Plants That Don’t Need Drainage

Plants the do not need drainage hole

Houseplants are a wonderful way to add life to boring indoor spaces. Lucky for us, there’s are a plethora of plants that can grow with minimal watering and maintenance. Yes, these are the plants that don’t create the water mess. These plants simply need to be placed in a pot without a drainage hole.

Do All Plants Need Drainage Holes?

All  plants need water to survive, but excess water can rot the roots. That’s why most pots have a drainage hole to allow excess water to seep out of the pots. However, there are exceptions. Not all plants need to be planted in a pot with drainage holes. In fact, certain plants do better without drainage. These are the ones that can tolerate wet soil for a long time.

What Plants Can Grow Without Drainage?

Curious to know the name of these plants? Without further ado, let’s explore the top 10 plants that don’t need drainage…

1.  Anthurium

It’s also known by the name Tail flower and Flamingo. Anthurium as a houseplant grows best in cooler areas.

It needs a medium to moderate light to bloom. Direct light can burn the leaves. It doesn’t need soil with drainage to grow and thrive. Rather, the soil must hold water.  However, this plant doesn’t like continuously moist soil either so, you have to be careful and create the right balance.

You will only have to water it weekly. Anthurium doesn’t need excess water to grow so don’t make it too wet.

2. Autograph Tree

The Autograph Tree, also called, Clusia Rosea, is famously recognized for its thick and waxy green leaves. The dark olive leaves are said to be tough. You can even carve your name into them. Hence why the name “Autograph Tree.”

Clusia Rosea requires lots of bright light to grow. Given that they are houseplants, they can cope well with medium light levels. When it comes to water, the soil should remain moist at all times.

Interestingly, these plans are capable of resisting periods of drought as well.

3. Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen is appreciated for its ability to grow in dim light. It’s mostly seen in offices. This plant lives happily even when placed in the shade and dark indoor areas. No need to worry about finding the right spot.

This plant loves moist soil. After watering it thoroughly, make sure you allow the moisture to dry before you water again. Just make sure you don’t make the soil soggy.

Caution: Never let the roots of the Chinese Evergreen sit in standing water.

4. Coleus

Coleus is known for its brightly colored foliage. It’s also one of the easiest plants to grow. It craves for bright but indirect sunlight.

Like all other plants on this list, Coleus also needs moist soil to grow but not soggy though. The soil needs to remain wet at all times. Keep in mind that long dry spells can slow down its growth. The edges of the leaves might also turn burn when it’s all dried up.

5. Cordyline

Cordyline belongs to its own genus of plants. It’s native to the pacific island and some parts of Southeast Asia.

It has leathery leaves shaped like a lance or spear with a variety of colors springing starting from white, yellow, red, green, purplish-red, to purple itself.

Cordyline needs moist soil to grow and bloom into a happy plant. It doesn’t need much water during the winter. Only water it when the surface of the soil starts feeling dry.

6. Croton

Croton is an evergreen shrub native to Malaysia and India. The name croton is derived from a Greek word meaning tick. It’s a tropical plant with thick leathery leaves. It comes in varying shapes, colors, and sizes.

Since it belongs to a tropical environment, it thrives in a humid environment. It needs wet soil during spring and summer to grow. If you can’t find a humid location for the plant, you must mist the leaves for creating artificial humidity. Croton requires frequent watering but it’s important not to over-water the plant.

7. Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

Devil’s Ivy (Pothos) is one of the simplest houseplants to care for. This gorgeous plant has heart-shaped leaves. It grows fast and it can tolerate a range of growing conditions. Its vine can reach 10 inches and even longer.

Another wonderful quality of this plant is it thrives in both dim light and sunlight. Pothos has a shallow root system. You will need to water it a little bit; just enough to penetrate the roots.

It mostly needs water during spring and summer to grow. The soil doesn’t need to be soaked with water.

8. Dumb Canes

Dumb Canes are one of those pieces of plants that can thrive in any type of light conditions. It doesn’t need direct sunlight though. It’s native to West Indians. In the right conditions, this plant can thrive. The beauty of this plant comes from the unique pattern found on the leaf.

It’s important to keep Dumb Cane’s top layer of the soil moist at all times. It’s capable of tolerating an extended period of water neglect. However, there will come a point when its leaves will begin to shrivel. That’s a sign it’s thirsty for water.

It should be fine when watered twice a week. Dumb canes do not need much water during winters.

9. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is widely seen in offices. It’s believed that these plants bring good luck and fortune, especially when they are given as gifts.

This plant can grow even in a vase filled with pebbles. However, one-inch of water is required, at the very least. It needs well-moist soil to grow. Lucky bamboo is sensitive to chlorine. Therefore, use distilled or mineral water only.

10. Rhododendron

Even though it’s a bush, this plant is attractive because of the low maintenance. It does not like the bright sun and it does best when planted in shade.

Rhododendron requires moist soil to thrive. Excessive water can halt its growth. When the leaves twist or curl, this means that the plant needs water.

How to Plant in Pots Without Drainage Holes?

Now that you know there’s a whole bunch of plants that don’t need drainage holes to survive, you must be ready to discuss the next thing. “How to plant in a pot without drainage hole?”

To get started, you will need the following items:

  • A pot without drainage holes
  • Pebbles or landscape rocks
  • Activated charcoal
  • Potting soil

Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Create a Drainage Layer

This is done by adding pebbles or stones to the bottom of the pot before adding the soil. Adding a drainage layer allows excess of water to get out of the soil quickly and not settle in the roots of the plants, preventing it from damage.

Fill the base up to 2 to 3 inches high. Yes, the water is still inside the pot but there’s a barrier between that water and the plant itself.

Step 2: Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has microbial properties. It keeps harmful bugs away from the plant. It also keeps the soil free from odor-causing bacteria. So your houseplants won’t produce that unpleasant odor at all.

Sprinkle a layer of it on the top of the pebbles. You will need a very thin layer here. It’s ok if the rocks are showing through. Charcoal also assists in absorbing excess moisture and conditioning the soil.

Step 3: Add the Soil

The third layer would be that of the soil. Add the soil halfway up the vessel. Determine how much soil you need based on the size of the plant. If you have a larger plant, you are going to need more soil, of course.

Step 4: Place the Plant

It’s time to place the plant in the pot. If there are any empty areas around the roots, fill it with more soil and press it down. Make sure all roots are covered by soil.

Step 5: Water Slowly

Every drop of water you are going to add to the pot will stay there. Hence, you must water the plant very carefully and slowly. The goal is to make sure water gets distrusted throughout the soil evenly and not settle at the bottom.


Can You Grow Succulents Without Drainage Holes?

Yes, you can. However, the roots of the Succulent plant need to dry out immediately. If you are growing them indoor, a pot without a drainage hole would be a better option since you won’t have to worry that water will seep from the drainage hole.

Do Herb Pots Need Drainage Holes?

Yes, they do. Herbs are not a fan of standing water. Therefore, there needs to be a way for the water to drain out of the pot, even if you are growing the herbs indoor.

Why Do Some Pots Not Have Drainage Holes?

The pots that don’t have drainage holes are meant for planting indoor or houseplants. Since nobody likes messy water flowing indoors out of a pot, it’s safe to use such pots.