks. You can add crushed charcoal to remove the algae built inside the pot.
Step 2. For the last layer, add soil about halfway up of the pot. From there, see if more soil is needed depending on the size of your succulent, as the larger the plant you have the more soil it needs in order to establish its root system. Remember, it is important to use well-drained soil and not just an ordinary one as it will allow better airflow making the water to evaporate easier.
How to water
One of the biggest problems when growing succulents using a non-draining pot is watering. Since you need to know the amount of water you are giving your succulents and how moist the soil is, as too much water will cause them to suffer from being overwatered and too little will most likely leave them being underwatered. To determine the level of moisture in the soil, here are a few tricks you could apply:
Use Moisture Meter. This is a great tool to use as it will tell you exactly how wet the soil is, and using one is really simple. All you have to do is to stick it in the soil and wait a minute for the device to display the level of moisture. You’re looking for a reading of zero moisture, or very close to it.
Use Chopstick, a clean skewer. or anything similar. Using one of these is most likely how the bakers test to see if a cake is done. Just simply stick or push it into the soil surrounding the succulent. Keep it for a few minutes and if you see there is soil clinging to it (the skewer) or there is watermark on it (the chopstick), then no need to give it a drink yet.
However, if you have none of these items or can’t find a nearby store that has one, then you can simply use your finger by sticking it into the soil. If you aren’t feeling much wetness around the root ball, then it’s time to water your succulents.
In addition to soil moisture levels, you need to know how much water you are pouring into your succulents. Since the container has no drainage, we recommend that you try wetting the top of it only, about 2.5 inches of soil. Here is how you can do it:
Use a large syringe or watering bottle with measurement. Using this is very ideal, especially when it comes to watering succulents in a no-drainage pot. It has measurements on the side that will help you see how much water is inside the bottle. This will make sure you don’t overwater your plant and be sure to only wet the soil, not the leaves. If you don't have a large syringe or watering bottle, you may also use a measuring cup.
The bottom line is, one shouldn’t be discouraged from not having a pot with a good drainage hole. Instead, use it as an excuse to learn a few tricks in helping you fully enjoy that beautiful succulent and special pot!
Watch the video below to see How to water succulents in no drainage pots