What is drainage and why is it needed? Drainage for indoor flowers is a must. The fact is that with excessive moisture, the roots of indoor plants do not receive the required amount of oxygen. This situation, in turn, leads to their early decay or even the emergence of a variety of bacteria and pests.
The drainage mixture is placed in a pot just to provide root system ventilation and rid the soil of excess moisture. Depending on the plants, the fraction of the drainage mixture should be selected. In addition to the mixture itself, so-called drainage holes are made in the pot. It is through the drainage hole that water flows into the pan and does not stagnate in the pot.
It is worth noting that if the plant is already very moisture-loving - drainage is not needed.
Naturally, there are different types of drains for flowers. Consider them in more detail.
- Expanded clay. This is perhaps the most popular drainage material. It can be easily found in any specialty store. It is composed of clay, so it passes water well and is an environmentally friendly material. There are various fractions of this material. Large particles are ideal for large pots, but fine granules can get stuck in the drain hole, so keep this in mind when choosing a material. The undoubted advantages of expanded clay include the fact that with such a drainage mixture the soil will never dry out. Of course, claydite is not eternal - after five years it is required to replace it.
- Ceramics. You can use pieces of ceramic tableware, putting the convex side upwards on the bottom of the flower pot. For optimal effect, a layer of sand (up to 5 cm) can be added on top of this. After that, you can safely fall asleep soil and plant a houseplant. You need to choose not too large pieces, so that sand does not fall under them.
- Perlite and vermiculite. The choice of this element will have a good effect on your plants. Vermiculite, which can externally resemble shavings, is an excellent eco-friendly material that does not harm your room flower at all. Perlite is silica, looks like small granules of gray color. These elements perfectly absorb moisture, and if necessary, give them to the soil. True, not all of them will be affordable.
- Moss sphagnum Good material that has all the necessary properties. True, it will have to tinker with it. Before laying a layer on the bottom of the pot with moss, it is kept in water for half an hour so that it should be soaked with moisture. After that you can apply it. Keep the moss in a cool place, just remember that in no case can not wrap it in plastic.
- Charcoal. It can also be used for drainage. Among other things, it has a good antiseptic property. It also absorbs moisture and, if necessary, gives it back to the soil.
What materials are suitable for drainage
In principle, we have listed above the most popular elements from which drainage can be made. They are perfect for flowers. There are also several general requirements for the materials from which the drainage layer is made.
- It is important that the drainage is well missed and not subject to the process of decay.
- It is necessary that the materials are chemically neutral, otherwise there will be more harm than good.
- Ensure that the drainage holes are not blocked and that water can flow freely into the sump.
Other elements and basic requirements
What material is used if the necessary elements were not at hand? If you can not find any of the above materials - do not worry, there is always a way out. Use what is at your fingertips. So what can replace drainage?
- Rubble and gravel. Drainage of these stones perfectly replaces the traditional. The only drawback is that these elements significantly weight the pot. So if you take a small pot or one that you will not frequently move from place to place, such material fits perfectly.
- Aquarium stone. Such stones are a good alternative, but the price is rather high. But if you have this material, why not use it?
- Styrofoam. Polyfoam perfectly replace the usual elements. It meets the necessary requirements, besides it can be found almost everywhere. People tend to keep the boxes from under the appliances or household appliances, so that the best budget drain option can not be found. True, in a pot it is not crumbled, but cut into cubes and laid a layer of several centimeters. Of course, damage to the root system can be a significant drawback if the roots of the plant braid the foam.
- Brick. You can also replace traditional materials with broken bricks. This is a natural material with the necessary properties. However, before laying it on the bottom of the pot, sharpen the edges, otherwise the roots of the plant may be damaged. White brick is better for use, not red.
We also mentioned the basic requirements earlier. Care must be taken to ensure that the drainage possesses the necessary properties and does not harm the plant. This will be enough to achieve the desired result.
How to make a drainage
Above we have already told what the drainage is made of, and with what elements it is possible to replace the usual purchased materials. There is absolutely nothing difficult to do the drainage on your own.
For example, it is quite easy to cut foam plastic into small squares, brick — to crumble into relatively small pieces and sharpen the edges, ceramic dishes can also be cracked into small pieces. The main thing is to ensure that your drainage does not clog the holes in the pot, from which water flows.
