Why You Should Fill Your Flower Pot With Kitchen Sponges Before Planting

It does sound a little crazy to put sponges inside your planters, right? But if you have a tendency to overwater your plants, or you constantly find yourself fighting root rot, this hack is for you. It's one of the most common mistakes people make when growing things, so don't feel bad. That's why this hack is so popular. It helps to aerate the soil for better drainage and provides you with a healthier root system, so it's a win-win.

It's simple: just take a few small sponges and place them at the bottom of the planter. Be sure you don't use old or pretreated sponges that could have detergents or antibacterial compounds on them. You can cut the sponges to the size of the pot if you like. They will absorb moisture and retain water that would normally sit at the bottom of the planter, once the plant has had enough to drink. The sponge will help keep the soil moist for longer when the plant dries out.

Do the same thing with pool noodles

Another hack that accomplishes the same basic thing uses pool noodles instead. For this project, simply cut the pool noodles to about ¾ of the height of the pot or container you're planting in. Set them inside the container so they're standing vertically and the soil can fall into and around the foam noodles. Fill the planter with soil as usual and if you're transplanting, just arrange the roots loosely so they fall in and around the noodles also.

The pool noodle hack additionally helps keep the plants cool and aerated. The material that the pool noodles are made from helps to retain moisture in the soil and keeps the plants cooler. Both of these hacks will save you money in potting soil or potting mix since they take up space in the container. They also make the containers lighter to carry around when you need to move them. If you're the type that tends to occasionally water too much, either of these hacks will help protect your plants.

Try using old cans or natural materials

Along the same lines, here's another planter trick to try: old soda cans. You can crush a few empty soda cans and place them in the bottom of a large planter. Then you can place some landscape fabric or screen netting over the top of them. After that, use potting soil and plant as usual. This will aid with drainage if you overwater the plants. It also serves the same purpose of making large pots easier to move and saving money on potting soil.

Additionally, to assist indoor plants with drainage, some other recommendations include recycled plastics, packing materials like styrofoam peanuts, and even coffee filters. All of these can be placed at the bottom of planters to keep potting soil in and allow water to flow out. Natural materials are always another terrific option, with the likes of pine cones and wood chips. Good drainage is one of the most important things for healthy potted plants, so keep these valuable tips in mind when gardening and you'll have the greenest thumb on the block in no time.