Trying to have a green thumb

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Trying to have a green thumb
Mon, 03-24-2008 - 3:34pm

Spring time is here (although still a little cold here :( and I'm itchin to get outside. I would like to try some containers. I have had a few hanging baskets and/or pots throughout the years and I always manage to overwater/underwater. There have been times when I found out that there was no drain hole in the container. Then I've been told and have read that you should to put a rock over the drain hole to prevent losing soil. Why do they even make these types of containers with no drain hole? If you put a rock over the drain hole then essentially there's no drain hole?

I feel a little silly asking about this but....I'm confused about this drain hole business!!! LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2008
Mon, 03-24-2008 - 3:56pm

If you cover a drain hole, it should be with something curved, like a broken piece of clay pot, so it doesn't block the hole. It's supposed to keep the soil from compacting and blocking the drain hole, yet allow extra water to escape the pot. I wouldn't use a rock for this purpose.

Actually, I never cover a drain hole at all. I've never had a drain hole get blocked by soil, really. And the soil only comes out of the drain hole the first couple of times you water the pot, so I don't see any reason to mess with the drain hole at all.

Pots with no drain hole at all are pretty useless, IMO.


Edited 3/24/2008 3:59 pm ET by mtathome2008
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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2008
Tue, 03-25-2008 - 10:47am

There are so many different types of containers, some have one big drain hole, others have several small one. I don't know if one is better than the other, but I have better luck when I put something over the holes. It just makes a little air space so the water drains well without taking soil with it. But you know what~ do what works for you!

Another thing I have discovered that really transformed my containers is a product called Soil Moist. Mix it in with the soil when you plant. It swells and holds water, and releases it slowly back in to the soil. It really helped with that mid summer wilting, when you can hardly keep things watered. Everything stayed lush and full all summer, without having to water constantly.

Anne Read My Garden Blog
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Wed, 03-26-2008 - 2:08pm

Hello and Welcome Emma!

Lets see if I can help you unclog your drain issues. :) Planters with no drain holes are supposed to be ideal for kitchen counters, and plants that like wetter conditions. No holes - no water on the counter. Some of them are supposed to be self watering, so they'll have like a tiny spout on the side where you're supposed to pour the water in, and then the water gets evaperated up into the soil and dispersed more. Personally I have had bad luck with these kinds but other people swear by them.

Putting rocks in the drain holes to keep soil in - this should be pebbles

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2007
Tue, 04-08-2008 - 6:38pm

Pots with no drain holes are the only ones I use those and baskets lined with plastic.