Pots with no drainage holes

(29 Posts)
Lorelei76 Tue 30-Aug-16 18:02:30

A colleague has offered me some lovely balcony pots with no drainage holes. She said herself they are not too sturdy ( plastic) so drilling holes not wise

This is a bad idea even if they are free, right? I would put crocus bulbs in.

booellesmum Tue 30-Aug-16 18:28:37

Have drilled holes in plastic before without any problems.
Alternative is a layer of pebbles on the bottom under the soil to give the water somewhere to go.
And just don't overwater.

isthistoonosy Tue 30-Aug-16 18:30:21

We also just drilled holes in ours, which were bendable plastic.

Lorelei76 Tue 30-Aug-16 18:56:31

Oh okay
I did wonder how flimsy they could be to not cope with that.
Yay, free pots. Thanks grin

PitchFork Tue 30-Aug-16 19:01:39

you can drill holes (corkscrew works well for that)
or you can fill them with a couple of inches of pebbles, a layer of newspaper and then compost (depending on size of pot of course.

mollie123 Tue 30-Aug-16 19:11:12

I was going to say drill holes - or bodge with a screwdriver if they are flimsy. Never had a problem with doing that with my plastic pots. I had always wondered (not very important) why they leave the dimples in large plastic pots where the holes should be and not go the whole hog and make the holes anyway hmm

Lorelei76 Tue 30-Aug-16 19:38:18

Mollie I guess it's so they can sell them to people who do want drainage holes and people who don't.
(I nearly left out the word drainage there and it sounded very rude)!

I'm new to this planting malarkey but I can't see why people wouldn't want drainage holes.

shovetheholly Wed 31-Aug-16 08:10:58

Definitely put holes in them! You can buy larger drill attachments to make bigger ones if they are huge, which may be important if these are for a balcony and you can't afford the weight of crocks in the bottom to ensure that the holes stay open. If you don't drain adequately, they will fill with water, the soil will go awful, and they will stink. This happened to me with a fancy metal planter someone gave me - it had just one drainage hole, which wasn't sufficient, and I ended up having to dig out a barrowload of absolutely stinking soil, drill loads of holes in it, and replant the whole thing!

BrillianaHarvey Wed 31-Aug-16 08:13:38

Agree. I had a very bad experience last winter with some zinc planters and expensive tulip bulbs. The planters got to be swimming in water and everything just rotted. Despite a layer of grit in the bottom.

Lorelei76 Wed 31-Aug-16 10:32:10

Oh shove, that sounds a mare!
They're not big planters but yes I will drill holes in them.

shovetheholly Wed 31-Aug-16 10:33:57

Yes, it was! Why did it have to happen with the biggest pot I own too?! grin

Shovetheholly: making all the mistakes so you don't have to grin

drspouse Wed 31-Aug-16 10:35:04

I had some planters that were supposed to be self-watering but I didn't realise they were for indoors only - no drainage holes - horrendous mess.

Make some holes!

senua Wed 31-Aug-16 10:36:49

Don't drill holes in the bottom because then all water will leak out. Drill holes in the sides, about an inch from the bottom, so your plant can have a 'reservoir'.

gingeroots Wed 31-Aug-16 14:18:00

I've heated a metal barbecue skewer before now to make holes in plastic pots if that's any help .
And I think ( tho would love it if someone more knowledgeable could confirm ) that you can use bits of polystyrene ( like those packing noodles ) for lightweight drainage .

Oldraver Wed 31-Aug-16 15:51:42

I've done the heated implement thing..I used one of those carving forks the two pronged one.

And yes to polystyrene in pots.

shovetheholly Wed 31-Aug-16 17:25:35

Yep, polystyrene is great for drainage! I always forget this!

gingeroots Wed 31-Aug-16 17:41:10

I kind of know it in my head but it sort of feels wrong !

shovetheholly Thu 01-Sep-16 07:32:40

The thing is, I've even done it. The chip-like pieces that you get as packing tend to mush down and lose air, but the larger blocks broken into pieces emerge from the bottom of a pot after a couple of years pretty much intact. Which makes me worry a lot about how much of this we are sending to landfill!

gingeroots Thu 01-Sep-16 09:16:14

Mmm - perhaps a good reason to put it to as much good use as we can ????

shovetheholly Thu 01-Sep-16 09:18:23

Yep, exactly! Doesn't reusing tend to work out as more ecologically sound for a lot of products than recycling? Or have I got that wrong?

Lorelei76 Thu 01-Sep-16 11:15:29

holly, that certainly sounds logical.

btw I am not sure how this kind of drainage works. Does the polystyrene actually absorb any water? even if it does, what happens then, especially if it's humid? I can see how you would still end up with a waterlogged stinky pot?

gingeroots Thu 01-Sep-16 11:24:19

I think it creates a layer at the bottom of the pot through which water can drain . I think if you just have soil that it compacts /sticks together and forms a hard barrier .

Oh and if it's just soil all the roots grown into it and again make it a solid lump through which it's hard to get water .

I think .

Lorelei76 Thu 01-Sep-16 11:42:42

yes, it creates a layer, but doesn't the water then collects underneath the drainage layer IYSWIM?

gingeroots Thu 01-Sep-16 11:45:32

ah that's where your drainage holes in the pot come in .

now .....drainage holes in side and/or bottom ? Views from experts ?

which I'm most definitely not!

Lorelei76 Thu 01-Sep-16 11:49:49

ginger, I thought the polystyrene was being suggested when there are no holes in the pot....

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