We have several big pots (they're about 2ft wide) and water accumulates in the saucers.

The water in the saucer begins to stink after a while, so we have to pick up every pot, remove the foul-smelling water, and then put the pot back on the saucer.

The issue is that these pots are extremely heavy, so between three of us we do all of this comfortably. But it's impossible for one person to do it safely.

Is there another way of dealing with this situation?

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3 Answers 3


If the water in the saucers has become noxious smelling, it's highly likely the bottom of the pot is also full of stagnant water and that will be noxious too, which will compromise the health of the plants over time. When you water, do it thoroughly and allow the excess to drain away freely from the base of the pot. It looks like this pot is outdoors, and it is not usual to have anything to catch water beneath outdoor containers unless they're likely to drip onto people from, say, a balcony or similar. Assuming they're all outdoors, the answer is simple - just remove the saucers, don't use anything beneath. It would be best if you could raise the pots by using pot feet or something so they're not in contact with the ground - you only need a small clearance beneath of half an inch, and this will assist with good drainage and discourage any invaders such as ants getting inside the pot through the bottom.


If you go to a shopping site like Amazon and search for "large plastic syringe" you will see a variety of syringes of varying sizes, some of which are intended for use to measure out liquids for hydroponics. Armed with a pail and a suitable size syringe you could do your watering and then use the syringe to vacuum up the excess (put the tip of the tube into the water, draw up the plunger), squirt it back into the pail for each plant. When done dump the pail contents on an outside flower bed.

To get the tip into that narrow opening you may need to adapt the end of the tube or compress it laterally slightly. This will reduce the efficiency of the syringe, so just pull back slower on the syringe. You will quickly get the idea and reduce the task to a one person job.


If it's a plastic saucer, it's easy to drill a couple of tiny holes in it so that it slowly drains on its own.

I assume you already considered using no saucer at all, normal for outdoor plants around here.


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