Do’s & Don’ts of Reusing Flower Pots


Nothing could be more environmentally friendly than planting and producing your own fruits, veggies, and flowers if you’re seeking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. If you are new to producing your own flowers, you will need a collection of flower pots. A thrifty gardener may save some money by sanitising plant pots in order to reuse them, which is one approach to save money.

Another alternative to purchasing new pots at a garden centre is to search for secondhand pots at yard sales and thrift shops. This will allow you to save money. These used pots are a lot more cost-effective than their brand-new counterparts, and they also help to decrease waste by preventing the disposal of the old pots in landfills. Used flower pots may be used to start a low-cost flower collection, but there are certain crucial guidelines that should be followed.

Choose the Right Pots

Because they often come equipped with a suitable drainage hole in the base, regular round terracotta pots may be used successfully for planting flowers in containers. On the other hand, decorative pots often need further processing before they can be utilised effectively. This is especially true with older pots. The bottom of the decorative pot has to have drainage holes drilled into it, often using a masonry drill bit. Alternatively, the decorative pot may be used as a covering for a somewhat smaller plain pot that already has the appropriate drainage.

There is also the possibility of reusing plastic plant pots, however they are more likely to get cracked and broken over the course of the year. If you decide not to reuse them, recycling them is a better option than tossing them away, so keep that in mind. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends checking with a local gardening centre or a hardware shop such as Home Depot or Lowes to see if they would take the pots as a form of recycling. Many curbside recycling providers do not accept the pots.

Clean the Pots

A crusty coating will form on the inside of many pots after they have been used for a whole year to house plants, soil, and sometimes fertiliser. Before the pot may be used again, this coating has to be removed first. When it comes to removing this layer of dirt and fertiliser salts, you’ll find that hot water and a scrub brush are quite helpful tools. It’s possible that a dull knife is the most efficient instrument for removing salt from terracotta pots that have a heavy coating of salt on them.

Disinfecting Plant Pots

As is the case with the cleaning of kitchens, a clean flower pot does not always mean that it is germ-free. After being cleaned, old flower pots need to be sterilised in order to eliminate any organisms that could pass on a disease to the plants grown in them the following year. The University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends soaking pots for thirty minutes in a solution that consists of one part household bleach and nine parts water.

It is necessary to thoroughly rinse and soak the pots in clean water in order to eliminate any remaining bleach residue. If the containers are going to be used on another day, you should remove them from the clear water and set them aside until they are ready to be planted. This will bring more moisture to the new potting soil.

Store Pots Correctly

Gardeners who have a large number of pots to clean and sterilise may choose to do the task in batches, and they may often have pots that are in a variety of phases of the procedure at the same time. Pots that have been cleaned and sterilised should be kept in a location that is distinct from pots that have not been cleaned so that disease-causing organisms do not redeposit on the cleansed pots. A separate plastic bag, such as a rubbish bag, should be used to keep dirty pots in order to avoid the contamination of other items with dirt and germs while waiting for them to be cleaned.