How to Make a Drainage Hole in a Concrete Planter or Pot

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Succulents are still as popular as ever, but when it comes to planting it and picking the perfect planter, there is still some confusion. When picking out a planter or pot for your plant, you want to look for one with a drainage hole. If you’ve ever been shopping for a planter, you know that options become limited because not every planter has a drain hole. One great example is our concrete vessel. Though we didn’t design it to specifically be a planter, it’s one of our customers’ favorite ways of using it, and we’re not complaining about it. A small succulent looks perfect in it. But to keep that succulent alive, it needs a bed or rocks at the bottom and ideally a drainage hole for excess water.

Having a drainage hole is ideal for any type of potted plant, especially houseplants. And even though succulents don’t need much water, they still need a decent drainage system. Lack of drainage is one of the main reasons many plant owners kill their plants. Having healthy roots is essential for a healthy plant.

Since our large vessel is the perfect candidate of a do-it-yourself drain hole, I’m going to show you exactly that. How to make a drain hole in a concrete planter using a drill in three easy steps.

Materials needed:


Masonry Drill Bits (multiple sizes)

Drill or drill press

Safety glasses 

Towel or rag

Concrete Planter

Step 1

Turn the concrete planter over and place on a towel or another non-slippery surface. 

Step 2

Mark with a pencil where you want the drain hole to be.

Step 3

Insert the smaller masonry bit into the drill and begin drilling through the concrete.  Once you have drilled through will the smaller bit, insert the larger bit and repeat.  

Tips: The size of the drill bit will depend on the size of hole you will want to make. For this concrete planter, I’m using a 3/16″ and then a 5/8″. For a large planter, consider using a larger drill bit or drilling multiple holes.

Once you have drilled through the planter, clean off the concrete dust and plant your succulent!

It’s so easy to make your own drainage hole by drilling one yourself and it opens up your options to so many more planters! Just be sure you select the correct drill bit for your planter. You’ll need a different bit for different materials, such as glass and ceramic. But, just remember, with any potted plant, drainage is essential.  If you have other questions about how to plant a succulent in one of our concrete vessels, please read our other post, “Tips and Tricks for Planting and Caring for Succulents

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