How to Plant With Containers That Have No Holes


Creating an attractive, eclectic container garden sometimes means using unusual objects for planters, like vases, urns and ceramic bowls. All plants need drainage to ensure excess water doesn't pool and rot the roots, but not every odd planter you find will have a hole in the bottom. Create your own alternative drainage system and plant your container garden in any decorative planter you find.

Step 1

Fill the bottom of the planter with 1/2 inch of charcoal followed by a 2-inch layer of broken flower pots, rocks and gravel. The mixture should be solid enough to hold up the potting soil, but have enough empty spaces so water can drain through.

Step 2

Fill the pot with potting soil, leaving an inch of space at the top.

Step 3

Plant seeds or seedlings in the center of the potting soil. Water your planter until the soil is saturated. The excess water will drain down out of the soil and into the bottom of the container, away from the dirt and roots. As the soil in the pot begins to dry out, the water in the bottom will evaporate and be absorbed into the dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Charcoal
  • Broken pottery
  • Rocks
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Plastic pot


  • Oregon State University: Good Drainage Crucial to Any Potted Plant
Keywords: no drainage hole, decorative flower pot, container gardening

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.