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What To Put In The Bottom Of The Planter For Drainage

The planter pots must have a good drainage system. Well-drained soil enhances the development of roots as water will not clog the air pockets. Clogged roots get rot and ultimately the plant dies.

Some planters and flower pots have drainage holes, but they may get blocked by the soil in time. How then do you ensure the holes are not blocked?

What to put in bottom of Planter for Drainage

You can cover your planter base with some practical materials before adding the potting soil to the planter. These materials will guarantee good drainage and keep the soil from getting washed off through the holes.

Materials For Good Drainage At The Base Of Planters

Heavy materials like gravel, broken potteries and concretes have been used by some people. But it has been found out that these do not help with the drainage.

The gravel will not pull the water away from the soil. The water only collects within the soil instead of draining away. It is essential to take note of the nature of the materials to be used.

Other materials like newspaper and teabag get decomposed quickly and disappear. Such materials are not suitable for proper drainage of the planter for a considerably long time.

Below, we have listed the best materials you can use to aid drainage at the bottom of your planter:


The drainage holes of your planter or flower pot can be loosely fitted with cheesecloth. Poking the cloth into the holes will not block them but hinder the soil washing off through the holes.

The cheesecloth will allow the water to drain off through its pores and the drainage holes ultimately.

Plastic Mesh

This is placed above the drainage holes before filling with the potting soil. The mesh must be fine enough to protect the soil from washing off through the holes.

It is advisable not to make use of metallic mesh. This is get rusted within time because of the water.

The plastic mesh comes in handy for this purpose since it can be easily shaped. The mesh can be fitted to the size and shape of the planter or flower pot. The mesh can always be reused after a planting season. It will just be washed and reinserted if it is the same planter.

Weed Barrier

Another good option for ensuring good drainage is a weed barrier. The weed barrier or landscape cloth is woven and put at the base of the planter. This prevents the soil from seeping into the draining holes.

The weed barrier allows the water to drain through but not the soil. This is a good material for maintaining that the potting soil is well-drained for the effective growth of the plant.

Pot Shard Or Flat Rock

Small flat rocks or broken pot shards can be placed on the draining holes of the planter. This will stop soil from clogging the holes.

Potteries can also be used, small terracotta pots can be placed on the holes. For more effective results, a piece of mesh can be placed before putting the flat rocks, pot shards, or the terracotta pot.

Dealing With Large Planters And Flower Pots

When the planter is large, the obvious concern is the size. The materials mentioned above may not be enough, especially when the flowers or plants intended for the planter do not need the space.

Materials that will take up enough space are needed in this case. Materials taking up sufficient space and at the same time achieve proper draining of moisture are the deal. These are some quick suggestions:

Styrofoam Peanuts

These are good for covering up spaces and keeping the soil well-drained. The peanuts can be packed in plastic bags if they are small in size. The bags filled with the peanuts can then be placed at the base of the large planters or flowering pots.

A gauze or mesh can be placed above the draining holes before putting the Styrofoam peanuts. A mesh can also be placed over the packing before pouring the potting soil.

Used Bottles And Cans

These can be cheap and easily available options. Used soda bottles and crushed cans are good space fillers for large planters. The used bottles can be arranged at the base with the caps still on to keep them sturdy.

This can take up to half or one-third of the planter or flowering pot space. This is dependent on the plant root depth.

A fine mesh placed above the bottles or cans before pouring the potting soil is essential. This will prevent the soil from washing to the base and clogging the draining holes. A double mesh before and after the bottles can also be a good tact.

Drainage Is Dear

Several things can go wrong to hinder the proper growth of plants and flowers in a planter or flowering pot. One of them is poorly drained soil. The roots will get to rot in time due to choking on their airspace. This is why getting the right materials at the base of the planter is important.

What should I put in bottom of Planter for Drainage

Do not just fill the base with pieces of stuff that will take up space; consider the drainage. You will not want your plants choking on the water while air is snuffed out.

That will be a great injustice to the plants and flowers and you for your efforts.

For small planter and flowering pots, plastic mesh, weed barriers, and cheesecloth are viable options. With large planters and pots, consider more space occupying options.

You can use Styrofoam peanuts in plastic bags or used containers and cans. Drainage is dear to your flowers and plants. It must be dear to you as well for the sake of the plants. Well-drained soil produces healthy plants.