Greenhouse Planters from Upcycled Home Items

When it comes to growing crops, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a vital practice that ensures we can feed our future without harming the planet. Greenhouse planters are a cornerstone of this sustainable approach, providing a controlled environment for plants to thrive while minimizing waste and resource use. If you’re looking to join the green revolution, understanding how to use greenhouse planters effectively is a great place to start.

Key Takeaways

  • Greenhouse planters offer a sustainable way to grow crops with efficient resource use.
  • They come in various types, including traditional containers, hydroponic systems, and vertical planters.
  • Choosing the right location and optimizing water, nutrient delivery, and lighting are crucial for success.
  • Maintenance involves regular checks and adjustments to ensure plant health.
  • Greenhouse planters can be used in diverse settings, from urban rooftops to large-scale farms.

Why Choose Upcycled Greenhouse Planters?

Ever been captivated by a garden where every planter has a tale to tell? Upcycled greenhouse planters offer a distinct mix of charm and environmental mindfulness, adding personality to any garden. Upcycling, the process of transforming waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products, is not just an innovative way to reduce our environmental footprint; it also injects a unique aesthetic into our green spaces.

Every upcycled planter is a testament to creativity and sustainability. By repurposing items that would otherwise end up in landfills, gardeners make a small but significant contribution to environmental conservation. Imagine turning an old wooden crate, a discarded tire, or even a broken ceramic bowl into a vibrant home for your plants. Each planter becomes a focal point in your greenhouse but also tells a story of transformation and renaissance.

Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of upcycling is undeniable. Instead of purchasing new planters, upcycling allows gardeners to economically beautify their space. It’s about seeing the potential in what we already have and turning it into something both beautiful and functional. This approach is particularly appealing in today’s world, where sustainability is as much a necessity as it is a choice. By choosing upcycled greenhouse planters, we’re embracing a gardening practice that’s as kind to our wallets as it is to the Earth.

Things to upcycle at home as greenhouse planters

Preparing to Create Your Greenhouse Planters

Venturing into the world of upcycling for greenhouse planters is a creative and eco-friendly pursuit. Here’s how you can gear up for this green endeavor:

Materials You Need

  1. Basic Tools: Gather tools such as a hammer, nails, saw, drill, sandpaper, and paintbrushes for shaping and customizing your items.
  2. Safety Gear: Always use gloves, goggles, and masks for protection, especially when working with splinter-prone or dusty materials.
  3. Paints and Sealers: Choose weather-proof paints and sealers to protect your planters and give them a new look.
  4. Soil and Plants: Select the right soil and plants, considering the planter’s size and depth.

Choosing the Right Items to Upcycle

  1. Look Around Your Home: Start with your own home. Unused pails, empty bottles, old boots, or even instant noodle cups can be transformed into planters.
  2. Thrift Stores and Garage Sales: These places are treasure troves for finding unique items that can be upcycled into planters.
  3. Community Groups: Local communities or online groups often have listings of free items that can be repurposed.
  4. Industrial Areas: Sometimes, local industries dispose of large containers or pallets that can be creatively turned into large planters.

When selecting items to upcycle, prioritize their structural soundness and ensure they are non-toxic, especially for edibles. The aesthetic appeal is also important; choose items that will enhance the beauty of your greenhouse. The size and shape should suit your space and the plants you intend to grow. With these considerations in mind, you’re all set to turn everyday items into delightful greenhouse planters.

Creating Your Upcycled Greenhouse Planters

Upcycling for greenhouse planters is a creative process that breathes new life into old items. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you turn ordinary objects into beautiful homes for your plants:

1. Choose Your Container:

Start by selecting a container that suits your style and needs. This could be anything from an old watering can, a wooden crate, a large soup can, to even a worn-out boot. Let your imagination guide you.

2. Prepare the Container:

Clean your chosen item thoroughly. Remove any labels, sand down rough edges, and make sure it’s free of harmful residues. Cut items like plastic bottles or containers to your desired size and shape.

3. Drainage is Key:

Ensure proper drainage to keep your plants healthy. Drill or poke holes in the bottom of your container. If you’re working with materials like plastic or metal, a nail and hammer or a drill works well.

4. Add a Protective Layer:

If you’re using a metal container, consider adding a layer of rust-proof paint to prevent corrosion. For wooden containers, a coat of sealer can prevent rot.

5. Decorate Your Planter:

This is where you can get creative. Paint your planter, add designs, or wrap it in burlap for a rustic look. This step is all about personalizing your planter to fit your greenhouse’s aesthetic.

6. Fill with Soil:

Once your planter is ready, fill it with a suitable potting mix. Make sure to choose the right type of soil depending on the plants you intend to grow.

7. Planting:

Now, plant your seeds or seedlings. Remember to give them enough space to grow. If you’re unsure about the spacing, a quick internet search on the specific plant can guide you.

8. Watering and Placement:

Water your plants as needed and place the planter in a spot where it will get the appropriate amount of sunlight.

