Recycling Items for Drainage Fill in Plant Containers

Those lightweight plastic cups that flowers are sold in - I recycle them by using them for drainage when I transplant the flowers into terra cotta pots. I flatten them somewhat with my foot, and put them in the bottom of the pot. Then I add the soil and the flowers. The flattened trays are much lighter than broken terra cotta pieces for drainage, and it's a savings because less soil is required. For a large, deep pot, I use three or four smashed trays. When I need to move the pots around on my patio, it's easy because they don't weigh a ton. The smashed trays can be used year after year.


By Carla from Greensboro, NC

June 15, 20090 found this helpful

What a wonderful idea! I love this!

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June 17, 20090 found this helpful

I love this idea!

In several of his books, Jerry Baker suggests using the plastic caps (from milk, bleach, vinegar, and condiment bottles) that you are not supposed to recycle this way, too. Those caps are great for smaller pots, but your idea would work even better for large pots and planters.

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June 17, 20090 found this helpful

I like to use the styrofoam packing noodles. They seem to add very good drainage.

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

You must get a lot of flowers to have enough for every time you transplant! I use rocks at the bottom of my pots. I too have succulents on a big table in my enclosed patio that have to be rotated too. Can you buy those plastic trays?

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

Carla - that is a great idea, because those flowers pots are really heavy. Thanks again.

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

I am so glad I read this. I was just going to throw my plastic containers out! Now, instead I know what to do with them! Great idea to use less earth and to get good drainage! Thanks a bunch!

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Anonymous Flag
March 24, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you for such a great idea.


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