Can You Grow Plants In Pots Without Holes? The Truth Revealed

Those little holes at the bottom of a plant pot is an important component for a healthy plant.

But can you grow plants in pots without holes?

Well, the short answer is yes.

You can grow plants in pots without drainage holes, but there are some pros and cons to it, and you need to be careful with watering. Otherwise, you might end up with soggy soil, root rot, and unhappy plants.

Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of using pots without holes for your plants.

So let’s get started!

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Is It OK To Put Plants In Pots Without Holes? Pros And Cons

Pots without holes are also known as cachepots or decorative pots. They are designed to hold another pot inside them, usually with drainage holes.

The idea is that the cachepot catches the excess water that drains from the inner pot, and you can empty it when needed.

However, some people like to plant directly in pots without holes, either because they don’t have an inner pot that fits, or because they like the look of it. This can work, but it has some advantages and disadvantages.


  • Pots without holes are more aesthetically pleasing than plain plastic pots with holes. They come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, so you can find one that suits your style and decor easily.
  • Pots without holes can prevent water from leaking onto your furniture or floor. This can be useful if you have wooden surfaces that can get damaged by water stains or mold.
  • Pots without holes can help retain moisture in dry environments or during hot seasons. This can reduce the frequency of watering and prevent your plants from wilting.


  • Pots without holes can cause water logging and root rot if you overwater your plants. This is because there is no way for the excess water to escape from the pot, and it accumulates at the bottom of the soil. This creates anaerobic conditions that suffocate the roots and allow harmful bacteria and fungi to grow.
  • Pots without holes can make it harder to gauge how much water your plants need. You can’t see or feel the moisture level at the bottom of the pot, so you have to rely on other indicators such as the weight of the pot or the appearance of the leaves.
  • Pots without holes can limit the oxygen supply to the roots. Plants need oxygen as well as water to survive, and they get it from the air spaces in the soil. If the soil is too wet or compacted, there is less oxygen available for the roots.

The Best Plants For Pots Without Holes

Not all plants will thrive in pots without holes.

Some plants are more sensitive to overwatering than others, and they will quickly suffer if their roots are constantly wet.

The best plants for pots without holes are those that:

  • Have shallow root systems that don’t need a lot of soil depth
  • Prefer moist but well-drained soil that doesn’t dry out completely
  • Can tolerate low light conditions that reduce evaporation
  • Have succulent or thick leaves that store water

Some examples of plants that fit these criteria are:

Plant NamePlant Description
African VioletA popular houseplant with fuzzy leaves and colorful flowers that blooms year-round. It likes bright but indirect light and moist but not soggy soil.
Peace LilyA graceful plant with glossy green leaves and white spathes that resemble flowers. It thrives in low to medium light and moist but well-aerated soil.
Snake PlantA hardy plant with upright sword-like leaves that have yellow or white edges. It can survive in low light and dry soil conditions. It also purifies the air by removing toxins.
ZZ PlantA glossy plant with thick stems and oval leaves that look like jade. It is very drought-tolerant and can survive in low light and neglect. It is also known as the eternity plant because it can live for a long time.
Some examples of plants that can grow in plants without holes

These are just some of the plants that can do well in pots without holes, but there are many more.

You can experiment with different plants and see how they respond to this method.

How To Water Plants In Pots Without Holes?

Watering plants in pots without holes is a bit tricky.

You need to be careful not to overwater or underwater your plants, and to provide them with adequate drainage.

Here are some steps to follow when watering plants in pots without holes:

  • Check the moisture level of the soil before watering. You can do this by inserting your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If the soil feels moist or wet, wait until it dries out a bit.
  • Water your plants slowly and evenly until the water reaches the top of the soil. Avoid watering directly on the leaves or stems, as this can cause fungal diseases or rot.
  • Wait for a few minutes and then tilt the pot slightly to drain any excess water. You can also use a turkey baster or a syringe to suck out any water that pools at the bottom of the pot.

Repeat this process every time you water your plants, and adjust the frequency according to the season, the plant type, and the environment.

Additional tips to remember when watering plants in pots without holes are:

  • Use room temperature water that is free of chlorine or fluoride. These chemicals can harm your plants or alter the pH of the soil.
  • Water your plants in the morning or evening, when the temperature is cooler and evaporation is lower.
  • Water your plants less frequently in winter, when they are dormant and need less water.
  • Water your plants more frequently in summer, when they are actively growing and need more water.
  • Observe your plants for signs of overwatering or underwatering, such as wilting, yellowing, drooping, or browning of the leaves.

Some Tips And Tricks To Make It Work

Pot with no drainage holes

Growing plants in pots without holes can be challenging, but there are some ways to make it easier and more successful.

Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned from my own experience:

  • Add a layer of drainage material at the bottom of the pot, such as pebbles, gravel, perlite, or activated charcoal. This will create some space for the water to drain and prevent it from stagnating at the root zone.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix that is suitable for your plant type. Avoid using garden soil or heavy clay soil, as they tend to retain too much water and compact easily.
  • Repot your plants every year or two, depending on their growth rate. This will refresh the soil and remove any salt buildup or root rot that may have occurred.
  • Use pots that are slightly larger than your plant’s root ball, but not too big. This will give your plant enough room to grow without leaving too much empty space that can hold excess water.
  • Use pots that are made of porous materials, such as terracotta, ceramic, or wood. These materials allow some air and moisture to pass through them, which can help regulate the soil conditions.
  • Place your pots on a tray or a saucer that has some pebbles or gravel on it. This will elevate your pots and allow some air circulation under them.
  • Place your pots near a window or a bright spot that receives indirect sunlight. This will help your plants photosynthesize and use up some of the water in the soil.

The Verdict

Growing plants in pots without holes is possible.

But it requires some extra care and attention. You need to be mindful of how much water you give your plants, what kind of plants you choose, and how you provide drainage for them.

If you follow these tips and tricks, you can enjoy having beautiful and healthy plants in pots without holes.

And if you ever get tired of this method, you can always drill some holes in your pots or transfer your plants to pots with holes.

I hope you found this post helpful and informative.

And if you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and fellow plant lovers!

Nadine is a passionate gardening writer sharing practical tips, innovative ideas, and valuable insights on plant and soil care, In her spare time, she tries to convince her plants to grow by singing them catchy tunes.

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