Is a Drainage Hole Important in a Container?

by | May 21, 2019 | 4 comments

I get a lot of questions concerning pots without drainage holes, called cachepots.  Should you drill a drainage hole? What’s great about the pot I just purchased (and I have been seeing more of these in the garden centers), is that it has a “plug” in the bottom of the pot.

Plug in the pot so it doesn’t drain

It can be removed OR left in, depending on whether you want to use it as a cachepot or not.

Can see the plug looking from inside

How do you pronounce cachepot?

Cachepot is pronounced ‘cash-po’!

What is a cachepot?

A cachepot is an ornamental receptacle to hold and usually to conceal a flowerpot or French, from cacher to hide + pot pot . So if you want to use it as a cachepot to just “hide” your pot, leave the plug in. Place your plant still in its utilitarian grower’s pot in the decorative pot. Take it out to water it and then after letting it drain, put it back in the ceramic pot.

Use as a cachepot and “hide” your pot

Just set the plant inside and remove to water

Now, because it is just a plug in the pot and thought it most likely will not let water through the plugged hole, I personally would still place it on a saucer in case water seeps out. I’m weird like that….

Or take the plug out and plant your houseplant right into the pot. That is what I prefer, but that’s just me. You do what is best for you. Using it as a cachepot would definitely be a good choice if the container in question is an antique or special and you don’t want to drill a hole.

Here is the plug removed

What if my pot doesn’t have a hole?

On the other hand if you find a pot you like without a plug to remove, it is time to break out the diamond-tipped drill bit or masonry bit. I found this adorable face pot but it didn’t have a drainage hole. That never stops me from buying a pot.

It’s time to break out the drill!

I just get out my drill and diamond-tipped drill bit and drill a hole in the pot. I place it on a sponge in the sink as when using this drill bit you need to have water running on it to keep it cool, and the sponge protects it from breaking while drilling.

Simply place a piece of screen over the hole to keep the medium in and let the water out

I place a piece of window screen over the hole to keep the medium in, but let the water drain out freely. (NO DRAINAGE MATERIAL NEEDED)

I had a ledebouria or silver squill and gave her some hair. What do you think?

I planted a ledebouria or silver squill for hair.

The point is, if you are using it as a cachepot, not directly planting in it, you can leave the plug in or choose not to drill a hole. If on the other hand, you want to plant it directly in the pot, I highly recommend drilling a hole. It really is better for your plant as you can more readily determine if it is getting watered properly and draining well. No drowned plant as water can escape out the bottom.

How do you handle a pot without drainage? Cachepot or no?

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  1. patricia a KRUPICA

    where can i find this one?


      Patricia, Are you looking for the pot or the plants?

  2. Imma

    Hi, I have a Palmer majestic plant that is in its grow pot and I’d like to put it directly into a large plastic cachepot. I need to also make this cachepot heavy. How do I go about it?
    I was thinking about putting rocks inside to make it heavy and placing the grow pot on the rocks. But not sure if this is a good idea and also end do I need to make holes in the cachepot since the grow pot has drainage holes?

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Imma,
      I think you could put the large rocks in and set your plant on top of the rocks in the grower’s pot. Then, either remove it to water, drain, and return it to the cachepot, or be careful when watering not to leave it standing in water.



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