How to DIY a Drainage Hole in Your Plant Pot

I have a favorite cute pot that doesn’t have a hole in it, and I’m worried about the lack of drainage affecting the health of my houseplant. How can I drill a hole in it without damaging the pot?

—Hopeless and Holeless

Dear Hopeless and Holeless,

Whether you’re new to the houseplant world or you’ve been collecting plants for years, you know one of the most challenging things is finding the perfect pot for your plants. If you’re like me, you scour estate sales and thrift stores for cool vessels—but when you take a closer look, you realize there’s no drainage hole! 

Since you’ve been reading this column for a while now, you already know plants need proper drainage to stay happy, so why would they make planters without drainage holes?! More often than not, these planters are designed to be cache pots or cover pots that you drop the nursery pot down into; however, when repurposing things that were not originally designed to be planters, sometimes the only option is to plant directly into it. 

This is where my all-time favorite houseplant DIY comes into play! All you need is a ceramic drill bit, a power drill and a little bit of elbow grease. I like to flip my planter over so I’m drilling from the bottom. Then, starting at a 45-degree angle, start drilling! Be sure to wear a mask and eye protection because safety is key. 

Pro tip: Splashing a little water on the pot can help to keep dust down and keep the bit from overheating too. Remember not to push too hard and let the drill do the work—you don’t want to crack your pot. In a few short minutes, you’ll have a perfect hole in your new planter!

This may seem like a super simple DIY, but getting comfortable drilling holes in pots will open up a whole new world for you and your plants. Happy planting! 

Anna Grace FitzGerald is the owner, founder and self-titled Chief of Plant Happiness at Copperline Plant Co. When she’s not working in the greenhouse, FitzGerald can be found playing with her dogs, sharing a cold beverage with friends or learning a new craft.

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.