How Do Drainage Materials and Perched Water Desk Have an effect on Your Plant?

How do drainage materials and perched water desk have an effect on your plant? That’s an ideal query. Chances are you’ll be asking what a perched water desk is and I’m going to aim to elucidate it one of the best I can. I do know that drainage materials within the backside of a pot, whether or not it has a drainage gap or not, is NOT obligatory. I see many individuals on social media sharing that they use pebbles within the backside of the pot for “drainage”.  It could work for them, however isn’t obligatory. It is going to be detrimental to the potting medium’s drainage capabilities and your plant’s well being. It’s true.

Perched Water Desk

A perched water desk occurs in each container whether or not it has a drainage gap or not. With out a drainage gap and drainage materials added, the perched water desk happens above the drainage materials. This shortens the soil column that the roots could possibly be rising in with out being too moist. With drainage materials eliminated, the perched water desk strikes to the underside of the container giving the roots extra room to develop above the desk. Does that make sense?  


The image under is my try to provide you a visible of this idea. Between the rubber bands is the perched water desk and extra water has collected there than above the rubber bands. It’s exhausting to see with the glare on the plastic pot. (This pot does have drainage holes.) The underside layer is the “drainage materials” or pebbles and as you possibly can see there’s little or no water within the pebbles as a result of it’s residing within the potting medium above it, thus the identify perched water desk. By eradicating the pebbles, the perched water desk would transfer to the underside of the pot, giving the roots extra space to develop with out probably changing into waterlogged. Waterlogged crops are disadvantaged of oxygen, their roots will rot, and the plant might die. 

Pervhed water table

It could be exhausting to see, however between the rubber bands is the place the perched water desk is and extra water is saved there than above the rubber bands.

 Container Dimension

The peak of the container makes a distinction as properly. All containers have the perched water desk on the backside of the pot, so a taller pot permits extra space for the roots to unfold out. The shorter pot could have the identical quantity of perched water desk, taking over extra of the pot. 

Different containers

Completely different heights of containers

That’s the reason that when you might have a plant in a big pot, what’s going on within the prime of the pot isn’t what’s going on within the backside of the pot. Chances are you’ll put your finger within the pot and suppose the plant wants water, but the potting medium on the backside of the pot should be moist.  That’s why it’s good to make use of a dowel to find out if the underside space of the potting medium is dry. If the dowel finish is moist, don’t water the plant but and verify once more in a number of days. 

houseplant watering

Verify a big pot with a dowel

No Drainage Gap, No Drainage Materials

In the event you determine to pot right into a container with out a drainage gap, omit the drainage materials permitting for extra root progress, because the perched water desk can be nearer to the underside of the pot. 

Drill a Gap within the Pot

The very best factor to do with a pot with out a drainage gap is to drill a gap in order that the water can drain out. It’s tremendous simple with a diamond-tipped drill bit. I do it on a regular basis and have solely damaged one pot, however solely the underside making a brilliant enormous drainage gap, so I may nonetheless use it. 


In the event you don’t wish to drill a gap or plant immediately into the container, use your container as a cache pot or “conceal a pot”. Go away your plant in its utilitarian grower’s pot and set it into the cachepot. Take away the plant to water it, let it drain, and return it to the cachepot. That is one of the best state of affairs for the well being of your plant for those who don’t wish to drill a gap. 

cache pot

Use your container as a cachepot in your plant

In conclusion

Drainage materials in a pot raises the perched water desk, giving your plant much less room to unfold out. The raised water desk might have an effect on your plant in that its roots haven’t any place to go besides into the moist soil. Some really feel the drainage materials is stopping the moist soil however isn’t. 

I hope this explains a bit extra about why you don’t want pebbles within the backside of your pot. If the pot has a drainage gap or not doesn’t make a distinction.  Use the pebbles for a pebble tray to lift the humidity or as a prime dressing. Please, don’t put it within the backside of a pot.

humidity tray

Use the pebbles for a humidity tray in your humidity-loving crops

Have an ideal week, plant associates!



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