4 Houseplants That Don’t Need Drainage [& How To Grow Any Plant With No Drainage]

Many indoor gardening enthusiasts believe that proper drainage is a must for houseplants.

However, recent insights from the gardening world have shown that several plants can thrive without it.

In this article, we'll introduce four versatile houseplants that don't require traditional drainage.

Additionally, we'll provide simple methods for growing almost any plant in containers without drainage holes.

Read on to discover how to make indoor gardening simpler and more adaptable.

Plants That Can Survive Without Drainage

Here are the plants that can survive in soaked soil, or even grow in water.

Remember, they may still be susceptible to rot if you over water. They're simply hardier than other plans and can tolerate wet soil for longer.

Don't over-water them if you can avoid it.

1. Sprenger's Asparagus 

This gorgeous fern does well in drained soil but doesn't mind excess water either.

Sprenger's Asparagus

A plant that adjusted to growing in water from an early age, won't require as much aeration for its roots.

Even if you happen to water it too much, a Sprenger's Asparagus should be okay. This is also a great plant for outdoors in a well-drained container.

2. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Maria)

The Chinese Evergreen is a common houseplant that needs moist soil to thrive.

Chinese Evergreen

If you're growing it in a pot with drainage holes, be sure not to let the soil dry out completely.

It should be kept moist, but not soggy. If your pot doesn't have drainage, it may be easier to maintain the right amount of moisture.

Watering once a week should be sufficient, but always check the soil and learn your plant's specific needs.

During spring and summer, when the plant is growing the most, it will require more frequent watering.

These popular plants are readily available in many nurseries. You can also order live plants online.

Check out this 4-inch Chinese Evergreen live plant on Amazon.

3. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

Dumbcane, also known as Dumb Cane, is a tropical plant that requires a lot of water. This makes it a good choice for growing in a pot without drainage.

Gorgeous dumb cane plant

Its large, attractive leaves also benefit from occasional misting, as they would in a tropical jungle environment.

Dieffenbachia is the Latin name for this plant, and its light requirements can vary depending on the specific cultivar you choose.

Check out this 4-inch Dumb Cane live plant on Amazon.

4. Rough Horsetail (Equisetum Hyemale)

It may look like a miniature striped bamboo but Rough Horsetail is actually a type of fern.

Rough Horsetail

This hardy plant grows in boggy areas in the wild and will even grow well in water.

Should you water your no-drainage container too much, this plant is likely to survive. 

A great plant, as a houseplant or for your outdoor landscaping needs, you can order this plant online.

Check out these Rough Horsetail plants on Amazon.

How to Grow Any Plant in a Container Without Drainage

If you have a beautiful container that you want to use for your household plant but it doesn't have drainage holes and you can't drill any, here's a handy trick:

First, add a layer of gravel to the bottom of the container, at least an inch high.

Then, place a proper pot with drainage on top of the gravel. This is where you'll put your soil and plant.

Finally, fill in the space around the actual pot with more gravel. You can even add another thin layer on top for a cohesive look.

By using this method, you can use a container without holes while still providing your plant with adequate drainage.

And since this opens up a world of possibilities, we've included some of our favorite houseplant suggestions for you to consider.

1. Schefflera

Schefflera plants are easy to keep hydrated, so much so that over-watering is a common issue for their owners.

To avoid over-watering, simply wait until the soil inside the pot has dried out before watering. When you do water, make sure to thoroughly saturate all of the soil.

If you notice that the leaves of your Schefflera plant are turning yellow and/or falling off on their own, this could be a sign of over-watering.

2. Cordyline

Also commonly referred to as the Hawaiian Ti Plant, Cordyline plants are known for being easy to maintain and grow indoors or outside.

Whether or not potted, make sure that your Cordyline plant is living in well-draining soil and keep the soil wet.

Whenever the top layer of soil has dried out, it is time to water this tropical beauty.

3. Croton

Croton plants are shrubs that can grow to an impressive 5-6 feet in height.

There are several varieties of croton, all of which flourish in tropical or warm locations. It is necessary to use a soil that drains well.

Many plant owners also add peat moss to ensure adequate drainage, as over-watering is a very real concern with these tropical shrubs.

