Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Pots Without Drainage Holes = Cachepots

These cachepots are designed to contain flower pots, not for plants to be grown in them directly.

Don’t believe the popular myth that says if you have a decorative pot without drainage holes, you can fill simply the bottom with drainage layer of gravel or pot shards and then grow a plant in it. It is very difficult to ensure adequate watering in a pot that has no hole to allow excess water to drain away. Drainage layers only help a smidgen: the soil still tends to remain constantly wet and therefore the plants eventually rot. But you can use a pot with no drainage hole… but as a cachepot (a French word meaning “hidden pot”). In other words, place the plant in a standard flower pot (which does have drainage holes), then set the flower pot inside the decorative pot that doesn’t. And any excess water will drain from the flower pot into the cachepot. After watering, remove the flower pot from the cachepot, then tip it over to pour out any excess water.

These orchids are in cachepots: drain them after each watering.

Note that many orchids are currently sold  in just such a situation: in a flower pot (oddly enough, often transparent!) with drainage holes placed inside a cachepot without any. If you want your orchids to last, always drain the cachepot after watering!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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