The creation of drainage does not imply any particularly complicated manipulations, and besides, it is easy to make from scrap elements.
Drainage holes in the flower pot
With all the abundance of flower pots, it is impossible not to notice that the absolute majority of them are plastic pots. This is understandable, because they are easier and easier to take care of, and they are much cheaper. But every experienced grower knows that the best crockery for a houseplant is the simplest, unglazed clay pot. Such a pot in itself is part of the drainage system. Clay, from which it is made perfectly removes excess moisture, absorbing it into itself, passes air to the roots, allowing them to fully "breathe." The drainage hole in such pots is usually one, and in most cases this is sufficient. Another situation with plastic pots. They are produced without any holes at all, only with the places designated for them, allowing the florist to decide for himself what diameter the drainage holes should be and how many they should be. And for each particular type of houseplant, they must be different. So for succulents, that is, plants that do not need frequent and abundant watering and constantly moistened soil (cacti, aloe, kalanchoe, etc.), they are made more both in quantity and diameter. The same applies to orchids. A good example of this is phalaenopsis. Experienced growers during the transplant of this orchid even make additional drainage cuts in the side of the pot. They allow not only to better nourish the soil during watering, but also to take away excess moisture from the roots of the flower. The situation is different with moisture-loving plants. Contrary to the allegations that they do not need drainage, they cannot do without it at all. Even for the most moisture-loving plants, the soil should be only wet, but not damp, swampy. The ability of such plants to grow in the swamps in their natural habitats does not mean that they can exist in the overmoistened soil of a flowerpot. The combination of conditions of natural growth and growing at home are significantly different. Drainage for these plants creates a more moderate. Consequently, the holes in the pot is made smaller. It is impossible to give universal advice on the number and size of drainage holes. Everything should be taken into account. And the volume of the pot, and the age of the plant, and its size. But first of all it is necessary to become familiar with the features of growing each specific type of indoor flower. In the process of growing you need to constantly monitor the condition of the drainage holes in the pot. They should not be tightly covered with drainage material or earth. If this happens, they should be immediately cleaned.
Note! Often, drainage holes are not provided in pots for suspended structures. Otherwise, excess moisture will drain on the floor, furniture, etc. This is not a flagrant violation of the rules. But the layer of drainage material in this case should be much thicker than usual. Yes, and monitor such plants must be carefully.
To create a drainage layer suitable only materials of inorganic origin. Moreover, they must be chemically neutral, have good resistance to damage, oxidation. For example, marble aggregate is absolutely not suitable for drainage, since with prolonged interaction with water it significantly reduces the acidity of the soil, making it too alkaline. Fine-grained materials such as granotsev or sand are also not particularly suitable as main drainage. Over time, they are thoroughly compacted and clogged drainage holes.
It is for this material that the word “Drainage” has become a household word among amateur flower growers. It is under this name that it is sold. What is the difference between construction claydite and drainage clay, “flower”? Yes, actually nothing. In any case, in terms of the source material and manufacturing technology. In this and in another case, it is burnt clumps of clay. But the difference is still there. First, it is washed, cleaned of dirt and dust before entering the market, and secondly, the drainage clay is calibrated to the size of the fraction. Therefore, the sale can be found claydite small, medium and large fractions from 5 to 20 millimeters. It is selected based on the size of the flowerpot and the diameter of the drainage holes. Balls - granules should not plug holes or wake up through them.
There are many disputes about the expediency of using claydite as a drainage material among professional florists. Despite its undeniable advantages, such as environmental friendliness, high hygroscopicity, lightness, counter-arguments can also be found. The main one is to increase the acidity of the nutrient solution that the roots consume. It is possible to agree with this statement, and it is possible and to argue. In any case, your humble servant has been using expanded clay as a drainage material for many years, and has not noticed any negative influence on plants. However:
Gravel, crushed stone, river pebbles
These materials belong to the "pasture" and in the store they can hardly be bought. Therefore, their calibration and cleaning lie on the shoulders of the grower. At its core, this is also pretty good drainage material. Its main advantage is durability. When using these materials, it is necessary to pour an additional layer of vermiculite or perlite on top of them. This will protect the roots of the plant from overcooling and overheating.
