Proper drainage is critical to plant health. Different plant types require different levels of moisture retention, aeration and drainage in their respective growing medium, but container gardening adds another challenge.
Many gardeners struggle with plants in containers because of inadequate drainage. Plants cycle from being neglected and needing water, to being drowned by over watering. Besides suffocating a plant, over watering often leads to disease, unrecoverable wilt, leaf loss, and the eventual death of a plant.
Our basic low water usage growing medium is a 92% perlite, 8% coco fiber mix. To keep the mix from washing out of the containers, we used food grade silicon to secure a nylon mesh over larger drainage holes.
We then used a Dremel with a drill bit attachment, and systematically perforated 1/8 inch holes evenly around the pot. We drilled additional holes evenly spaced between existing holes, adding more toward the bottom than the top.
We want extreme drainage, but we still want the water to run down past the root system and saturate the coco fiber near the root mass, so we avoided adding too many holes near the top that would allow water to run outwards instead of downwards. We also drilled supplemental drainage holes on the bottom side of the pot.
There are a lot of pots out there. Some of them probably do what our DIY extreme drainage pot does, but this works perfectly for us. With improved drainage, proper nutrition, and an adjusted watering cycle, a plant best suited for a chaparral or desert can be grown in a container or hydroponically.