Most clay pots come with drainage holes in the bottom that filter water out of the potting mix. While many plants thrive in a pot that has a drainage hole, some plants, like the peace lily, do better without drainage holes. Luckily, there are a few quick methods to plug the drainage hole in a clay pot so you can reuse and recycle these containers.
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What Is the Purpose of Drainage Holes in Plant Pots?
Most potted plants require proper drainage to survive, so drainage holes at the bottom of clay pots come in handy. Drainage holes allow airflow to get through to the potting mix and roots of your plant, which is essential to keep plants happy. Most plant roots do not do well sitting in stagnant water, which can happen without a drainage hole. Plant roots sitting in water for too long are prone to root rot if water cannot properly drain through the pot's bottom.
How to Plug the Drainage Hole in a Clay Pot
If you need to plug a drainage hole in a clay pot, there are a few different methods from which to choose. One of the easiest ways is using a plastic plug or cork. You will need to measure the hole to find the correct size of plug.
You can also create a plug using all-purpose modeling clay. With an empty pot, take some clay and cover the drainage hole. Make sure to push it down to cover the inside and outside of the pot. Depending on the type of modeling clay, you may need to let it air-dry, or you may need to bake the clay in the oven for a proper seal before using the pot.
Coffee filters are a great tool to use when plugging a drainage hole in a pot mainly to prevent potting mix from seeping out of the bottom. You will need to place a coffee filter at the bottom of an empty clay pot for this method. Then pot your plant using potting mix and water it regularly. This method also allows for proper airflow into the pot to keep your plant's roots thriving.
Avoid using gravel or pebbles to reduce or plug a drainage hole in a ceramic pot. While this is a popular method, it actually restricts drainage because water is more likely to collect at the bottom of the potting mix until the potting mix is saturated, which hinders air circulation.