When using pottery shards, we get a combination of the advantages of claydite and pebbles. Ceramics, despite the similarity of manufacturing technology, and material, more durable than expanded clay. However, it can not only remove excess moisture from the roots of indoor plants, but also accumulate it, not allowing the ground to completely dry up.
At the same time, it is necessary to use clay shards very carefully. Usually they have sharp jagged edges. Pre you need to blunt them. Otherwise, the probability of damage to the roots. In order to avoid such injuries, as well as for better passage of moisture, clay shards should be laid with the convex side up, and sprinkle with a thin layer of fine claydite or vermiculite on top.
This material is most often used for growing succulents and plants in pots without drainage holes. You can only use red brick. Its properties are similar to ceramics. Before creating a drainage layer of broken brick, it must also be prepared. Carefully clean from dust and dirt, handle sharp edges.
It is used as often as claydite. This is the cheapest and most easily accessible drainage material. The foam is not able to absorb moisture and retain it, but it is quite suitable for the removal of excess water. Moreover, unlike bricks, pebbles and shards, polystyrene is much lighter, which means it does not make the pot heavier. In addition, it protects the roots of the plant from hypothermia on cold windowsills in the winter. At the same time, its use should not be abused. It is perfect for plants with an underdeveloped root system or for flowers that are transplanted annually. Such as geranium, chlorophytum or hydrangea, if they overwinter in a pot, and land in the open ground for the summer. The fact is that the roots of plants are not only able to bind pieces of foam, but to penetrate through them (as in a hydrogel). Then, at the next transplant, it will be impossible to remove them without damaging the roots.
What is plant drainage?
Drainage is a system that provides drainage of the soil and also maintains soil moisture that is optimal for the plant. In fact, drainage is a layer of coarse-grained or fractional materials that are placed on the bottom of the pot. When transplanting any plant, you should make such a layer, otherwise the flower may not settle down or the roots will not receive the required amount of air, and the soil will be constantly waterlogged. All these negative factors in the end lead to the death of the plant. Why do we need drainage holes in the flower pot?
Now in the shops you can find many different varieties of pots for indoor plants, but most of them - plastic. Despite the fact that there are more of them and they are cheaper, it is better to give preference to a simple unglazed pot, which in itself is part of the drainage system. This is explained by the fact that the clay from which the pot is made, by itself, removes moisture well, thus the root system receives the necessary amount of air. In clay pots, one drain hole is made.
Plastic pots are often produced without drainage holes or with marks where they should be for the gardener to do them by himself. When making drainage holes in that vessel, attention should be paid to the type of plant. Sometimes it is also necessary to make lateral drainage holes. It is believed that for such pots drainage is not needed, but it is not.
Even the most moisture-loving plant will not grow in damp and marshy soil. Holes in the pot may be smaller, but they should be. When making holes, consider the size of the vessel, the age and size of the plant, which you will replant. Before transplanting a plant, ask what conditions are necessary for growing a particular flower.
In the process of growing a flower, you should pay attention to the fact that the holes are not tightly closed with earth or drainage material. If they become clogged, they should be cleaned immediately.
Please note that the suspended structures do not provide for such openings, as otherwise excess water may drip on the floor or on the furniture. In this case, the layer of drainage material should be larger than usual.
How to make a drainage system?
The extent to which the system of moisture removal has correctly done affects the growth and flowering of the plant. It is necessary to pay attention to all nuances, beginning from material, finishing layer thickness.
Choosing the thickness of the layer of drainage material, you should pay attention to the following nuances:
- the height of the layer that absorbs excess moisture depends on the height of the vessel in which the plant is planted,
- For tall and narrow pots, a layer of 4-6 cm should be made, since the soil dries out very slowly,
- for low and wide dishes it is recommended to make a layer of 1.5–2 cm,
- standard bowls, that is, the height and diameter of the upper ring are the same, you can make a drainage layer of 3 cm.
What material to choose?
To create a drainage layer will fit almost any coarse or coarse materialwhich is good tolerates high humidity, does not collapse, does not rot and can pass water. Often for the formation of drainage using the following materials:
- natural materials - stones, pottery shards, gravel or crushed stone,
- special materials - vermiculite or expanded clay of the same size,
- polyfoam and its analogs.
