Flower pots without drainage holes can be modified to drain properly.

How to Make Holes in Flower Pots for Water to Run Out

by Kimberly Caines

Flowers can add color and cheer up indoor and outdoor environments, but when their growing container lacks drainage holes, your joy can be short-lived. Depriving your plants of proper drainage is basically like planting them in a bathtub. The waterlogged soil suffocates the roots and triggers root rot, which can cause flowers to wilt and plants to die. Many decorative, terracotta and ceramic containers lack drainage holes. This shouldn't stop you from using them; you can make the drainage holes yourself.

Put on goggles to protect your eyes.

Turn the pot upside down, and use a nail to make small indentations on the bottom surface where you want the holes to be. Twirl the nail into the bottom surface of the pot to make a small dent, or lightly tap it with a hammer. Space the marks evenly over the bottom of the pot, about 3 inches apart.

Place a drill bit that's about a 1/2 inch in diameter in a drill, and position it on an indentation on the bottom of the pot. Use a tile drill bit if you're making holes in a terracotta or ceramic pot.

Press down, and drill a hole straight into the pot. Drill the remaining holes in the same manner.

Items you will need

  • Goggles
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • 1/2-inch Drill bit
  • Drill


  • If you're recycling empty yogurt and margarine tubs, use a screw driver to make the holes in the bottom. Sterilize them by soaking them for 15 minutes in a solution made of 1 part bleach to nine parts water before planting.
  • Place a coffee filter over the holes in the pot before you fill it with potting mix. This will keep the soil from dribbling out.
  • If you don't want to drill holes in your flower pots, tilt them sideways over the sink after watering so excess moisture can drain.

About the Author

Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images