14 Houseplants that Do not Need Drainage

You can adopt many hardy houseplants if you dislike managing drainage. Note that the vast majority of houseplants require drainage for survival and growth.

You are then left with a tiny minority of plants that don’t require drainage. We’ve rounded up a list of houseplants in California that are easy to care for. The selection criteria were based on aesthetics, shape, and maintenance.

Houseplants that Don’t Require Drainage

These are plants that can survive without drainage. However, they may still be susceptible to rot if you water them excessively.

They are hardy plants that can withstand wet soil for much longer. Try not to overwater them if you can help it.

Pineapple Plant

The Pineapple Plant belongs to the Bromeliad family and thrives in tropical environments. It has slender sword-like leaves that grow in spirals surrounding a central stem.

Each pineapple plant can produce one flower stalk. And if you give it long enough, it will produce one pineapple fruit.

Growing the pineapple plant is relatively easy, and it doesn’t require a drainage hole. There are a few steps you should follow.

Cut the top of the pineapple plant after buying it from the garden center.

Now carefully split the leaves on the crown. The crown is the green part of the plant featuring a clump of leaves.

Do this by firmly grasping the plant’s body and twist the leaves one by one. If this doesn’t work, remove the pineapple’s top and pull the leaves.

Make sure to trim each leaf thoroughly and discard any fruit residue.

Allow the crown to dry for seven to ten days. Once the crown has thoroughly dried, puncture it with four toothpicks.

Place the punctured crown in a water-filled jar to allow roots to grow. Make sure to provide plenty of sunlight. Roots will appear after a few weeks.

You are ready to place the pineapple plant in any pot without drainage holes.

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant (native to tropical Africa) is a newfound favorite among houseplant enthusiasts. It is appreciated for its unusual blade-shaped leaves that are always upright.

The Snake Plant is one of the easiest indoor houseplants to grow. These nearly indestructible plants are easier to look after. It doesn’t require drainage either.

Snake plants are best grown in potted soil. However, you can also grow the plant in a bowl of water. There are a few steps to follow.

After sourcing the snake plant, place a layer of thick gravel in the plant’s bottom. You can place gravel, charcoal, or pebbles at the pot’s bottom.

Do not use broken pottery because it will lead to water logging. Now add a layer of activated charcoal to the plant’s potting mix.

This draws water away from the potting mix and holds it away from the roots. Now layer the charcoal with the potting mix when potting the plant.

Note: Don’t use barbecue charcoal because it is treated with chemicals. Activated charcoal is available from any garden center or aquarium store near you.

You can also mix vermiculite and perlite with the potting mix. These materials act similarly to charcoal by holding water away from the plant’s roots.

The plant will require watering once every one to three months.

We do recommend repotting the snake plant once a year. This will help you assess the root system. If you notice problems with the roots, consider repotting them in pots with drainage holes.

Read House Plant That Looks Like Lily Pads

Oleander Plant

Oleander Plant (also known as Nerium oleander) is a widely popular houseplant in California. These floral plants bloom well in most conditions and add vibrant color to your home.

Note that they can be extremely toxic and should not be ingested. Keep Oleander plants away from pets and children.

Some gardeners have reported that the blooms are toxic when handled by adults. The houseplant is mostly grown indoors but it does well outside.

What sets the Oleander plant away from others is its low-maintenance requirements. The plant can survive in little to no water. The hardy plant doesn’t require stringent soil conditions.

The plant does require watering once a week or every ten days. Feed it one to two inches of water. Just make sure to provide plenty of indirect sunlight.

Direct sunlight may be too harsh for the plant and stunt its growth.

Chinese Evergreen

This unique and attractive plant has long, silvery leaves with shades of green and red. The Chinese Evergreen grows well in just about any environment, and drainage isn’t a concern.

Just make sure that the soil is properly saturated with moisture. Do not line the soil with too much water. It is recommended to wait a while for the soil to dry before planting it.

Overwatering Chinese Evergreens can easily lead to root rot if the pot doesn’t have drainage. You can also add a few stones at the bottom of the soil.

You would be surprised just how durable their tropical foliage is. The plants can grow surprisingly well in poor light, drought, and dry air conditions.

Bird of Paradise Plant

The Bird of Paradise Plant is extremely hardy. Its only risk is of being overwatered. The plant is grown outdoors in warm climates and is known for its vibrant foliage.

Under the right conditions, the plant may bloom indoors. Note that this is relatively rare. The split leaves of the plants have a special purpose. The leaves reduce drag in the wind.

Their special design eliminates the risk of being snapped by strong gusts of wind. They don’t require drainage but are not suited to low light conditions.

You can water the plants once every three weeks. These plants can be toxic to cats, dogs, and humans. Keep these plants out of reach of children and pets.

Kupukupu Fern

The Kupukupu Fern is a beautiful houseplant known for its luscious green leaves. It likes warm, humid climates, such as those in Hawaii.

The plant has prominent green stems that thrive on fern trees and soil. They also develop tiny tubers, a unique trait of these plants.

The tubers allow the plants to trap nourishment from food. It is recommended to grow them one fern at a time. Or, at the very least, place the ferns 18 inches apart (or more).

