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Just been out on the deck as I do first thing most mornings to check my plants. All this rain we have had and 3 of my large pots containing clematis are flooded with water...............yes, you guessed it; I didn't check the pot for drainage holes when I chose my pots. What can I do to remedy this? am I able to repot these plants? Help much appreciated.............


PS..............Pots are glazed and don't think I will be able to add drainage holes???????? Or will I ???

Gary Hobson

I am no expert on clematis.

But you could hold some paper over the soil, to hold it in place, and then carefully tip the pots onto their sides, to let all the water drain away.

I do have some large glazed pots. Most of mine do have holes, even if they are very small; though perhaps yours do not. Conceivably, someone who was expert, could dill a hole into the bottom of a pot, tipped on its side. In that case you could leave the plants in the pots, as they are.

Hopefully you'll get some much better answers, very shortly....


First you need to drain the exess water either by laying them on there side or take them out the pots and re pot into plastic pot with holes and then you could put them back in there orignial pots. dont leave them to sit in the water or the plant will die.

I think that your first priority is to get the plants out of their current sodden conditions - and I'm not sure that just tipping the pots on their sides wll be enough. (hope the link works!) is about drilling holes in glazed containers. Apparently you put duct tape over the area you want to drill into, then go slowly... I think I'd delegate it! Good luck.


Hmm, link not looking hopeful. Loads of stuff on the net though if you google 'drilling holes in glazed pots'. .

You can drill drainage holes, Lucy, if you want to go to the trouble. Put the pots on their side (using something to retain the soil as Gary suggests) and decide where you want the holes. Stick short lengths of masking tape (about an inch wide) on the spots. The tape will help guard against chipping or cracking. Mark the spots on the tape where you're going to drill.

You'll need two, possibly three masonry bits, depending how big you want the holes to be. Start with a small bit just to create the hole without stressing the pot. Then change to a larger bit to enlarge the hole. And so on until you've got the hole size you want.


You're a faster typist than me, figrat!


Hi everyone - thankyou so much for your replies and your support/help.

Gary/Italophile I have done what you suggested and have managed to put three holes in the bottom of the pots, about the size of a 5pence piece. was a bit tricky but managed in the end - couldnt delegate as partners left for work already   the tape got a little mangled around the drill bits but I managed it in the end

I have re-potted the clematis's for now as 3 pots flooded all together and will put them back in glazed pots later today.

Will the 5p size holes  be adequate do you think?

Thanks again, Lucy x

Well done! How many did you put in? And how big are the pots?

Never seen a 5p coin but Google tells me it's about 3/4". Is that right? Three of those should do the job depending on the size of the pot. To aid pot drainage, I slip a couple of pieces of slate or tile under the edges of the pots to keep them clear of the ground. The only challenge is balancing them!

Alina W

You can actually buy "pot feet" at garden centres, which will raise the pot about an inch from the ground, which should help.


I'm too cheap, Alina. Plus our little hill town is built of slate and stone so there are tons of the stuff lying around the place.

Green Magpie

I'll tell you want not to do, at least with a shallow pot or trough. I once planted crocuses and something other bulbs in a trough, the base of which was lined with broken polystyrene instead of stones for drainage. When the pot flooded in heavy rain, the polystyrene floated to the top, and the bulbs were left swimming in a sort of compost-and-polystyrene soup. It was quite a job to sieve it and sort it all out, and some of the bulbs never recovered after re-planting.


Oh Dear Green magpie - lesson learned though

Figrat/Italophile, I put 3 holes in each about 1/4'' in diameter? Hope that will do the job?

I have some plastic terracottta style pot feet in the shed so will be using those when I repot them.

Please let me know if I have done enough holes as the pots are about 30cm in diameter at the top and about 10cm diameter at the bottom. If I need to do any more that is fine, I still have the tools and tape out as not put them away yet xx

Thanks again x



They're not large pots, Lucy, the holes should be fine. I've got much bigger pots with similar drainage. No problems at all.


Thankyou x


Agree with Italophile - and hey, if you find it's not providing enough drainage, you can always do more! Might be an idea to let the clematis drain off well before popping them back in.


Hi Figrat, am letting them drian off as the water was up to the top of the pots - I have repotted them but roots were soaked through and the leaves on a couple of the stems have turned brown?

Will repot them tomorrow into the glazed pots


Hiya Lucy3,when you've repotted the clematis,leave a 2inch gap at the top of the pot and fill with pebbles or other like crushed slate or something similar...the stones act as a mulch as well as in the summer the stones will absorb the suns heat during the day and act like a radiator at night(All Clematis love their roots warm)Good luck.