Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Drainage in potted plants is VERY important.
In fact, it’s the most important aspect of container gardening.
Plants need air, water, warmth and light to have a chance of making it in their boring container life. In addition, two of these elements are very critical for plant root development.
On one hand, plant roots need water since all the chemical processes and the transport of nutrients through the plant, take place in solutions made up mostly of water. While on the other hand, roots need air too. If roots have no oxygen for a long time they will suffocate. Take one element out and their chances of survival drops by 35% on average. Having a reasonable proportion almost always guarantees successful growth rate. Even worse too much or too little of one element will affect the availability of the other. For example, too much water will inhibit air availability while too much air means inadequate water or moisture.
A hole at the bottom of the container is critical. It allows water in the soil to drain freely so adequate air is available for the roots. While various kinds of plants have differing drainage needs, few can tolerate sitting in stagnate water. Healthy roots mean healthier plants. So be sure there are holes for drainage.
How to Improve Drainage in Potted Plants
If you’re using the soil add plenty of compost.
If you’re experiencing excessive drainage, it means that you need frequent watering. Otherwise, the water is lost too quickly and your plants might wilt and die.
The root cause for this problem could be that your soil has a high proportion of sandy soil. Universally, sandy soils are large textured and have poor water holding capacity.
On the other hand if your soil has too much clay, drainage will be hindered causing stagnation. When this happens, the roots of your container plants will lack oxygen and suffocate.
Here's the solution
Add compost to your soil and mix properly before planting.
You can buy ready-made organic compost to get a jump start.
But it’s easy and inexpensive to make your own with the right materials and good equipment.
Tumbling composter can help you to efficiently convert your kitchen and yard waste into rich soil enhancing compost.
Plus, time or money invested in your garden’s soil always brings the best returns: healthy, vigorous plants and great harvests. And when you keep yard waste and kitchen scraps from the landfill you’re doubly rewarded.
Adding compost to your soil is like killing two birds with one stone since compost will solve the two extreme problems.