Why You Should Always Put a Coffee Filter In Your Flower Pots

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

Plants add vibrancy to our living spaces like nothing else quite can. And although tending to them isn’t necessarily hard, they are living things that require our time and attention. Anything that makes caring for plants a bit easier is a plus in our book — because this means we can add a few more! Here’s how coffee filters contribute to smart, less-mess plant maintenance.

They allow water, but not dirt, to drain: Putting a coffee filter between your plant’s dirt and the pot’s drainage hole keeps dirt from leaking out. When dirt flows out of the hole with water, the hole can become clogged, making water flow less freely. This can lead to root rot, which could kill your plant. Not only so, but dirt flowing out with the water makes a mess. Some people put rocks in the bottom of their pots to avoid these problems, but a coffee filter is much easier. Water will flow out freely, air can flow in freely, and dirt will stay neatly put.

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

They give plants maximum soil: Plants need enough soil to spread their roots and from which to draw water. Coffee filters are superior to using gravel because the filters allow the plant to have as much soil as possible within the pot; rocks aren’t taking the space of the soil and they aren’t displacing the soil, either.

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

Coffee filters hold moisture: Since coffee filters are absorbent, they will retain some moisture from each watering. While it’s not enough moisture to cause root rot, it may give you a bit of extra time between waterings or tide you over in case you (gasp) miss a watering session.

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

You can transplant plants with less mess: When it comes time to transplant your plant — either because it’s root-bound or you want to change pots for decorative purposes — the coffee filter helps keep loose soil from spilling all over your work space. You can keep this filter on as you put your plant into its new pot (you might want to loosen the root ball a bit first) because it will disintegrate eventually. Don’t forget to line the new pot with a coffee filter!