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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.

In order to protect young plants from the elements and insects, cheesecloth is also a traditional row covers.

It is recyclable and compostable after use.

Plastic Mesh

Before filling with potting soil, place this above the drainage holes.

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.

Because of the water, this rusted over time.

The ability to easily shape the plastic mesh makes it useful for this application.

It is adjustable to fit the size and shape of the planter or flower pot.

After a planting season, the mesh is always available for reuse.

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 a well-drained potting soil for the effective growth of the plant.

You won’t even notice the fabric once you laid it out down in garden beds and covered it, making it sustainable and affordable.

Pot Shard Or Flat Rock

On the planter’s drainage holes, you can put small, flat rocks or shards of broken pottery.

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.

Consider materials that will take up enough space 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.

If the peanuts are small, you can use plastic bags to pack them.

At the bottom of the large planters or flower pots, you can place the bags containing the peanuts.

Before inserting the Styrofoam peanuts, place a gauze or mesh over the draining holes.

All you have to do is anchor your soilless plant in the bottom of your potting container with two inches of packing peanuts.

Similar to how heavy rocks and pebbles can support and aerate the root system as a growing medium, polystyrene pellets do the same.

You can also place a mesh over the packing before pouring the potting soil.

However, because they could degrade in soil and water, leaving you with sunken-in containers, styrofoam peanuts are not advisable right now for potted plants.

Used Bottles And Cans

Out of plastic bottles, you can make n irrigation tube for your plants.

These can be cheap and easily available options.

Make a series of tiny holes all along the sides of a 16 or 20 ounce plastic bottle to allow water to drip out.

Place the bottle next to the plant and bury it completely, only leaving the top of the bottle exposed.

Used soda bottles and crushed cans are good space fillers for large planters.

You can arrange the used bottles 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.

Poorly drained soil is one of them.

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 don’t want your plants to die from lack of air while choking on water.

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.