11 Houseplants That Thrive in Pots that don’t Require Drainage

There are a lot of indoor plants available, some need water drainage and some don’t. In this article, you will find out which houseplants thrive in pots that don’t require drainage.

Many homeowners grow plants inside their houses. It has become a trend, specifically in the present. Some of them want to add style in their house, while others want them for better indoor air quality by displaying plants that can purify chemical pollutants in their home.

If you want to know exactly which indoor plants produce the most amount of oxygen, I wrote a whole article about it (click here).

Indoor plants are one of the ways to level up your interior design. However, plants require a lot of drainages to be maintained. And because of this, you might have canceled the idea of having houseplants. You do not have to worry about it because you can have them displayed without the responsibility of draining them. These plants are:

  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Spider Plant
  • Lucky Bamboo
  • Snake Plant
  • Pineapple Plant
  • Coleus
  • Cordyline
  • Croton
  • Anthurium
  • Autograph Tree
  • Sword Fern

With the help of this article, you will know exactly which plants don’t need drainage so you can pick one for your own house and have a great addition to your home. With this, you can also use decorative pots to improve your interior design. You can even do this without worrying to drain them because there are plants that thrive with no drainage. 

Here are some of the houseplants that do not require drainage:

1. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Maria) 

Photo by: Jerzy Opioła

Chinese Evergreen is one of the most popular houseplants that can thrive in moist soil. You can grow this to a pot that has no drainage holes. Make sure that the soil is not dry completely, and it must be moist enough. To maintain Chinese Evergreen, you have to water it weekly and check the soil to see if it needs anything to make the plant healthier. However, it necessitates being watered more during the spring and summer months. It is usually the period when growth occurs the most. 

2. Spider Plant

Photo by: Max Wei

The spider plant is also one of the most commonly used indoor plants. It is easily recognizable due to its long and thin fronds. This plant is good for people who recently started caring for plants because it is easy to maintain. You will not struggle with keeping the plant alive. 

The spider plant came from the southern and tropical Africa, where the conditions allow to grow the houseplant long. It can also bear flowers that are stunningly white when bloomed. 

When spider plant is still incredibly young, you must begin growing it in water. Otherwise, the root will rot and will just kill the indoor plant. You must do it as early as possible. With this, you also have to make sure that the water you are going to use is fluoride-free because this substance can make the leaves color brown. Bottled water is recommended. 

3. Lucky Bamboo

Photo by: WallpaperFlare

The lucky bamboo is not an actual bamboo. It is a mimic from the Asparagaceae family from Central Africa. Due to its unique looks and interesting growing conditions, it will make you want to consider this as part of your indoor plant collection. 

This plant can grow both in water and soil. For water, do not use tap water because it may contain salt and fluoride that can turn its leaves into yellow or brown. 

On the other hand, to intensively maintain the lucky bamboo, you have to provide it with moderate light to help it grow more. You also need to change its water depending on the amount of light and humidity. It can range from every few days to every couple of months. 

4. Snake Plant

The snake plant, also known as Dracaena trifasciate, is common among beginners. It is from West Africa, as well as from parts of Congo and Nigeria. This plant is known for its long, blade-like leaves that stand up straight. 

You can grow this plant in water instead of traditional soil. You can do it by putting your snake plant cuttings into a small bowl and it will slowly grow up to a healthy one. Remember that when you do this, you have to tie the base of the plant to make sure that the leaves will remain upright. 

5. Pineapple Plant

Photo by: Tobin

Did you know you can grow a pineapple tree indoors? What’s more fascinating is that you can put it in a glass or container without drainage and see the plant grow healthy.

To grow this plant, you first need a pineapple. When you have it already, remove its green crown (the top part of the pineapple with all the leaves) by twisting the crown in one direction. Start from the bottom and trim around 3 layers of leaves. After trimming, you can put the crown in regular potting soil and water the plant from above. Here is a video:


6. Coleus

Photo by: Cayobo

The Coleus plant (Coleus scutellarioides) is not that popular. But this wonderful houseplant has teardrop-shaped leaves with neon green patterned borders. While this plant is still young, you can start growing it in water instead of soil. 

When using water, avoid growing them in fluoride or chlorine. You must replace the water so the algae do not stop in developing. This plant like a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

7. Cordyline

Photo by: Megan Hansen

Over the last years, the Cordyline (Asparagaceae) has earned its place as a houseplant. This plant naturally grows in New Zealand and Brazil and descends from the asparagus family.

The Cordyline likes to have constantly moist (not wet) soil. This is why it doesn’t require drainage to grow healthy. When growing this plant indoors, make sure to place it in a room with a lot of indirect sunlight. Part-sun is best but be careful with too much sunlight because the leaves will be burned.

This plant comes in many variants – with green, red or pink leaves with and without color leaf outline.

8. Croton

The garden Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a unique plant with different color leaves. If you like unique things, just like me, this is definitely a plant for you. It naturally grows in Indonesia and India.

This plant looks great at the entrance of a home or a living room where it can shine away with all its colors and its great ability to clean the air.

When watering this plant you want to make sure that the soil is always moist and never dries up, this is why the Croton plant doesn’t require a pot with drainage. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water this plant. It also loves a lot of light, but be careful not to put this plant in direct sunlight during the summer months. This can harm the plant.

9. Anthurium

Photo by: Rusty Clark

The Laceleaf (Anthurium) is an elegant-looking plant that might match your aesthetics. It helps to filter volatile particles in the air of your home, which came from various construction materials. This plant blooms once a year, but it can flower twice if given the right fertilizer.

However, just like the areca palms, the laceleaf is also not recommended for pets. It has poisonous properties specifically for the skin and eyes. When putting this plant at your home, it must be placed where your pets or little children cannot access it.

Most people look for ideal plants that will beautify their homes. But for some, they want more than just the aesthetics accent. They also want to put the plants that are highly efficient for oxygen production. You may refer to the list above to be guided on the plants that you might place at your home.

10. Autograph Tree

Photo by: Rusty Zipper

The Autograph Tree (Clusia rosea) is a unique tree/plant that you can write something on. It is a tropical and sub-tropical plant that naturally grows in the Caribbean.

When growing indoors, this plant doesn’t require a pot with drainage holes. It likes constantly moist soil and full sun, most people find it is easy to take care of.

This is also a great gift for someone who likes plants because you can write a quote or something nice on the leaves.

11. Western Sword Fern

Photo by: 石川 Shihchuan

The Sword Fern (Polystichum) is an easy to grow plant that naturally grows all over the world. It has green (sword-like) leaves that can grow up to 60 cm (23 inches).

This fern likes to have its soil moist at all times, that’s why drainage holes in its pot are not needed. It also likes lots of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will hurt the plant so try to avoid placing the plant in the sunlight.

Therefore, this plant is great for an office where it can color up the room and purify the air.

How to Use Pots with No Drainage Holes?

Some plants need more drainage than others, this is because some plants are bog plants that naturally grow on moist to wet soils while other plants like their soil very dry or well drained. It all depends on the plants natural habitat and its ability to adjust.

Actually, if you want to use a pot with no drainage holes, the plants mentioned above are great options for you. When you are not sure if the plants need water or not, just feel with your finger on the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water the plant. Try to have the soil moist at all times when watering the plants mentioned above.

But if you have a plant that needs drainage, and you only have pots that have no drainage, there is one option.

There’s still a way to use those pretty pots that don’t have drainage holes! Plant your plant in a plastic pot with drainage holes, often times when you buy a plant it’s in a pot with drainage holes. Then place the plant with that pot within the larger decorative, no-drainage-hole pot.