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Don't Clog the Drain Hole

By Dutchlady1
January 17, 2012

When planting in a pot, always make sure to cover the drain hole loosely with gravel or (my favorite) pot shards. This stops the drain hole from becoming clogged.

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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jan 16, 2012 6:58 PM CST
It is also a good idea to put a small piece of screen down before adding the gravel to keep earwigs and others from eating the roots of your plants.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jan 16, 2012 8:16 PM CST

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A used dryer sheet works!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Jan 16, 2012 9:01 PM CST
No use if you don't use dryer sheets Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Jan 17, 2012 5:48 AM CST
Same here, Hetty. I lay my broken pottery shards over the drainage holes in pots. I got in that habit of that with my succulents and still do it with other things as well. Also use coffee filters.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 17, 2012 10:22 AM CST
I like the idea of dryer sheets and coffee filters! I have been using old stockings or plastic screen I get from a local craft store.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jan 17, 2012 12:47 PM CST
I bet there are plenty of used dryer sheets in laundromat trash cans, if you don't mind rooting through other people's trash.

Name: Melvalena
N Texas (Zone 7b)
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Melvalena
Jan 17, 2012 5:54 PM CST
I line the bottom of my pots with landscape cloth.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2014 4:19 PM CST
If you want to bottom-water a pot using a wicking systems or capillary mat, that drain hole is a critical resource. The capillary mat needs to touch the soil THROUGH the hole.

Or, you can loosely fill the hole with something that wicks (cotton fabric, acrylic felt, acrylic yarn or maybe braided nylon parachute cord. That might leave some room for some soil to escape, but it will provide a "capillary bridge" or wick between the watering pad and the soil in your pot.

Of course no wick is needed if you bottom water by immersing the pot in a few inches of water.

The bottom hole is also valuable if you accidentally over-water. For example, heavy rain might have flooded the pot. If the plant can't drink drink all that water fast enough to keep roots from rotting, set the pot down on a towel that dangles down even lower than the bottom of the pot. Now gravity is added to capillary force, and excess water is pulled down and out of the pot much faster than it would have drianed by graivty alone. This even remove4s perched water.

I wish I remembered who taught me the phrase "wick-in, wick-out"!

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