Most plants need drainage to thrive. Containers with holes are sieves for excess water and they also help prevent root rot, fungus, and bacterial growth. Even though it seems plants can’t live without proper drainage, there are unique houseplants that don’t need drainage holes. These varieties either come from very wet or very dry environments.
Learn about these amazing indoor plants options and how to properly care for them. Below are some excellent low-maintenance plant choices that can survive without drainage.
Succulents in Terrariums
Succulents are great for terrariums for many reasons: First, they store water in their leaves and stems, so they don’t need much watering. Second, they’re slow growing plants and third, they’re small in size which make them perfect for enclosed glass containers. A terrarium does not have drainage holes, but you can easily add drainage layers to the terrarium to act as a water filter.
A terrarium can be any glass container you want it to be such as a goldfish bowl, a mason jar, a geometric glass holder, or even a small aquarium.
To prevent succulent roots from rotting, you need to create those drainage layers starting with a 2- inch platform of pebbles, small stones, or coarse gravel. Next, a large spoonful of activated charcoal is placed on top of that layer to prevent bacteria from growing on the stones once they are wet. Finally, add a layer of moss on top as a base for your potting soil. Remember that all layers should measure 1/4 to 1/3 inch of the whole terrarium as you want enough space for the succulents to grow.
The frequency of watering your terrarium will depend on if it is open or closed. For open containers, you can spray your plants with a mister or a tablespoon of water weekly. For closed terrariums, the succulents need water every four to six months.
Note: Succulents are tropical plants and like dry, but humid conditions for growth. An open terrarium offers the best option for moist growing conditions.
Bird of Paradise
The bird of paradise is a striking plant with dramatic orange and deep blue flowers that resemble a bird’s head. This plant is native to the eastern Cape of South Africa and grows in coastal bushes and along riverbanks in a rainy climate. For these reasons, the plant can thrive in wet surroundings and no drainage holes are needed.
Water regularly in spring and summer, but do not over drench. When fall comes around you can reduce watering. The root ball should be fairly dry from the end of November onwards between watering.
To aid drainage you can add grit in your loam-based compost. Your soil must be moist during the summer but wait until the pot runs dry before watering again. Make sure to fertilize your plant bi-weekly using a liquid feed in the summer and once a month in winter. Always read the instructions on the package for accurate measurements.
Birds of paradise need almost full sun in the summer and a sunny spot in the winter in order to bloom. The plant needs at least five hours of direct sun in the mornings. During the summer months, try moving your plant to a south-facing window that has more direct light. In winter, artificial lighting is good to use as there is limited natural light entering your space during this season.
When it comes to humidity the bird of paradise thrives in 60 percent high levels. In winter, when indoor temperature drops, so does humidity — You can compensate by keeping your plant on a pebble tray.
Birds of paradise do so well in greenhouses or conservatories, but you can create a similar atmosphere if your temperature range is correct. This plant does well with some ventilation and a daytime temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It needs night temperature of 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
Golden pothos also known as devil’s ivy, is a fast-growing vining plant with variegated leaves in green and yellow. You can place the stems in a tall vase with water, a mounted container on the wall, or an indoor trellis or a moss pole in a pot. These unique ways of displaying your pothos help the capture the vines beauty as they grow.
The soil should be well-draining and airy or your pothos runs the risk of root rot. Choose a potting mix with perlite, pumice, and bark chips.
Pothos is more drought- tolerant than water-tolerant, so err on the side of caution and underwater. Wait until the soil from top to bottom is completely dry before watering. To test, simply use your finger or a chopstick. Your plant will also help you with the test by drooping and showing softer leaves which is a sign it needs water. As the soil takes time to dry, water every one or two weeks.
Pothos thrives in filtered light and does not bode well in direct sunlight. The plant prefers high humidity with a temperature between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pro Tip: Eliminate the need for drainage completely by growing your pothos in water! Simply cut a stem after the node and remove the leaves from the bottom. Then put your cutting in a glass bottle with water and watch them grow!
No Drainage Needed!
All in all, it’s well worth looking at plants that don’t need drainage holes. You can create amazing terrariums, pretty vase arrangements, and ornamental poles and trellises to house some of your favorite plants.
Will you try any of these indoor plants that don’t require drainage holes? Leave your tips and tricks in the comment field below.