8 Stunning Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage Holes

8 Stunning Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage Holes

When you plant something in a pot or container, for indoor or outdoor use, you’ll probably assume that it needs drainage holes. These holes are required for numerous plants and ensure that they don’t sit in soggy soil, which can lead to root rot and other complications. But, what are the types of plants that don’t require drainage holes?

Plants that don’t need drainage holes include the prayer plant, spider plant, devil’s ivy, and Spanish moss. These plants can be grown in water instead of soil, so they don’t require drainage holes to remove excess water from their pots.

In this article, I’ll explore these plants that don’t need drainage holes in their containers or pots. I’ll also look at why drainage holes are usually essential for plants and why some plants don’t need them.

Why Most Plants Require Drainage Holes

Why Most Plants Require Drainage Holes

Most plants require adequate soil drainage so that their roots don’t sit in too much water, which leads to conditions such as root rot. When choosing a container or pot for your plants, it’s common to see drainage holes at the bottom for this purpose.

By removing excess water from the soil, drainage holes encourage better air circulation through the plant’s root system.

Drainage holes help ensure that the plant’s roots are healthy. By not being flooded with water, the roots can spread deeper into the soil to get the air and nutrients they need to nourish the plant.

If plants don’t have enough drainage, the soil can’t flush out the water that’s hanging around. This causes a variety of problems, such as

  • Root rot—this is usually fatal for the plant because it destroys its root system. Root rot presents with symptoms such as mushy roots. By the time root rot is noticed, it’s usually progressed too far to be eliminated. 
  • Fungal infections—these infections tend to be present when there’s too much water in the soil. They can cause severe harm to your plants. Read our guide on proper plant watering to ensure that you water your plants according to their requirements and prevent fungal infections. 
  • Too much fertilizer salt—if you feed your plants fertilizer, this can accumulate and cause too much salt in the soil, which isn’t good for your plants. Salts can dry out your soil. Besides fertilizer, you also have to be careful when feeding your houseplants compost
  • Underwatering—if you’re worried that you’re going to water your plant too much, you could end up underwatering it, which is just as unhealthy for your plant as overwatering it. This is why drainage holes are useful because they clearly show you when excess water in the pot is being eliminated. 

Why Some Plants Don’t Require Drainage Holes

Why Some Plants Don’t Require Drainage Holes

Although plants usually require drainage holes so that they don’t sit in too much water, there are some plants that don’t need them.

Plants that don’t need pots with drainage holes are able to adapt to soggy soil because of various reasons. These reasons include the following 

  • They have the ability to grow in water in a container
  • They like consistently moist soil 
  • They’re exposed to a lot of water in nature 
  • They like high humidity levels 
  • They are air plants 

Some plants that can grow in water do well without any drainage holes because they only require water to establish their roots, instead of nutrients that can be found in the soil.

There are also plants that can grow on a host plant, such as Spanish moss, and draw moisture from the air, so they don’t require much in terms of soil.

Although there are plants that can grow without drainage holes, it’s a misconception to think that if plants don’t require drainage holes in their pots, they need to be watered a lot. Many of them will struggle to survive if their soil or medium is too wet.

When using potting soil, for example, you can ensure that it has good drainage by using ingredients such as coco coir and peat moss. Read our guide, Does Potting Soil Go Bad? if you use this regularly for your houseplants. Different plants have different watering requirements. 

8 Plants That Don’t Require Drainage Holes

There are many plants that don’t need pots with drainage holes, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing pots that contain them for these.

In this section, I’ll feature some of the most popular indoor plants that don’t need drainage holes, looking at their care and maintenance so that you can ensure they grow healthily. 

1. Spider Plant 

Spider Plant 

These houseplants are easy to look after and have long green fronds that add a touch of elegance to any space. They also look good when they have the opportunity to drape over baskets and hanging containers. Since the spider plant is a tropical one, it thrives on regular watering. 

Make sure your home has a high humidity level and give your spider plant bright, but indirect, sunlight. 

When it comes to their watering needs, spider plants should only be watered once a week. As long as you don’t overwater it, your plant will manage perfectly fine without any drainage holes in its pot. 

2. Devil’s Ivy 

Devil’s Ivy 

Otherwise known as pothos plants, devil’s ivy is a hardy and low-maintenance house plant that doesn’t mind being exposed to lots of water. It doesn’t need to be watered a lot, though.

These stunning plants have heart-shaped leaves. Amazingly, they sprout aerial roots that are able to climb surfaces and reach for nutrients in the air.

They love being misted once a day during the summer and being kept in areas of the home that are warm. When watering your devil’s ivy, make sure you wait for its soil to become dry before giving it a drink.