Characteristics of materials
This is the most common and accessible material. Such a drainage for flowers can be purchased at any flower shop. Expanded clay is a piece of foam and baked clay, which is able to accumulate moisture. The floriculture is used clay medium fraction. Главное преимущество керамзита заключается в доступности, низкой стоимости, долговечности и способности поглощать воду.The main disadvantage is that sometimes it can change the acid-base balance of the soil.
Red brick is made of clay, so its composition is very similar to clay. If it is not possible to purchase expanded clay, then you can use red brick broken into small chips.
Recently, foam plastic drainage has become popular. The advantages of such drainage for indoor plants are as follows:
- lack of absorbability.
Please note that this material does not give up moisture, does not absorb it. Before buying this material to create a drainage layer, pay attention to its shortcomings:
- plant roots can sprout through the foam,
- very small weight.
Pebbles or gravel
This material is very often used as a drainage. This is because it does not need to buy. However, this material has disadvantages, which are in great weight, so a pot filled with pebbles becomes very heavy. However, this disadvantage turns into an advantage if a light plastic pot is used. The second drawback is high thermal conductivity. When using such a drainage for flowers, the plant can get sick if in winter it is put on a window sill, where there is a radiator.
Tips to help create the perfect drainage for indoor plants
Drainage for flowers should be changed with each transplant, and new materials should be used. If you use claydite, it can be washed and reused. The maximum service life of such material is 6 years.
The height of the drainage layer for indoor flowers should be selected based on the requirements of a particular plant. If there are no special recommendations, then medium or low drainage is done.
Drainage in the pot should be filled immediately before planting. Note that the material must be dry, as well as the pot.
In order for the drainage layer to be uniform, you should knock the pot on the table after falling asleep. The layer that will absorb moisture must be completely covered with the substrate, only then it is possible to plant the plant.
The following materials should not be used as drainage:
- marble or granite chips,
- tea leaves,
- tree bark.
What is drainage and what is it for?
Most houseplants require a soil composition that provides approximately 15% air, 50% solids and 35% water. Only a properly arranged drainage layer can create such optimal conditions.
This is due to the fact that with excessive irrigation, the very percentages of air content that are vital for flowers are supplanted. When there is no oxygen in the soil, the development of pathogenic bacteria begins, the root system rots, the flower begins to wilt.
Drainage for flowers, a photo of various types of which is presented in the article, provides the waste of excessive moisture and ventilation of the roots.
For laying the drainage layer, you can use various materials, such as gravel, foam or any synthetics, expanded clay, moss, crushed stone, charcoal, broken bricks, river sand, peat and others. Further, the most frequently used materials will be considered in more detail.
An important quality of drainage is a good flow capacity for water, chemical inertness, resistance to decay and molding.
Drainage for flowers has different fractions, which are selected depending on the plants.
Why make holes in the pot
In addition to the selected material for drainage, it is important to find a good planting capacity. When buying such a container, you need to pay attention to whether there are drainage holes in it, as well as how they are located and what they are sized.
If they turn out to be too small, then excess moisture will slowly drain, and if they are large, too quickly. Therefore, it is important to choose a container that is suitable for planting a particular flower.
If there are no holes at all or they are very small, using home appliances in the form of a drill and a drill, you can make a drainage for the flowers with your own hands - to correct or drill holes.
So, for example, for cacti, succulents and some orchids, rapid fluid withdrawal is necessary. Therefore, a small pot with small holes and porous soil will suit them.
And for plants growing in constant moisture, it is important to choose a container with a minimum of small holes and dense soil.
Expanded clay for drainage
Expanded clay is a baked clay with a porous internal structure. When the question arises about what to do drainage for flowers, first of all remember the clay, as it is most suitable for these purposes.
This material is used in construction as insulation and sound insulator. In floriculture used medium and small fractional clay. Its main advantage is the ease and ability to absorb excess moisture. When it is not enough, claydite gives water back to the ground.
It is a chemically neutral material, odorless. Can be used many times, after about six years crumbles into the soil.
Medium fractional (2 cm diameter) expanded clay, on which sand is poured from above, is suitable for large plants for drainage. Care must be taken that the size of the hole in the pot is less than the fraction of the drainage material. The optimal drainage layer is about 2 cm. If it is decided to use a container without openings, then the layer of expanded clay should reach 5 cm.