Different methods and styles can be applied depending on the container you choose. For instance, a vertical planter can be created from an old pallet, great for small spaces. Hanging planters can be made from cut-out plastic bottles, ideal for herbs or small flowers. The possibilities are endless, and each type of container can add its unique charm to your greenhouse.

Caring for Your Greenhouse Planters

Maintaining upcycled greenhouse planters ensures they remain beautiful and functional for your plants. Here are some tips to keep them in top condition:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Keep your planters clean to prevent the buildup of mold and pests. Gentle washing with soapy water works well, especially for planters made from materials like plastics or ceramics.
  2. Monitoring Watering Needs: Different plants have varying watering requirements. Overwatering can cause root rot, especially in non-porous planters. Ensure your planters have adequate drainage and adjust your watering schedule based on the type of plant and the material of the planter.
  3. Seasonal Adjustments: Some upcycled materials may be sensitive to temperature changes. For instance, metal can heat up quickly in summer, potentially harming the roots. Consider relocating or adding a protective layer during extreme weather.
  4. Plant Suitability: Choose plants that are suitable for the size and depth of your planter. Shallow containers are great for herbs and succulents, while deeper ones can accommodate larger plants.
  5. Pest and Disease Checks: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests or diseases. Prompt action can prevent the spread and keep your plants healthy.
  6. Refreshing the Soil: Over time, the soil in planters can become compacted or depleted of nutrients. Refreshing or replacing the soil every season can give your plants a much-needed boost.
  7. Remember, each type of upcycled planter might have its specific care needs. Paying attention to these details will help your greenhouse thrive with healthy plants and sustainable, eye-catching planters.

Benefits of Upcycled Planters in Your Greenhouse

Upcycled planters offer unique advantages for your garden, enhancing both plant growth and the overall aesthetics of your greenhouse. Firstly, they provide an unparalleled personal touch. Each upcycled planter, with its distinct look and history, contributes to a garden that’s as unique as the gardener. This visual diversity can make your greenhouse a more enjoyable and inspiring place to spend time in.

From a horticultural perspective, different materials used in upcycling can benefit plant growth. For example, wooden crates can offer excellent drainage and aeration, promoting healthier root systems. Metal containers can retain heat, providing a warm environment for certain plants to thrive.

Moreover, by repurposing materials, you’re creating a sustainable ecosystem within your garden. This approach reduces waste and minimizes the environmental footprint of your gardening activities, contributing to a healthier planet. Thus, upcycled planters enhance the beauty and uniqueness of your greenhouse and support a more sustainable and flourishing gardening practice.


Embracing the art of upcycling in greenhouse planters opens a world of creativity and environmental responsibility. Each upcycled planter not only adds a unique charm to your garden but also contributes to a greener planet. The process of transforming everyday items into flourishing homes for plants is not just cost-effective but incredibly satisfying. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a budding green thumb, upcycled planters offer endless possibilities to personalize your space. I encourage you to dive into this rewarding practice. Share your upcycling adventures and inspire others, as we all play a part in crafting more sustainable and beautiful gardens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What are the best materials to use for upcycled greenhouse planters?

Almost any sturdy material can be upcycled into a planter. Popular choices include wooden boxes, metal cans, plastic bottles, and even old footwear. The key is to ensure they are clean, safe for plants, and have adequate drainage.

Q2: How do I ensure proper drainage inside my upcycled planters?

Drill holes in the bottom of your container. For materials like metal or hard plastics, use a drill; for softer materials, a hammer and nail can work. Adequate drainage is crucial to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Q3: Can I grow any type of plant in an upcycled planter?

While most plants can thrive in upcycled planters, consider the size and depth of your container. Shallow planters are great for herbs and succulents, whereas deeper containers can support larger plants and vegetables.

Q4: Should I treat the materials before using them as planters?

Yes, especially if the material is prone to rot or rust. Apply a sealant to the wood and a rust-proof layer to the metal. This step helps extend the life of your planter and protects your plants.

Q5: How can I personalize my upcycled greenhouse planters?

Get creative with paint, mosaics, or even fabric wraps. Just make sure to use non-toxic materials that are safe for plants. Personalizing your planters adds a unique touch to your greenhouse garden.

grant yost greenhouse innovator

Grant Yost

Grant Yost is co-owner of Beulah Land Farms, a small business that is part of and trying to push forward the local food movement. Although I grew up on a farm in the middle of Kansas, we took the wheat and other grain to the elevator, and then went to the grocery store to buy all our food. Maybe it's a generational thing, but we should be growing our own food as much as possible! My wife was diagnosed with Graves disease, which is an auto-immune disease affecting the thyroid, and while it wasn't debilitating (we are grateful for that) we have to wonder if it had to do with processed food and our mass-produced food supply. Auto-immune epidemic anyone? Also, maybe a generational thing... we live in the city in Kansas City, but our kids want to move to the farm!

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