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The Most Effective Way to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

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This post shares how to seal drainage holes in pots.

The Most Effective Way to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

Okay, I know you might be thinking, “didn’t she just do a quick tip post on how to plant in pots without drainage holes? And how she is telling us how to seal them?” Yes. Yes I am. It’s the opposite problem to having no drainage: having too much drainage.

I recently bought a few cute pots that had drainage holes in the bottom of them but didn’t come with saucers. Really strange…what’s the point of a drainage hole if you’re just going to get water all everywhere as it drains out? You could buy little plastic saucers, but sometimes it ruins the look of a pot if you’re shooting for a specific aesthetic.

I have many plants that are perfectly happy with no drainage, you just need to make sure to use a well-draining soil, build some drainage into the bottom (see the post I linked above!), and not over water. Promise. So I decided to plug the drainage holes and call it a day. This tip is especially nice if you want to mount a plant on a plant stand like this one I’m working on:

No where for the water to go! And this pot didn’t come with a drainage saucer. This was the first pot I sealed using concrete, and that’s the process I’m going to share today.

Here’s what you need:

  • Concrete mix, the kind you just add water to
  • Disposable bowl and spoon
  • The price sticker the pot came with or aluminum foil
How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

And here’s how to seal drainage holes in pots.

Step 1: Grab a sticker or foil

If your pot is new and came with a price tag on the bottom, use it to cover the hole. This will give you the cleanest result. If you don’t have the price tag, just set the pot down on aluminum foil or something else that it’s porous.

So, for example, a paper towel wouldn’t be a good idea, nor would a piece of paper. But wax or parchment paper might be fine. Don’t overthink it. Just grab something. 🙂

How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

Step 2: Mix concrete

Mix up just a bit of concrete in a disposable bowl. I used Cement All, which is super easy to use. You can probably pick some up at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. Even the smallest box is kind of heavy, but it has a neat little handle on it.

Just add one part water for every four parts powder you use. (Detailed instructions are on the box!) Once completely mixed, the consistency should be like wet sand. It will start drying quickly, though, so don’t mix until you’re ready to pour.

How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots
How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots
How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots
How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

Step 3: Pour to seal

Pour down into the bottom of the pot immediately and let dry. You could pour enough just to seal the drainage hole, or you could do a layer on the entire bottom of the pot. That’s what I did just because it seemed like the safest bet and I already have enough concrete mixed up.

When it’s dry to the touch, you can peel off the sticker or whatever you used. See how neat the sticker kept it?

How to Seal Drainage Holes in Pots

And that’s it. You can throw some rocks or perlite in the bottom of the pot for additional drainage if you have a finicky plant. I usually also always use well-draining soil like something designed for succulents.

That’s the approach I’ve taken on many or my DIY planters without drainage like the DIY stainless steel hanging bowl planter, the thrift store bowl hanging planter, the upcycled teacup planter, the tiny tea tin planter, the upcycled candle holder turned into a planter, and the assortment of saucer-less pots I have.

If you like this post, you might like my post about how to care for pothos plants, how to grow golden pothos from cuttings, how to propagate prickly pear cactus pads and how to grow German Ivy. And don’t miss my post on indoor planter DIYs to help you decorate with plants!

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golden pothos hanging basket,
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Share my tutorial for how to seal drainage holes in pots on Pinterest!

Learn how to seal drainage holes in pots
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Monday 14th of August 2017

will this work on plastic pots?

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