What a Cachepot Is and How To Use it For Your Houseplants

We are going to explore the concept of cachepots today, but first, let’s delve into the correct pronunciation. The term is pronounced as cash-po or cash-pot, and in French, it means to “hide a pot.” Cachepots are essentially ornamental holders designed to house plants within another pot. So, how can you optimize their use for your houseplants?

Understanding the Essence of a Cachepot

A cachepot refers to a pot without a drainage hole. It can come in various decorative or plain designs, serving the purpose of concealing the utilitarian grower’s pot in which the plant is originally sold to you.

The Prevalence of Non-Drainage Pots

Many plants, especially orchids, are often placed in cachepots when purchased. This practice makes the plants easier to ship and water for workers at garden centers, big-box stores, and grocery stores. By using cachepots, the water remains contained within the pot, eliminating the need for a saucer. However, it is important to note that the absence of a drainage hole is usually not ideal for the plant’s health. Without a drainage outlet, excess water accumulation can lead to root rot and the eventual demise of the plant.

Concealing the Pots

In the accompanying pictures, the plants have been removed from their cachepots to show you the “hidden” pots. On the left, you can see a gymnocalycium cactus in an adorable pot with an attached stand. On the right, there is a phalaenopsis orchid in a gold ribbed cachepot. As you can observe, these pots effectively conceal the grower’s pot.

Utilizing a Cachepot Effectively

When used correctly, cachepots can be beneficial for plant care. If you receive a plant in a cachepot and do not wish to drill a hole in it, you can leave it as is. However, it is crucial to remove the plant from the cachepot for watering. Take it to the sink, thoroughly water the plant, allow it to drain, and then place it back in the cachepot. This simple practice ensures that excess water drains away from the plant, preventing waterlogging.

The Importance of Drilling a Hole

I strongly advise against directly planting a plant into a cachepot without first drilling a hole. If the cachepot is not concealing another pot, it can no longer be called a cachepot, right? Planting directly into a pot without a drainage hole sets the stage for failure. It becomes nearly impossible to determine whether the plant has received adequate water to moisten the entire root ball, and in the case of overwatering, it becomes difficult to identify the issue. As a general rule, I recommend drilling a hole in the cachepot and then potting the plant directly into it. This way, you can water the plant until water drains out of the hole, indicating that the plant has received sufficient moisture and that the entire root ball is thoroughly hydrated.

Understanding Cachepots and Optimizing Their Use

Now you are equipped with the knowledge of what a cachepot is and how to effectively utilize it for your houseplants. You can choose to leave your plant in the grower’s pot and “hide” it within the cachepot or drill a hole and plant it directly. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the health and longevity of your beloved houseplants.

I hope this article has demystified the concept of cachepots and provided you with valuable insights on optimizing their use. Have a fantastic week, plant enthusiasts!


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