Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
Don’t just throw away those plastic pots your plants came in! Here are our six favorite ways to reuse and recycle plant pots.
1. Plant halo.
Take an old plastic pot and cut off the bottom. Push it partway into the soil, and then plant your tomato inside. When you water the plant, the pot will retain the moisture and let it gradually soak into the soil at the roots.
You can also add more potting soil or compost into the halo when you plant to encourage more roots to grow from the buried part of the stem. This will provide more nutrients and support for the plant.
2. Planting guide when potting into a larger container.
When repotting a plant into a larger container, first add some potting soil to the new container. Place an empty plastic plant pot the same size as the smaller, original one into the middle of the container, and then continue to fill around it. Remove the pot to leave a hole just the right size for your plant.
3. DIY bug hotel.
Stuff a pot with short lengths of bamboo cane, hollow stems, twigs, or corrugated cardboard, and then site the DIY bug hotel on its side in a safe, sheltered spot.
4. Twine holder.
Put your ball of garden twine into an old plastic pot and feed the end through one of the drainage holes. Attach duct tape over the top of the recycled plant pot to stop the ball of twine from falling out.
You can decorate old plastic pots using non-toxic paints, burlap, rope, cloth, shells, or mosaic pieces to create a unique container.
6. Harvesting basket.
A large plastic pot makes a handy container for harvesting vegetables. Its drainage holes will enable quick and easy cleaning of your fresh produce.
Learn more about how to reuse and recycle plant pots in this video:
More Gardening Resources
Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.
Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.
Watch more videos on gardening techniques and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.