Although it doesn’t need drainage holes, devil’s ivy does benefit from having a layer of drainage at the bottom of its container. This can take the form of clay fragments. 

3. Spanish Moss 

Spanish Moss 

This plant is sometimes called old man’s beard because of its fuzzy appearance. It’s an epiphytic plant, so it draws the moisture that it needs from the air. It clings onto its host with tiny scales that are present on its leaves.

The way it’s designed means that it doesn’t need to be planted in soil, so it doesn’t require any drainage holes in its pot. You can easily grow this plant on a piece of wood or ornamental frame, without having to worry about its soil requirements. Mist it once a week throughout the year, this will keep it hydrated.

4. Lucky Bamboo 

Lucky Bamboo 

Lucky bamboo isn’t actually a bamboo plant but rather a member of the Asparagaceae family. This houseplant is popular for good reasons. It’s low-maintenance and can grow without any soil. Therefore, it doesn’t require drainage holes in its pot. 

You can easily grow it in a small container of water. Just make sure you place a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the container so that the plant’s stalks remain erect, instead of drooping over as they don’t have the stability of soil to help them stay upright.

This plant only needs enough water to cover its roots. Approximately three inches (7.62 cm) of water is enough to keep the plant healthy. To keep your lucky bamboo healthy, give it filtered or distilled water. You don’t want to give it tap water as this contains chemicals that can damage the plant. 

If you’ve decided to grow your lucky bamboo plant in soil, you will need to make provision for effective drainage. Avoid watering it too much as it needs moist but not soggy soil. 

5. Prayer Plant 

Prayer Plant 

A prayer plant gets its name because its leaves move up during the day, resembling hands in prayer, and then stretch out to get as much light as possible. It comes in a variety of colors and has veining and splashes of color, such as yellow, giving it a unique appearance.

A prayer plant grows well in a container that doesn’t have drainage holes, but you have to ensure that you don’t give it too much water. Keep its soil moist without letting it become drenched. 

Prayer plants want to be placed in an area of the home where they receive bright but indirect sunlight. This will prevent leaf scorch. When choosing the soil for your prayer plant, choose neutral or acidic soil. 

6. Snake Plant 

Snake Plant 

The snake plant gets its name because of its markings that resemble snake print. It’s a beautiful addition to your home and doesn’t need a lot of water to survive. You should only water it when its soil feels dry.

A snake plant will grow at a faster rate when positioned in bright light, but it will still perform well in low-light levels.

To encourage drainage in the pot without making drainage holes, you need to set down a two-inch (5.08 cm) layer of pebbles or gravel. This serves to move water away from the plant’s roots so that they don’t become soggy. 

7. Fuego Sky Plant

Fuego Sky Plant

A sky plant is a popular type of air plant. This one, specifically, has beautiful pink and purple flowers that add a burst of color to your home. Air plants don’t make use of root systems to draw water from their medium. Instead, they have root-like structures that help them remain secured to the surface on which they’re growing.

These plants require regular soaking in water so that they stay hydrated. If you can see that your air plant is looking a bit wrinkly, this is a clear indication that it requires water. You should also mist your sky plant a few times per week. If the climate in your region is dry and hot, increase how frequently you mist it. 

You should never plant your sky plant in soil. Since it grows on other plants, it will get everything it needs from them instead of the nutrients found in soil.

When it comes to its light requirement, make sure your sky plant gets bright, filtered light. 

8. Chinese Evergreen 

Chinese Evergreen 

This houseplant has beautiful green leaves that come in a variety of shapes as well as colors. It can be highly variegated or display splashes of color, adding a creative element to your home decor. 

This plant is low-maintenance. It can grow in moist or soggy soil, so you don’t have to worry about ensuring its pot has drainage holes at the bottom. Water it once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch. 

True to its low-maintenance nature, the Chinese evergreen needs low levels of light and can become burned when exposed to very bright and harsh sunlight.

If you want, you can grow your Chinese evergreen plant in water. However, give it completely fresh water every few days to keep it vibrant and healthy. 


If you want low-maintenance plants that don’t require pots with drainage holes, there are many options to choose from. Some of the best plants that don’t need drainage holes include the

  • Spider plant 
  • Snake plant 
  • Spanish moss 
  • Lucky bamboo 


About The Author

Gina Harper grew up dreaming about farms and growing her own food. She began an urban garden to feed herself and turned it into an incredible hobby. Gina is here to teach you everything from raised beds to container gardening, how to keep plants alive and well in a smoggy city, and the works. It’s time that we carve our own piece of green earth and reap what we sow—she’s here to help you with that.