plant pot and a saucer

Do Plant Pots Need Saucers? Why and What Are The Benefits

plant pot and a saucer

When it comes to any type of plant, even more so with indoor plants, drainage is one of the key aspects you need to keep a close eye on. So you may have noticed that good containers will have drainage holes at the bottom. But often people forget to consider one thing, where will that excess water go. That’s where a saucer comes in.

So, why do plant pots need saucers? Whilst they aren’t necessary, plant pots use saucers to collect the water that drains from your pot. Without this, it can easily spill onto your carpets, floors and furniture. So after each watering, your saucer will capture the excess water, preventing any spillage in your home. Once you’ve watered your plants though and given the water a few minutes to drain through, you must ensure you empty the saucer.

It’s not uncommon for beginners to leave the water in the saucer. But this can be devastating for your plant. Even if you’ve got some well-draining potting soil and plenty of holes in your pot, if the saucer is full, it’s not going anywhere. This has the potential to bring on root rot in your plant as the roots will be sat in a pool of water. To prevent this, ensure that you tip away the excess in your saucer after each watering. Also, it’s best to tip it away whenever you start to notice more water pooling. But this is unlikely after the first watering.

What Are Plant Saucers?

Plant saucers are dishes that you place under your plant pot to catch any of the excess water that has drained through. They are usually shallow and tend to be ceramic. Sometimes they come matching with the pots that you have purchased, but most of the time they need to be bought separately. Just remember that their main purpose it to prevent water spilling everywhere, not to hold a pool of water for your plants to drown in. If you have a few plants you want to keep together, you can even get tiered saucers such as this one.

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Benefits Of Using Saucers

Saucers aren’t just a way to add a bit more decoration to your home, they do provide some benefits for your plants. 

First off, the main benefit is that they capture the excess water that comes out from your plant pot. This is key to avoiding a big mess after each watering session. Without them, you’d find a a nice wet patch in your home surrounding the pot. Whilst that may be fine as a one off, if you’re doing it consistently in the same place, it could lead to rot in your actual home in places such as wooden floorboards. But an alternative is to water your plants in the sink, but try to avoid moving them around too much as this can cause stress for them.

Another benefit is using them to increase the humidity. If you’ve got a plant such as the birds nest fern then you may want to increase the humidity in its vicinity. You can do this by placing a few pebbles in a saucer then filling it with water. Doing this will help give a small area a slight boost in humidity, which can really help some plants thrive. 

Finally, there’s the decorative aspect. You can buy some to match your home and they really add a nice touch. Succulents tend to sit well in them, and due to their size you can place them pretty much anywhere in your home. I tend to always keep a couple on my coffee table in the living room.

Drawbacks Of Using Saucers

There isn’t many drawbacks with saucers, but they are quite severe. But as long as you follow the advice I’ve given, you have nothing to worry about as these problems are easily avoided.

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The major drawback with saucers is the pooling water. It’s really easy to think that it’s a good idea to give your plant that extra water to sit in. But trust me, it’s not. This is just a one way ticket to root rot, which will eventually kill your plant. Saucers are not intended for holding water for your plant, simply as a way to catch the excess and prevent it spilling everywhere. Having water there will also suffocate your plant as they require oxygen around their roots so they can use the sugars to grow.  Once you’ve finished watering, give it a few minutes to fully drain then tip away the water that’s collected in the saucer. Doing this will prevent your plant from suffering from any problems. 

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