We all know that all planters need drainage. That is a fact and I have drowned enough plants to know that it is a given that if I put too much water in a planter with no drainage, I can kill that plant in a week! Rotting roots and spongy stems are familiar to me. But even so, I still plant some of my plants in containers that do not have drainage holes!
What? Is my gardener’s club card to be revoked? Is my prized garden hat to be snatched away and burned? Well, I won’t take it back. I do plant in containers without drainage holes.
But that goes against all the rules, right? It does, but rules are made to be broken. I plant in terrariums all the time, open and closed, and I am careful with the water that I put in them. And I have never had one looking like a swamp yet. Don’t we all just control the amount of water we put in the terrarium?
So if we choose to plant in a container and NOT DRILL HOLES, isn’t that a choice that we can make? I have planted a lot of plants in glass containers, including succulents and I am just careful about the amount of water I can put in those.
Those who say you can never do that forget that controlling the amount of the water is up to me. Even with drainage holes, I’ll bet I can drown any plant. Loving to water plants in the evening is not a curse, it is just a way of relaxing. But even if I have drainage holes, I don’t think I could water my Monstera every night for 20-30 minutes and not expect that Old Girl to keel over in a week or so.
So I use containers without holes and I am careful of the amount of water I give them. And if it is a clear container, I can see though it and look at the roots and see if they are wet or dry. Who knew?
I have a few sentimental planters, one of which is a Vintage planter that my Mother had as a girl. She probably got it as a store give-away or prize in Bible school in the 1930s or something like that. If she told me a story about it, I have long forgotten. I am getting old too.
But this little Elephant is something I can remember around the house all my life. It was just there. Like breakfast in the morning, and vegetables to can in the summer, and dishes to wash three times a day. It just always was there. And it had a cactus in it that grew long tails, skinny ones about the size of a pencil, and there were always lots of them. I don’t remember if she pruned it sometimes, gave away cuttings to new brides, church friends or what. But I stayed away from the “stickers” and I guess that’s how she kept it from being broken for so many years. Those stickers made us kids leave it alone! There were five of us kids and she used her sense when she planted that up with a cactus!
She gave me that planter a long while back, but I always kept it in the bedroom and put “stuff” in it or on a desk and put pencils or pens. I never really used it as a planter. After she quit taking care of her plants and moved in with me, the cactus had long been dead and removed, but she still had the planter to pass on to me.
As of this July, my Mother has been gone for eight years. She lived with me her last eleven years of her life and she passed away suddenly one day. I made her one of her favorites, a bowl of Cheerios one morning, which she gobbled up. And she loved her coffee! Cheerios and coffee, her morning was complete.
An hour later she was gone. Just as she wanted. No long sickness, no IVs and hoses, no long hospital stays away from her favorite chair and her Price Is Right on her TV every day. It was over so quickly.
Not Drilling Holes!
So this little elephant is not getting holes drilled in it. It has hollow legs and a decent size to its body. Careful attention will be paid to the amount of water put into it. I can do that. I found a small plant, a mini desert rose which may or may not work out, but I cannot find a cactus that looks like the one she used to grow, so I will use this mini desert rose. The label says magenta flowers which she would have loved. She loved the color red, but my Dad felt like red was too scandalous to wear so she never did! I sure hope it will bloom next spring for me.
So my elephant vintage planter will take the stage with his burden of a mini desert rose to carry on his back. I will wait for the flowers to come. I will be careful with the watering can.
She will know, I am sure.
Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.