Potted plants against a blue wall

Handy Tips to Improve Drainage in Your Container Garden

Potted plants fill our lives with joy, no matter if you live in a tiny apartment in the city or on a farm on a sprawling lot. 

There are many differences between caring for a container garden and a flowerbed, but one vital difference is how to ensure your containers receive the proper balance of water, sunlight, and nutrients.

While plants outdoors are able to retain their health naturally, container plants need special attention from their hooman to prosper.

With too much water, a plant suffocates. With too much sunlight, it shrivels from lack of moisture. 

That’s where drainage comes in. Having a substantial drainage system in place is essential for the ongoing health of your plants (and it makes things easier for you).

If you are freaking out right now because you’re realizing that your sprout babies were not planted with any sort of drainage, relax- we’ve got you covered with simple tricks to keep the balance strong within your little slice of container paradise.

Black fertile soil

Change out your soil

Excessive drainage means that either your plants are slurping up that water like a slushie on a hot summer day, or the soil is losing water too quickly. This means more work for you, as you have to water frequently to keep your plants from wilting.

There are 2 possibilities for excessive drainage:

  • The soil is too sandy, and that large-grain texture doesn’t hold moisture very well.
  • The soil has too much clay, which causes stagnation.

You can solve this problem by changing out your soil. Opt for organic soil or compost found ready-made at your local garden products store.

Or, you can easily make your own compost at home by collecting nutrient-packed food waste, such as fruit peels, vegetables, coffee grounds, eggshells, and grass clippings.

What happens is the compost is made up of spongy organic matter, which holds in moisture until the roots actually need it. Plus, your plants will benefit from all of those organic nutrients!

Rain Forest Grey Mexican Beach Pebbles

Add landscaping stones to your potted plants

One way to help water drain out of containers is to add a layer of garden pebbles to the bottom of the pot before adding soil.

Most pots come with holes in the floor of the pot already, but if your pots don’t have them, start by drilling or poking small holes that will let the water flow out, but keep the soil in.

Layer the garden pebbles, then the soil and you’re good to go! The pebbles and holes will ensure that moisture is distributed evenly so the roots don’t get oversaturated or too dried out.

Do you have any drainage tricks for potted plants? Tell us in the comments!

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