Planter saucer - is it necessary?

Hi guys 

I’m just wondering about the use of planter saucers for pots outdoors. Is it necessary and apart from catching draining water does it serve any other purpose? Some suggest it could help reduce need for watering as it helps retain water but others suggest the pooling of liquid would cause root rot. Is there a consensus at all? 

P/S: I grow mostly roses in containers and half of my pots have a saucer the rest don’t. I havent quite noticed any difference so far.

what do you think? 

Posts

  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 4,816
    It depends on the plant in the pot.  If it likes well drained soil then don't use a saucer and raise the pot on feet.  Some plants love to grow in damp soil so a saucer is useful.
    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,281
    My plant pots are in and out of their saucers depending on the weather.  In winter I mostly leave them without saucers.
  • Mike AllenMike Allen Posts: 46
    I beleive the pot saucer came about initially as a protection to window sill and other indoor surfaces.  Most plants potted or open ground growing, prefer well drained soil/compost, excluding of course aquqatics.  Yes! the roots may find the collected water supply but this supply can quickly become stagnant, sour and a haven for unwanted bacteria.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,118
    It depends on the plant in the pot.  If it likes well drained soil then don't use a saucer and raise the pot on feet.  Some plants love to grow in damp soil so a saucer is useful.
    I totally agree ... different plants need different conditions so some plants benefit from saucers in the summer  ... but I remove all saucers in the winter and raise pots into pot feet or half bricks to promote drainage. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Thanks guys I think I might just give the saucers a miss then. Frankly I don’t really like them as @Mike Allen has pointed out I find lots of leaves and flowers getting trapped in the stagnant water and starting to rot. If it doesn’t really help with hydration of the plant then I shall get rid of them. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,118
    Just keep an eye on the plants ... you may find some of them drying out too quickly without saucers. As I said, you have to get to know the individual plants needs and respond accordingly. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 317
    Everything I grow is in pots so this is a constant point for me. I have finally adopted saucers for only some of the pots. If the plant is really thirsty (tomatoes, hydrangeas etc) they get saucers most of the time. Others only get them during drought or vacation. Works really well for me, but you have to know your plants.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,267
    As well depending on the plant it also depends on your growing conditions. If your balcony gets hot or is subject to drying winds, you might be losing water to evaporation, so your roses are getting less water than you think. Breathable pots also lose more, although I think yours are mainly plastic/composite? 

    I break all the rules here, potted citrus, olive and other plants that like a well-drained soil have large saucers. I water once a week, maybe twice in high summer. The plants sit in water in the saucer for a day or two until it evaporates/is soaked up. So long as they are not constantly sitting in water and are allowed to dry out in between waterings they don’t seem to be any the worse for it. I do remove them in winter where practical - some potted specimens are just too heavy to lift.

    Using the saucer as a gravel tray would help soak up any excess and avoid the stagnant water look.
  • @Nollie So so the latest update is that I’ve re-adopted these saucers. Given my lifestyle where I am often away for a whole weekend or during the week with no one to water my plants I decided having a backup reservoir in the form of saucers is a good idea. The roses are flourishing so should be ok. 

    @Dovefromabove @Jacquimcmahon ;I only grow roses and as far as I know they don’t like to be too wet. That said I only left home for a weekend which turned out to be hot and sunny. When I got back one of the roses without a saucer really did look half dead with severely wilted and floppy. That was a traumatic experience..


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,374
    Roses are very thirsty.
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