Houseplants for Beginners - Tip #1: Drainage

If you’re new to the world of houseplants, unless you have a special knack for watering them just right, keeping your houseplants in a pot with drainage is going to be the best thing you can do to keep your plants happy. When plants are in containers without drainage, it's extremely hard to water them enough while not overwatering them. Overwatering is, by far, the #1 mistake new houseplant owners make. Most houseplants prefer to be watered thoroughly (a great indicator of "watering thoroughly" is watching the water drain out of the bottom of the pot) and then, and here's the most important part guys, they need to dry out-- at least a little, if not a lot, depending on the plant-- between waterings. 

When the soil doesn't properly dry out and the roots don’t get the oxygen they need, root rot can occur. You do not want root rot.  It's usually an irreversible problem that can pretty much guarantee you're going to kill your new plant baby.

Why then, you may ask, do most of the pots we sell inside our houseplant section have no drainage? Well, it's because they're cachepots.  'Cache' comes from the French word 'cacher', which means "to hide".  The ceramic pots with no drainage are made to hide the plastic pots that plants are grown in-- they are not meant to be planted in. 

If anyone has ever suggested that you put rocks in the bottom of a pot for drainage, I’m here to tell you that that method is probably not the solution to your houseplant problems- and it could potentially make things worse (here's a great explanation of why).

”But, what if my plant needs to be repotted!?”  I’m going to go ahead and say that 9 times out of 10 (okay, maybe 8 times out of 10) when you buy a houseplant from us, it does not need to be repotted right away- and usually not for many months after. When it is time to be repotted, you can repot it into another grower pot (a plastic pot with holes in the bottom)- and then place it inside a larger decorative cachepot. Keep your eyes peeled for a future post from me on how to tell when your houseplant needs to be repotted!

There are alternatives to cachepots. Pots with attached saucers and pots with holes that you put a saucer underneath are also good options for houseplants. Just make sure to never let your houseplant sit in a saucer full of water!