How to Make a Hole in a Ceramic Pot Without a Drill

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by Griselda M.

So, how to make a hole in a ceramic pot without a drill? You’ve probably bought those cute pots from a Chinese store and now you can’t wait to use them for your plants. But wait, the ceramic pots you’ve bought do not have any holes.

But first, can you use pots with no drainage holes? Some experts suggest that you can still use pots without drainage holes by improving drainage through pebbles or rocks. On the other hand, it is important to note that ceramics are non-porous pots, which means they may not be the best pots for succulents.

Drilling a hole in your beautiful pot could save your plant from getting thin and frail.

How To Make Drainage Holes in Ceramic Pots

Porcelain pots are non-porous pots, which means that drilling holes are crucial to enhance the draining ability. Succulents require good drainage to prevent root rot and the development of various plant diseases. Hence, the following are some tips you can follow.

If you want to learn how to make a hole in a ceramic pot without a drill, it might be quite impossible. 

Porcelain pots or ceramic pots have a baked-on glazed finish for the exterior. Even a regular drill bit cannot make a hole. Using a hammer drill, but can also shatter the porcelain when you drill through it.

To drill a hole in your ceramic pot, you need a special drill bit that can also drill a ceramic tile. A wood and metal drill bit cannot penetrate glass.

Read more about: How To Cover Drainage Holes In Pots

Can You Plant On Ceramic Pots Without a Hole?

If your ceramic pots came without a drainage hole, chances are the water will not drain quickly. However, you can still use them for your plants.

If it is impossible to drill holes in your container, you can use it as a decorative pot in a “double potting” system. First, pot your plant in a smaller container with drainage holes. Then place it inside the ceramic pot. Every time you water the plant, the excess water will simply flow to the ceramic pot.

The following are the cons of not having a drainage hole.


Your plants may drown in water regardless of the type of sand you are using. It makes your plant prone to root rot and developing certain kinds of diseases brought by too much water.

Foul Smell

When water doesn’t drain well, it can develop a bad odor. If you place your ceramic pot insider your home, the foul odor can affect the quality of your indoor air.

Thin and leggy plants

Succulents and other types of plants need a drainage hole to grow. Without it, your plants cannot grow at their best. Oftentimes, you will see your plants be thin and leggy, due to a lack of nutrients from the soil or too much water.

Salt Buildup

Another major reason why it’s not advisable to plant on a pot without a drainage hole in the salt buildup. Tap water and fertilizer contain salts that can harm the plants when it doesn’t drain well. When you water and let the water flow out, the salts are flushed out.

How To Make a Hole in a Ceramic Pot Without a Drill and What To Do If Ceramic Pots Have No Hole

Fortunately, you can still plant succulents using your ceramic pots. If you do not know how to make a hole in a ceramic pot without a drill, you can try the following.

  • Layer pumice or small rocks at the bottom of the pot’s interior. This layer will help drain the water even though there is no way out.
  • Once you have layered the rocks in the bottom, you can start adding your potting mix. The best potting mix for succulents is composed of gardening soil and pumice. Since your pot doesn’t have holes, you may need to increase your pumice to assist the drainage ability of your soil. 
  • Plant your succulent. Top some pebbles or rocks to decorate your ceramic pot. As water moves down through the soil, it is evenly distributed through the rocks and is eventually drained into the bottom. 
  • Water your plant less frequently. Just water enough to feed your plant. Do not pour too much water. If you have smaller ceramic pots, it helps if you just use a water spray. Just spray directly to the soil and when the soil is wet, you can stop watering.

Ceramic Succulent Planter Pot

Are Clay Pots With Holes Better For Succulents?

Clay pots can be found all over any home. It has a natural look that’s very easy to love. The patina is or mineral deposits are also advantageous for the pots. The following are some pros of using clay pots with holes for your plants.

  • Clay pots are porous and help with drainage. Both the air and water can move through the pores, preventing soil diseases and root rot.
  • Clay pots are a great option for indoor gardens because they can drain quickly. Even though your plants are not exposed to the natural elements of the outdoor setting, clay pots can help improve the condition of your plants.
  • Clay pots are perfect for plants that are used to dry soil such as cacti, succulents, and other plants.
  • It is also perfect for the winter season. Cold weather days make it harder for soil to drain. However, the walls of the pots can help draw water out to help keep the soil dry quicker.
  • If you are on a tight budget, clay pots are great for you. You don’t need much to buy a dozen as you can get for really affordable prices. Plus, they make a beautiful patina that only gets better with age.

So, how many drainage holes are in pots? It depends on the size of the pots. Larger pots may require a couple of holes in the center and around the edges. You need to look for the soft spot to drill.

Are Clay Pots With Holes Better For Succulents

Read more about: What Is The Best Spray Paint For Clay Pots

Leave a Comment