Plants That Don’t Need Drainage: Over 10 Amazing Types

Plants that don’t need drainage holes are a busy person’s best friend and the ideal decor as they seamlessly fit on each shelf, table, or window. Pots with drainage holes come with saucers and can create a mess more often than not, especially if you have pets around. Pots without drainage holes look better and are far easier to move.

But you can’t put just any plant in these pots. Some plant owners prefer soaking instead of watering, so drainage is essential. The best way to find out which are the plants that don’t need drainage holes is to read below. We guarantee some will surprise you!

Outdoor Plants That Don’t Require Drainage


If you want a low-maintenance outdoor plant, one option is to choose one that does not require drainage holes. You can find a number of varieties of these plants. These include snake plants, dracaena, and Coleus. All three are semi-succulents and will grow in full sun. In addition, they do not require much water and have low-maintenance requirements.

Snake Plant

To care for Snake plant, choose a well-draining soil. It likes tropical houseplant soil, but you can use standard potting soil as well. You can also add peat moss or perlite to your potting mix to add moisture retention. A small amount of compost may also be beneficial for your plant. It tends to retain moisture and can be added safely to the root ball.

Snake plants grow best in small pots, and they need water only when they become dry. They usually need only half their soil’s moisture in warmer months, and half that amount during the colder months. If they don’t get enough water, you will notice their leaves start to wilt. Aside from being easy to maintain, Snake plants are also known to be effective air purifiers.


Dracaena is an excellent choice for outdoor gardens because it does not require drainage, and is one of the easiest plants to care for. However, the plant is susceptible to pests and disease, and you should be on the lookout for any signs of infestation. The most common symptoms include webbing, small white spots, and discoloration. To eliminate these pests, use an environmentally friendly horticultural insecticide.

Once established, Dracaena needs medium to bright light with filtered air. Ideally, the plant should be in an area away from cold drafts, and it should be given sufficient space to grow. Some varieties can grow to quite tall heights.


Coleus is a great choice for gardens, patios, and porches. Its beautiful foliage will brighten any outdoor space. Its compact roots don’t like excessively dry soil, so you’ll need to plant it in a place where it gets consistent moisture. In general, Coleus likes soil that’s neutral to slightly acidic. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is ideal. You can achieve this pH level with a soil amendment or by adding fertilizer.

Coleus prefers partial shade and morning sunlight. It can also be planted indoors during cooler months. To plant, simply choose a pot with adequate drainage and place the plant in the pot. If you’re unsure of how to pot your coleus, consult the plant’s planting instructions to determine where it should go.


If you want to grow croton outdoors, you don’t need to worry about drainage. Crotons don’t need much water, but they do require moisture in the soil. Ideally, they should be misted frequently to maintain a moist environment. During the winter, you should water them less often.

Crotons are susceptible to many pests, including mealybugs and scale. These insects feed on the leaves of crotons and can cause the foliage to look dull. These pests can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. A hose can also be used to spray the foliage.

Crotons like a warm, humid environment. The perfect temperature for them is 60-85 degrees. They may die off if temperatures dip below that. A moderate humidity is fine, but you should protect them from air conditioning or drafts. If you live in a dry climate, you can add a humidifier or place pebbles filled with water to provide the humidity needed for the crotons.

Oleander Plant

Best known as a shrub plant, the Oleander plant is a part of the Apocynaceae family. Since it is cultivated almost everywhere across the globe, none of us are confident about its true origin, though certain experts claim the plant to have originated from the Southwestern parts of Asia.

Interestingly, although the Oleander is known for its bright and beautiful blooms, these very blooms can serve to be toxic. The plant alone is claimed to be toxic by certain gardeners. That is why we will not recommend the oleander if you have kids or pets at home.

Indoor Plants That Dont Need Drainage/Houseplants That Don’t Need Drainage

Caring for houseplants can require some work, which turns off some people even if they crave the beauty and endless benefits of greenery in their home. Plenty of concerns come with plant care, such as underwatering or overwatering, what type of soil to use, and when to repot a plant.

Most houseplants need well-draining soil to grow and flourish. If water does not drain out through the bottom of the pot properly, the plant’s roots can rot and eventually the plant will die. For those who are looking for easy-care options, the idea of plants that don’t need drain holes in their growing containers might be appealing.

Most gardeners would not want to deprive their plants of moisture and well-draining soil. However, if drainage is a major constraint or you are looking to try something different, getting plants that do not need drainage holes is one of the best ways to move forward. Since most of these plants are also indoor plants, the care requirements are significantly less.

So, what exactly are these plants and how do you pot them? Well. in this article, we will discuss in detail 13 such plants that do not need drainage holes at any stage. So, keep reading to know more.

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)
  • Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Duffii’)
  • Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
  • Prayer Plant.


Herbs That Don’t Need Drainage Holes


Herbs that do not need drainage holes when planting include: mint, parsley, lemon balm, chamomile, cilantro, dill, tarragon, and thyme. These herbs do not require a lot of water, and in fact damp moist soil surrounding the roots is better for them than overly dry soil.