Vermiculite and Perlite
An excellent drainage material are granules of vermiculite and perlite.
Vermiculite is produced by heating the clay to very high temperatures, as a result of which the minerals are pressed together with one another, like scales. In appearance, this drainage resembles parts of cork or wood chips, it is light, inert, does not harm plants.
Perlite is an elastic silica of volcanic origin and looks like granules of gray or white.
Both materials tend to absorb moisture with mineral-organic substances dissolved in it, and then return them to the soil as needed.
The disadvantage of this type of drainage is the high price.
Many growers use pure sphagnum moss as a drainage material. This natural material keeps moisture well, and when needed, the water from it goes back to the ground. In addition, moss is endowed with health and disinfectant qualities.
Moss grows in marshy or very wet forest soils. It can be seen in the form of soft stems of light green color, from which needle-like soft leaves stick out in all directions.
It is harvested at any season, but it is preferable to do it in the fall, which will make it possible to preserve material longer and better during transportation.
Before using the drainage for flowers in the form of moss, it is poured warm for half an hour, up to 45 ° C with water. It is necessary both for saturation by moisture, and for disposal of the attached insects.
Moss must be stored in unsealed polyethylene for breathing and in a cool place, it is possible in the freezer. When defrosting material does not lose its quality.
The only disadvantage of this drainage is inaccessibility, since it is not always on sale.
Charcoal is well suited for soil drainage, performing the functions of natural fertilizer and antiseptic, not only preventing putrefaction, but also adsorbing salts and adjusting the saturation of the soil with moisture.
Like many, charcoal drainage for flowers perfectly absorbs and retains liquid and mineral substances until the ground dries out and it needs moisture. Charcoal is a neutral, porous, inert and lightweight material.
For drainage it is laid out on the bottom of a flowerpot for flowers in a layer of 2 cm. It is desirable to take fractions large or such that they will not pass through the drainage holes of the pot.
How to replace the drainage for flowers
If at the time of planting or transplanting the plant did not have any of the above types of drainage, you can use something from scrap materials. The main thing is that they do not harm the plant, do not damage its roots and are not subject to the processes of molding or rotting.
A good drainage can serve as small fractions of rubble and gravel. The disadvantage is the exceptional severity of the pot with such drainage. It is suitable for small pots or large pots with rarely transplanted plants that do not move from place to place.
An alternative option may be a small aquarium stone, which is suitable not only as a drainage material, but also as a decoration of the surface of the earth. But its cost is usually very high.
Often in the attics or in the pantries dust boxes with foam packaging from equipment or household appliances gather dust. It turns out that this material is also suitable as a drainage for flowers. It is light, does not absorb water, is not deformed and does not decompose, is not toxic, does not smell. Well used for heavy ceramic flowerpots. Excess moisture flows through it into the pan. For the drainage layer, this material is cut into cubes and spread on the bottom with a two-centimeter layer. The disadvantage of the foam is that over time the roots of the plants twist it and during transplantation there is a danger of damage to the root system of flowers.
Another option would be broken clay brick. In the manufacture of clay mixed with various additives that improve the quality, and firing occurs. Therefore, it turns out durable natural material, well absorbing excess liquid. The main disadvantage is that the broken brick has sharp edges that damage the roots. Before laying in the vases, it is desirable to sharpen the pieces of brick. It is also preferable to use pieces of white silicate brick, since it has more pronounced drainage properties than red ceramic.
Why do we need and what is drainage?
To understand why drainage is so important for indoor plants, it is easy: without drainage, the soil compresses, dries unevenly, there are areas with excessive moisture, which gradually turn sour and lead to rotting of the roots. The spread of pests and diseases, impaired uniformity of moisture and normal outflow of water, soil compaction and lack of air permeability, anaerobic environment for development are just some of the factors that can be prevented by laying drainage to the bottom of containers.
Drainage - a soil drainage system that maintains the comfortable importance of the substrate for each houseplant. In fact, this is simply a layer of coarse-grained or coarse-grained materials at the bottom of the pot, which ensures optimal water outflow and breathability of the soil. The latter is often forgotten, and in fact it is not less important than the correct irrigation regime. Air exchange drainage function allows the roots and the whole plant to breathe normally. Drainage functions precisely as a full-fledged system for ensuring water and breathability, and its importance should not be underestimated.
