Knowing the specific needs and requirements of your spider plants is key to ensuring their optimum growth and health. One of the most important factors about keeping plants is drainage.
How about spider plants? Do spider plants need drainage?
Spider plants don’t necessarily need drainage. It means that you can plant your spider plants in containers or pots with or without drainage holes.
The only difference here is that if you will use pots without drainage, the soil in the pot might have a harder time drying out completely in between waterings. As you might already know, this dry stage is essential for the roots of the spider plant to get access to oxygen.
Putting your spider plants in pots with drainage holes can dramatically lower the risks of overwatering your plant since the holes will let the excess water flow out through them at the pot’s bottom. But it is only understandable for some people to prefer using pots without drainage holes, particularly if you keep your spider plants indoors.
The good news is that you can also use other materials to improve the drainage of the soil without the need to use holes.
Can Spider Plants Grow in Pots Without Drainage Holes?
Yes, your spider plants can definitely grow and thrive in pots or containers that don’t have drainage holes at all. Spider plants can tolerate standing water in the soil compared to most plants. It means that you have decided to use a certain pot that doesn’t have holes at the bottom, spider plants are a great houseplant option for you.
Just make sure that you are familiar with the water needs of your plant. You cannot simply water it any time you want. If you don’t let the soil of your plant dry out properly between waterings, it might result in overwatering that can then lead to a host of other issues that might cause the death of your plant in the end.
Consequences of Overwatering Your Spider Plants
Several problems may arise if you end up watering your spider plant:
Buildup of Chemicals
One of the common concerns of putting spider plants in pots with no drainage holes is the possible buildup of chemicals, minerals, and nutrients in the soil surrounding the roots of the plant.
These are substances that come from the tap water you give your plant as well as the fertilizer you use. The substances will accumulate around your plant over time. However, the buildup may occur faster if you don’t flush them out through the drainage holes located at the pot’s bottom.
These nutrients, minerals, and chemicals can result in root rot and might be detrimental to the plant’s growth. If you really prefer using a pot without drainage holes, you can repot the plant now periodically and use fresh soil to replace the old one to prevent this form of buildup.
Root Rot and Overwatering
Overwatering and the subsequent root rot are probably the most serious effects of using pots without drainage holes. As stated earlier, when using pots without drainage holes, it is important to allow the soil of the pot to completely dry out first before you water your plant again.
If you cannot do it, the soil surrounding the roots of the plant will always be wet because of overwatering. When you overwater your spider plant, the roots of the plant will always stand in soggy and waterlogged soil. Soggy soil surrounding the roots means that your spider plant won’t be able to absorb oxygen.
Plants should be able to absorb oxygen similar to how they should also absorb carbon dioxide for survival. It means that if the plant doesn’t have oxygen access, it will end up drowning in the waterlogged soil.
The plant’s dead root will become more prone to some opportunistic pathogens like fungi and will likely develop root rot. This root rot can spread fast to the other parts of the plant until it affects the entire plant, causing it to die eventually.
The sad news is that root rot is a problem that might not be easy to catch when it is still in the early stages. Once you notice some symptoms like yellowing and drooping leaves or stunted growth, it often indicates that the rot has already taken hold of most of the plant. It also means that the chances of saving your plant are slim to none.
Most of the time, if you ever manage to save your plant from root rot, it is often possible if you spotted the early signs while you were repotting your plant.
What to Do When Using Pots Without Holes for Your Spider Plant
Here are some of the things you can do if the pot of your spider plant doesn’t have holes:
Add Charcoal, Pebbles, or Gravel to the Soil
You can add a layer of charcoal or pebbles at the bottom part of the pot before you add the potting soil right on top. The bottom layer will help catch the soil’s excess water and keep the roots of the plant safe from excess water.
Doing so will ensure that the soil doesn’t remain waterlogged all the time and can dry out properly before you water the plant again.
Charcoal can also be mixed into the potting soil as it will help absorb all excess moisture. Make sure you use activated charcoal instead of the kind you use for barbecues.
If you will add charcoal, put a layer at the pot’s bottom first. Add one potting soil layer on top of it before adding another charcoal layer. Repeat this process until you fill the pot.
Charcoal works effectively at absorbing the soil’s excess moisture to allow the soil to dry out fast between waterings, lowering the risks of overwatering.
Create Holes in the Pot Yourself
When you like the pot so much that you want to continue using it even if it doesn’t have holes, the best thing you can do is add holes to it yourself. However, before you do it, make sure that the pot’s material won’t split or break if you make some holes in it.