How to Plant Succulents in Pots without Drainage Holes

by Samin Rizvi

Learn How to Plant Succulents in Pots without Drainage Holes and utilize your unused cookware, teacups, and other objects as containers!

Planting Succulents Without Drainage Holes

You can grow succulents in creative DIY planters like teacups, glass jars, small wooden boxes, glass bowls, and more! The most important point to consider while growing them in such creative pots is watering, especially in the absence of drainage holes.

Note: Overwatering can cause stem and root rot. If you notice diseases in the root area, then cut off the rotted roots with a sterilized blade. It will prevent the spread of fungi.

Follow these rules while planting succulents in pots without drainage holes:


While growing succulents in pots without drainage holes, water them only when the soil goes completely dry, you’ll be able to feel it after touching with the index finger. Once you find out the soil is dry, water carefully and thoroughly without disturbing the miniature succulents.

Tip: It is always better to under-water succulents than over-water  

Potting Soil

Commercial succulent mix or your regular houseplant soil should be fine. The growing medium shouldn’t be moisture retaining. You can prepare it yourself by taking equal parts of sand, peat moss or cocopeat, and perlite. If you like, add aged manure too.

Fertilize the Plant Lightly

As there is not going to be proper drainage while growing succulents in pots without holes at the bottom, avoid fertilizing often. Rarely around 2-3 times a year is more than enough.


While growing them indoors, keeping them near a sunny window is a good idea. However, do make sure that you are placing the plant away from the harsh, afternoon sunlight. Alternatively, you can also use grow light for 10-14 hours daily.

How to Plant Succulents in Pots Without Drainage Holes

Use a Layer of Rocks

You can prepare a bed of pebbles, tiny rocks, pumice, and stones at the base of the pot if it’s big. This will help in preventing root rot by draining the excess water into the rocks at the bottom. However, if you are using a smaller pot, then you don’t need to use the bottom layer.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has natural antimicrobial qualities that prevent the spread of fungal and bacterial growth. Adding 1/2 inches of it at the base of the pot will do the trick. However, it is optional, but if you want extra absorption, then this idea is going to work perfectly.

Note: If the pot size is small and compact, then you might not use activated charcoal.

Use the Right Pot Size

If you are using a large pot, then it will require more soil and water, so select the plants accordingly. Mini succulents do not require bigger planters. For repotting, use one size larger pot in diameter than the current one. Succulents favor a tight space; therefore, no need to use unnecessary large containers.

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