What is the drainage for indoor plants?
In fact, for drainage, you can use any coarse-grained or coarse-grained material that does not enter into chemical reactions when wet, resistant to destruction, compaction, decay, well permeable to water. Usually for drainage use:
- Natural materials or materials close to them - shards from pottery, pebbles, gravel, crushed stone, brick chips.
- Specially designed for drainage materials - vermiculite, agroperlite and drainage expanded clay with fragments of uniform size, sterile, specially processed. They are sold in garden centers and flower shops. In addition to their ability to pass moisture, they also have protective properties, they clean the soil from toxins and salts of heavy metals.
- If there is no “stone” drainage, it is replaced with foam plastic and its analogs. In addition to the drainage function, it also perfectly fulfills the role of protection from the overcooling of an earthen coma (but due to the difficulty of separation from the roots, poor transmission of water, this option can be used only as a last resort).
Other elements of the drainage system
The drainage system in addition to the layer of bulk materials should also include:
- drainage holes of the tank itself,
- loosening additives to the substrate, which give it a light crumbly texture, do not allow the soil to over-compact.
They operate in the same system and are equally important to ensure optimal conditions. When grown in hydroponics, drainage completely replaces the substrate for cultivation; in fact, all technology is drainage.
But even in hydroponics, the drainage holes of the tank do not lose their significance, because even with an ideal drainage layer, insufficient water outflow from the tank itself will negate all efforts.
In pots and various flower pots, however attractive and stylish they were, there must be at least one drainage hole. But usually the optimal size and number of holes is selected for each plant and each container individually.
It is easy to make holes in plastic or polymeric pots by yourself, but when buying ceramic and terracotta pots, you need to evaluate the drainage abilities of the pots more carefully. Any container for indoor plants requires such drainage holes that allow water to flow freely, will not get clogged with soil and roots, but will not allow the substrate and drainage fragments to fall out of the pot.
The minimum dimensions for holes for water flow — from 0.5 cm. Holes larger than 1 cm should be covered with a grid. But the quantity is harder to pick up: for high containers, 5 evenly distributed holes are needed, which will allow the soil to dry evenly in the lower part, and for large and low pots, one large hole is enough. For orchids and other epiphytes choose "holey" pots, with numerous holes in the bottom and walls.
5 steps to perfect drainage for your own plants
1. The drainage layer must be changed or created during any planting and transplanting of plants, including emergency procedures. Each time you need to create a completely new layer of pure materials. If you use expanded clay or stone dust, they can be washed, sanitized and dried, and then used for other crops (maximum service life - 6 years). But for each specific plant drainage necessarily create anew.
2. Select the height of the drainage layer to the requirements of a particular plant. If the recommendations do not indicate which drainage is required, lay a low or medium drainage, if there are precise indications, follow them. The usual drainage layer is a shredder with a height of 1 to 3 cm, medium - from 4 to 5 cm, high - not less than 5 cm.
3. Adjust the height of the drain after inspecting the tank and its drainage holes. If you have only one but good drainage hole in your pots, then the minimum height of the drainage should be increased to 3 cm. If the holes are very small, but the drainage can only be laid high, from 5 cm to? tank heights. And if the drainage holes are numerous and large, then it can be limited to a drainage height of 1 cm.
Houseplant in a pot with drainage. © purple sprout
4. Before proceeding with plant transplantation and drainage, make sure that the tools and materials themselves are clean. Drainage pour not in advance, but before the direct landing. It must be dry if you used it before - pre-washed and disinfected. The pots must also be clean and dry. Check out the instructions for the purchase of drainage: some types of special expanded clay, vermiculite and perlite before the bookmark need to be saturated with moisture. In this case, soak the drain in advance in clean soft water.
5. In the prepared pots you just need to pour a layer of the selected drainage, checking the height. In order for the drainage to be located evenly and correctly, the pot should be tapped from the sides and shaken slightly. If you have used sufficiently fine drainage, then pour a thin layer of substrate on top of it before direct planting. For coarse-grained drainage (expanded clay, shards, broken bricks, crushed stone of large fractions), it is not coarse-grained sand that is poured over the soil. You must completely close the drainage layer, level the sand or soil. After that, you can proceed to the immediate transfer or planting indoor plants.
