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Holey Moly: How to Add Drainage Holes to ALL Your Pots

March 23, 2017

drill holes in plant pot

In preparation for planting season I’ve been hunting down cute pots and stands. When I saw this pot/stand combo from IKEA I knew it was coming home with me! (It actually took 3 IKEA trips to find it, but hey, it’s home now). The major downside though was NO DRAINAGE HOLES.

drill holes in plant pot

Nuh uh. Not this time. I learned my lesson with my last IKEA ‘self watering’ pot (the shorter one pictured above). Plants don’t like sitting in wet soil for days on end. It’s the difference between wearing wet socks for a week or having a short, relaxing pedicure. So I could have passed over this great find OR….

drill holes in plant pot

Find a solution. And really, adding drainage holes is ridiculously easy with the right tools!

You’ll need:
standard drill bits for plastic pots
masonry bits for unglazed ceramics like terracotta
diamond tipped bits for glazed ceramics

drill
nail
spray bottle
lots of water

drill holes in plant pot

If you’re working on an unglazed pot, soak overnight to prep. This will help the drill move more smoothly through it.

drill holes in plant pot

Scratch a small ‘starter’ mark where you want the drainage hole with your nail to help the drill bit to stay in place. With your spray bottle in one hand and drill in the other, slowly go at it. Keep the drill bit and pot surface wet with the spray bottle. This keeps the bit from overheating (and potentially snapping) and the pot from cracking. If you feel like the bit isn’t getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to really give it some force. Just be sure to keep the drill perpendicular to the pot and not at an angle.

drill holes in plant pot

Always work up to a bigger size instead of using the largest bit immediately. I started with 1/4″ sizes and went up to 1/2″.

Also, doesn’t the pot look like he has a face now? It almost made me sad to fill it with dirt.

drill holes in plant pot

Ah. Pure satisfaction. Now I only add a tiny bit of water to the ‘self watering’ base to give plant baby the humidity he craves but not enough to touch the interior pot. Remember pedicures, not wet socks.

drill holes in plant pot
New baby makes his second appearance. May he grow large and healthy to fill out his new home. Still struggling with a name for this one and his new sibling (the prayer plant in some of the photos), so leave me some suggestions in the comments 🙂

 

 

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