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How to Use Styrofoam Peanuts in the Bottom of Plant Pots

By Alicia Bodine ; Updated September 21, 2017
Place packing peanuts at the bottom of your flower pot for drainage.

One major problem that occurs in potted plants is root rot. This often occurs because the soil at the bottom of the pot is not allowed to drain, so it remains wet. You can prevent root rot in your potted plants simply by adding a drainage material. An excellent drainage material to use is Styrofoam peanuts. Styrofoam peanuts at the bottom of your plant pots leave room for the soil to drain, and they are also lightweight, so transporting your plant pot from one location to another is easy.

Place 1 to 3 inches of Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of your plant pot. If your plant pot is on the smaller side (6-inch pot), go with 1 inch of Styrofoam peanuts. If your plant pot is on the larger side (12-inch pot), go with 3 inches of Styrofoam peanuts.

Add soil to your plant pot until it is half full.

Set your plant on top of the soil and begin adding more soil to cover all of the roots. You can add enough soil to come within 1 inch of the rim of the plant pot.

Water the plant so that the soil is moist. If your plant likes sun, set it in the sun. If your plant likes shade, set it in the shade.


Things You Will Need

  • Potting soil
  • Plant


  • You may want to add a fertilizer to the soil for added nutrients.


  • You can't use eco-friendly corn packing peanuts in place of Styrofoam peanuts. These packing peanuts dissolve instantly when then come in contact with water.

About the Author


Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.