• Home Home

Gardener shares genius hack for growing new plants without repotting anything: 'That's thinking outside the box'

"What a great idea."

Cardboard plant pots save cash

Photo Credit: @simonakeroydgardener/ Tiktok

If you're an online shopper, you likely have loads of cardboard boxes cluttering your home. One TikToker shared a genius gardening hack that'll put your boxes to good use. 

The scoop

In a viral TikTok, Simon Akeroyd (@simonakeroydgardener) shared a simple technique for making plastic-free plant pots using cardboard. All you need is a few cardboard boxes, tin cans or glass jars, and water.

The first step to Akeroyd's potting hack is to disassemble your boxes. Be sure to remove any labels or tape. Then you need to soak the cardboard in water for about 15 minutes.

Cut the cardboard into strips and wrap them around the sides and bottom of glass mason jars or empty tin cans. Keep a close eye on your pots, as you want to remove them before they are completely dry. 

After removing your pots, you can add soil and seeds to grow plants. You can leave them as is or plant them directly into the ground.

"The cardboard will naturally decompose," Akeroyd wrote in the TikTok's caption. "This avoids disturbing the roots."

@simonakeroydgardener Plastic-free plant pots. Easy to make from cardboard. Plant them directly into the soil where the carboard will naturally decompose. This avoids distrubing the roots. #recycle #plasticfree #growyourown #gardeningtok #gardening #foryou #foryoupage #fyp #growyourown #greengardening ♬ Beautiful Day - U2

How it's helping

This gardening hack is a simple DIY project that will help your wallet, your garden, and the environment.

Plant pots can cost a few dollars or upward of $100, depending on size, retailer, and quality. If you have multiple seeds or plants to pot, these expenses add up. This hack can offset your gardening costs because you are using materials you likely already own to create pots. 

Your plants will thank you for using biodegradable plant pots rather than terracotta or plastic. Because biodegradable fibers break down easily, roots can push through the sides of the cardboard as they grow. 

When planted in the ground, these cardboard pots will not disturb the roots and prevent transplant shock. 

Transplant shock often happens when plants are moved, repotted, or introduced to a new environment. It can make leaves, flowers, and fruit wilt — or make plants die altogether. 

As the cardboard degrades, this hack allows roots to grow seamlessly and uninterrupted into the soil. 

Redirecting your cardboard boxes from the landfill to your garden can benefit the environment. When cardboard isn't recycled, it breaks down in landfills and releases polluting gasses into the air. 

When you let cardboard decompose in the soil, it adds organic matter, boosts the soil's nutrient levels, and enhances garden drainage. 

What everyone's saying 

Akeroyd's fellow TikTokers were impressed by this genius gardening technique, sharing praise in the comment section. 

"That's thinking outside the box," one user wrote. "No pun intended."

Another TikToker said, "What a great idea!" 

"I've also used multiple layers of newspaper," a user added. "Thanks for the post."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider