Are you tired of throwing out plastic plant pots every season? Well, it's time to up your upcycling game! Upcycling plastic plant pots is a creative and eco-friendly way to give your pots a new lease on life. Not only will it save you money, but it's also a fun way to get creative with your plant decor. Let's dive in!


Why Upcycle Plastic Plant Pots?

upcycled plastic pots


Plastic plant pots are ubiquitous in the gardening world and are often a one-use item. Not only does this contribute to unnecessary waste, but the manufacturing process of these pots also has a significant environmental impact. Upcycling plastic plant pots is a simple and effective way to reduce your ecological footprint and create a more sustainable garden.

The benefits of upcycling plastic plant pots are plentiful. Firstly, it reduces waste and promotes a circular economy by extending the life of the pot. Secondly, upcycling is an opportunity to get creative and personalize your garden (Wegener, 2016). You can customize your pots with different colors, patterns, and designs to add some flair to your space. Finally, it can save you money in the long run as you won't need to buy new pots every season.


Popular Ideas for Upcycling Plastic Plant Pots

Upcycling plastic plant pots is an opportunity to get creative and personalize your garden. Here are some popular ideas for upcycling plastic plant pots:

  1. Creating Vertical Gardens: If you have limited space, consider creating a vertical garden using upcycled plastic plant pots. Stack the pots on top of each other, secured with ropes or twines, and fill them with your favorite plants.
  2. Decorating with Paint or Markers: Give your plastic plant pots a new life with a fresh coat of paint or use markers to create unique designs. You can paint them in different colors and patterns to match your garden's theme.
  3. Transforming Pots into Bird Feeders: Turn your old plastic plant pots into bird feeders by placing birdseed in the bottom of the pot and hanging them from a tree or post. Birds will love the new addition to your garden, and you'll get to enjoy their company.
  4. Creating Planters for Herbs or Flowers: Use your upcycled plant pots to create a herb or flower garden. Plant different herbs or flowers in each pot, and arrange them in a cluster or a row to create a beautiful display.
  5. Making a Storage Container: Turn your plastic plant pots into storage containers by drilling a few holes in the bottom and using them to store gardening tools or other outdoor items.
  6. Create a Miniature Fairy Garden: Transform your plastic plant pots into a whimsical fairy garden by painting them with bright colors and creating small fairy-sized decorations with materials such as stones, sticks, and moss.
  7. Turn Pots into a Bee Hotel: Cut a few small holes in the sides of your upcycled plant pots and fill them with materials such as bamboo, reeds, or straw. These materials provide shelter for solitary bees and other beneficial insects.
  8. Make a Watering System: Drill small holes in the sides of the pot near the bottom and fill it with water. The water will slowly seep through the holes and moisten the soil, providing your plants with a self-watering system.
  9. Transform Pots into Garden Art: Use your upcycled plant pots to create unique garden art pieces. You can stack them in different configurations, paint them in vibrant colors, and add other materials such as rocks or stones to create interesting sculptures.
  10. Create a Composting System: Cut a few small holes in the sides of the pot near the top and fill it with compost materials such as vegetable scraps, eggshells, and leaves. The compost will slowly break down, providing you with nutrient-rich soil for your garden.


How to Upcycle Plastic Plant Pots

upcycled plastic pots


Tools Needed for Upcycling Plastic Plant Pots

To upcycle plastic plant pots, you'll need the following tools:

  • Used plastic plant pots
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer paint (optional)
  • Acrylic paint or spray paint
  • Paintbrushes 
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Rope, twine, hanger (if making a hanging planter)
  • Hot glue gun (optional)

These tools are easy to find at your local hardware store, and most of them can be reused for other upcycling projects.

Steps to Follow When Upcycling Plastic Plant Pots

  1. Clean the plant pots with warm soapy water and let them dry completely.
  2. Rough up the surface of the pots with sandpaper to help the paint adhere better.
  3. Apply a coat of primer paint (optional).
  4. Paint the pots with acrylic paint or spray paint. You can use different colors and patterns to create a unique design.
  5. Let the paint dry completely.
  6. If you want to turn the pots into hanging planters, cut a small hole on each side of the pot near the top and thread some rope or twine through the holes. Secure the rope with a knot and hot glue gun (optional).
  7. Fill the upcycled plant pots with soil and your favorite plants.


Tips for Successful Upcycling of Plastic Plant Pots

upcycled plastic pots

  1. Choose the right paint: Use paint that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces. This will ensure that the paint adheres well and won't peel off easily.
  2. Be creative: Upcycling is all about being creative and thinking outside the box. Don't be afraid to experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs.
  3. Use sandpaper: Roughing up the surface of the pots with sandpaper will help the paint adhere better and will give a better finish.
  4. Allow the paint to dry completely: Make sure the paint is completely dry before filling the pots with soil and plants. This will prevent the paint from smudging or rubbing off.
  5. Have fun: Upcycling is a fun and creative way to add some personality to your garden. Enjoy the process and have fun with it.



Wegener, Charlotte. (2016). Upcycling. In book: Creativity — A New Vocabulary.

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