When planting this type of herb, a pot with no drainage holes is useful because you can monitor the soil moisture levels more precisely. You can always slowly add some water to moisten the soil and not worry about it draining too quickly or becoming soggy.It is important to keep an eye on how much water is in the pot and not let it become completely saturated, to prevent root rot.Some experts suggest using a layer of pebbles as a sort of drainage layer in those pots without drainage holes. This technique allows excess water to flow into the space with the pebbles, away from the soil and, therefore, the roots of your plant.////


Why Are Drainage Holes Important

When picking a plant or a vegetable, you often find that it requires well-draining soil. The soil components need to let the excess water go through and not withhold it. The same method applies to the pots.

Drainage holes are ideal for plants that need thorough soaking, like most succulents. These plants sometimes get watered only once every 2 weeks, but the whole pot gets submerged underwater. The point in this process is to moisten all the soil. The holes in the bottom of the pot then let the excess moisture seep out.

But there are also plants that don’t need drainage holes. Some plants are okay with sitting in moist environments. You can even put a layer of gravel and pebbles at the bottom to mimic drainage, so the roots won’t stay in soggy soil.

However, some plants don’t need drainage holes and develop just fine. They tolerate wet soil, and some of them grow in plain water.

Plants That Don’t Require Drainage

We’ve shortlisted some luscious plants with decorative foliage, different sizes, and even one fruit! Pick the next centerpiece from the plants that don’t need drainage holes below.

Strelitzia (Bird Of Paradise)

Strelitzia is a tropical flower that can grow both outdoors and indoors. They’re tall blooming plants with gorgeous foliage and specific bloom resembling an orange bird with open wings. The Strelitzia can grow up to 3 feet and develop ideally without drainage.


Crotons are colorful, hardy, subtropical plants that intake moisture through their large leaves. It can go extended periods without water, but it can easily survive lower temperatures. It grows up to 2 feet in height and width, and it blends in perfectly as a houseplant or as part of your landscape.


The oleander plant is an evergreen shrub that thrives in standing water and develops colorful flowers. However, it’s highly poisonous, so not recommended if you’re living with kids or pets.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen, Red Aglaonema)

Aglaonema plants are one of the plants that don’t need drainage holes as they’re drought tolerant. The red aglaonema is a great indoor plant as it’s compact, while the aglaonema Maria or Chinese evergreen grows up to 15 feet.

plants that do not need drainage

Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane)

Dumb cane is a hardy plant that can survive in almost all conditions except direct light. The stem contains calcium oxalate crystals that can temporarily leave you speechless if you chew on the stem, hence the name.


Schefflera can grow in water just as well as in soil. However, it won’t develop its full potential in the water. You can combine pebbles and sand and plant it or put some cutting in plain water. It’s a tropical plant, so it enjoys full sun.

Maidenhair Fern & Kupukupu Fern

The natural environment of ferns is moist woodlands, so they’re the model plants that don’t need drainage holes. They do well with watering once a week when potted inside. When outside, partial shade and regular rain will keep them thriving.

Lucky Bamboo

There’s barely an office without a bamboo stalk hanging in a vase, so you’re pretty aware of this plant. It grows in water that needs to be changed every 7 to 10 days. Beware if you’re a pet owner as it’s poisonous to felines.

Set of 2 Plants Pot, 6 Inch Ceramic Planter Pot for Plants with Drainage Hole and Saucer


The most sought-after plant in feng shui is among the plants that don’t need drainage holes. The money tree or Jade is a type of succulent which means it’s drought-tolerant and resilient. Its maximum height is 5 feet and can live up to 100 years!


Have you tried to grow a pineapple at home? Now you can! Remove the crown off of fresh pineapple and submerge the lower section in water. Provide some support so the crown won’t drown. It will grow roots in around 10 days!

How To Care For Plants That Do Not Need Drainage

One thing is sure – you can overwater a pot without drainage holes. No matter how hardy or resilient your plant is, continuous overwatering leads to death.
There are a few different steps for growing plants that don’t need drainage holes.

Start by adding a draining layer at the bottom. You could use gravel, pebbles, pumice, or even charcoal. Avoid styrofoam as it can release toxins in the soil and absorb moisture. The drainage layer helps to keep the roots away from the accumulated water and prevents root rot.

Water sparingly and slowly, following how damp the soil gets with each sip. Don’t use pots without drainage holes for your outside plants. This will lead to overwatering every time it rains.

Final Say: Plants That Don’t Need Drainage Holes

Got your hands on gorgeous terracotta pots that you can’t seem to use with any of your plants? It’s time to get plants that don’t need drainage holes. The list is extensive, but you can notice one thing in common for most of them. They’re either tropical or sub-tropical plants and succulents.

Some plants like the bamboo thrive in water only, while others can live without drainage holes but have to be watered sparingly. Make sure to plant them correctly, providing a draining layer at the bottom. If you’re not ready for a non-draining pot, cheat and use it as cachepot!

What plants don’t need drainage holes?

Most succulents, some tropical and sub-tropical plants, are among the most common plants that don't need drainage holes. Some examples are aloe vera, snake plant, spider plant, jade, ferns, and Schefflera.

What herbs don’t need drainage holes?

You can grow plenty of herbs in water, mostly from cuttings. The best choices are rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, sage, mint, and tarragon.
Avoid dill and cilantro as they don't develop roots in water.