Growing multiple ferns may be too difficult for beginners. They are ideally grown in an indoor event. Because the plants grow well on solid walls and trees, it doesn’t require drainage.

The plant has simple care requirements and is easy to grow indoors. It will thrive in just about every type of indoor garden.


If you’re looking for a plant that doesn’t require much attention, consider getting Dumbcanes. These plants get their name from the temporary loss of speech when ingested.

The elegant plants can easily elevate the style of any room. Their bold, succulent leaves grow long and wide with ivory and yellow specks.

Not only do they thrive in moisture, but they can also grow in pots without drainage. You can transfer dumbcane plants to pots that do not have drainage holes.

The plant requires a lot of water to grow properly. Make sure to mist the plants in semi-humid and tropical zones regularly.

Dumbcanes can thrive in low light conditions. However, it is recommended to move them outdoors to absorb sunlight every now and then.


Crotons are a very popular houseplant with stunning leaves and the ability to grow tall. The plant can reach heights of up to five feet or more.

Crotons grow leaves in a variety of colors and shapes. The most common colors are yellow, orange, pink, green, or red.

The variegated leaves stand out from most indoor houseplants. It is another example of a houseplant that doesn’t require drainage holes.

Just make sure to use well-draining soil to reduce moisture. You can also add peat moss to the soils’ drainage capacity.

Note that overwatering the plant can damage it. Allow the topsoil to dry before you water the plant.

Overwatering is a major concern if the pot doesn’t have drainage holes. Carefully design the plant’s watering schedule. It does not enjoy moisture.

Plant them indoors during the winter months to prevent frost damage.


It’s no surprise that the cactus plant would appear on his list. These plants are extremely hardy and thrive in harsh desert environments.

They won’t die even if you don’t water them for several days. The pants don’t require frequent watering and drainage isn’t a problem.

You can grow cactus plants in pots that don’t have drainage holes. Cacti are capable of storing water in their organs for a long time. This is key to their survival during periods of droughts.

Cacti come in various shapes and sizes, including those with and without horns. Cacti with thorns are best kept away from pets and children.


These colorful plants are easy to grow indoors and don’t need drainage. Like the snake plant, they grow well in soil and water.

It is a good idea to line the pot with pebbles and sand. Another good idea is place a few plant cuttings in water

You will notice tiny shoots emerging from the cuttings. They won’t grow excessively tall, but will produce healthy leaves. Mature Schefflera leaves grow to heights of 6 feet tall.

The Schefflera thrives in tropical events under direct sunlight. It will do just as well in moderate to indirect sunlight.

The plant also requires fertilizers once every year.


Also known as the Devil’s Ivy, this bushy plant tolerates a lot more abuse than others. It adapts surprisingly well to most conditions, including lack of drainage.

They produce stunning heart-shaped leaves with yellow variegations that grow up to 10 feet tall. Pothos plants do well in direct sunlight.

They are trailing vine plants that are best grown in hanging baskets. Pothos plants grow extremely well in outdoor environments.

Some pothos plants may also produce flowers. However, this is very rare. The plants are more likely to grow flowers once they grow 40 feet tall.

These hardy plants are extremely rough and won’t die if you don’t provide drainage.


With their striking foliage and bold colors, cordylines create a massive visual impact. These tropical natives thrive well in high humidity and heat.

The best part is that they can tolerate standing water. Just make sure the soil itself is thoroughly wet and well-draining.

They will also need to be protected from the wind. Provide plenty of sunlight and bring the plant outdoors in the afternoons.

Water the plant immediately once the topsoil dries out. Cordylines are especially popular among gardeners because of their appearance.


Jade plant is another plant that grows well without drainage. The plant is named after its unique circular leaves that resemble coins.

The leaves of this plant are thick with a luster that sets them apart. Jade is best grown in indoor brightly-lit environments.

They do alright in moist soil, but you should not overwater them. Only water the plants once the topsoil has dried.

Chinese Water Bamboo   

The Chinese Water Bamboo is a quirky and fun houseplant to keep. It is easy to care for and isn’t affected by lack of drainage.

Its attractive leaves are notoriously resilient and a viable option for gardeners of all levels. Although its stalks resemble bamboo plants, the Chinese Water Bamboo belongs to the Asparagaceae family.

The best growing conditions for the Chinese Bamboo plant are indoors in a well-lit room. While it is possible to grow them outside, frost and direct sunlight can harm them.

Note that the Chinese Water Bamboo is highly susceptible to algae. Make sure to clean the container once every few months and provide fresh water. This should take care of the algae problem.

The Chinese Water Bamboo prefers moist soil. However, abstain from over-watering the plant. You can water the plant once the top soil is dry.

Wrapping Up

If you’re unsure if your plant can survive without drainage, you can always run tests. Test different plants without well-drained pots to see how they react. This was a list of houseplants that don’t require drainage. You should carefully study their care requirements. Remember, they’re hardy and resilient – not invincible. I hope you have enjoyed the list of houseplants that don’t need drainage.

You may like the following houseplant articles: