Ask a Question forum: Hanging Baskets and Watering

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New York City (Zone 7b)
Apr 24, 2016 1:46 PM CST
So I purchased some plants recently...

I'm told an indicator of sufficient water is when the water starts dripping from the bottom.

Under my spider plant basket, it is very evident that there are 4 holes for water to drain. However, in the other baskets, such as philodendron, there are no holes.

I asked the guy that sold it to me and he said there is indeed some kind of drainage system in the other basket, and if i water it, I will see the water come down to the bottom.

The thing is, I've had this type of hanging basket before. It is the standard plastic basket that you get when you a buy a houseplant. I never remembered watering a plant in this type of basket, and seeing the water come down. I also get the feeling he was just saying anything so I can buy it.

My question is, is there a drainage system in this basket? Or do I need to punch some holes in the bottom and create one.

I would just water it and find out but I'm afraid if there is not some sort of drainage system then the plant could get root rot?
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Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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Apr 24, 2016 3:09 PM CST
I think that if you can't see any holes in the bottom of the planter, you'd better drill a few! Some planters come with a mesh screen that holds the potting soil above the bottom of the pot, and water drains down into the bottom and pools there. Having a reservoir of water in the bottom of the pot does mean that you don't need to water so often, but it also makes it very easy to overwater and get waterlogged soil.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Apr 24, 2016 4:33 PM CST
Very easy to tell - just slip the plant out of the pot, in the sink (put a paper towel over the drain to catch any errant soil and place the plant carefully on that while you test the pot) then run some water in the pot and see if it gets out the bottom. If it does, you're fine.

It looks to me like there is some sort of drain system, and maybe it's got a block to keep the soil from washing out, but it will still drain.

BTw, sometimes indoor plants - especially hanging ones - can get really dried out, and the soil then resists soaking up the water you pour in the top. Water just runs through, down the insides of the pot and out the bottom. It's a good policy to set your plants in a big bowl or a bucket and soak them thoroughly about once a month. They'll also appreciate a really good shower, so if you do this in the kitchen sink, spray them all over with water while they're soaking.

Guard against this drying out by knowing how heavy your plant feels after it's been well watered. Then if you lift it up and it feels really light, you know the soil has dried out.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
New York City (Zone 7b)
Apr 30, 2016 11:12 AM CST
Thanks for the feedback! Turns out there is a drainage system as I saw the water drip from the bottom.

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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May 1, 2016 6:47 AM CST
That looks like the classic plastic hanging pot that does have a drain hole but it's recessed about 1/2 inch above the bottom surface of the pot, allowing 1/2" of water to pool in the bottom, which will kill plants. That can be fixed by either knocking the drain saucer off of the pot, or by adding your own holes to the bottom, whichever applies to your particular pots. There's also a plastic disc inside some of them, which I always remove.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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Name: James
Anacortes, WA (Zone 8b)
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May 1, 2016 7:41 AM CST
It's hard to tell in that particular picture, but it does look like there is a drain saucer connected to the bottom. If there is one, you should just be able to snap it off, and that would solve your problem. If there is a small slit all the way around the bottom, and you can get your fingers in there, pop that bad boy off. Thumbs up
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