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How to Reuse Plastic Plant Pots from Garden Centres

When gardeners buy plants from garden centres, we also inevitably purchase their accompanying plastic pots. Over the course of a single season, we find ourselves repotting and transplanting and consequently shedding the initial container. We can end up with piles of plastic on our hands. 

So what are we to do with all that plastic? Well, we can recycle non-black plant pots in our community bins, but recycling isn’t always the most eco-friendly option. The resources it takes to recycle all those plastic plant pots can be saved by simply reusing and repurposing. 

Here are some easy ways we can reuse those plastic plant pots:

Store them for next year’s seed starting project

By starting your spring seedlings in existing pots, you save resources and money. You won’t be tempted to buy greenhouse grown seedlings, but instead, you’ll be encouraged to grow your own from just some seeds and soil.

Use them as a produce rinsing strainer

Depending on your plastic plant pot size, you can rinse and strain a single serving of berries or a bunch of lettuce. This trick works really well when traveling or taking road trips. 

Put a smaller pot in a larger pot when repotting 

When repotting from one pot to the next size up, most of us fill the larger pot with soil and then dig out a hole for the plant’s roots. You can save time by putting the smaller pot upside down inside the larger pot before adding soil. Doing so displaces the soil so when you pull out the pot, your hole is ready for planting.

Turn them into an organizing solution 

Plastic plant pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes and all of them are great for helping you get organized. With taller single-plant pots, you can organize crayons, toys, and craft supplies. With seedling trays, you can organize fasteners like nails and nuts and bolts, or other small items like coins and buttons. 

Protect your plants while adding organic mulch

So your flowers are blooming but you need to add mulch. You can speed things up by placing an appropriately-sized plastic pot over your plants before laying down organic mulch like wood chips. This way, you won’t have to worry about adding bit by bit to prevent burying your plants. 

Permanently contain creeping plants like mint and strawberries

Some plants can quickly take over your garden—and not in a good way. With creeping and wide-spreading plants, contain their roots by putting them into a permanent pot solution in your soil.

Simply dig out a space for your existing plastic pot and slide in your potted plant. This space will be reserved for next year, but you can take out the potted plant during winter or to switch up your garden design.  

Add some space to the bottom of a big pot

Take a plastic pot and turn it upside in the bottom of your big pot. Add some newspaper or packing peanuts around it and fill with soil. This prevents your big pots from becoming too heavy to move.