What To Put In Bottom Of Planter For Drainage


When it comes to gardening and planting, ensuring proper drainage is essential for the health and growth of your plants. One common question that arises is, “What to put in the bottom of a planter for drainage?” In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various options and techniques to effectively promote drainage in your planters for snake plants. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this article will provide you with the necessary knowledge to optimize your planters for better plant health.

What to Put in the Bottom of Planter for Drainage?

To ensure adequate drainage in your planters, it’s important to create a suitable environment that allows excess water to escape and prevents root rot. Here are some effective options for what to put in the bottom of a planter for drainage:


Gravel or Pebbles

Placing a layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of your planter can help improve drainage. The coarse texture of the gravel allows water to flow freely, preventing waterlogging and root rot. Additionally, the layer of gravel helps create an air pocket, promoting oxygen circulation to the roots.

Broken Pottery or Stones

Another popular choice is to use broken pottery pieces or stones as a drainage layer. This technique provides a similar effect to using gravel, allowing excess water to drain away from the plant’s roots. Ensure that the broken pottery or stones cover the bottom of the planter uniformly.

Styrofoam Chips

For lightweight planters, such as those made from plastic or resin, using styrofoam chips as a drainage layer can be highly beneficial. The styrofoam chips not only provide adequate drainage but also reduce the overall weight of the planter, making it easier to move or transport.

Landscape Fabric or Weed Barrier

To prevent the soil from mixing with the drainage material, it’s recommended to place a layer of landscape fabric or weed barrier over the drainage layer. This barrier allows water to pass through while preventing soil particles from clogging the drainage holes.

Perlite or Vermiculite

Perlite and vermiculite are lightweight materials that can be mixed with the potting soil to enhance drainage. These additives improve soil aeration and water retention, allowing excess moisture to drain away effectively. Mix perlite or vermiculite thoroughly with the soil before planting.


Adding sand to the bottom of a planter can aid in drainage by creating air pockets and facilitating water movement. However, it’s important to use coarse sand rather than fine sand, as fine sand may compact and hinder drainage.


Charcoal, especially activated charcoal, can be used as a natural filtering material in the bottom layer of a planter. It helps absorb impurities and odors while allowing water to drain freely. This can be particularly useful for planters placed indoors or in areas with poor air quality.

Building a planter box is a rewarding and creative project that allows you to showcase your gardening skills. Enjoy the process of planting and watching your plants thrive in their new home.


Ensuring proper drainage in planters is crucial for the health and vitality of your plants. By using suitable materials such as gravel, broken pottery, styrofoam chips, perlite, vermiculite, sand, and charcoal, you can create an optimal environment for excess water to escape and prevent root rot. Additionally, incorporating a layer of landscape fabric or weed barrier helps prevent soil particles from clogging the drainage holes.

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