Brief description and necessity
Explain why and why this component is so important in the field of growing flowers is quite simple. The fact is that without drainage, the soil is gradually compacted and dries unevenly from moisture. In addition, there are areas with excessive moisture, which can sour and cause rotting of the root system. Специалисты утверждают, что распространение опасных заболеваний и вредителей, отсутствие воздухопроницаемости и загнивание грунта, нарушение нормального оттока лишней влаги, а также анаэробная среда — это далеко не все факторы, с которыми успешно справляется небольшой слой дренажа на дне ёмкости.
Специалисты отмечают, что такой материал — это универсальная система дренирования почвы, которая помогает поддерживать наиболее благоприятную влажность субстрата для каждого вида комнатного растения. Simply put, it is specific layer of coarse-grained or coarse-grained materials at the bottom of the flower pot, which guarantees good air permeability to the soil, as well as optimal outflow of excess moisture.
Novice florists often forget that it is good breathability that plays an important role in the process of growing a healthy plant. Indeed, only in this case, the root system of the flower will be able to breathe and develop normally.
The principle of the drainage layer is to provide favorable conditions for the flower.
The functional purpose of the holes in the pot
Everyone agrees that the tab of the drainage layer helps to create favorable conditions for the stable growth of indoor plants. This procedure is as important as the correct lighting, moderate watering and the periodic application of mineral fertilizers. Experienced experts say that the quality of drainage directly depends on the shape, size and even the material of the container used, as well as on the diameter of the existing holes and their number.
The main difficulties may arise when using ceramic products, as they contain only one hole, but this is quite enough for some types of flowers. But plastic pots are produced completely without holes. In this case, all the holes you need to pierce yourself.
Experts distinguish between fast and moderate drainage. For succulents, age-old cacti and delicate orchids, a compact pot with small holes is best suited. For filling substrate and coarse sand can be used, crushed bricks or other components that will help to quickly remove excess water. Separately, it should be noted that for plants that prefer moist soil, it is best to choose pots with a small number of holes, as well as a dense substrate.
Despite the number of drainage holes and their size, you should always control that they are not clogged with soil and root processes. Using larger stones will help prevent clogging. If immediately after watering a large amount of water has accumulated in the pan, this means that the holes perfectly perform their main function.
When there is very little water or it is completely absent, it means that the drain holes are completely clogged. In this case, you need to gently put the pot on its side and clean it with a regular stick. If this situation is repeated regularly, then the flower is best transplanted into a new container in order to prevent the possible decay of the root system.
Individual attention is deserved by those plants whose roots grow strongly and can fill the entire space of the pot. In this case, the drainage layer may be completely absent, or it must be very thin. The advantage is that the root system will be visible through the large openings, so you can quickly assess its condition. It should be noted that instead of the usual drainage, you can use pebbles, which you need to fill the pot of the flowerpot.
Those who are engaged in the cultivation of indoor plants, certainly noticed that some pots do not have drainage holes. Experts note that this is even very good. This pot can be called universal, because the number and size of holes can be controlled independently. To make holes to drain the water, you need to use the following tools:
- Gently heat an iron object (for example, a thick nail, awl or knife) on the fire and make all the necessary holes.
- With the help of an ordinary drill, you need to drill holes with a diameter.
Varieties of materials
In fact, for the drainage of soil can be used any coarse-grained material that does not enter into chemical reactions under the influence of moisture, and is also resistant to compaction, destruction, rotting. The main thing is that the material meets the following requirements:
- Well missed water.
- Not subjected to rotting.
- It was resistant to the development of mold.
- Did not enter into chemical reactions.
- Was safe for the root system of the plant.
Universal claydite drainage
This material is presented in the form of kilned clay, the inside of which has a porous structure. When the question arises of what to do drainage for indoor flowers, then everyone uses exactly expanded clay. This is due to the fact that such material is considered the most suitable for the implementation of such tasks.
To date, the use of expanded clay for flowers is considered the most appropriate. After all, it is very light and well absorbs excess moisture, and, if necessary, freely gives it to the root system. In addition, this material is often used in the construction industry as a sound insulation and insulation material.
