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How to Drill Drainage Holes in a Concrete Pot

Wondering if you can drill drainage holes in a concrete pot? I was, too—and I wondered if I’d need a specialized hammer drill to drill through concrete. It turns out that it’s easy, and you can do it with a regular drill. Learn how.

Quick tip: How to drill drainage holes in a concrete pot

I recently did a quick tip post about how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot, and it’s been pretty popular! I was kind of amazed by how many people found the information useful, but I guess a lot of pots come with no drainage holes! And there are a lot of people out there who might want to drill a hole in something that wasn’t originally designed to be a planter (like a teacup?). 

So I wanted to share a related tip on how to drill a drainage hole in a concrete pot. While concrete pots aren’t as common as ceramic pots, concrete is super trendy right now. That means that a lot of cheap pots will be made of concrete, but a lot of them won’t have drainage holes. 

curly orchid cactus hanging in a concrete pot

Here’s what I used:

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And here’s how I drilled drainage holes in a concrete pot

I actually used a masonry bit to drill into ceramic, too—despite the particular bit not being designed for ceramic. And it worked! Though I would recommend using a bit designed for tile when drilled into ceramic even if both can work.

For concrete, however, I recommend using only a masonry bit. These bits are specially designed for tough materials like concrete and brick. They have a special tip that helps them burrow into the material to create a hole.

masonry drill bit

When I first started looking into drilling a hole in a concrete pot, I was worried that I’d need a hammer drill. That’s because a lot of concrete drilling jobs require a hammer drill—the concrete is usually just too thick for a regular drill, and you need more power. 

I don’t have a hammer drill, though. And I don’t want to buy one. So I decided to just buy a masonry bit and try it with my regular cordless drill. Note that you should not buy a masonry bit that says it is for use with hammer drills. If you’re using a regular drill, make sure you buy a bit that says it is for “rotary drills.”

masonry drill bit
masonry drill bit

Drilling the holes

I popped on some safety glasses because flying concrete is not good for the eyes. (There wasn’t any, but you can never be too safe!). I then flipped the pot upside down and began applying medium pressure as it slowly worked through the concrete. Once I did the first hole, I drilled two more. 

This whole process took only about 2 minutes. I actually did it after I picked Ramona up from daycare one day and told her to stand in the doorway and watch me. That’s how fast it was! (Plus it’s good for her to see mom using power tools, right?)

how to drill holes in a concrete pot
how to drill holes in a concrete pot

If you like hanging planter DIYs, check out my stainless steel bowl hanging planter, my easy update of a clearance hanging planter, and my scrap wood hanging plant pot holder!

After drilling the hole, I placed a pieces of a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot, added a thin layer of perlite for enhanced drainage, and then planted my gorgeous new curly locks cactus (epiphyllum monstrosa, which has care needs very similar to the night-blooming epiphyllum I’ve written about!).

Since the curly locks on this plant look so gorgeous hanging over the side of the pot, I decided to use a new leather plant pot holder I got to hang it from a front window. To avoid damaging the base of the plant pot holder, I set the pot on a piece of cork that was just the right size!

And that’s it—I can easily take the pot down to water the plant, letting the excess drain into the sink. Then I can set it back into the pot hanger and let the cork board absorb any excess condensation.

beautiful curly cactus hanging in a concrete pot
beautiful curly cactus hanging in a concrete pot

Pin my tips about how to drill drainage holes in a concrete pot!

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