These plants must be watered whenever the top of the soil is dry. They also thrive best when in a more humid environment.

4. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo plants thrive when grown either in water or in soil. Growing in water is exceptionally easy. All you need to do is change the water every 7 to 10 days.

There’s no fertilizer needed to help your lucky bamboo reach its fullest potential.

This plant prefers indirect light and warm temperatures, around 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using wire, you can even influence the shape of the stalks and make them curl – which is a fun, but time-consuming project.

Lucky bamboo is toxic to felines, so avoid putting your plants in reach of your house cats!

5. Anthurium

Anthurium is grown because it is colorful, purifies the air and is relatively easy to cultivate indoors or outdoors. Their heart-shaped flowers are a signature feature of this plant.

There are over 800 species of anthurium (also known as Painted Tongue or Flamingo Flower) native to the area spanning between Mexico and northern Uruguay.

These plants require a well-draining soil and should not be planted further than 5 centimeters into the soil. This helps to prevent the rotting of the stem.

A peat moss base is recommended, as is bright but indirect sunlight.

6. Kupukupu Fern

Kupukupu ferns, also known as sword ferns, have fronds that extend skyward at heights of up to 2 feet upon reaching maturity.

When grown in full sunlight, a fern will take on a brighter and more rigid appearance in its fronds.

Kupukupu ferns grown with less sunlight may appear darker green in color and are also more prone to slight drooping.

This Hawaiian fern thrives with minimal water, so you only need to add hydration once a week or so. It also does well in nearly any type of soil, except for sandy soil.

7. Pothos

This tropical houseplant, which is also known as Devil’s Ivy, is one of the easiest houseplants to grow.

Pothos plants and their heart-shaped leaves practically thrive on neglect, especially in low-lit and humid conditions.

The name Devil’s Ivy refers to the fact that this plant is nearly impossible to kill.

What’s surprising about the ease of growing pothos is how much you get out of it.

These plants, when given proper room to grow, can reach a massive 10 feet overall.

Consider planting them in a hanging planter to get the full visual benefit of their sprawling nature.

Watering is easy: wait until the soil is dry and then add water. You can be pretty inattentive to the plant’s watering needs and still have it thrive indoors.

Pothos plants are toxic if ingested, so keep them away from small children and curious pets.

8. Succulents

Succulents are drought-resistant plants that have fleshy leaves or thickened stems to store water.

One of the most well-known species of succulent is the cacti family of plants, but not all succulents are cacti (however, all cacti are succulents).

There are many different species of succulents, all of which thrive in direct sunlight.

Water, as you can expect, is not something to worry about too much with succulents.

After planting your succulents into a coarse soil that’s good for drainage and aeration, you only need to water them once the soil becomes dry.

Perlite and pumice can be added to the soil for extra plant health benefits.

9. Spider Plants

Spider plants, despite their off-putting name, make a beautiful addition to any type of garden.

Their long, draping leaves come in a variety of hues of green and white, so you can even add some variety with these little beauties.

Growing them is exceptionally easy whether outdoors, in a hanging flower basket, or indoors in a flowerpot.

Simply host your spider plant in a well-draining potting soil, leave it in moderate and indirect light, and water when the soil is nearly completely dry.

Simplifying Indoor Gardening

Houseplants that don't require drainage offer a convenient and straightforward approach to indoor gardening.

By understanding their needs and adapting our care methods, we can successfully grow a wide range of plants in containers without drainage holes.

This knowledge not only expands our pot selection options but also simplifies our gardening practices.

As you experiment with these methods, you'll find that indoor gardening can be both easy and versatile.

More about indoor gardening and house plants you might want to check out:

17 Extra Large Indoor Planters That Will Transform Your Home

68 Cactus Landscaping Ideas That Will Inspire You

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Dieffenbachia or dumbcane plant newly sprayed with water


  1. Succulents do need a pot with drainage. If you dont have one, then yes water way less but they really dont belong on this list

  2. Thanks for your reply, Kia. Just to keep it in context, the timing was great. We just adjusted the article today, so we have better plants in the actual list (and then others that do require drainage, as additional suggestions following our trick for using no drainage containers).

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