The material itself is chemically neutral and odorless. It is possible to use claydite many times. After six years, it gradually crumbles into the soil. If the plant is large, then it is best to choose medium fractional material (with a diameter of not more than 3 cm). From above, it must be covered with sand. In this case, you need to ensure that the total size of the holes in the pot is slightly smaller than the fraction of the drainage material involved.
It is best if the bottom of the flower container is filled with expanded clay at a thickness of 3 centimeters. If the pot has no holes, then this layer should be 5 centimeters.
These two types of drainage material are in great demand. The production of vermiculite is based on the fact that the clay is heated to maximum temperatures, thanks to which the minerals are pressed together to form peculiar scales. The appearance of this material is most similar to parts of ordinary wood chips. It is very light, inert and does not harm flowers at all.
But perlite is represented in the form of solid silica, having a unique volcanic origin. It looks like ordinary granules of snow white or light gray. It should be noted that both of these materials well absorb excess moisture with mineral-organic substances dissolved in it. As required, they return everything back to the soil. The only disadvantage of these materials is the high cost.
Quality ceramic drainage
When claydite is not commercially available, a logical question arises as to how to replace drainage for indoor plants. In this case, special attention can be paid to ceramics, which has many advantages. It is worth noting that for arranging such drainage it is necessary to put shards of convex side up or several large mineral pieces on all the holes in the pot. Then, if the pot is small, you need to pour a layer of coarse sand (not more than two cm). Only then can you fill up the ground and plant the plant.
The main disadvantage of this drainage is that the root system of the flower can be damaged by the sharp edges of the shards. Separately worth considering that better not to use too large partsas sand can wake up through them.
Natural coal from wood
To produce high-quality drainage for indoor plants with their own hands can be made of charcoal, which will play the role of natural fertilizer and antiseptic. Due to this, it is possible to prevent rotting of the root system, as well as to improve the adsorption of salt, regulating the saturation of the soil with moisture.
Like other drainage materials, charcoal perfectly absorbs excess moisture, and also retains beneficial trace elements until the soil dries out and does not require moisture. It is worth noting that for soil drainage this material is laid on the bottom of the pot with a layer of 3 cm. Fractions must be large so that they do not wake up through the drainage holes.
Experienced gardeners often use this material as a drainage. Its main advantage is due to the fact that it keeps well all the excess water that could harm the plant. In addition, sphagnum moss is endowed with unique disinfectant and health properties. The natural habitat of such a material is considered to be wetlands and moist forest soils. It can often be seen in the form of soft stalks, which have a light green color. From them in all directions needled soft leaves.
Such material can be harvested at any time of the year, but it is best to choose late autumn, as in this case it retains all its properties well and is amenable to long-term transportation. Before using sphagnum moss to drain the soil, it must be filled with warm water for 60 minutes (+ 45 +С). This will help to achieve the highest degree of moisture saturation, as well as destroy existing insects.
Moss can be stored in a well-ventilated container in a dark and cool place. In some cases, florists even use the freezer, because in this case the material does not completely lose its main functions.
The main disadvantage of this drainage is only that it is difficult to obtain, as it is not always on sale.
To date, make a drainage for flowers with their own hands quite simple. For this it is enough to use the available materials that can be found in any home:
- Aquarium stone. Such stones are considered a good alternative, but they are quite expensive. But if such material is available, then it must be used.
- Gravel and rubble. Drainage of soil by such material is considered a very common solution. The only drawback - such elements significantly weight the weight of the pot. Gravel and crushed stone are especially appropriate if they are used for small containers that do not need to be frequently rearranged.
- Broken brick This is one of the most budget options. Such material is considered to be natural, due to which it only benefits the plant. But before sending the brick particles into the pot for color, they need to be sharpened so that the sharp edges do not injure the root system of the plant. Separately, it is worth considering that white brick is more suitable for drainage than red one.
- Styrofoam. This material perfectly replaces the usual elements. But, it is impossible to chop it up: the foam should be cut into small cubes, which are evenly placed in a pot. The only minus can be attributed only to the fact that the root system often braids such drainage material, which then causes injury.
When choosing the most suitable drainage for indoor plants, you need to remember that it should be safe for the plant itself. Only in this case, the flower will develop rapidly, delighting with its beauty and freshness.