Free Planting Pots, The Quest Continues..

Free Planting Pots, The Quest Continues…

So I had the big plan of using old sour cream containers. Then using their lids as pot saucers. Not really digging how shallow the saucers would be though. The whole point of the saucer is that you catch excess water, the lids do not give you a lot of room for error.

Sure I could take each one to the sink, water it, than when it was finished draining place it back on the saucer/lid. When looking for cheap plant pots I also want ease of use.

Now that we come down to it I think I found something even easier.

I came across something cool! (I hope) Little milk cartons could be used as starter plant containers!

Right back to Earth Science class!

Instead of little milk cartons the plan is to use the cream containers from my coffee. I combined them with the plastic recyclable mushroom containers. Plenty of overflow or better yet – watering from the bottom space! I have found my new favorite free plant pots!!!

Free Planting Pots       Free Plant Pots

Ideas into action

I did come up with something that makes a bit more decorative plant pots. Granted, no one will think you bought them but they are more attractive than milk cartons. I reused my take out ice coffee cups! Cut about 4 inches off a large plastic coffee cup, put some holes in the bottom for drainage. Put some stones in the bottom of the unadulterated cup to hold the plant out of any potential water, place planted cup on top.

cup in processFree Plant Pots

I also have access to coffee filters at work, these things get crazy out of control, you get a box of 40 prepackaged coffee and 100 filters. Needless to say I have quite a few leftovers.

So I use these to line the bottom of my drainage holes. In the past I have used paper towels, leaves from the yard and tea bags. Have fun, experiment. These are free plants right?!

I should have clearly marked which ones were which color, I have not potted up the bi color yet. I think I know which glass it is in but…….. not sure. Lost a bunch of ones that were supposed to be rooting. Some rotted, some lost their leaves before rooting.

You can use rooting hormones, I never have. No particular reason, just never bought any. Still, never got around to trying out that free willow branch rooting hormone. Experiment for the future!!!

I should have planted them sooner but got busy working on a flooring project which took up space in every room of our house and they were on their own for 2 weeks. Side note – Laminate flooring is not as easy as they say.

My experiences and insight

Plants are natural humidifiers they put out almost as much moisture as they take in. So when the water starts missing out of your glasses it could be either evaporation or expiration, if you have roots it is most likely expiration. I had a bit of expiration.

Using the soil that was leftover from this past year and add some fertilizer to carry my little hopefuls through.

I am rough with the little guys because we are starting with really hardy plants. Let me give you an example:

  • My container was knocked off my deck in high winds and landed upside down 7 feet below.
  • Took the broken coleus and literally stuck it back in the container and was not expecting it to survive.
  • Next day it was wilted, as expected from a plant about to die.
  • The day after it perked up !
  • the broken stems from the impatiens were tossed away and the main plant just started over!

So cool, right?!

We don’t even need to root in water first, I love it when things just happen – in a good way…

Now the watching, waiting, caring and watering

So different plants require different watering and lighting and nutritional needs, to be going with a more generalized. I am going to use soil they already had on hand or fertilizer that I already had on hand. They’re in my library with the shades open for light. As the weeks progress they should grow stronger and the host plants can go outside to the compost.

Now that the plants are all growing in the room it has a different feel. Walk into a room filled with plants – it just feels different. These plants need me to live. I love the feeling when I walk into the room when it’s filled with all my plants. A wave of calm just washes over me. I can’t walk by in the hallway without being drawn in and just pausing and enjoying fresh new leaves here or flower there to greet me. Add a touch of water, pinch off a little there, tell them my expectations, how awesome it will be in the spring – just hang in there!. It is a wonderful feeling and I hope that you share it.

The coolest thing is when you go in there and I look out my window and the swimming pool is closed up and covered with ice and the leaves are all gone off the trees and everything is cold and frozen and outside. It is warm, inviting, colorful and calm with the promise of a beautiful spring to come.



Thigmomorphogenesis is the response by plants to mechanical sensation (touch) by altering their growth patterns.

(Thigma –> to touch in Greek BTW) also it is just plain fun to say.



In other words paying attention to your plants, checking for infestations, touching the soil to check for moisture will move leaves and stems a bit. Basically I just let them know I am there. In general, it is a good idea to touch your plants, dust also settles on leaves, decreasing their effectiveness and giving a tired look all around.

I am going to throw another word out there, ready?

Biophilia. It means you like plants/nature


bio·phil·ia | \ ˌbī-ō-ˈfi-lē-ə , -ˈfēl-yə\


: a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature

Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984).

There you have it, they are planted and waiting for spring.

10 thoughts on “Free Planting Pots, The Quest Continues..

  1. Thanks for a valuable lesson on gardening. I like how you’ve described the feeling when you get into a room full of plants. There’s something special about it indeed. The word paradise comes from the Latin word “paradisum” which means garden, park, or orchard. Just a thought 🙂

  2. Hi there, this was an interesting post reading about your planting pot journey. I love how creative you are with the materials you’ve used, that’s so awesome. Colourful iced coffee cups given another life 🙂 You’ve got quite an eclectic mix going on. Looking forward to how things develop for you.

  3. What a great idea!! They will probably outgrow them anyway very soon.
    Thank you so very much for your trick to use the cream containers from coffee. But I don’t have any plastic recyclable mushroom containers. Would you have another idea, that works just as well? I would love to water them from below.
    Keep up your creative posts!
    Thank you

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