According to an article issued by the University of Illinois, using plant containers with drainage holes is one of the most important factors for growing healthy plants. While some plants tolerate occasional saturation, most plants cannot survive extended periods of waterlogged soil, with the exception of several aquatic plant species. In extreme cases, a lack of sufficient drainage combined with too much rain or over-watering can lead to bacteria and fungus growth in the soil, and may even kill a plant.
To understand the reasons why most landscapers prefer fiberglass planters that come with pre-drilled drainage holes, let’s take a look at the criteria they evaluate when selecting fiberglass planters for outdoor use.
Fiberglass Planters with Pre-drilled Drainage Holes Are Ready to Use
Although fiberglass planters without drainage holes give you the flexibility to establish the location of holes based on the intended use of each planter, purchasing planters that have pre-drilled drainage holes saves you the trouble of drilling the holes yourself. Drilling holes in planters requires some special knowledge and can be quite time-consuming, especially if your landscape design requires numerous fiberglass planters.
Additionally, drilling holes in planters can be tricky, depending on the type of material and location of each hole. For instructions on how to drill drainage holes in fiberglass planters, we recommend the guide, “Drilling Drainage Holes in Your Planter”. If you don’t have the necessary tools or skills, you shouldn’t attempt to drill the holes yourself, as you risk damaging your planters. In this situation, it’s better to buy plant containers from a fiberglass planter manufacturer that is able to drill drainage holes upon request.
Drainage Holes Can Help Prevent Root Rot
Plants kept in outdoor fiberglass planters without drainage holes are prone to becoming overwatered, especially if they’re left in the rain. Because plant roots need oxygen to stay alive, it’s important to ensure they have access to fresh air. Any excess water at the bottom of a planter will keep the soil sopping wet, closing off the air pockets in the potting mix. This prevents roots from getting the oxygen they need to stay healthy. Furthermore, roots can rot if they sit in stagnant water for too long. Root rot is a serious condition that can kill a plant.
Fiberglass planters with pre-drilled drainage holes can help you prevent root rot. As drainage holes allow water in the soil to drain out, roots can get all the air they need in order to stay healthy and absorb the nutrients required by your plants to grow.
Pre-Drilled Drainage Holes Prevent Salt Build-Up
Another reason to opt for fiberglass planters with pre-drilled drainage holes is to prevent salt build-up in the potting soil. Tap water and fertilizers contain minerals, which turn into salts as water evaporates from the soil. The problem with these salts is that they can accumulate in potting media over time, eventually affecting the ability of plants to draw up water and absorb the nutrients. This will make plants more prone to disease and pest attacks. The first signs of excess salts in potting soil include a white or yellow buildup on the surface of the soil, slow plant growth, dropping of lower leaves, dead root tips, wilting, and leaf tips and edges turning brown.
The potting soil in containers without drainage holes tends to accumulate more salts in a shorter period of time compared to the soil in planters that have drainage holes. Because too many salts in potting soil could kill a plant, removing excess salts from the soil on a regular basis is necessary to create a healthier environment for your plants. The easiest way to get rid of excess salts is to use fiberglass planters with pre-drilled drainage holes. These planters allow you to drench your plants with water periodically so that excess salts get flushed out together with the water that flows through the holes.
Pre-Drilled Drainage Holes Protect Roots from Frost and Prevent Planter Damage
Any excess water that builds up at the base of your fiberglass planters without drainage holes before the cold weather sets in or during thawing periods will freeze together with plant roots when exposed to low temperatures. This could literally kill off a plant.
As well, soggy potting soil that freezes in a fiberglass container will expand, potentially causing damage. Since fiberglass planters with pre-drilled drainage holes allow water to seep out, there won’t be any excess water to freeze during the cold weather.
Can you use fiberglass planters without drainage holes?
Without a doubt. In fact, the fiberglass planters we make available at Jay Scotts Collection may be used both outdoor and indoor, so they don’t have drainage holes. But irrespective of the planter shapes and sizes you intend to order, we would gladly drill drainage holes upon your request.